Founder of ORBIT Communication Systems

ORBIT’s Founder

Mr. Yiftah Stein

 

(The following text was written few years ago by the late Mr. Carol Kirshner who was one of ORBIT’s founders and was part of its top management team – for over 40 years. )

ORBIT’s history begins in 1950 under the name Alchut, a cooperative association founded by five ambitious young colleagues: Teddy Beeri, Walter Cohen, Moshe Myk, Karol Kirshner and the late Yiftah Stein (photo).

Our initial goal was to supply radio services to agricultural settlements in the central region of Israel. We equipped a vehicle with instruments that enabled simple repairs to be carried out on-site, and additional opened a lab in the coastal town of Netanya. While in the beginning we provided only services, our real dream was to establish a manufacturing facility that would have a smoking chimney of at least 20 meters…

In time, the plant was indeed established, but as for the chimney, it still has not been put up….

The dilemma, of course, was what to manufacture. Our team decided at first on radio receivers and reception devices, because at the time, the flood of low cost imports from the Far East had not yet begun.

Fortunately, we found an unfinished facility in Netanya’s old industrial area, and our real story began to unfold. Among our customers were the National Bus company – “Eged” as well as sub-contracting work for “Rafael”, designers and developers of equipment for the military market. This was a particularly significant development, as it taught us to how meet military standards, and at the same time, helped us develop important professional know-how.

Our company developed a reputation for reliability and fast turnaround, and additional leaders of Israel’s military industries among which was also Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI), became customers.

The real leap forward however, was in 1967, when we were asked to manufacture an antenna pedestal for a special defense project. We delivered it three months later, presenting the AL-860 pedestal, which we manufacture to this very day.

We were confident that a pedestal like ours would put us on the map, and Mr. Yiftah Stein initiated a trip to Germany, offering the pedestal to R&S. Within a week, a representative of the German company visited us and we received our first international order.

Our pedestal family of products grew consistently, as did our customer base, which soon hailed from around the world.

Later on we were joined by Mr. Yossi Harlev that led the company into other areas such as transformers and avionics, as well as to antenna measurement devices.

In short, this is how we began and today we are a public company with hundreds of employees that operates from its modern facilities and is active all over the world.

There remains one more important point to be made: We have a highly motivated cadre of employees, who have been and are the driving force behind our success.

Today, I pass on the torch with confidence to the young generation and retire knowing that ORBIT has a bright future.

Karol Kirshner

 

Milestones

1950


Alchut was established as a modest technology shop serving Israeli industry.


1969


Alchut wins its first major local defense contract as a supplier for a sophisticated A/A missile project.


1972


Alchut wins its first major project for the Israel Air Force, and, concurrently, expands its technology and product line.


1978


Alchut wins its first contract to supply pedestals to the Israel Intelligence Corps.


1980


Alchut expands into a recognized expert in pedestal solutions.


1981


Renamed ORBIT Alchut, the company is granted an export license by the Israeli government, and wins its first international contract, awarded by a leading European company.


1983


ORBIT establishes business relationships with Flam & Russell (FR), which specializes in antenna measurement.


1984


ORBIT develops a distribution network with a presence in the UK, Italy, Germany, Korea and Japan.


1987


Key contracts for tracking systems pedestals boost revenues to $11 million.


1988


ORBIT acquires FR and opens its first office in the U.S.


1991


ORBIT Alchut goes public on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange


1994


ORBIT reorganizes its core business lines into two companies, ORBIT ACS and ORBIT Communications.


1996


ORBIT ACS is selected by Rockwell Collins to supply audio management systems for the US Air Force.


1997


ORBIT launches it’s first Satellite Communication Tracking System for Trains – ORBIT FR goes public on NASDAQ


1998


ORBIT establishes two US subsidiaries: ORBIT CT&T Inc. and ACS Inc.


1999


ORBIT is selected as first choice vendor to supply a SATRACK product to the Sky Bridge project, as part of the ISIS consortium, and establishes ties with Sharp of Japan.


2001


ORBIT develops communication tracking and VSAT solutions for satellite communication applications for the ISIS consortium.


2002


ORBIT wins a contract to supply airborne, satellite communication tracking systems for commercial aircraft in the US.


2003


ORBIT selected by EMC to provide ~300 TVRO Airborne SatCom Systems to Jet Blue Airlines installed on Airbus 318/9


2004


ORBIT launches the new and most advanced generation of the two-way marine VSAT.


2006


ORBIT launches the Orsat antenna system – Ku-Band Marine Stabilized Tx/Rx System


2009


ORBIT launches the Orsat – G antenna system: the Orsat goes Global


2010


ORBIT Alchut revitalizes the company, changes its look and feel and renames itself as ORBIT Communication Systems Ltd.


2011


ORBIT wins a large contact from the Indian navy to provide 150 SatCom antenna systems onboard their entire fleet


2012


ORBIT’s Auto‐Tracking Triple (L, S & C )Band Systems Successfully Deployed at US Naval Air Station Patuxent River


2013


ORBIT launches OceanTRx 4 and 7 Satellite Communication Solution series for various Maritime  applications


 2014 ORBIT launches Orion  Airborne Communication Solution Platform suitable for all types of aircraft rotary and wing


ORBIT launches Gaia-100 Ground Station Series for Earth Observation applications


 2014


ORBIT serves as a turnkey solutions provider to several challenging projects in Asia and Europe