Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has announced the launch of OPAL, an innovative solution that will redefine the battlefield by connecting all platforms in the battle arena, manned and unmanned alike.
“The OPAL solution provides an unprecedented range of proven capabilities and operational flexibility, which allows for optimal utilization of the available resources to maximize effectiveness for a wide range of missions. OPAL is installed in a variety of advanced fighters, attack helicopters, refueling aircrafts, UAVs, ships, Command and Control centers, as well as mobile and fixed-base stations,” IAI said.
In today’s modern battlefield, the ability to share information and maintain continuous communication between different forces is vital for the success of any mission.
For example, the IDF has recently begun practicing on a new four-dimensional combined battle strategy called the “Gideon Battlegroup” in preparation for a possible war on its northern front with Hezbollah.
The Gideon Battlegroup, which was drilled on during the recent large-scale divisional exercise with the 36th Armored Division, will include an invisible battlefield network having 24 intelligence planes that can detect anything that emits a signal. Once that signal is detected and decoded, it’s exact location is found and turned into a target in a matter of seconds by the “smart trigger” system.
If in previous wars troops could visualize the enemy in one clear location, today’s enemy is decentralized and much harder to visualize. They have become time-sensitive targets which challenge the IDF to strike them immediately after they are detected, before they disappear once again.
OPAL is based on forming a decentralized communication cloud for all members to allow real time information sharing, the company said, explaining that the system “allows all members to exchange relevant information in order to achieve a comprehensive, common operational picture of the battlefield.”
The system – which is compatible with any platform including fighter jets, tanks, ships or ground troops – relies on a secure and proven communication network that connects different networks and platforms without fixed-base stations.
It provides users with optimized effectiveness in accomplishing their mission goals by generating and sharing a Common Operating Picture in real time – providing interoperability of fifth-generation fighter aircraft with legacy platforms, maximized utilization of resources and the ability to execute multiple missions within a given time frame.
By sharing threat data, ground forces can improve their survivability in danger zones; pilots will have enhanced flight safety with collision avoidance warning indicators, which provide visual avoidance maneuvers.
OPAL also “significantly reduces the time to introduce new capabilities on the platforms from years to months” by enabling users to develop new operational capabilities and rapidly deploy them without having to change any hardware or aircraft avionic software blocks.
“OPAL is a unique and advanced IAI development that has been operational for many years and is a major factor in operational successes. OPAL provides comprehensive interoperability of communications and operational capabilities between air and ground forces, and serves as a force multiplier,” said Yossi Melamed, executive vice president and general manager of Aviation Group. “I believe it will be a major asset for air, sea and ground users, and enhance their performance in the future battlefield.”