Military Research and Development


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Israel is a global leader in the field of defense research and development with capabilities that not only provide solutions for its own national security needs, but also for those of the international community. Innovation enables Israel to strengthen the defense establishment and ensure the IDF's  qualitative military edge.

"Since we fail in quantity, we we must raise the quality" - Israel's first Prime Minister and Defense Minister, David Ben Gurion in 1953, in regards to the establishment of the R&D unit in the DDR&D

The Military Research and Development Unit is the beating heart of the DDR&D, initating and leading technological research and development projects, which result in some of the world's most effective weapon systems. The unit is tasked with two main functions. First, to initiate and conduct research, advance development projects, and promote the technology and building blocks for future systems. Secondly, they are responsible for managing the progress of these projects and bringing them to their full operational capabilities (Full Scale Development).

The IDF's qualitative military edge is largely based on the systems developed by this unit. Cooperation with the academia, research institutes, high-tech companies, defense industries, and the military,  enables the unit to combine congruent technologies and find solutions to close operational gaps.

The head of R&D is a Brigadier General, and the unit consists of military and civilian personnel, all of whom are researchers and engineers with advanced academic degrees. Their work is divided into several departments:

Missile and Rocket Department:

The department is responsible for initiating and developing rocket and missile systems and solutions for operational needs such as: maintaining aerial superiority and defense, attacking field targets, land-based combat in enemy territory, naval superiority based on missiles, aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and support systems for the various branches of the IDF. The department develops some of the market's most advanced systems including the Iron Dome missile defense system, advanced air-to-air missiles, anti-tank missiles, ground-to-air missiles, and more.  

Armament Systems Department:

The department is responsible for meeting the armament needs of the IDF (particularly those of the Ground Forces), and defense estalishment by developing technology such as unmanned vehicles, weapons and ammunition, non-lethal weapons, future combat vehicles, and more. Products from this department include the Trophy, among the world's most effective active protection systems (APS), and the only operational, combat-proven APS defending tanks from artillery and mortar fire.

Optronics Department:

The department is responsible for the initation and development of technology components and antennas for electro-optical systems. The Optronics department is engaged in the R&D of top of the line systems with the ability to operate on the ground or in the air through accurate optronic tools and the development of laser systems among others.

ICT (Communications, Command & Control) Department

The department is responsible for developing technology in the field of ICT, and intelligence with an emphasis on cyber, communication, satellite communication, command and control systems, navigation, visual information processing and mapping for various branches of the IDF and the defense establishment.

Systems Department:

The department is responsible for the research and development of technologies in the field of SIGINT, radar, electronic warfare (EW), and underwater acoustics; it is the workshop for all RF sensors and the realization of their abilities in their respective fields. The department works in cooperation with several branches of the IDF, as well as with defense industries and academic institutions to pave the way forward.

Small Units Department:

The Small Units Department is responsible for preserving the development , production and delivery of technological building blocks in the field of  microelectronics, in order to achieve independence in the development of larger systems, radars, communications, and others.

Performance Analysis Department:

The department is responsible for assisting in the decision-making process and development of technology, particularly during the early  stages. The department studies new technology and examines how it can best be applied to meet the IDF's operational requirements. Decisions are made following the application of quantitative and scientific evaluation tools including war games, computer simulations, trials, processing and analysis and more. In order to conduct research in this arena, members of the department have in-depth knowledge of the IDF's needs and capabilities, as well as awareness of the characteristics of the modern battlefield.

CTO Department:

The department is responsible for initiating and developing new, breakthrough technology. The department's work helps integrate the research and development of the DDR&D and the IDF, and contributes to the preservation of the defense establishment's qualitative edge. The CTO Department also deals with the R&D of dual use technology and manages the Ministry of Defense Innovation Center.