From January 1, the Israel Armament Development Authority, Rafael has been operating as a company, under the law applying to government companies. Rafael was also registered on that date as a company at the Government Companies Authority. This was decided on by Ministry of Defence director general Ilan Biran, as one of the preliminary steps to turning Rafael from an ancillary unit of the Ministry of Defence into a limited government company, similar to Israel Aircraft Industries and Israel Military Industries.
Following this, Rafael began to operate according to profit and loss accounting, its board of directors was given wide ranging authority in monitoring business activities, and Rafael operates vis-a -vis customers according to the Compulsory Tenders Law.
The board is headed by General (Res.) Amos Horev, and has 10 members. Five dedicated units were set up, including three divisions (missiles, electronics, and armaments), and two administrations (launchers and platforms, and engines and warheads). Each operates as a profit centre, with a separate balance sheet presented to the company's board.
Biran told "Globes" that the decision to start operating Rafael as a company was intended to create the appropriate managerial infrastructure for functioning in the future as a company in every respect.
Rafael spokesman Noah Shahar disclosed to "Globes" that the authority lost $70 million in 1996, compared with $120 million in 1995. Orders rose to $610 million compared with $440 million, and sales rose from $460 million to $480 million.