Improving Urban Assault Capability

The MATADOR unguided man-portable multi-purpose rocket system

While the first version of the IAS is focusing on the dismounted commander, as planned originally, forthcoming spirals are already implementing lessons learned during Lebanon (2006) and the ongoing conflict in Gaza. Among the systems currently evaluated, are a number of lethality enhancement systems, primarily those designed for urban assault. Other systems are addressing threat detection and warning, including thermal sniper spotters, wearable sensors detecting gunfire, automatically locating such threats, and a new class of ‘through the wall sensing radars”.

MATADOR MP - multi-purpose urban assault weapon developed by Rafael. Photo: RafaelThe second spiral development of the IAS will incorporate lessons from recent combat operations, in Lebanon and the Gaza strip. Urban assault weapons considered for IAS include the Simon, a door breaching rifle grenade developed by RAFAEL. The Simon is fired from standard assault rifles, using live ammunition. A stand-alone follow-through ‘tandem’ assault munition is also produced by RAFAEL.

This weapon uses a precursor charge to open a path for a grenade-size warhead, that ‘follows through’ and detonates behind the wall. The warhead size is designed to maximize lethal effect within the room, while minimizing effect beyond the target. RAFAEL offers the follow-through charge as part of the Urban Star 6kg weapon, designed to neutralize room-sized targets, with minimal collateral damage beyond the room’s walls. Another shoulder-launched weapon, also designed by RAFAEL is the Matador WB which can operate as a follow-through charge, or wall-breaching weapon, opening a man-sized hole creating an assault path for the attacking troops.

TED infrared sensor designed for a man-portable application of electro-optical sniper detection. Photo: Defense UpdateThis weapon can be used effectively from standoff range of up to 400 meters, fired from e,nclosed (FFE) or open terrain placements. An even larger weapon, dubbed ‘urban cannon’ is under development at IMI. It has a more powerful warhead, using dynamic follow-through charge, penetrating thicker walls and destroying a complete apartment in a building, without risking collateral damage beyond the target area. Several sensors are under development, optimized for operation in urban setting.
The Xaver 400 Through Wall Imaging radar is a hand-held, compact sensor providing real-time information behind a wall, indicating the number and location of people inside the room, at a distance of up to eight meters away. The 3kg unit uses ultra-wide-band signal processing to simultaneously track moving and static targets. The current system provides 2D imaging capability. Another new sensor, is a Short Wave Infra-Red (SWIR) based gunshot detection imaging sensor, utilizing patented Transient Event Detection (TED) to rapidly spot and locate gunfire signature in wide-field of view video taken by the SWIR camera. The resulting threat warning provides very high probability of detection with low false alarm rate, even under a complex operating environment encountered in urban warfare. The sensor can be worn by a soldier, and provide threat warning for the entire team.

Defense Update report from Soldier Technology 2008 is focusing on these topics: