Thanks to advances in technology and streamlined systems, IDF (Zahal) satellite communications are faster and more accessible, providing real-time connections and a solution to reception issues when operating in hard to reach places.
Satellite communications are indispensable for military operations. It provides soldiers with the ability to transfer information from the air, sea, and land in real-time, without having to worry about reception or speed.
“When soldiers are out in the field – on the battlefield, or in any other place without reception, they can only communicate through satellites,” said Chief Warrant Officer Kobi Menashe, Head of the Satellite Communications Department of the C4I Directorate.
In the past, satellite communications were limited, slow, and complicated to use. Today, thanks to advances in technology and the optimization of the IDF (Zahal)’s satellite systems, our combat soldiers use it with ease.
How does satellite communications work?
“The soldiers in the field carry a communications device called a terminal. The terminal connects to the satellite that provides communications across the globe, without reception issues and without regard to the the soldiers’ environment,“ explained Chief Warrant Officer Menashe. “It allows soldiers to receive commands in real-time, to send essential information, and to connect to the internet to do anything required without needing to be an expert.”
There has also been a significant improvement in speed, Chief Warrant Officer Menashe said. “We increased the bandwidth of the system and we increased the number of terminals that can access it. There are now many soldiers in the field that use the IDF (Zahal)’s satellite communications network on a consistent basis. It used to be very rare.”
During Operation Protective Edge, access to a strong satellite communications network became even more significant. “The network was effectively used to coordinate between IDF (Zahal) ground forces and the Israel Air Force during the operation. This led to the further development and implementation of the “Connected IDF (Zahal)” concept,” said Chief Warrant Officer Menashe. “Now it impossible to separate between satellite communications and how the military functions.”
Satellite communications during a disaster
The satellite communications network also proved crucial during IDF (Zahal) humanitarian aid missions around the world. “In Haiti, soldiers from the IDF (Zahal) Homefront Command had to set up a fully functioning field hospital in just 80 hours. Without the terminal it wouldn’t have happened,” Chief Warrant Officer Menashe recounted. “The terminal gave us a direct line of communication with the rest of the world. We were able to access the internet and military applications which were essential during the emergency.”
“The network is like a long arm stretching out of Israel to anywhere the IDF (Zahal) needs it. The technology is growing and evolving. And it’ll keep growing,” Chief Chief Warrant Officer Menashe said. “Our ambition is to make the network even faster, more reliable, and accessible by even more soldiers.”