The future of combat is now

Last month’s enormous military exercise up north had IDF forces setting up an underground field hospital, remote-controlled trucks, smart parachutes, hovercrafts to evacuate the wounded and robots carrying equipment alongside fighters; this is what the next war will look like.

The recently unveiled equipment is leaps and bounds from that used in past conflict: during the Second Lebanon War in ’06, for instance, the IDF used much simpler parachutes, with many of their crates eventually landing in Hezbollah hands. Though the new parachutes have not yet been declared operational, hundreds of them are expected to be purchased as part of the IDF’s multi-year acquisition plan.

Several hovercraft demonstrations were also carried out during the exercise, showcasing their ability to, among other uses, safely and efficiently carry hundreds of kilograms of equipment, ammunition, water and fuel. A more unusual demonstration included using a hovercraft to carry a simulated “wounded individual”: this was done by laying out a doll on a stretcher, which was then flown for five minutes at a height of 40 meters.