IDF works on new tech to shorten sensor-to-shooter cycle

Technology developed together with Ness Technologies allows commanders who are sitting in command center to select target they detect on video footage provided by an unmanned aerial vehicle.

July 1, 2011 03:30
1 minute read.
IDF chief of General Staff Benny Gantz [file]

Benny Gantz 311. (photo credit: IDF Spokesperson)


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In an effort to reduce the time it takes to attack enemy targets, the IDF is developing a new technology that will enable commanders to transfer coordinates to digital maps directly from live video footage.

The new technology – developed by the IDF together with Ness Technologies – allows commanders who are sitting in a command center to select a target they detect on video footage provided by an unmanned aerial vehicle and have it turned immediately into coordinates which can be attacked.

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“The IDF has digital maps for its forces and sensors that provide video footage, but this will connect both of them together,” a senior officer said this week about the program, which is called “Crystal Ball” in the IDF.

The new system will help the IDF shorten the sensor-to-shooter cycle, the military term for the amount of time it takes to attack a target that is detected by a surveillance or reconnaissance sensor.

According to the officer, the new technology will help commanders cut down the cycle from minutes to seconds in the time it takes to attack a target.

The need to reduce the cycle is considered critical by the IDF as it faces possible future conflicts with enemies like Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza Strip whose assets – such as rocket launchers – are constantly on the move and do not remain in one place for long.

“Rocket launchers don’t stay in the same place for long and therefore we need to be able to attack them when we detect them,” the officer said. “This will allow commanders to immediately get coordinates for targets and attack them with precision munitions they have in land, air or sea platforms.”

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