Israel's participation at the Eurosatory defense exhibition this year was the largest ever. This review covers many of the highlights displayed at the Israel national pavilion organized by SIBAT, Israel's defense export directorate.
Eurosatory, the world’s premier defense exhibition held at the Paris exhibition centre in June 2014 was one of the largest ever. More than 250 combat vehicles participated in live demonstrations and on the static display, 1,500 exhibitors and strong participation of official delegations and visitors from around the world were all indicators that the global defense market could be at a turning point after a long decline.
“Sibat created the largest ever exhibit at an international defense expo this year.” Itamar Graff, principal deputy director of SIBAT, Israel’s defense export directorate told Defense-Update. “The national Israeli pavilion we organised at Eurosatory hosted 30 companies, additional Israeli defense companies were exhibiting nearby and on the static area. In fact, the majority of Israel’s exportable land warfare capabilities were here in Paris this year.” Graff added.
One of the largest exhibitors at the Israel’s national pavilion was Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). According to Eyal Ben Reuven, Land Systems Chief Coordinator at IAI, the company highlighted a complete concept of autonomy provided for the tactical, combat echelon.
“IAI displayed at Eurosatory a complete concept of tactical autonomy that applies to battalion level and above.” Ben Reuven told Defense-Update. “We are introducing this capability at the tactical manoeuvre space, empowering manoeuvre forces with autonomous intelligence gathering and precision fires capabilities, integrated through an innovative battle management system. Other elements address force protection, providing counter rocket, artillery and mortar (C-RAM) sensors.”
Sensors for the tactical forces
According to Igo Licht, VP marketing at Elta Systems, the systems’ manufacturer, the new C-RAM developed by Elta is shown here for the first time. The ‘Green Rock’ moves with the forces, detects hostile fire from distances up to ten kilometres and indicates the threat’s projected impact point and point of origin. “This information provides critical early warning to the forces, enabling immediate and effective action. By rapidly linking sensors to shooters, this radar also provides targeting data for immediate counter-fire.
We are currently delivering the first systems to the Israel defense forces.” Licht added. A different radar displayed by Camero Tech is designed to see through walls. “We send the pulses through the wall and measure the echoes returning from objects behind them, to build the sensor display.” Camero’s marketing director Joshua Levontin explains. These system include the Xaver 800, providing three dimensional spatial view of the space behind the wall, showing details with depth, the Xaver 400 is a more compact system, delivering a two-dimensional view and Xaver 100 hand held system indicating only the human presence behind the wall. “This level of information was not available to assault forces in the past. This is a life saving capability.” Levontin adds.
Another innovative tactical sensor making its debut at the show was Hovermast 100, from Sky Sapience. “This is the first and only operational, tethered hovering platform in the world.” said CEO Gabriel Shachor. The Hovernmast 100 was launched commercially in 2013 and has since been sold to several customers, including the IDF. “The advantage of the system is its autonomy – taking off instantly, without any preparation.” Shachor explains.
The system can ascend up to an altitude of 50 meters and stay on station for days, feeding on power transferred to the vehicle through the tether. Sensor data is also fed through the cable to the ground station, which is networked to other uses. One of the payloads the Hovermast 100 carries is the T-STAMP electro-optical payload pack from Controp. This gimballed payload contains three sensors, operating TV, cooler Infra-red and laser sensors for daylight, night and range finding applications, all mounted on a gyro stabilized gimbal.
Different approaches to elevated observation were provided here by UAV developer Aeronautics and Aerostat builder RT. “The Skystar 100 aerostat is designed for security, border protection and first response in disaster areas. Carried in backpacks by two soldiers, it can deploy in 5-10 minutes to provide an immediate coverage of the area in day and night.” Rami Shmueli, RT’s managing director noted. The UAV specialist Aeronautics displayed two new versions of the Orbiter tactical UAS family – the Orbiter 2B and 3B. At weights of 10 and 30 kilograms both these vehicles are designed for tactical missions. Both offer exceptionally long endurance for their classes, and use highly advanced datalink, navigation and day/night payloads. According to VP Marketing Dany Eshchar, the two platforms are designed for reliable operation even under difficult weather conditions and high winds. Orbiter 2B can fly four hour missions at a range up to 100 km. Orbiter 3B can fly out to 150 km with seven hour endurance.
New systems for force protection
A life saving capability from RAFAEL is the Trophy active protection system or APS. The Trophy APS was originally developed for the Merkava tank, which has already proved itself in combat. At Eurosatory RAFAEL presented the new lightweight configuration. “We are displaying a line of protection systems, including passive, hybrid, as well as active protection; we are displaying here the Trophy LV, optimized as an affordable system for light armoured wheeled vehicles.” Giora Katz, Executive VP, head of Rafael’s land and naval division said.
Another system making its debut at Eurosatory was the Multi-mission Hemispheric Radar (MHR) radar from RADA. “We began developing this radar in 2010, and began field in 2013, RADA’s Chief Business development officer Dubi Sela told Defense-Update. “This radar is currently undergoing advanced testing and evaluation by different customers throughout the world. It detects almost any moving target, at different velocities ranging from moving people to flying missiles. “The radar instantly computes the firing position to inform the tactical unit of the incoming threat. Unlike larger systems that are operating behind the forward units, this compact radar is carried by the manoeuvring forces on their vehicles to trigger alerts in real time.” Another member of the family, the CHR, acts as part of vehicle active protection systems or APS, it is able to detect incoming threats and point at the location from where hostile fire is coming from. An application of this radar was seen across the isle, on IMI’s new CombatGuard vehicle where the CHR was integrated with IMI’s ‘Bright Arrow’ APS. Battlefield mobility was demonstrated by several companies, among them IMI displaying an exciting new off-road vehicle – the CombatGuard.
“CombatGuard fills a gap between the light armoured vehicles and heavily protected armoured fighting vehicles.” Udi Adam, Chairman of the board at IMI commented. “With high off road mobility it is designed to go anywhere at high speed, reaching its objectives from unexpected directions.” Adam added. In addition, IMI is presenting an impressive arsenal, from multi-disciplinary protection, part of which is demonstrated on this vehicle, for personnel, vehicles and structures to precision weapons, reaching from hundreds of meters to 150 km.