Infighting stalls IDF project

Attempting to create an amalgamated operational communications system.

idf in jenin 298 ap (photo credit: AP [file])
idf in jenin 298 ap
(photo credit: AP [file])
Turf wars and ego trips have been holding up one of the largest projects in the IDF - an attempt to create an amalgamated operational communications system that would unite all of the military branches in time of war. At the moment, the air force, navy and ground forces all operate on independent communications systems. Since taking office last year and foreseeing future combat situations, IDF chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz ordered the C4I Communications Directorate to unite all the systems to allow field commanders to control planes, ships and troops all at once. Boeing has been working on creating such a system called the Future Combat System (FCS) program, a US Army initiative designed to link soldiers to a wide range of weapons, sensors and information systems by means of a mobile network that will enable unprecedented levels of joint inter-operability. But while the IDF is trying to promote this new system, the C4I Directorate has encountered the resistance of several military branches, and particularly the IAF, which do not want their operational systems to be made available to other divisions. "There is such a problem," an IDF officer admitted this week. "But we are trying to get over the hurdles to unify the systems and to allow maximum operational capabilities."