IDF Infantry units,
from the platoon level upward, are already equipped with a multitude
of sensors providing real-time imagery. The need for such organic
intelligence gathering capabilities, to provide "extended eyes and
ears" for field commanders operating in cluttered terrain in and
around urban area was raised by the IDF and answered by Israel's
defense industries. Many companies responded with innovative products
some of which are already being fielded or tested in operational use.
Among the latest systems fielded in 2005 are the
GateKeeper systems remotely controlled video surveillance devices from
ODF. Eyeball-1 enables troops to gather valuable intelligence by
viewing images and listening to voices in a target area prior to an
assault into a room or entering subterranean spaces, such as cellars,
wells or tunnels. Gatekeeper uses covert cameras, triggered by passive
infrared signals, to secure access routes, or a building, room or
floor, validating that it has not been recaptured by hostile elements.
A miniature Unattended Ground Sensor, developed by Seraphim, provides
covert persistent visual surveillance of a target with periscopic EO,
NIR and IR imaging devices. The device is fitted with internal pan,
tilt and zoom, thus having no external movement. It can remain in the
field, delivering up to 10 days of imaging without battery
Other systems for collection of images provided by lower level
Infantry combat units are under development at Elbit and ITL, and
components of these suits are already being tested and evaluated by
IDF LIC specialized units. These systems provide "round the corner"
vision and firing capability and efficient
orientation and maneuvering
of the individual, team or squad.
A new generation of organic sensors is under development for infantry
units. These include the Firefly and
MPRS 38mm video cartridges, fired
from an M-203. Both offer a "snapshot" view of an objective area, just
prior to the attack, and are being developed by RAFAEL and IMI. The
latter is also developing a family of 40mm munitions for the MPRS
system, including non-lethal ammunition and an airburst cartridge.
ODF is taking a different approach offering persistent video
surveillance of targets. The Smart Arrow, currently in advanced
development, is fired at a position overlooking the target area, using
a bullet-trap mechanism. Once stuck to a wall, an integral video
camera is activated, sending live images from the target for up to
Elbit Systems / Skylark miniature UAVs, which have already been fielded, have
been augmented by a new miniature payload. The stabilized system has
also been tested on lightweight masts and new man-portable aerostats.
Another EO system is the RAFAEL Spotlite system, which enables rapid
sniper detection and countermeasures. The system is providing snipers
with organic small-arms fire spotting capability, used to rapidly
locate, identify and assign counter-fire by snipers or other elements.
Preparing and controlling an operation involving such a complex array
of sensors, effectors and combat systems requires extensive
preparation, and flexible command and control that can keep pace with
the dynamic situation and take advantage of quickly developing
IAI/MLM is developing a new approach to multi-mission C4, dubbed
"Twister". The system integrates advanced simulation and mission
planning systems, multiple sensor access, monitoring and control (UAVs,
ground sensors etc), interfaces to C4 systems, situational awareness
and understanding, and command and control aids. All can be rapidly
configured to support dynamic configurations, in a mission-focused
Much simpler yet essential devices for this type of warfare are the
foldable periscope, and lightweight assault ladder carried in a
backpack. The assault ladder enables troops to deal with many of the
vertical obstacles encountered in urban terrain.
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