'Edge of Tomorrow': The IDF's combat soldiers of the future

Israel's future combat soldiers will incorporate augmented reality goggles, a computerized assault rifle system, a digital head-mounted display system, hostile fire detection technology and more.

An IDF soldier demonstrates cutting-edge "Edge of Tomorrow" technologies at a training center. (photo credit: MINISTRY OF DEFENSE SPOKESPERSON’S OFFICE)
An IDF soldier demonstrates cutting-edge "Edge of Tomorrow" technologies at a training center.
(photo credit: MINISTRY OF DEFENSE SPOKESPERSON’S OFFICE)

The Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D) and Elbit Systems unveiled on Tuesday the "Edge of Tomorrow," an innovative program that strengthens the synergy between dismounted combat soldiers and their teams and enables optimal operational value, the Defense Ministry said.

The technology is based on numerical and empirical processes based on research, simulation, live field scenarios, and more, and incorporates cutting-edge technologies to improve a range of mission capabilities among combat soldiers, including lethality, situational awareness, survivability, stamina, cognitive load, enemy exposure, performance analysis and simulation, command and control, and more.

The technologies include augmented reality goggles, a computerized assault rifle system, a digital head-mounted display system, hostile fire detection technology, a location-tracking system in GPS denied environments, tactile sleeves for navigation and command transmittance, and a voice command system that is similar to those used on smartphones.

DDR&D and Elbit recently demonstrated the program's capabilities at an IDF training center. The demonstration incorporated networked warfare technologies and included a simulated force-on-force operational scenario. IDF soldiers from elite units incorporated the wearable technologies and demonstrated initial abilities in the fields of lethality, survivability, and increased synergy, the Defense Ministry said.

"The purpose of this program is to equip combat soldiers, teams, and platoons with innovative capabilities that will significantly improve their survivability and transform their mission effectiveness," said Haim Delmar, EVP & General Manager of C4I & Cyber at Elbit Systems Ltd.

"The technological solution that we have put in place is based on open architecture which enables the maximization of proven technology by Elbit Systems as well as by additional companies," he said. "The program will also incorporate technologies that were developed and adapted to address the needs of the future battlefield with special emphasis on urban warfare. We are proud to lead this important effort together with the Ministry of Defense and the IDF.”

IDF soldiers demonstrate cutting-edge ''Edge of Tomorrow'' technologies at a training center. (credit: MINISTRY OF DEFENSE SPOKESPERSON'S OFFICE)IDF soldiers demonstrate cutting-edge ''Edge of Tomorrow'' technologies at a training center. (credit: MINISTRY OF DEFENSE SPOKESPERSON'S OFFICE)