IAI’s inventory of unmanned systems capable of supporting ground forces includes the D9 Panda
Israel Aerospace Industries’ Future Warfare Concept in support of Ground Forces
elebrating its 65th anniversary in 2018, israel Aerospace industries (iAi) continues to provide armed forces around the World with technology, experience and expertise across sea, ground, air, space and cyber environments. However, responding to emerging requirements from an increasingly complex operating environment, the company is also pursuing a strategy to further evolve and expand its inventory of products and knowledge to support the demands of ground forces. With a view to encouraging multi-mission modularity, flexibility and cost-effectiveness, iAi continues to support ground forces with a range of solutions ranging from Command and Control, Communications, Computers, intelligence, surveillance, target Acquisition and reconnaissance (C4istAr) technology, through to soft and hard kill options, tactical air defence and autonomous systems. According to executive vice president marketing at iAi, eli Alfassi, iAi’s range of Advertising supplement
growing threats in the coming years. Hence the reason why iAi continues to focus on threat areas including protection against airborne improvised explosive devices (ABieds). “iAi continues to monitor the changes that are taking place across the contemporary operating environment, including ground warfare and we have been developing and continue to develop technologies that cover the full gamut of ground threats, including sensors, uAs of all sizes, robotics, tactical communications, antitank missiles and armoured fighting vehicle protection systems, loitering munitions and more.” “iAi closely monitors these technological developments and provides the most advanced solutions with a rich and diversified portfolio allowing the company to provide comprehensive systems solutions all of which are manufactured in-house and interface with one another, responding to customer needs in terms of design, supply, integration and smart command and control,” Alfassi said, while describing how the company continues to support customer programme’s through system lifecycles with maintenance, training and customer service.
expertise in support of ground forces is proven by a history of providing solutions to armed forces allowing them to engage with the full spectrum of modern warfare threats. However, citing numerous examples across the contemporary operating environment, Alfassi warned how today’s asymmetrical threats were creating “complex professional challenges” for many countries around the World. “As a defence industry, we emphasise the development of systems for asymmetrical threats allowing a sovereign country to defeat a terror organisation,” Alfassi urged. “the systems we offer are using multi sensors (radar, eO, sAr, elint, etc), diverse secure communications (sAtCOm, lte, HF,vHF, etc), command and control to realtime intelligence collection and real-time multi-mission operational response. “ According to Alfassi, the present security situation shows no sign of changing in the near future with iAi positioning itself to rapidly respond to a series of emerging and
FUTUre WarFare ChaLLeNgeS aNd CapabILITIeS CONCepT
IAI unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) ROBATTLE Vehicle with ELTA’s ELI-3302 Integrated Surveillance and Intelligence sensor suite, incorporating a ground surveillance radar, day/ night EO and COMINT DF sensors
According to vice president for ground systems at iAi, gadi shamni, contemporary ground forces now face an extreme spread of threats ranging from lone wolf and insurgent attacks in urban environments, through to the employment of main battle tanks, rockets and missiles in a more conventional threat environment. Hence the reason why iAi has created its ‘Future Warfare Challenges and Capabilities” concept, designed to satisfy the tactical demands of armed forces across offensive, defensive, C4istAr and unmanned capabilities. “today’s battlefield is so diverse, we find troops fighting in small groups and teams and it becomes very difficult to deliver all these enabling technologies in real time,” shamni explained while describing iAi’s organic capacity to support the full spectrum of ground operations. “there are changes in the battlefield with new emerging technologies within the reach of almost every violent extremist Organisation (veO), including cyber warfare which makes it hard to not only detect enemy forces but also differentiate between friend and foe. And all this with increased sensitivity to inflicting casualties in an urban environment,” shamni warned. designed to counter current and future challenges faced by combat forces across a battlefield- whether in israel, Afghanistan or anywhere else in the world - iAi’s strategy focuses on reversing perceived capability gaps in regards to platoon-, company- and battalion-level operations, shamni urged. “these are the biggest gaps that have to be bridged,” he asserted, while highlighting how the last 30 years had focused on the development of high-level systems to support Brigade, division and Corps operations. However, shamni warned it was not possible to build a holistic military system capable of being able to handle the full spectrum of threats across the operating environment. instead, he called for ground forces to be designed and trained in as a generic and versatile manner as possible in order to effectively handle the majority of challenges facing them on the battlefield. “Conflicts around the World are becoming much longer and force protection has become the number one priority in israel with iAi being one of the major suppliers of the innovative solutions. this understanding is now being spread all over the World and iAi’s goal is to provide a higher capability to small unit forces deployed at the tactical edge,” he urged. demonstrated at eurosatory 2018, iAi’s
IAI’s ELM-2138T Green Rock Tactical Counter Rocket, Artillery and Mortar (C-RAM) Radar can be re-roled for other capabilities in line with the company’s multimission approach
Future Warfare Challenges and Capabilities Concept features a suite of interoperable and modular multi-sensing capabilities across different sensor types, designed to provide operators with the capability to reduce and close the ‘sensor-to-shooter-loop.
LOITerINg MUNITIONS Options include rotem and green dragon loitering munitions, which iAi continues to upgrade in terms of avionics, operating systems, endurance and munition payloads in order to better support the ground forces. iAi has designed a man-portable backpack capable of carrying a pair of rotem loitering munitions and control unit, which can be used by the ground forces
to shorten the sensor-to-shooter loop by detecting, recognising and neutralising targets if required. Capable of being deployed from the backpack in under a minute and operated at a maximum distance out to 10km, the total unit (of 2 air vehicles) weighs 15kg, making it a suitable solution for forward deployed units operating at the tactical edge. With a point of impact accuracy less than a single metre, iAi explained how the munition could be used to engage targets through small apertures including windows. the munition, which features a lock On After launch capability, can also abort a fire mission before returning to base. designed to support platoon operations, rotem has a maximum endurance of up to Advertising supplement
endurance of 90 minutes with capability to be used for anti-tank and anti-personnel istAr and fire missions. With a maximum range of 40km (dependent upon communications links), the green dragon also retains a point of impact accuracy less than a single metre. to date, green dragon launcher units have been integrated on board HmmWv tactical ground vehicles as well as the israeli navy’s dvora mk3 patrol vessel as part of a wider drive by iAi to extend levels of mobility across the battlespace.
“Future threats require a robust network of sensors,” licht explained. “All the time, we are looking to identify new requirements for our customers and adapting the level of technology in order to provide new answers to different operational requirements.” Considering future integration into wider air defence networks, iAi also disclosed it was currently talking to multiple existing customers in this capacity. “We see this as a way forward,” an iAi official explained while referring to ongoing discussions in europe for very short range Air defence missions. Concurrently, iAi is also seeking to expand the capability of its C-uAs family with the integration of the vertical take Off/ landing uAs, Hovermast 100. the electrically powered and tethered uAs, which features an integrated electro-optical/infrared (eOir) payload, can now be networked to tactical ground vehicles carrying droneguard and thereby enhancing the mission capabilities of small unit teams. similar concepts are being considered by certain undisclosed special Operations Forces across europe with a view to providing small unit teams with an organic and enduring istAr solution on board special operations vehicles. Capable of reaching an altitude of 150m above its sponsor vehicle, Hovermast 100 can also be used in a multi-mission capacity as a line of sight Communications relay system, with shamni explaining how such a solution can provide ground forces with real-time intelligence while moving through contested and complex urban environments.
IAI’s Green Dragon Loitering Munition provides ground forces with a 90-minute endurance
45 minutes and munition payload featuring the ability to carry a pair of high explosive (m26 or m27) grenades, providing a kill radius of 10m. the munition features a nosecamera comprising day/night stabilised camera integrated with seeker capsule. However, with a vision to extend rotem’s multi-mission capabilities, the munition also features an additional 1.2kg payload capacity allowing for the integration of additional sensors including signals intelligence (sigint) or electronic support measure (esm) suites. Also designed to reduce the sensor-toshooter targeting loop, the green dragon loitering munition comprises a smaller variant of iAi’s famed Harop. Featuring a 3kg warhead, the green dragon has a maximum Advertising supplement
However, cognisant of safeguarding forward deployed elements from similar capabilities of near-peer adversaries and veOs to launch ABieds, iAi continues to develop its family of multi-mission radars and air defence solutions to support ground forces at the lowest tactical level. the elm-2138t green rock tactical Counter rocket, Artillery and mortar (C-rAm) radar system provides an all-encompassing protection against “low flying threats”, with shamni explaining how iAi is seeking to exploit multi-mission concepts of legacy radar systems allowing them to be re-roled to conduct additional tasks including the detection of uAs, Atgms and ieds. First unveiled in 2014, the elm-2138t is currently in service with the idF under the designation ‘Wind shield’, supporting a variety of ground force protection missions, including fire source location, friendly forces fire correction, and detection of low-flying airborne targets including uAs. Featuring a phased-Array pulse doppler radar, the elm-2138t provides a “complete low/high trajectory target, real-time intelligence and rapid response solution for tactical forces”, supporting small units in enabling an effective fire response,” iAi explained. the man-portable droneguard CounteruAs (C-uAs) features networked electrooptical/infrared and radar sensors which can be integrated with a variety of hard and soft kill effectors including rF disruptors and high energy laser technology. droneguard is also capable of accommodating a series of iAi 3-dimensional (3d) radars including the elm-2026d, elm-2026B and elm-2026BF for short (4km), medium (6km) and long (10km) ranges respectively. According to iAi’s vp of eltA marketing, igo licht, the company’s general approach towards tactical radar solutions remains one of encouraging multi-mission capabilities with the integration of additional sensors including COmint, eOir and different types of countermeasures to enhance utility, robustness and survivability.
aUTONOMOUS SUppOrT iAi continues to invest in robotics technology as it seeks to optimise autonomous support for infantry forces and other specialist users. According to shamni, iAi now provides armed forces with a robust capability, especially in route clearance, counter-ied and other engineering capacities. Featuring scalable levels in autonomy, the sahar unmanned ground vehicle (ugv) has been designed to identify surface, subsurface and hidden ieds. the tracked ugv can be operated at a stand-off distance to enhance its survivability on the battlefield and to ensure the rapid advance of ground forces. in addition, the 6x6 roBattle ugv comprises a Combat istAr support vehicle for ground forces, providing commanders with a range of tactical utility including offensive action, decoys and force protection. in the airborne environment, iAi is also enhancing its family of uAs to support the ground forces. According to Avi Bleser, iAi/mAlAt’s marketing vp, the company continues to
extend capabilities across its inventory of Heron medium altitude long endurance (mAle) and Bird eye 650d uAs. upgrades include the finalised development of the ‘long runner’ capability for the Heron mAle which, according to Bleser provides potential for the uAs to provide extended support to ground forces. the long runner concept means a Heron uAs can be launched from anywhere in the World with a sAtCOm-enabled ground control station (gCs) before being recovered and relaunched autonomously without any requirement for a second on-site gCs. long runner is also capable of being integrated on board Heron tp air frames, Bleser explained. As an example, he described how the Heron could be launched from israel and land in italy; refuelled and/or reconfigured; and launched remotely (from israel) in order to undertake another flight serial. the concept has also been designed to allow increased levels in payload flexibility for air frames which can be re-roled for alternative mission types. “everything we are doing now is via sAtCOm,” Bleser urged before confirming the system is fully operational and available for export. “We looked at how we are going to conduct operations without need to deploy gCs and communications suites every time,” he added while describing how the long runner upgrade had been achieved through a series of undisclosed software and communication enhancements. Furthermore, long runner missions will be supported by iAi’s sAtCOm-enabled mission Operational intelligence Centre (mOiC) which allows intelligence teams to receive, process, exploit and disseminate information in near real time. this capability allows analysts to monitor a common operating picture of the battlespace with accessibility to sensor intelligence from several platforms simultaneously, all managed from a single operations centre. the mOiC also benefits from iAi artificial intelligence (Ai) algorithms to assist operators in automatic detection and analysis. “this represents a new capability we have been preparing over the last several years, comprising a new philosophy in utilising uAs with iAi’s experience gained over the past 40 years from 50 customers using our technology,” Bleser added. the mOiC is platform-agnostic, meaning it can accept any istAr air frames meeting nAtO stAnAg 4671 (uAs system Airworthiness requirements). the solution is also scalable to customer requirements in terms of capability and numbers of workstations, Bleser explained. elsewhere, the latest member in iAi’s
IAI’s Bird Eye 650D provides ground forces with an organic ISTAR capability with operational endurance of 15 hours
uAs inventory – Bird eye 650d – has been designed to provide a flexible and modular solution to support ground forces. made available for export customers over the course of 2017, the 30kg uAs has a maximum operating altitude of 15,000ft; maximum range of 150km; and endurance of 15 hours. the air frame can be fitted with a variety of payloads including eO/ir cameras as well as esm and COmint payloads, Bleser confirmed. easy to deploy with a runwayindependent launcher, the Bird eye 650d is recovered by parachute and airbag. iAi explained how hundreds of air frames are already operational around the World. iAi designed the Bird eye 650d uAs with the support of armoured and mechanised forces in mind, allowing tactical ground vehicles to tow the launcher and air frame before operating it autonomously in contested battlespaces, Bleser added while highlighting its organic istAr support to ground forces. “this is a big achievement for mechanised forces not having to rely upon other airborne sources for istAr requirements,” he highlighted. Additionally, Bird eye 650d can be networked to ugvs on the ground to provide a communications relay capability, allowing ugvs to extend their operating range and disseminate istAr data including full motion video feeds back to tactical operating centres, for example. “this is one concept we are testing right now,” Bleser disclosed. “We are using our own ugvs and trying to confirm whether such manned/unmanned cooperation could be used to support autonomous route identification missions.”
fortified with greater levels in encryption to protect against current and emerging cyber threats. this lte and “On the move” solution relies upon wideband communications to support forward deployed forces, as part of the iAi. Based on commercial off the shelf technology, tAC4g has been adapted for military use with capacity to fuse together up to 32 sources of video data in real time. this, shamni explained, could include the integration of radars, cameras and underground imagery with intelligence disseminated down to the lowest tactical level including difficult environments such as jungle and urban areas.
CONCLUSION mindful of emerging requirements from the contemporary operating environment as well as ongoing fiscal constraints gripping many state actors around the World, iAi’s Future Warfare Challenges and Capabilities Concept remains fully interoperable for armed forces seeking to run holistic systems or integrate programme elements into wider homeland security and expeditionary capabilities. Furthermore, land systems can also be integrated into iAi’s wider inventory of products covering space systems; military aircraft; naval systems; homeland security and theatre defence; as well as cyber solutions; providing customers with an allencompassing solution to meet modern day and future security requirements.
COMMUNICaTIONS Finally, communications remains a critical enabler to all other sensors and systems associated with iAi’s Future Warfare Challenges and Capabilities Concept. in order to satisfy increasing levels in demand for voice and data connectivity, iAi continues to promote its tAC4g communications network which has been