The IDF is to introduce in the coming months a mobile radar that will serve Ground Forces divisions during offensives, the military said on Wednesday.
The radar, called Wind Shield, will be carried into enemy territory by infantry or armored units, and track the sources of incoming rocket, missile and mortar fire.
Projectile attacks are one of top the threats to ground troops in the Lebanese and Gazan combat arenas.
Lt.-Col. Yigal Katzav, commander of the Eitan Artillery Corps Battalion that is subordinate to the IDF Northern Command, said the radar represents a new set of capabilities for forces maneuvering in hostile territory.
Katzav said the device will provide an early warning to forces on the ground, which will save lives. It will also shorten the sensor to shooter cycle, allowing the army to return fire on the sources of projectile attack within a very short space of time.
While designed for wartime, the Wind Shield radar can also be used during routine border security patrols, and can detect projectile fire on Israel’s borders in real time, he added.
“We know that all of the [hostile] organizations are amassing large numbers of projectile arms, and in every confrontation, this will be a significant challenge,” said Katzav, whose battalion has access to a range of advanced radars that cover the whole of Israel.
During a clash with Hezbollah, the larger, stationary radars would be used by the IDF to defend the home front, aiding Iron Dome batteries and the air force in their responses to rocket attacks.
This creates the need for a mobile, mission-based radar to serve the Ground Forces exclusively, Katzav said. It is expected to enter service in the coming months.
Katzav pointed to a wider shift in the army that is aimed at giving Ground Forces greater operational independence, and the ability to handle their own tactical needs in combat against guerrilla forces.
This shift includes more autonomous field intelligence capabilities, and the transmission of tactical target locations to brigades and battalions in real time, directly from Military Intelligence at IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv.