The Swords of Iron War, which has now extended past 100 days, is exceptional not only in its duration, its multi-front challenge and the fact that nearly 12,000 rockets have been launched towards Israel (three times as many as in the Second Lebanon War), but also because it has been the first digital war. In this campaign, advanced technologies are used in all the combat arenas, from the tunnels, on the ground and in the air.
This innovation is led by the Ministry of Defense Directorate of Defense R&D (IMOD DDR&D) (MAFAT), which has been significantly boosted since 2016 when Iron Dome developer Brig. Gen. (res.) Dr. Danny Gold took over as its head. Under his leadership, MAFAT has expanded from an organization working with a small handful of startups, to work with 200 startups today.
At the same time, he has tightened collaboration with researchers at universities. This interface between academia and MAFAT is expressed by the flood of challenges and attempts to solve them through technology or products developed by institutions like the Technion and Tel Aviv University with MAFAT connecting them to companies that develop a prototype ahead of serial production. This process continues during the war.
This is the reason that there are systems and products that may not yet have been used, but within a few months, and in some cases even less, will be implemented in the field.
Smart Shooter's Smash lets one bullet do the job
Unlike in the past, a significant number of new technologies are being developed for the benefit of ground forces. One of the most useful new items being demonstrated on the battlefield is the Smash sight targeting and firing system for small arms developed by Smart Shooter. The system combines computerized vision and AI technologies that allows soldiers to hit the target with one bullet so that every fighter becomes a sniper and can even intercept drones.
The Smash sight, which costs a relatively modest NIS 30,000 can be fitted onto M16 and Tabor military rifles as well as gun positions operated from afar from a pillbox. IDF is currently using thousands of the sights in the fighting on various fronts.
Iron Sting: Precision guided mortar munition
A weapon that has really changed the battlefield is the precision guided mortar munition Iron Sting manufactured by Elbit Systems Ltd. (Nasdaq: ESLT; TASE:ESLT). Unlike a conventional mortar which is a statistical weapon, Iron Sting is precise to within a few meters. Unlike advanced anti-tank missiles, there is no electro-optical imagery, but an anti-tank shell is inserted - and it hits the target, similar to a laser-targeting weapon. In terms of cost, it is not a particularly expensive weapon. Taking a simple mortar on the production line, and adding an Iron Sting assembly, the cost is only increased by a few percent.
Driverless heavy vehicles
At the same time, there are devices that enable armored vehicles to be operated by remote control. One of them, manufactured by several companies including Elbit, is a system that is mounted on a heavy vehicle, like an APC, and with which you can be driven remotely. It's a troop carrier without a driver, which has other things that a remotely piloted vehicle can be used for, especially in a terrorist-infested environment.
RobDozer (Panda D9): Clearing the way remotely
A similar but different tool that is very important, especially in Gaza is RobDozer (formerly Panda) - a remotely operated D9 manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). Using the RobDozer to break through obstacles, clear roads and it works well the first time it is extensively used. The main benefit of it is in saving lives, because there is a fundamental difference if a D9 is hit by an anti-tank missile when there is a soldier in it, or not.
AnyVision's system: Data processing for identifying targets
Finally, there is the facial recognition system of AnyVision. This system uses open intelligence (OSINT) and by processing the data can identify targets.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on January 16, 2024.
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