Gun Pr0n: IWI’s Micro Tavor

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From missile boats to machine guns

By Ora Coren

Israel Shipyards Ltd., one of the companies owned by the Samy Katsav Group, designs and manufacturers military platforms such as missile boats, gunboats and guard boats, as well as civilian platforms that include freighters that carry up to 4,500 tons of general cargo.  Another group company, whose products are familiar to most Israeli infantry units, is the Israel Weapon Industries (known as IWI ). The group bought the company, then called Magen, in 2005 from the government-owned Israel Military Industries.

“The newly purchased plant required thorough care after years of difficulties. The plant recovered and expanded substantially in terms of revenue and manpower, and exports 90 percent of its production,” says Uri Amit, IWI’s president.

The plant manufactures light weapons, ranging from handguns to light machine guns, and its flagship product is the family of Tavor rifles.

Katsav confirms that the Tavor was nearly ready for sale when he bought the factory.

Amit adds: “The flagship product today is the Tavor, which was developed in the IMI days and has since become a world-class product, which the Israel Defense Forces chose as standard issue for the infantry in the reduced version called the Micro Tavor (an assault rifle ). This rifle will do for Israel’s reputation what the Uzi, which was also developed here, once did.”

Katsav adds: “We completed the development of the Tavor and we introduced it to the market. We think that this is the best assault rifle in the world.”

What sets apart the Micro Tavor, whose development Katsav takes responsibility for, is its size: It is two-thirds the length of a comparable weapon, making it more convenient to carry and operate.

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