Over the past two years, the IAF underwent a comprehensive process which has saved 450 million shekels ($120 million) and an additional expected 200 million shekels ($52 million). As a result of the program’s success, a new maintenance efficiency program is beginning. “An important cultural change”
“As a result of the smaller budget, we must create an additional budget for strengthening the IAF or other needs we may have”, explained Col. Avi Rajuan from the Material Directorate. “This is also an important cultural change: understanding that we can do things differently and wherever we can become more efficient – to do so. We don’t take things for granted, we ask questions, consider what we can do differently and how to stay relevant”.
The program was led by the Head of the Material Directorate and carried out by IPT teams, who deal with management of efficiency in maintenance, logistics and purchasing and with project permissions and inspection of their plans. The Finance Department also took part in the process, alongside Computer Service and Construction Personnel.
40 Percent of the IAF’s Maintenance Budget – Propulsion
One of the projects that was implemented as a part of the efficiency process, included integration of the ability to disassemble and assemble the “Arrow” missiles. As a result of the project’s success, it was decided to conduct a similar process with the “Iron Dome” missiles.
“When the missiles expire, they must be disassembled as part of a process that is usually outsourced”, explain Maj. Alex Dimentov and Capt. Roei Orkabi from the Material Directorate. “With the goal of saving the cost of outsourcing this process, we integrated the ability to disassemble and assemble the missiles ourselves. This way, we did not only significantly lower the costs of the process, but also improved the missile’s availability and the ability to conduct aerial defense missions at higher time rates”.
An additional project is the lowering of the prices of “Sufa” (F-16I) and “Raam” (F-15I) engines. “This is one of the biggest projects we have ever carried out”, explain Maj. Dimentov and Capt. Orkabi. “The IAF is going through a series of inspections of the F-15I and F-16I engines, which occurs every few years and in the past few years we have experienced a significant rise in the price that was determined by the American suppliers”.
For the sake of clarification, 40% of the Material Directorate budget is dedicated to the engines. “This is also a safety project”, they explain. “The engines must meet certain standards and rules, but on the other hand they have become a financial burden. As part of the process, the discussions with the American manufacturers have finally come to the conclusion that the price will stand at 700 million dollars over the course of 15 years with improved engines. This will save millions of shekels and in addition we will receive a commitment from the company for responsibility for improvement of their safety and credibility”.