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Daily Israel Report

Soldiers to Fire 'Mini Iron Dome' in Enemy Territory

IDF project will allow soldiers behind enemy lines to fire missiles that intercept enemy launches.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 5/24/2012, 7:31 PM

Iron Dome in action (file)
Iron Dome in action (file)
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The IDF is working on development of a weapon will enable soldiers behind enemy lines to fire missiles that intercept enemy missile launches.

The project was presented Wednesday by Ground Forces Commander Maj. Gen. Shlomo (Sami) Turgeman at the International Firepower Conference. Maj. Gen. Turgeman, who gave an overview of the IDF Ground Force's plans for improving its firepower, explained that soldiers would be supplied with equipment capable of intercepting rockets, similar to the successful Iron Dome anti-rocket defense system.

"Our vision is to utilize soldiers in order to combat the threat of high-trajectory missiles," Maj. Gen. Turgeman explained. "We can use our maneuvering power at the front for advanced interception of rockets, as a sort of small Iron Dome." The new system, which soldiers will carry with them, will enable rocket interception on enemy territory and provide a quick method of accurately locating launch sites.

"In addition to preventing injuries among civilians and soldiers, the new system will provide information telling us in real time what the enemy is firing and from where. This way of locating rockets will let us close the circle of fire in seconds."

"Closing the circle of fire" refers to identifying and knocking out the enemy source of fire.

Maj. Gen. Turgeman also discussed a new organizational approach to battle involving the establishment of a firepower headquarters.

"In order to fit our growing fire capabilities to the crowded, urban battle environment, we must take the same weapons that thus far have been concentrated at the division level and move them to a firepower headquarters in each brigade. The brigade firepower headquarters will know how to utilize the advanced capabilities that we have built over the course of decades, while harnessing comprehensive intelligence that will reach the fire headquarters. This will be a very effective body – a slimmer and efficient command."

GOC Ground Forces also discussed the threat posed by tanks, which he called "the challenge that most influences our maneuvering tactics." In coping with this threat, he said, "the forward battle crews will receive new capabilities. "We will greatly expand the intelligence power of the combat soldiers. In real time, they will receive information from all levels – visual intelligence, field intelligence, intelligence from wiretaps, and information assembled on a daily basis will all reach the soldiers in the field."