IDF soldiers near Ashkelon search for rockets_370.
(photo credit: Amir Cohen/Reuters)
In an effort to improve military units’ ability to detect enemy forces, the IDF Ground Forces Command is developing a miniature radar system that could be used in reconnaissance and surveillance missions.
IDF battalions and brigades rely on unmanned aerial vehicles as well as some electro-optic land systems for reconnaissance missions, but they are not equipped with radars, due to their relatively high cost and large size.
The Ground Forces Command has contacted local defense contractors in a bid to develop a small radar with a range of just a few kilometers that weighs no more than 20 kilograms and can be carried on a soldier’s back.
The radars would be used by reconnaissance squads in infantry and armored battalions which would deploy them ahead of the main force and search for enemy forces.
The data the radar provided would then be transferred back to the battalion’s command post where commanders could automatically dispatch UAVs to provide live footage of the suspected enemy force.
“This would enable forces to accurately see who is coming and immediately engage enemy targets,” a senior officer from the Ground Forces Command explained.
The IDF uses two UAVs for its ground forces. Elbit’s Skylark I is used for battalions as part of the Sky Rider Program, which saw the deployment of a UAV in every infantry battalion, as well as the Skylark II, which recently underwent evaluations along the border with Egypt ahead of its delivery to IDF brigades.