One of the challenging aspects of Israel Defense
Forces' Digital Army Program (DAP, also known as
Zayad) is the network.
The IDF evaluated ad-hoc networking to support high capacity mobile
communications. At present conventional multi-tier broadband network
is used for the program. To support the needs of combat elements from
the division down to the lowest echelon, a network different from the
typical divisional combat radio network is established. The new wide
area wireless network covers the entire divisional area and links all
elements down to the lowest echelon. The network should be able to
bridge communications gaps over long distances, in situations where
related elements are situated far ahead or behind the area of
The DAP network combines several layers – WiMAX COTS based wireless
broadband network (using Giga Ethernet switches and routers) will use
microwave links to establish the backbone connecting between command
posts and higher echelons. Tactical Very Small Aperture Terminal (T/VSAT)
will provide backup for users, particularly in deep operations and
where line of sight communication does not provide reliable links.
Satellite will provide strategic broadband on demand.
Data radios will
provide up to 13 Mbps for deployed locations. Division and brigade
command posts use wireless LAN networking to replace current physical
At the division and brigade levels, MAXESS enhanced wireless LANs
could be used to support command posts, (Military Wireless LAN) providing
secure 1-11 Mbps data rates ad-hoc over 5 km. Such networks will be capable
of hosting up to 60 members with low (4 watt) power transmission. Same
WLAN, but without the amplifier, will provide up to 500 m coverage,
with low signature, supporting deployed or on-the-move connectivity
between combat elements or command vehicles. High capacity data radios
carry data down to the battalion level supporting up to 13 MBps data
rates in stationary positions and up to 1 Mbps in mobile deployments.
At the battalion level and below, software-based Future Tactical
Combat Radio (FTCR) currently developed by Tadiran Communications will
be used to drive much higher data rates than currently available by
CNR (64 up to 115Kbps). FTCRs will provide the standard tactical radio
equipment at Brigade and below. Battalion commanders are to be
equipped with data radios, providing the gateway between the
brigade and divisional elements of DPA.
* This update was presented to defense Update at a conference held
at the IDEF defense show in Turkey, September 2005.