IDF eyes equipment to up army efficacy

GPS-controlled parachute for supply deliveries, UAV to evacuate wounded troops are among possibilities.

September 10, 2007 06:58
2 minute read.
IDF eyes equipment to up army efficacy

IDF troops lebanon 29888. (photo credit: AP [file])


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A GPS-controlled parachute for supply deliveries, anti-tank missiles for all infantry brigades, and an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to evacuate wounded soldiers are some of the new and innovative inventions the IDF is considering to enhance the army's fighting capabilities. During the Second Lebanon War and after field commanders failed to open up ground-based logistic routes, Air Force transport aircraft were used to parachute supplies into Lebanon for IDF units. Following the war, commanders complained that the parachuted supplies sometimes landed far from their targets and that soldiers had to go search for the packages, risking their lives. The IDF Logistics Corps began searching for a solution and discovered a US-developed parachute that can be directed to its target with a Global Positioning System (GPS). The IDF recently purchased two of the parachutes and has begun experimenting with them in recent weeks, The Jerusalem Post has learned. The parachute, which the IDF plans to make operational by the beginning of next year, can bring supplies within a 50-meter radius of its target. The Logistics Corps is also currently reviewing the operational capabilities of UAVs for evacuating wounded soldiers and for transporting supplies to units operating behind enemy lines and in terrain inaccessible to vehicles. In addition to the logistics advancements, the IDF is also in the process of upgrading its infantry units with new and sophisticated weapons. Last week, Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi presented the IDF's multi-year procurement plan, emphasizing a significant investment in the ground forces and including the continued production of the Merkava tanks and the purchase of hundreds of new armored personnel carriers. As part of the investment in the ground forces, the IDF plans to purchase thousands of medium-range anti-tank missiles in the coming year, to be integrated into regular IDF infantry units. Today, each infantry brigade has an elite company that specializes in operating anti-tank missiles. During the Lebanon war, IDF top commanders were not satisfied with the lethality of units that fought Hizbullah and decided to move ahead with the plan to integrate the weapon into all infantry companies. "We want to increase the IDF's lethality," a high-ranking officer told the Post. "The idea is to have all of the infantry units fitted with anti-tank missiles so they will be capable of causing the enemy more damage." While elite units operate anti-tank missiles with a range of up to four kilometers, the medium-range missiles will have a range of just below 1,000 meters. "The missiles do not have to be used just against tanks, but can also be used in guerrilla warfare against enemy positions inside homes," the officer explained. The IDF also plans to enhance the capabilities of sharpshooters and snipers who performed well during last summer's war but were found lacking in certain skills, primarily when shooting at moving targets. Sharpshooters, 15 of which are in every infantry company, are trained to shoot at targets within a range of 300 meters, and snipers within a range of 800 meters. To impersonate moving targets, the IDF has begun using remote-controlled cars. According to the IDF's newly-updated training regimen, infantry and armored brigades will train three times every two years for a period of three months. The training will focus on "joint operations" and will include infantry, Armored Corps, Engineering Corps, intelligence ops and the Air Force.

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