“Our essence in the unit is to connect technology with the people and bring professional added value at the end,” emphasizes Brigadier General Tal Aharon (50), head of the Land Technology Division (IAF) in the IDF Technology and Logistics Division.
The IAF deals with the development of weapons used by the army’s ground forces. In addition to the development of weapons and ICT equipment, the division also serves as a professional authority in the IDF’s development areas, as a staff body for determining maintenance policy and provides a techno-operational response to the ground forces. In addition, “the most important thing is the human stuff, the people bring the technology and make the difference, and our job is to connect the technology and the people, that’s what produces the top, the warrior, and gives it added value,” says Aaron, who in August will finish The role and military service after 28 years.
“What characterizes the IDF is people with professionals with technological leadership, who bring safe and effective weapons,” explains Aharon. We have a model that says on each weapon how long it should be in use and examine when it no longer justifies the investment in it and its subsistence costs. We are responsible for everything, up to the stage of scrapping, and it starts from M16 to rocket launchers, skimmers , Ammunition and more.
“It’s a technologically challenging world, and this work allows us to connect the fighters to the tactical space and make the most of the information gathering capabilities,” he adds. Living the future – the view is always ahead to the next challenges.Our role is also to take projects with a technological edge, which will allow the army to advance, and at the same time ensure that the IDF has breathing space in spare parts and capabilities.
“Advanced operational capability”
Aharon, a native of Ashkelon, currently living in Lapid, married with three children, graduated with honors in mechanical engineering from the Technion, before enlisting in the armed forces as a reservist, and had the privilege of working on some of the most significant developments in the army. One of them was in 1999, while studying for a master’s degree in mechanical engineering at Tel Aviv University, when he was among others on the development of a Mark 4 chariot cannon in the weapons systems industry, after which he even served as head of the industry. About 12 years ago, he was appointed commander of the Yiftach unit, where he led technological operations with special units in the IDF and security bodies in the State of Israel. Three years later he moved to serve as commander of the NSA unit (experiments and quality assurance), and in 2015 he was appointed head of the maneuvering department (now the attack and maneuvering department).
“What I am trying to instill in this organization is a commitment to professionalism,” he emphasizes. dramatic”.
During his service, Brigadier General Aaron was involved in significant and groundbreaking initiatives in the army, such as the transition from Maoz, Galil and M16, to the M4 and the Tabor, the replacement of the artillery array in the army, the change of mortar type and more. Beyond the weapons, he is responsible for changing the perception and revolution that the ISA has undergone in the last two years, under the name “ISA in momentum”, which has come to make order and streamline development processes.
“The idea behind the move was to move the unit to work in an ecosystem of technology systems, instead of the units working separately. This allowed us to be more relevant, efficient and fast. The connection allows officers to delve deeper into technology and allows technical departments to be project focused.
“One of our challenges is to attract people to long and meaningful service, and it’s not just because of the new permanent model,” he adds, “as long as there is competition with the civilian market it creates difficulty in incentives. But the technology division gives employees the greatest value that can be “The Corona has made people realize that they want more time with the family and a comfortable work environment. This is something we need to adjust to, and there is a big plan led by the head of the ATL and the head of the ACA to address this crisis and respond quickly.”
Throughout his military service, Brig. Consists of a number of departments that complete the technological puzzle that upgrades the fighting capabilities of the army, and since then the organization that Aaron supervised and led, with workers with more coordination and complement each other. Among other things, there is the field and farm engineering department, which is responsible for planning, managing and controlling resources. There is the Department of Assault and Maneuvering, the Department of Engineering, the LAD Department (Digital Land Warrior), the Information Systems Department, the NSA Department (Experiments and Quality Assurance), the Yiftach Department, which deals with the development of equipment for special units, and the IDR Department, which deals In digital architecture, network and infrastructure.
“We are subject to very strict criticism and control, by the defense establishment, the state comptroller and the command above us,” he emphasizes. “A robotics laboratory, a vehicle laboratory and an environmental conditions laboratory, all at an international level to make sure that the fighters have the best tools.”
Aaron gives as an example the recent IDF activity in Jenin and the technological tools, whether through advanced tactical capabilities or the vehicles and weapons that accompany the fighters to battle. “These are the tools that keep our fighters,” he emphasizes, Larger and more protected for the soldiers, this is a vehicle that we bought as surplus from the aid money and we did a restoration with us, so that at the price of a new vehicle we put up three worthy vehicles. It is our ability to upgrade the tools inside the house, which gives us quick adjustment and adaptation options. When you make conversion of vehicles to fighters you have to take everything into account, their ability to move with and inside the vehicle, proper air conditioning, ability to respond out of the tool, all these things are done here.
“A project mission begins with a feasibility study, for example if there is a request for a glider with a generic ability to do a variety of tasks such as photography, tracking, or target acquisition. We operate in two channels in our internal development and civilian development vis-à-vis the defense industries.
“When working with the civilian industries we put out tenders and write ourselves all the technical requirements we have for development, actually writing the chapters of activity we require companies to do, and of course we accompany the development.
“Sometimes it is a matter of joint development, which some of our people do, along with civil society, we make sure that we maintain the technological core that is important to us and that technological governance will always remain in the hands of the IDF. The second part is technological managerial accompaniment, which means making sure we keep up with the pace we have planned. And the third part is control and approval, and after the new system is active, we are the ones who determine its maintenance envelope and keep it updated. ”
“The decisions we make in the IDF affect a large number of fighters for decades to come,” he emphasizes.
“Fighting has changed in this age, the fighter in the center and the systems support. Today I look at the tank communication system, which is a new and smart tactical system that knows how to produce data, it gives you a connection to space that allows you to make the most of the spectrum. Today it is a tactical communication system, which allows forces to connect together through the hunter system, and automatically talk to each other in the field, there is automatic data transfer.It changes the activity in the field, allows the Ed force to mark a target, and another force, not even in the sector, gets a fire mission Handle a target letter.
“Another aspect that stands out among us is Sami autonomy, with a vision for full autonomy. Today, this whole issue is in one place with us, within the IDF, we are the technological body that leads the field. We have a laboratory dedicated to this field. ”
The advanced technological age in the IDF significantly changes the perception of combat, and soon becomes a future one. “We have a significant technological base,” emphasizes Brigadier General Aharon. Whether it’s the glider that accompanies them today and allows them capabilities like neutralization, or masking, and in the future we will have more robotic tools to enter the field with the fighters.
“We have a track that we have opened for people who have studied robotics, artificial intelligence and everything related to this world.
Reserves are pre-marked to arrive at the IDF and we deal quite a bit with artificial intelligence, data collection and monitoring of online capabilities. Today we collect real-time fuel data, armament, engine heat, etc. The entire main fleet of logistics trucks is monitored online and we are in the process of building a database and accumulating Knowledge of the transport center and soon we will also have the option to monitor the brigades so we know which unit needs rest or wears out, and we know how to give real-time recommendations to the combat team.We are in an age of technological and digital army The next thing is to do dedicated semi-autonomous activities and we are definitely there. ”