Tel Aviv: The best way to explain this highly advanced combat proven system is this –when you take the most advanced communication links, you add the most advanced sensors and the combat experience of Israel, and on top you put some artificial intelligence, you get a system that is changing the war zone, actually revolutionizes it.
That is exactly what Israeli company Elbit Systems did when it mixed the different ingredients and created a system that allows all types of fighting forces to achieve the top goal – hitting any target in real time and with surgical precision.
Multi domain warfare is the hottest buzz word in the defence industry. This type of warfare requires an adaptable and secure framework to enhance operational effectiveness and strategic planning. To minimize the cognitive load on headquarters staff, the operational framework must be capable of efficient data management and seamless integration, as well as coordination and control of a wide range of manned and unmanned sensors and effectors.
At this point artificial intelligence comes into the picture as a dominant “colour”. Israeli defence company Elbit Systems did exactly this and is now offering the market a unique battle management system that can be tailored to the needs of any armed force.
One product that is based on this mix of highly advanced features is the Elbit Torch-X HQ. According to Elbit Systems, it supports and optimizes planning and execution activities to meet the needs of specific military operations, intelligence preparation of the battlefield, intelligence planning, analysis and scoping courses of action (COA) and orders distribution.
As the combat zone is already full with different types of unmanned systems, in the air, on the ground and at sea, the Torch-X HQ includes operational features for manned and unmanned systems. The solution supports different levels of human involvement in tasking unmanned systems, from fully automated to semi-automated planning and execution. Torch-X HQ can be easily tailored to support any level of unmanned system autonomy.
According to the Israeli company, Torch-X HQ is a secured battle management system, designed and developed as a secured system from the ground up.
To understand more about this super unique systems I talked with Gil Maoz , Elbit Systems VP for strategy & business development, C4I7 cyber. He said that the technology offered by the company gets all the relevant data from the battle zone and then, in real time puts in front of the commanders different solutions. “This is happening today in the AI based systems we offer to our clients.”
The senior official added that the system is designed to allow a human, in this case a commander, to choose the best combat plan. “The system takes into account data as line of sight, the best weapon to use in each case , and of course the safety of the forces in the combat zone.”
According to Maoz, the decision making process that points to the best solution is not centralized but is shared according to the unit on the ground, in the air and at sea, that is the most relevant to take action.
He added that the Elbit’s solution can be implemented in any formation of a defence force from the smallest one to the battalion level.
“The technology can be used even by the infantry soldier. If this solution is selected by the client, the soldier is equipped with a light carry on system that enables him to use his weapon, assault rifle or anti-tank system in the best way according to the battle circumstances,” Gil Maoz added.
Maoz added that the distribution of the systems’ capabilities enables the needed combat flexibility and minimizes the danger of friendly fire. The growing number of different combat systems manned and unmanned in the modern warfare requires a reliable communication link between all these “players”.
“The use of AI creates a communication system that sends the relevant data to each player even in the most complex combat situations. One good example is the capability of field commander to order a drone swarm for his use in a defined combat zone and control it according to the developments in a specific war zone,” Maoz said.
This direct control of each combat formation in each of the available combat resources is according to the Elbit official, a unique capability that enhances the effectiveness of each member in the military unit that has a mission to perform, pre designed or a “pop up” one that is created during fighting.
As logistics is critical in the combat zone, the Elbit systems deals also with this challenge. According to the company’s senior official the system automatically allocates the needed supplies to each unit in the combat zone.
“This very accurate distribution is performed by soldiers operating manned transport systems but also by robotic ground vehicles that also carry weapon stations and therefore can also take part in combat while performing a logistics mission,” he affirmed.
Maoz said that India is a potential market for these advanced combat network systems based on the technology allowed by the ‘E-CIX’ framework & the Torch-X applications. “We work with local partners to introduce it to the Indian defence forces.”