IDF unveils improved communications systems

Home Front Command to introduce 2 systems that will improve coordination among emergency services operating in wartime.

July 12, 2012 02:59
1 minute read.
A drill simulating a chemical warfare attack [file

IDF home front drill 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)

The IDF Home Front Command is set to introduce two new communications systems that will improve coordination among emergency services operating in wartime.

One of the systems is called “Roundtable,” and will cost the IDF just over NIS 100 million.

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It was designed to enable the Home Front Command, the Israel Police, Magen David Adom and the Fire and Rescue Services to receive the same tactical data of an area struck by missiles.

“This means that a commander will be able to see where ambulances are located, where fire trucks are and utilize these assets more effectively,” a senior officer in the Home Front Command explained.

The IDF and the Israel Police came under harsh criticism in the recent State Comptroller’s Report on the 2010 Mount Carmel forest fire over the lack of coordination and faulty crisis management.

“The new system will show the location of each missile that has struck in Israel and help emergency services reach the scene quicker,” the officer said.

The second system, scheduled to become operational in August, uses cellular networks to send warnings of incoming missile attacks to residents’ individual cellphones.

The IDF has been working on integrating the system into its early-warning program – mostly based on air-raid sirens – but has encountered resistance from several Israeli cellular companies. The carriers do not want to enable their phones to receive the warnings, which come in the form of a text message.

“This will improve our ability to issue warnings just to people who are inside a specific area that is going to be hit by missiles,” the officer explained.

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