Depth Command, Near Space – the Israeli air force (IAF) is beginning to think differently.
The operational problem is simple to define, but not to solve. Israel is threatened by countries on its borders such as Syria and Lebanon, and also by countries that are far away, such as Iran.
This calls for a new operational approach, not only on the defensive side in the form of, for example, the Arrow anti-ballistic missile system, but also on the offensive side.
The change happens slowly as it involves not only operational decisions, but also high-end technologies, but it happens.
In recent weeks a special think tank that included former IAF commanders and experts now in service recommended an increase in investments in the Near Space.
The recommendation is to explore the use of the Near Space, in altitudes from 100,000-150,000ft.
The board was formed to outline the IAF recommended development lines in 2030 so that the capabilities will cover all the forecasted needs.
The recommendations will probably result in the development of systems that can function at high altitudes, mainly aerostats but definitely not only.
These recommendations come shortly after the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) established a new Depth Command headed by a general, to coordinate what is defined loosely as “long-range operations”.
It is obvious that such a command will need the means to deploy the units covertly in faraway destinations.
When the media in Israel dubbed the new command “the Iranian command”, it may have exaggerated a little but it helped to see the rationale.
How will these decisions affect the structure of the IAF’s “wish list”? It is early to say, but there will be an effect.