Latrun 2011 Conference – Photo Review


Israel’s primary land conference and exhibition opened today at Latrun, featuring the country’s leading defense industries showing a wide range of weapon systems, command and control and logistics support hardware.

The theme of this year’s event is War’s Changing Environment, with day one focusing on the logistics aspect of warfare and preparedness. Addressing these chalenges, Maj. General Dan Biton, Head of Israel Defense Forces (IDF) logistics branch outlined the changes implemented by the IDF following the 2006 war, which revealed major flaws in the IDF preparedness and logistics support capabilities. MG Biton referred to the challenges Israel’s military is facing, which are inherently different from those faced by armies conducting expeditionary operations far beyond their borders. Since Israel relies on domestic commercial resources to supply its armed forces, in routine and at war, the primary responsibility of the IDF logistics is to supply life sustaining logistics (food, water, electricity, fuels) to the combat units. Stocking ammunition and spare parts is a major responsibility of the military. Maintaining the necessary stocks to sustain combat operations is a major aspect of the logistics operation, and a matter of concern for the corps, addressing the growing ballistic threat of missiles and rockets capable of attacking targets anywhere in Israel with considerable precision.

Urban Aeronautics "Air Mule" unmanned aerial vehicle, displayed at the Latrun outdoor display area, at the Israel Armored Corps Memorial Site and Museum. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update

According to Biton, the IDF Logistics Corps has already taken steps to protect these critical stocks, distributing them through many logistics sites around the country, further protecting vulnerable stocks placed at underground caches. A new organizational formation implemented since 2009 also improved the capability of the division to support combat units. During wartime, battalions will continue to pull supplies from higher echelons, as they do in peacetime, but the logistics array managed in peacetime at the GHQ will be enhanced with the deployment of divisional assets, providing medical, repair and maintenance services in addition to pushing supplies to support the division’s combat units. According to Biton, the re-introduction of divisional logistics units, deactivated in 2002, will enable the division to maintain continuous combat fighting capability over long period, relying on its own assets, backed by GHQ support.

An Upgraded Magach Tank, equipped with IMI's Iron Fist Active Defense System (showing newly developed RPS-10 radar and EO threat detection system). Another new enhancement is the WAVE Remote Controlled Weapon System, both developed by IMI. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update


The Merkava Mk.4, equipped with Trophy Active Protection System and The Namer AFV equipped with a new, armor protected version of Rafael's Samson Remote Control Weapon Station (RCWS) modelled specifically for the Namer. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update


A line of Air Defense Systems from Rafael. From left to right: Spider MR, Stunner missile interceptor, Spider SR and Iron Dome. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update


IAI displayed for the first time the new EL-I/3302 Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Vehicle (ISRV) also known as Granit. The vehicle packs an ISR kit consisting of EL/M-2112 V5 medium range persistent ground surveillance radar and POP300 EO payload fitted with laser designation capability. The Granit package is mounted on a Sandcat vehicle from Plasan. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update


Rafael unveiled the Mini THOR, laser based counter-IED system mounted on a Landrover Defender light vehicle. The system employs a high power laser that 'cooks' the suspected explosive charge, causing it to deflagrate, burning the energetic material without causing explosion. An AFV mounted with Thor system have been used by the Israeli army and foreign military for several years. The laser C-IED system offers rapid engagement of multiple IEDs, enabling sappers rapid deactivation of 'IED arenas'. In the current light version the system will also be used in support of homeland security, peacekeeping operations (such as demining). Another application of the Mini Thor is rapid EOD cleaning of operational areas in airfield under attack. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update


Another view of the Mini Thor system. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update


The Namer AFV. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update


The latest mobile version of the Rafael Iron Dome. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update


The Stunner Missile alongside the Spyder MR mobile launcher, both representing current and future generations of Rafael's air defense systems . Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update


IAI's latest micro UAV - GHOST. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update


E-TOP from IAI, provides tethered, persistent surveillance for stationary, mobile and maritime surface units. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update


The new Othello EO hostile fire location system employs a bi-spectral sensor automatically detecting hostile fire sources (such as gunshot, rocket or missile launch). Othello comes as a stand-alone system, integrated with processing unit and communications. Four units are positioned around the vehicle covering 360 degrees. The system can be used to triggers other systems, such as the Windbreaker radar sensor (used with the Trophy APS), as well as remotely controlled weapon stations, automatically engaging the hostile target. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update


The new version of IMI's Shock Absorber is combined with day and night (CCD/IR) observation system, offering dismounted units the means for observation and self protection. The system employs observation systems provided by the customer, a tripod, pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) assembly, processing and control system controlling the combined system. Specific 'Shock Absorber' elements included in the system comprise two staring thermal imagers and an EO countermeasure device mounted on top. The EO sensors are staring continuously over an 180 arc, triggering an alert when a missile/RPG launch is detected, enabling the soldiers to take cover, while engaging the threat by effective counterfire or automatically employing the countermeasure device when appropriate (by the type of missile engaged). Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update


The REX autonomous operated vehicle developed by IAI, as a future load carrier supporting dismounted forces. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update