Israeli defense developments set to dazzle in Paris

New products by Elbit, IAI and Hatehof Ltd. to be introduced in Eurosatory Defense Expo in Paris.

tal system 224 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
tal system 224 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
A flashlight-shaped device that, together with infrared waves, can identify and mark an enemy target, an unmanned ground reconnaissance vehicle and a pilot-like heads-up display for infantry troops are just some of the new Israeli inventions that will be unveiled this week at the Eurosatory Defense Expo in Paris. All of the major Israeli defense companies are slated to present their wares at the expo, considered one of the most prestigious annual defense exhibitions for both land- and air-based platforms. Israel is the fourth-biggest defense exporter in the world; in 2007 it signed deals valued at over $5 billion. More than 100 countries will participate in the expo and Defense Minister Ehud Barak is scheduled to travel to Paris later this week. Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) will unveil a new line of electro-optical products designed to be employed by ground combat forces in future asymmetric and symmetric conflicts. The first system, called TED, is a day-and-night surveillance device designed to detect infrared transients from gunshots. TED detects the gunshot and takes a snapshot to immediately locate the direction and source, allowing the combat soldier to respond quickly to enemy fire. Another system, called TAL, is a handheld laser-aiming device that combat forces can use to mark a target. With Kassams still raining down on the western Negev, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems will, for the first time, display the Iron Dome missile-defense system, which is under development to defend Gaza Strip periphery communities against the homemade Palestinian rocket. The system is planned to be capable of intercepting Kassam and Katyusha rockets with a small, kinetic missile-interceptor; it is scheduled to be operational for deployment outside the Gaza Strip and along the northern border by 2010. Its development is valued at $300 million. Elbit Systems, together with IAI, will display the Guardium, an unmanned ground security vehicle (UGV) that is capable of patrolling, surveying and reporting along a perimeter and reacting immediately to isolate and contain a threat until backup forces arrive. Each high-speed UGV can be equipped with sensors to navigate varied terrain, cameras that relay field data, voice communication capabilities and weapons. Elbit will also be revealing a new component of its future combat-soldier systems, called Dominator, a heads-up, single-eye display that can be used by commanders to send and receive information and can be interfaced with other targeting systems. Geared for the unit level and the individual soldier, Dominator enables forces to dominate the field by empowering infantry units with full situational awareness through networking into integrated information systems, according to Elbit. Hatehof Ltd. will unveil its new line of heavily armored combat-agile vehicles such as the Xtream Light, which weighs nine tons, can carry up to eight soldiers and is fully protected against light-arms fire, rocket-propelled grenades and roadside bombs. IAI's MBT Missiles Division will also present an advanced operational concept for networking operations involving laser-guided weaponry. The concept, currently under evaluation in several militaries, enables maneuvering infantry and mechanized forces, equipped with laser designators, to call up, "on demand," weapons from remote launchers already deployed in a battlefield.