Missile development: Rafael is the Israeli Ministry of Defense's high-tech weapons research and development organization. The Haifa area is home to several Rafael facilities. Rafael has been responsible for the actual assembly of Israeli nuclear weapons since the first two weapons were built in late 1966 but now concentrates on ballistic missiles. A more modern and remote facility at Yodefat east of Haifa is where the weapons are assembled today.
Missiles: Satellite photos of the area show a highly secure underground facility with two large elevators. Mordechai Vanunu, a dissident Israeli nuclear scientist now jailed for speaking of the country's weapons program, told The Sunday Times of London convoys carry plutonium from Dimona to Yodefat.
Warheads: In addition, a 1987 Pentagon report describes warheads and Mach-7 reentry vehicles for Israel's ballistic missiles as being developed at Rafael. Rafael is home to Israel's ballistic missile research and development effort. Advanced rocket motors and anti-ballistic missiles are under development here.
Scientists from Rafael regularly travel to both the U.S. weapons labs and international symposiums and, despite both countries refusal to acknowledge Israel's nuclear status, have actually co-written papers on nuclear detonation processes with U.S. scientists.