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Israel: Elbit Systems and Bagira develop new anti-terror simulators

Israeli companies, in close cooperation with the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) and the Israeli border police, are developing new simulation systems to improve the training of special units in ant terror operations, Arie Egozi from learned.

Israel Elbit Systems and Bagira develop new anti terror simulators
Anti-terror simulator system developed by Elbit Systems (Picture source: Elbit Systems)

Some years ago realizing the changes in the shape of wars, a base was adapted to become the main training place of soldiers in anti-terror actions. Underground warfare, tactical breaching, and robotics are just a few of the specializations that the Lotar Counter-Terror School teaches IDF soldiers. These instructors are responsible for training all IDF units in counter-terrorism. They are combat soldiers who train others and, if needed, take part in operational activities.

The other body in the forefront of anti-terror is the Special operation unit of the border police (YAMAM). This unit is now considered one of the most advanced anti-terror units in the world. The training and simulation tools used by this unit are highly classified. Last year, a unique facility has been opened in the heart of the Judean Desert, near Ma’aleh Michmash, a few miles north east of Jerusalem. The site looks like a Hollywood set: huge greenhouses, exact copies of the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem, of a street leading from the Old City of Jerusalem, and part of the Sharona restaurants and store center in Tel Aviv, Arie Egozi describes. All these places saw terror attacks in which Israelis were killed. The training area was established with attention to the smallest detail up to the level of authentic smells and muezzin voices playing in the background.

In order to reduce gaps in the handling of the expanding phenomenon of tunnels, the IDF expanded the underground training facilities in all the commands. Today, almost all brigade training bases and commands have infrastructure for underground training. Some of the installations were built above the ground, but they simulate the time and the fighting in tunnels while others were dug underground. The IDF has acquired weapons that will help the forces in the battalions to neutralize tunnels more easily and quickly, without the need to wait for professional forces, while infantry forces have developed drills for handling subterranean compounds, even by artillery forces. In December, the IDF uncovered five tunnels that had been dug from Lebanon into northern Israel. They were destroyed by explosives or by filling them with concrete and other materials.

Elbit Systems' fully integrated training system combines laser suites for dismounted infantry and armored vehicles, independent broadband communication and control center capabilities. The system has many components but, without any doubt, the soldier’s vest kit is the top. It is installed on a special combat vest full of sensors and communication systems. The hatban is put on the soldier’s helmet. The other parts of the system are a player unit computer, eye safe laser emitter for all weapon types, intuitive user terminal interface, UHF communication module, Wi-Fi 2.4GHz, GPS module, laser sensors, personal audio and other supporting parts.

Another simulation tool has been developed by Bagira, an Israeli company developing many types of military simulators: a Magnet Magazine. Laser Engagement Training Systems enable force-on-force training using a simulated firing device and an impact sensor system that provides a truly realistic training experience. According to Bagira, simulation training using such systems normally requires the use of blank ammunition which significantly increase the training cost. In addition to the cost aspect, the use of blank ammunition compels the user to implement additional safety measures such as dedicated magazines and muzzle plugs.

To overcome all these limitations, Bagira developed the Magnet Magazine, a device that complements the Laser Engagement Training System. It provides a solution to the need for realistic training while eliminating the need for blank ammunition. This helps to minimize costs, streamline logistics and significantly improve the safety standards. The Magnet Magazine enables low-cost training at any time and location. The IDF use thousands of these devices to improve trooper competence while significantly reducing training costs. These are only a few examples of the wide efforts being made to use simulation techniques in the training of Israeli anti-terror units.



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