Ground forces to get satellite dishes

IDF to increase communications capabilities of infantry, armored brigades.

In an effort to increase communication capabilities for ground forces, the IDF is planning to equip all infantry and armored brigades with ground-based satellite dishes that can relay information during operations behind enemy lines.
Under a multi-year plan recently approved by the General Staff and estimated to cost close to $100 million, the IDF is purchasing several satellite dishes that will be installed on armored personnel carriers. The very small aperture terminal (VSAT) two-way broadband satellite communications systems were developed by Gilat Satellite Networks.
The IDF’s Golani Infantry Brigade used ground-based satellite systems during Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip last winter so the commander Col. Avi Peled, could hold video-conference calls with division headquarters back in Israel. The satellite dish also enables commanders to receive live video footage from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
In addition to the VSAT systems, the IDF’s C4I Directorate is also purchasing a number of larger satellite dishes for the division level command and new ground terminals for the stations, which work on multiple bands.
“Using two bands will provide us with more flexibility and room to transmit,” explained an officer in the C4I Directorate.
“All of these new systems will give us the ability to transfer largeamounts of information via satellite communications wherever the forcesare operating.”
Earlier this month, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) announced that itwill launch the Amos 4 communications satellites in 2012. The Amos 4 issaid to be more capable than its three predecessors. The satellite has10 antennas, which will provide coverage over Africa, Asia, and Europe.One of the 10 antennas is a multi-beam antenna, and two others aredual-band and wideband antennas, which can transmit and receive on twodifferent frequencies.
“The development of the Amos 4 communications satellite creates aflexible, dynamic satellite system, which was built based on a deepunderstanding of the customers’ needs and a full utilization of theaerospace engineering abilities available at IAI,” said Giora Eyran,project manager of the Amos 4 satellite.