Israel Weapons Industry - IWI - announced that they have leased a 21,000 square foot facility in Harrisburg, PA and will soon start up operations there. They initially will be marketing the Tavor SAR bullpup and the Uzi Pro Pistol. Both of these will be specifically adapted for the US market.
From their release:
If the Tavor is made here in the US, then I guess they won't have to worry about BATFE and problems with meeting any sort of "sporting purpose" for importation. As the Instapundit might say, heh!
Ramat Hasharon, Israel, December 12, 2012 - Israel Weapon Industries (IWI) – a leader in the production of combat-proven small arms for governments, armies, and law enforcement agencies around the world – launches operations of its US subsidiary, IWI US, Inc. The company has leased a 21,000 sq. ft. facility in Harrisburg, PA, and will initially begin marketing the TAVOR® SAR bullpup rifle line in several configurations and the UZI® PRO Pistol, which will be showcased at the 2013 SHOT Show, January 15-18, in Las Vegas, NV at booth #15238.
According to Uri Amit, IWI's CEO, "We are pleased to announce the launch of the operations of IWI US to shooting enthusiasts in the US. We have operated for many years in the global Defense and Law Enforcement markets, where we have invested significant resources in developing quality, innovative weapons that answer the needs of our customers, and our products enjoy great popularity around the world. All of the weapons we have developed have become the standard for the IDF as well as for the armed forces, Special Forces, and police forces throughout the world. We have now decided to enter the civilian market in the US and offer products that have been specially developed for the US commercial market. Initially, we will offer several configurations of the TAVOR® SAR and the UZI® PRO Pistol, which have undergone changes and adjustments to suit the needs of the American consumer."
Mr. Amit continued, "Over the years, rumors have circulated regarding the launch of our US operations, which has created expectations in the civilian market, and we look forward to an excellent reception of our products by US shooting enthusiasts. We will be introducing our new weapons at the upcoming SHOT Show - and invite you to visit our booth to take a closer look."
About Israel Weapon Industries (IWI)
Israel Weapon Industries (IWI), located in the center of Israel, has been a world leader in small arms for the past 80 years. IWI is a member of the SK Group, which is composed of companies that develop and manufacture a wide array of military products for governmental entities, armies, and law enforcement agencies around the world. IWI’s best-known products include the TAVOR® and GALIL® ACE families of Assault Rifles, the NEGEV™ Light Machine Gun, the legendary UZI® SMG (Mini, Micro and UZI® PRO) and the JERICHO® family of pistols – which have all been considered weapons of choice by military units and top law enforcement agencies around the world. The company’s firearms are developed in close collaboration with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). IWI and the IDF join forces in developing these weapons, whose final configurations are the product of ongoing interaction, field tests, and modifications, resulting from combat requirements and experience. All IWI weapon systems are in compliance with the most stringent military standards (MIL-STD) and ISO 9000 standards.
UPDATE: Steve at The Firearm Blog is reporting that IWI-US has gone live with their website and has posted the MSRP for the various models of the Tavor SAR. They start at $1,999 and go up to $2,599 with the Mepro reflex sight attached.
I did find this bit interesting:
The TAVOR® is a perfect fusion of an ordnance grade steel receiver coupled to a Mil-Spec cold hammer forged barrel and encased into a high-impact strength polymer uni-body with exceptional situational ergonomics. The ultra-compact form factor allows for easy transitions in close quarter situations…or even in your favorite deer blind.Unfortunately, in many states, legally the .223 is considered too small for deer.
UPDATE II: I received some more info today on the Tavor and Uzi from IWI's marketing firm. I'm posting it below and it gives some more info on both of these firearms.
The TAVOR® Family of Bullpup Rifles are versatile, innovative, and technologically advanced. They have been extensively proven on the battlefield, performing with precision and reliability, and meeting the needs of human ergonomics. The TAVOR® family was developed in close cooperation with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), based on lessons learned from actual combat, and is in service in the IDF Infantry and Special Forces as well as in other countries throughout the world.
The body of the TAVOR® SAR, specially designed for the US market, is crafted from high strength polymer, and will be offered in black or Flat Dark Earth colors. Features include full ambidextrous controls, removable 16.5" or 18" barrels, Cold Hammer Forged (CHF) CrMoV chrome-lined barrels with 1:7 twist, a full-length top-mounted integral Picatinny rail and another short rail forward at a 45° angle for mounting accessories.. A stock left-hand model with 16.5" barrel and an "IDF" model with integral MEPRO-21 reflex sight round out the product line. The TAVOR® SAR uses standard AR-15/M16 magazines, and can be easily field-stripped into sub-assemblies for routine maintenance. The standard caliber is 5.56 NATO (.223REM), with conversion kits available in 9mm Luger Parabellum and 5.45X39mm.
Developed in cooperation with the IDF, the 9mm UZI® PRO semi-automatic pistol is the newest member of the legendary UZI® family - one of the most popular weapon families in the world, with millions of units sold around the globe. Created especially for the US market, the exceptionally lightweight and compact UZI® PRO Pistol is ergonomically designed and easy to operate by right or left-handed users. It offers closed-bolt operation for maximum accuracy and safety. With many of its components made of advanced polymeric materials, the UZI PRO's features include two Picatinny rails for various accessories, one on the top of the pistol and a second one forward under the barrel. It will be supplied with two magazines, one 20- and one 25-round.