Elbit Systems’ creation of Cyberbit – where it houses the NICE Systems intelligence assets acquired in May 2015 – tends to foster the impression that the parent company’s range of ISS solutions is confined to that group only. It is essential to remember that Elbit Systems, a division of Israel Aerospace Industry (IAI), is first and foremost a military contractor. The intelligence gathering capabilities of solutions designed for use in combat, both ground and air, are every bit as important those designed for conventional ISS and cyber purposes.
Often, the same technologies are modified to serve each market.
Surveillance tech developed for military clients finds its way into the hands of government intelligence and law enforcement agencies, or branches of the armed not originally on the agenda. Forward-looking infrared (FLIR), initially developed for aerial surveillance in Vietnam where thick vegetation blocked view of enemy troops by conventional cameras, is one such. FLIR technology has since been adapted go to a range of purposes – for tanks to see through sand dunes, for glasses that let troopers see enemies in the dark, for units mounted in small airplanes for local police to monitor hostile crowds at night.
Elbit Systems goes both ways: innovating in military technologies and adapting proven ISS solutions for military purposes. The company offers the full palette of intelligence solutions that serves the chain of command top to bottom – for top brass, to provide a real time view of the battle theater, and to protect and inform the warfighter, whether in the sky or on the ground.
Strategic and Tactical Command Centers
Management is “hub and spoke” – for strategic and tactical purposes.
The starting point is the Elbit Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) Management Center, or IMC. Think of it as a strategic “command central” for any client army – the hub that manages all military intelligence solutions in the field, integrates their findings and provides “actionable intelligence” to commanding officers at the highest level.
The tactical wing is the Elbit System Mobile Arena Dominance ISTAR Center (MADIC). MADIC is mobile and on the ground, able to move with the battle and direct force movements based on real time inbound intelligence. As a centralized and integrated management center for local forces, MADIC coordinates all external forces, including airborne and ground.
Not surprisingly, the bulk of airborne intelligence systems designed by Elbit Systems focus on combat scenarios, with the goal of protecting pilots and aircraft. Such solutions include digital radar warning receivers, missile and laser warning systems to provide a “real time tactical picture of the battlefield.” But Elbit Systems goes far beyond warning systems, using airborne intelligence solutions that draw on techniques common to the ISS sector.
Elbit Solutions Airborne Reconnaissance commonly fixed to or embedded in aircraft include:
- Wide Area Airborne Persistent video Surveillance System. WAAPS continuously monitors, records and analyzes large area footprints, intercepts events and maintains multiple regions of interest (ROI) under constant surveillance with high spatial resolution. Video intel is flashed instantly to user on the ground for real time viewing.
- WAAPs Storage and Analytics. Elbit Systems also provides storage for video collected by from the airborne platform. Users can access video archives of ongoing and past aerial missions, sorting queries sorted by time, location and event. The system also comes with video processing and analytics capabilities including Video Motion Detection (VMD) and Virtual Perimeter, both with alert mechanisms that point out anomalies.
Elbit Systems also delivers on Electronic Warfare Systems for Mobile Communications, turning a jet fighter or other aerial craft into an intelligence gathering machine used against enemies using conventional network devices. The core tool is the company’s CELLACTIVE solution. CELLACTIVE is an airborne cellular network COMINT solution that monitors, records and analyzes GSM phone conversations and text messages, and also provides mobile location of targets to ground commanders.
Once CELLACTIVE locates targets, another solution – SKYJAM – can take over, blocking targets’ inbound or outbound mobile communications. Alternately, CELLACTIVATE may be used to actually meddle with and take control of calls and data communications occurring between targets in real time – like an airborne IMSI catcher.
Client armed forces may opt to use Elbit’s electronic warfare for Cellular Communications as a separate package, or as part of the company’s “WiT” (Wise Intelligence Technology) comprehensive system provided by the Cyberbit unit. WiT covers all the bases for lawful intercept, government of military apps:
- Scanning areas of interest.
- Monitoring, locating and identifying potential threats.
- Mapping targets to create a situational picture.
- Interception of target devices.
- Jamming and manipulating targeted mobile devices.
Back at the command centers – MADIC and ISTAR – field commanders are coordinating intelligence from the air with what Elbit Systems ground solutions pick up.
Combat Intelligence for Tactical Awareness
On the field of combat, Elbit Systems once again delivers the full package of solutions. All are “mobile,” meaning portable, either by vehicle, quickly deployed and removed on ground stands, or carrier by individual troopers in manpacks. Once again, Elbit Systems considers every conceivable battlefield scenario and offers the right solution based on need:
- Locked Wave. For RF interception of radio networks Locked Wave is a cyber RF (radio frequency) Intelligence system that operates in active or passive mode, providing access, inspection and manipulation of encrypted airwave-transmitted communications such as WiFi. Locked Wave decrypts WiFi standard encryptions including WEP, WPA and WPA2, cracks encrypted data stored in WiFi communications. The solution operates in real time to provide enemy communications “in the moment,” and may be stored for further analysis.
- Miniature Reactive Jammer (MRJ). For remotely activated roadside bombs. The MRJ family of protection systems jams signals used by terrorists to detonate Remote Controlled Improvised Explosive Devices (RCIEDs). Able to to jam RCIEDs in either reactive or active modes, or both simultaneously, the MRJ is popular with ground forces, penetration units, small vehicular convoys, border patrols and homeland security.
- GroundEye Video Surveillance. For panoramic video surveillance at ground level, Elbit Systems GroundEye is tops. The system provides round-the-clock, persistent wide area video monitoring and recording. Offering total flexibility, the system may be deployed on masts, towers or vehicles in single unit or multi-unit configuration. Intelligence collected by GroundEye provides immediate access to threats so that users may take immediate action. The system also provides advanced analytics enabling agents to see and understand more subtle changes occurring over time. End result: outstanding situational awareness.
- Long View Short Wave (LVSW). For long range observation of targets, LVSW is a like a zoom lens on a wide angle camera, except this solution sees thermal images. LVSW combines the best of Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) and Shortwave Infrared (SWIR), adding GPS and magnetic compass for pinpoint accuracy location, and “eyesafe” laser rangefinder for exact distance. Working in SWIR mode, LVSW provides perfect images even when targets are obscured by weather conditions or smoke or to the naked or conventional imaging. Where LVSW comes into play: ensuring the accuracy of long rage fire against enemies and other targets.
- SupervisIR. SupervisIR takes infrared imaging to the next level by providing wide area persistent observation, day or night, of enemy movements – on a tactical basis. The system is user activated, as opposed to LVSW, which is reactive, and the user may feed close-up IR intelligence back to command where it is integrated with LVSW for the big picture on tactical awareness.
Of the many combat ready solutions developed by Elbit Systems, our favorite is the DOMINATOR, specifically developed for use by individual ground troops.
Intelligence means nothing if it is not effectively and quickly conveyed to end users – field commanders and troopers. DOMINATOR is all over that mission. Ergonomically designed, including the ability to distribute weight as the soldier sees fits, DOMINATOR puts essential intel in the hands of the war fighter – everything they need to know about the threat in front of or around them – gleaned from Elbit Systems airborne or ground-based intelligence solutions. The user can track enemies and targets, and connect to sensors that trigger alerts on new threats or other changes as they occur.
DOMINATOR is emblematic of the Elbit Systems approach across the span of its solutions for military intelligence. It covers all the bases of intel sources but does not overwhelm the user with useless data — it tells what they need to know to accomplish the mission. Because the most important asset is always the warfighter himself or herself, and all are irreplaceable, protection is priority #1.
Mission and Protection. Elbit’s commitment to both objectives of its clients is the basis of the company’s longstanding success, worldwide market and continuing growth under the wing of IAI.
Insider Surveillance rating for Elbit Systems Airborne and Ground Surveillance: 5 Stars.