July 09, 2016

Battalion of real Israeli soldiers using networked computer combat simulations to test new weapons like GPS guided mortars

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) held its largest [battalion level] ever battle simulation against Hezbollah using its newest, most cutting edge weapons systems.

The simulation included soldiers from the Golani Brigade, the IDF 7th Tank Brigade, a tactical drone unit, IDF combat engineers and more.

The majority of the new fighting systems being tested out in these simulators are still works in progress, and are top secret. However, one of the systems which are allowed to be written about is the "Spark". The "Spark" is a next generation anti-tank missile which is expected to replace the "Gil" missile which is currently in used by the IDF. There are many benefits to the "Spark" which include an upgraded targeting system and a considerable reduction in weight, thereby enabling greater ease of maneuverability by ground forces.

There was also the testing of a brand new, first of its kind precision GPS guided mortar, a command and control ground forces system which enables ground forces to coordinate directly with air force pilots in the air, and small observation balloons which are expected to be used by all ground forces in the coming years.

The soldiers trained taking over Hezbollah controlled villages, and fought against Hezbollah platoons – but via giant plasma screens, keyboards, joysticks, virtual reality goggles, and various other simulators. It was like a giant war videogame, with over 150 soldiers online, around the clock, for two days.

The simulators which were used in the drill were developed by Ground Forces Command programmers, many of whom are 19-year-old "computer geniuses," and were based on games such as Call of Duty and Battlefront. However, the graphics and 3D imagery in these simulators would put even the most advanced videogames to shame.

Outside the labs where the "fighting" is taking place, the head of the IDF 7th tank brigade, Col. Dan Newman, already knows what he wants out of the new weapons.

"We need a lot more lethality with fast rates of fire and at high speeds. As a commander of a combined brigade, I want more (intel) collection capabilities and more accurate attack capabilities so that I won't need to chase after some terrorist on a motorcycle."

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