IDF multi-year plan: War possible on several fronts
Plan outlines current strategic standing in the Mideast amid ongoing upheaval in the region, impact it will have on IDF and its buildup.
By YAAKOV KATZ
There is a increasing chance for war on multiple fronts in 2011, according to the IDF’s new multi-year plan, called Halamish, which is in the final stages of approval.The plan outlines Israel’s current strategic standing in the Middle East amid the ongoing upheaval in the region and particularly the regime change in Egypt and the impact it will have on the IDF and its buildup.RELATED:Expecting F-35 delay, IAF looking at purchase of used F-15sThe plan, which will cover at least five years, is not expected to include major changes due to the Egyptian developments.Under the plan, Israel will increase the number of Arrow interceptors it currently has in its arsenal and begin to receive the first battery of David’s Sling – made to intercept medium-range missiles – by 2013.The IDF is also working with Rafael about the possibility of moving up the planned delivery of a third battery of Iron Dome to the end of 2011. Another three will be delivered by the end of 2012.The threats that Israel will face over the coming years are topped by Iran and followed by Hezbollah and Syria and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.In new systems, the IDF will continue to move forward with the procurement of the Namer armored personnel carrier based on the Merkava Mk 4 tank, as well as new capabilities for infantry battalions aimed at making soldiers more lethal in combat.The Artillery Corps is looking to increase the number of MLRS batteries it operates and has deployed in the Golan Heights. The MLRS is a multiple launch rocket system that has an extended range, high lethality and extremely accurate and high level of accuracy.Over the coming year, the IDF will also finalize a new multi-year plan aimed at setting up a defense for critical military infrastructure that could be exposed to future cyber attacks from countries like Iran which are believed to be working to achieve such capabilities.In the coming months, Chief of General Staff Lt.- Gen. Benny Gantz will need to decide if the Israel Navy will receive a budget to purchase two new missile ships.The procurement of the ships was approved in 2007 ahead of the outgoing multi-year plan, but due to the soaring cost of the ship in the US the IDF postponed the purchase.Now the navy is looking into the possibility of building the two new ships at Israel Shipyards in Haifa, according to a German design.
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