Tampa, Florida – 24 May 2018
Prominent among the 475 vendors who displayed their wares on over 100,000 square feet of exhibit hall space to a record 14,000 visitors from more than 75 countries at this year’s Special Operations Force Industry Conference (SOFIC) were a handful of Israeli companies.
As DSJ chronicled here, Special Operations Command (SOCOM) leadership made clear the materiel gaps of utmost priority and the companies who were exhibiting, Israeli and otherwise, were focused on responding to the requirements—or at least impacting the wants and needs—of US and international special operators.
Prospectively addressing the SOF need for high-precision, low-collateral damage loitering munitions, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) featured two autonomous products, the ROTEM-L and GREEN DRAGON.
The ROTEM L is a tactical, loitering munition based on a light multi-rotor platform that delivers outstanding capabilities against low signature enemy systems in urban and complex environments. This lightweight and compact UAV can be assembled and deployed in under a minute and operated by a single soldier. Considerably larger, the GREEN DRAGON is IAI’s a tactical, low-cost loitering munition designed to provide small ground units and special operations forces with significant situational awareness and firepower in a compact envelope. Stored, transported and launched from a sealed canister, 12-16 Green Dragon units can be carried on a small vehicle and launched upon request.
Elbit Systems’ presence at SOFIC addressed several SOCOM materiel imperatives beyond the loitering munition, including enhancing the situational awareness of “hyper-enabled” SOF operators. “Through the integration of leading technologies from across the Elbit Systems enterprise, the company offers situational awareness and decision support solutions that focus on all aspects of sensing, processing and displaying to provide rotorcraft, tilt-rotor and fixed-wing aircrews a decisive edge,” the company stated. Citing their Sky-Striker Loitering Munition as an example, the company also focused broadly on “cost-effective stand-off capabilities to engage moving or static targets in various conditions and longer ranges in complex terrains.”
Answering SOCOM’s call for improved signature management was Israeli contractor Polaris Solutions. The company, which develops, designs and manufactures Rajuga unique multi-spectral signature management/concealment systems for personnel, small combat elements, and vehicles, had its vehicle cover on display in the center of the trade floor.
According to CEO Asaf Picciotto, Rajuga provides multi-spectral protection because its unique properties squelch infrared (heat) signature and its amorphous shape dramatically scatters and diminishes the radar return of static vehicles and personnel. That is in addition to the visual signature reduction provided by distinct Rajuga desert and jungle camo patterns.
Picciotto notes that the Rajuga products are deployed with Israeli forces and have been purchased for evaluation by the US Combatting Terrorism Tactical Support Office (CTTSO). For US marketing, production and distribution, the company is teamed with Tyr Tactical, a leading provider of military gear, backpacks, and tactical equipment to the Department of Defense.
At SOFIC, NOVO-DR featured the NOVO Eagle, the company’s new Long Range Wireless transceiver. Stand-off range is particularly valued when operators are screening prospective IEDs and with a line-of-sight range of up to 3.3km (2 miles), the NOVO Eagle is without peer when long operation distances are desired or required.
In addition to the new Eagle Long Range wireless, NOVO-DR premiered their Falcon Robot Integration box which allows for connecting all of the NOVO award winning X-panels to almost any robot, either through the robot lines of communication, or stand-alone with its internal wireless operation. This is a breakthrough allowing for very small robots to carry the lightweight line of NOVO imagers giving any robot long range EOD X-ray capabilities, keeping our soldiers out of harm’s way.