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Daily Archives: Sep 13, 2011

    Force Protection Europe is displaying here the new Ocelot Weapons Variant of the light protected patrol vehicle. Photo: Tamir Eshel. Defense-Update
    Thales is displaying a wide array of add-on systems installed on the Bushmaster protected vehicle. Visible in this picture are the counter-IED manipulator arm, mast mounted EO payload, multi-purpose missile launcher, remotely operated weapon station and side camera. Photo: Tamir Eshel, Defense-Update
    The Husky vehicle mounted mine detection system equipped with the Advanced Ground Penetration Radar (AGPR) from Chemring. Adjacent to the Husky, a Talon UGV is seen, equipped with a light GPR-Electromagnetic Inductance (EMI) sensor. Photo: Tamir Eshel, Defense-Update
    An MATV configured as an armored, mine protected ambulance is displayed at the Oshkosh stand. Photo: Tamir Eshel, Defense-Update
    The new Batkskin line of ballistic protection helmets, offered with integrated visor and face protection mandible guard introduced by Revision. Photo: Tamir Eshel, Defense-Update
    Haken Karlsson demonstrates the ADAPTIV system's operation on the CV-90-120. A complete vehicle protection system would include about 1500 hexagon shaped panels, each controlled by the system to heat or chill to display a thermal pattern blending with the background or mimicking other vehicles. We could easily feel the different temperature of individual panels by touching them. Photo: Tamir Eshel, Defense-Update

    A robotic load carrier developed by Boeing UK in cooperation with utility vehicle manufacturer John Deere and Boeing UK is unveiled today at DSEi 2011. The robotic vehicle called R-Gator A3 Assisted Carriage System (ACS) is based on John Deere’s R-Gator robotic utility vehicle.

    The R-Gator ACS, developed by Boeing Defence UK in partnership with John Deere, is a highly mobile, heavy-duty cross-country vehicle that is capable of keeping up with soldiers over rough terrain. Photo: John Deere/Boeing
    The ACS can support an infantry section of up to eight men by allowing them to offload up to 635kg of individual equipment. Photo: John Deere/Boeing

    It is designed to help reduce the amount of weight they have to carry in the field – often as much as half their own body weight in equipment, armor and supplies. The ACS can support an infantry section of up to eight men by allowing them to offload up to 635kg of individual equipment. It can also carry an increased level of combat ready supplies for more effective patrolling and re-supply operations. It can be reconfigured to meet a multitude of ground support needs.

    The R-Gator ACS supports the dismounted teams with offering a highly capable cross-country mobility platform capable of keeping up with soldiers over rough terrain. The system utilizes John Deere’s proven M-Gator platform, with modified based on feedback received from soldiers and marines. According to Boeing, the modified vehicle can better perform tactical support functions, and meet the heavy-duty hauling requirements of military applications. For example, the A3’s has multiple tie-down points for sling loading, underbody skid plates, a front cargo rack and a rifle mount system to carry military specific loads. The vehicle implements precision guidance, navigation and obstacle avoidance technologies derived from John Deere’s field proven agricultural product range. R-Gator ACS can operate autonomously or be driven manually in day and night.

    Both the R-Gator and the new M-Gator A3 have adjustable four-wheel independent suspension, high ground clearance and an enclosed clutch for improved fording capabilities, and a top speed of 32mph. John Deere claims the M-Gator A3 is the fastest commercial off-the-shelf diesel utility vehicle on the market.


    Elbit Systems is unveiling today two advanced hand held tactical radios at DSEi 2011. The SDR-7200 HH multiband, software defined radio and the Personal Network Radio PNR-1000A personal communicator, both supporting advanced voice, data and video transfer capabilities.

    Tadiran SDR-7200 HH (hand held) is the newest member of Elbit SystemsTadiran SDR-7200 Software Defined Radio family (SDR), a compact, lightweight SDR fitted with an integral, high resolution 2.8” color display capable of displaying live video streaming. The new radio was specifically designed for dismounted operations, offering both voice and data communications with command and control (C2) applications, seamlessly connecting to a variety of sensors.

    Tadiran SDR-7200 HH (hand held), a compact, lightweight SDR fitted with an integral, high resolution 2.8” color display capable of displaying live video streaming. Photo: Elbit Systems

    The new radio provides real-time situational awareness on-the-move, multi hop ad-hoc networking and advanced routing supporting hundreds of users in a network. SDR-7200 is designed to support commanders at the platoon level, communicating over both narrowband (NBWF) and wideband (WBWF) waveforms. The system supports data connectivity over a broad VHF/UHF spectrum, carrying up to 115 Kbps in 25 kHz channels over V/UHF bands and up to 1 Mbps over wider channels in the UHF bands).

    The system also features integral counter-countermeasures (ECCM) and communication security (COMSEC) supporting operational networks and Special Forces operating ad-hoc networks. Its distinctive automatic routing and relay capability dramatically extends its reach even over harsh field conditions, while mobile ad-hoc networking (MANET) provides continuous IP networking connectivity throughout any mission.

    The versatile Tadiran SDR-7200HH combines voice capability with advanced video streaming on the same network channel simultaneously. The radio also has an integral video camera to support video conferencing over tactical networks. Built-in digital video recorder (DVR) offers recording and playback of video streams, enabling users to study video feeds, maps, reports and targeting information on demand.

    A new hand-held Personal Network Radio (PNR) from Tadiran. The new PNR-1000A radio provides high-quality intra-team voice, data video communications extending squad level radio communications with advanced C4I capabilities. Photo: Elbit Systems

    PNR-1000A Personal Network radio

    Another new tactical radio from Tadiran is the Personal Network Radio (Tadiran PNR-1000A), a miniature hand-held radio that continues the line of Tadiran’s proven PNR-500 line. The new set provides high-quality intra-team voice, data video communications extending squad level radio communications with advanced C4I capabilities. According to Tadiran, the new radio employs communications technologies to maintain uninterrupted connectivity in urban terrain.

    PNR-1000A features full duplex voice communication, dynamic network architecture, priority mode communication and interconnectivity to long-range radio networks. Utilizing a proven, proprietary self-synchronizing technology which has already been implemented in previous PNR models, PNR-1000A’s dynamic network architecture eliminates the need for a central control unit or master station with no point of failure. This unique technology maximizes communication dependability while minimizing the network’s vulnerability. The radio can also connect directly to a vehicle intercom system, enabling personnel to dismount from a vehicle and to move freely while maintaining full connectivity while interconnecting with long range VHF/HF/UHF networks, via the vehicle’s mounted tactical radios. In the intra-team wireless conferencing mode the system shares up to six speakers.

    PNR-1000A is designed as a scalable and upgradable system, the system uses an intuitive man machine interface with audible indication, enabling hands-free and blind operation supporting infantrymen and Special Forces operatives.


      The Tamuz precision guided beyond line of sight (BLOS) guided weapon was developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems since the late 1970s and has been fielded by the Israeli artillery corps since the early 1980s. The weapon is operated from specially modified M-113 armored personnel carriers known as ‘Hafiz’. The system evolved into a larger family of EO weapons called Spike. In 2009 RAFAEL introduced the Spike NLOS, (Non Line of Sight) considered to be an advanced export version of the Tamuz.

      The Tamuz has been used in 2012 – 2013 by the IDF in response to sporadic Syrian firing at Israeli patrols and military posts along the border of the Golan heights. By using this weapon’s long range and rapid response capability, high precision and minimal risk of collateral damage the IDF could relay a warning to the Syrians without risking unwanted and excessive effect that could be caused by heavier guided weapons or statistical weapons (artillery, mortars).

      RAFAEL Tamuz EO Guided missile

      Tamuz was designed as an anti-tank weapon, equipped with a powerful shaped-charge warhead. Similar to other EO guided weapons in Israeli inventory, Tamuz can be autonomously guided with ‘man in the loop’ control, enabling maximum control and flexibility through the engagement. The missile operates in both day and night time and under limited visibility conditions. The advantages of the EO targeting and guidance system is the ability of the weapon to acquire the target in flight, based on partial targeting information. The operator can acquire the desired target as it becomes visible via the missile’s seeker, as the missile approaches the target area.

      Its range exceeds 20 km and the speed is over 220 m/sec, significantly reducing the acoustic signature of an approaching missile. Although the weapon was designed as an anti-tank weapon it was successfully employed in combat against enemy irregular dismounted targets in open terrain and built-up areas. Over 600 of the missiles were fired in combat during the Second Lebanon War. Officially, the weapon’s high cost military prevents users from spending such high priced weapons on secondary important targets, however, the IDF apparently approved expending the weapons anticipating the approaching expiration (the first Tamuz systems were fielded in the early 1980s).

      The Hafiz M-113 based mobile missile launcher carries siz Tamuz missiles, target acquisition system employed in line-of-sight modes and a datalink maintaining non-line-of-sight (NLOS) communications with the missiles through its flight. Photo: IDF

      An interesting debate was held recently at the Latrun International Land Warfare conference, as the commander of the IDF Northern Command, Major general Gershon Hacohen detailed the evolution of Arab armies and irregular forces into semi-irregular formations, challenging the Israeli domination of the battlefield with hybrid warfare concepts. Defense Update covers this topic in two parts, one outlining the transformation of the Syrian land forces. A follow-on article will examine the evolution of similar doctrine by Hezbollah and Hamas and how such methods are challenging a technological superior military power like the IDF.

      The Tamuz, an extended-range electro-optically guided missile was developed to meet the IDF 'deep attack' strategy in the 1980s, eliminating enemy second echelon forces before they reach the front line. Photo: IDF.

      In 1991 the Syrian Army began a shift toward irregular warfare that continues today. Instead of modernizing its armored vehicles, fighter aircraft and naval vessels, the Syrian army allowed massive buildup along the border lines, expanded its commando battalions (fugs), massively equipped with advanced Kornet and Metis anti-tank missiles and tandem RPGs. Syria went on a shopping spree buying medium rockets and ballistic missiles, and the technologies required to enhance, modify and mass produce such weapons. The idea behind this new trend was to counter uncontested air fighting supremacy, demonstrated in all Arab-Israeli conflicts.

      A similar change took place in Iran, where the majority of military investment went into the development and deployment of ballistic missiles, rockets special forces and also high speed armed naval systems to dominate the Persian Gulf.

      The change was dramatic, as until then, these countries, particularly Syria, invested great efforts in building its force structure, manning, training, equipping and deploying armored and mechanized divisions, reaching a force level that could maintain four divisions in constant readiness to enter into battle against Israel at short notice.

      The Syrian Army’s 1st Corps, facing Israel south of Damascus close to the Jordanian border maintained five divisions, four of which were deployed in constant battle readiness. Four divisions was Syria’s ‘magic number’, expecting their military to face the order of battle they estimated Israel would mass against Syria in Northern Israel. Meeting this requirement kept Syria in maintaining strategic parity with the Israeli Army, after its repeated defeats in the 1967, 1973 and 1982 wars.

      Parallel to the Syrian military buildup in the 1980s Israel has drawn other conclusions, challenged with meeting numerically superior enemies with its small regular force, Israel had to ‘buy time‘ for its reserve forces to mobilize. The Israelis have built their forces to defeat the Syrian army, but be prepared for a possible two-front war with both Syria and Egypt – a case that actually happened three times in 1948, 1967 and 1973.

      Tamuz extended range PGM can be fired from stand off range at targets beyond line of sight.

      The Israelis managed to build a formidable offensive power that could successfully deal with the first echelon forces of both armies. However, relying the IDF was required to defeat the first echelons quickly and decisively, with or without its large reserve component, since maintaining a prolonged high friction combat with second echelon forces, arriving from afar in support was unacceptable for the small Israeli army. Of particular concern were reinforcements and fresh forces that would come from Iraq, tipping the balance of power against the fledgling Jewish state, as has actually happened in 1948 and during the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

      The maturation of stand-off guided weapon technology in the 1980s opened new opportunities for the IDF, fielding a number of weapon systems that could interdict such reinforcements, at long range, before they actually reached the battlezone. One of these missiles was the Tamuz electro-optical guided weapon, recently declassified and now even approved for export. Although the specific weapons were guarded with secrecy, Syrian intelligence became aware of the Israeli capabilities, but failed to realize the decisive scope of this threat until 1991.

      The change of mind in the Syrian Army came after the 1991 first Gulf War (Operation Desert Storm), where Syria became part of the U.S. lead coalition forces, sending the 9th division to fight the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait along with other coalition forces ( But eluded entering into actual combat). The Gulf War was an ‘eye opener’ for the Syrian high command, becoming exposed to the high lethality of western modern weaponry and tactics, so far being entirely geared to Soviet combat doctrine and its inferior weapon technology. This earth shaking experience triggered Syrian General Ali Aslan, then Army Chief of Staff to begin the transformation.

      The strategic shift was not exclusive to Syria. Iran has also implemented a similar move, by gradually expanding its reach and influence in South Lebanon through their Hezbollah proxy. Hezbollah developed its forces as independent fighting units each dug into a specific location, equipped with personnel, weapons, supplies and fortifications capable of operating continuously for days, independent of communications, supply lines or even command and control.

      With several such domains dominating key locations in South Lebanon, the small semi-irregular force, trained to fight in virtually ‘hybrid’ style, was deployed to contain an Israeli land maneuver, by posing continuous fighting capability deployed throughout the theater, denying the Israelis the ‘luxury’ in attacking strategic ‘weak points‘ in an attempt to overwhelm the entire enemy array by massive surge operations. Operating such multiple domains in and around the villages and cities of South Lebanon in 2006 enabled relatively small forces of Hezbollah to deny the Israeli army dominating the battle areas, constantly keeping the Israelis at risk, despite repeated efforts to clear certain areas and vital supply routes. What seemed to be Israeli hesitation and indecision was actually an unsuccessful attempt of the northern command to seize the initiative pushing the enemy off balance.

      The IDF could employ different land maneuver campaigns. One option was a deep, decisive push north, through the enemy interior, in a move that would isolate the battle area and eliminate any escape of Hezbollah northward, weeding out enemy forces by exposing their hideouts. Alternatively, a series of local operations, closer to the border, could methodically wear out enemy forces by a series of local engagements, backed by massive support fires from the Israeli side of the border, exposing minimal forces to enemy attack. Both concepts were partly tried in 2006, without much success, using insufficient force concentrations, and failing to apply continuous pressure, due to political hesitation.

      The different concepts have inherent drawbacks. The deep penetrating maneuver required massive forces to go simultaneously after all enemy hideouts throughout the combat area, including locations bypassed during the initial move, in a highly organized and closely controlled operation that would seep up large IDF forces and risk significant casualties and collateral damage. On the other side, the ‘local’ alternative would not help in eliminating rocket attacks on the Israeli rear area, which inevitably raises a political issue, questioning the overall purpose of the campaign from a national viewpoint.

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