Army seeking major intelligence collection boost

New data-processing center under consideration; plan is an integral part of Halamish – new IDF multi-year plan that is currently under review.

July 29, 2011 01:58
2 minute read.
Army seeking major intelligence collection boost

AWACS 298 idf. (photo credit: IDF)


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The IDF plans to dramatically boost its intelligence collection capabilities with a new multi-year plan aimed at upgrading its technological capabilities and the procurement of new systems.

The plan is an integral part of Halamish – the new IDF multi-year plan that is currently under review and expected to go into effect in the beginning of 2012.

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Under the plan, the Israel Air Force is expected to grow in the number of Gulfstream G550 jets that it has that serve as special electronics mission aircraft and gather signal intelligence from standoff positions. The IAF currently operates three such aircraft.

In addition, the IAF will also look to upgrade the visual intelligence gathering systems it has on its two squadrons of Beechcraft twin-turboprop aircraft, which are located in the Sde Dov Air Force Base and have seen a major increase in missions since the Second Lebanon War in 2006.

The Beechcraft operate along all of Israel’s various borders and use special standoff cameras that enable them to see deep into enemy territory to locate and track targets.

Other plans include the establishment of a new squadron of unmanned aerial vehicles, Elbit Systems’ Hermes 450, for surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

Israel’s investment in new intelligence collection platforms is seen as a critical step to prepare for a future conflict.

Last month, The Jerusalem Post revealed the IDF had increased its target bank in Lebanon from just 200 targets on the eve of the Second Lebanon War in 2006 to several thousand today. The same process is taking place in the Gaza Strip ahead of a possible future confrontation with Hamas.

Additional new budgets will also be allocated to Military Intelligence, which does most of the intelligence collection in Israel as well as the analysis. Plans include the launch of new reconnaissance satellites over the coming five years. In an effort to improve Israel’s intelligence capabilities, the IDF is also considering building a new national intelligence processing center.

If established, the center will collect all of the communications, electronic and signal intelligence gathered by Israel’s various sensors spread throughout the country, process and analyze it and then transfer relevant information to operational units, which will be able to use the information in missions.

In Military Intelligence, Unit 8200 is responsible for collecting signal intelligence and processing it. The unit maintains a number of bases throughout the country that operate various sensors.

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