The phrasing may seem odd, but when in current ground fighting the target is to achieve the shortest sensor-to-shooter time and precise, immediate fire, it becomes more logical.
The new IAI ground team is using building blocks that were developed for aerial uses, adapts them for use by ground forces and also develops new dedicated systems, aimed at achieving the immediate support fire response with "first round on the target".
One such dedicated tool is the Jumper missile system. It contains eight canistered missiles and an integrated command and a control unit that are arranged in a launcher pack.
The system requires no operating crew and no special launching platform. Pinpoint accuracy and short flight time make the Jumper a perfect solution for the autonomous fire support for ground forces. The missile is 1800mm (71in) long, has a diameter of 150mm and weighs 63kg (139lb). It is equipped with GPS/INS and four steering fins at its tail. In addition, the missile can "home" to a laser designation.
A very realistic scenario: an unmanned air system (UAS), operated by an infantry company, detects the enemy, which is using rough terrain to hide and attack with mortars and anti-tank rockets. The coordinates of the target are transferred directly to a Jumper launcher and it sends a number of missiles.
The attack is over in seconds. Time from detection by the mini UAS to kill is about five minutes. In the past, the sensor-to-shooter time in the same circumstances would have been at least 20 minutes.
As part of the same ground efforts, IAI has also developed TopGun, a GPS/INS course correction fuse for 155mm artillery projectiles.
TopGun converts a standard 155mm artillery round into a precision-guided projectile, without significantly altering firing routines, using GPS and guided by four fins fitted to the fuse. The accuracy of projectiles equipped with TopGun, which is mounted on the artillery round, is 20m CEP (circular error probable), regardless of range - unlike any other round.
So mini UAS, and the dedicated weapon systems, allow the infantry to produce its fast, effective support fire. The main trick, according to IAI, is what is referred to as "super connectivity" - the ability of all systems in a defined area to talk to each other, smoothly, without any interference.
According to IAI, tactical ground fighting will never be the same.
New tools, new capabilities.