Fourteen IDF Innovations of 2014

January 2, 2015  

The IDF released a list Friday of 14 new changes instituted in 2014 on its website – ranging from a focus on healthier food to upgrades in defense. 

Overall, meals became healthier and more “green,” it said, with two new programs upgrading ready-to-eat meals for combat soldiers and offering vegan options for all recruits. Combat rations were made with lower fat and served for the first time during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza. 

Vegans were also given the option for special meals, in addition to already-existing provisions given for vegetarian soldiers, and were also offered the option of boots and other uniform clothing without leather or other animal byproducts. 

On the smaller scale, the IDF also made a number of provisions regarding dress and uniforms, including banning large headphones and allowing women to shave their heads, as many male recruits do. 

Actual combat gear regulations were also updated; infantry forces now wear a ceramic vest, helmet, goggles, and ear-shields. 

In terms of defense, the IDF incorporated many new technologies and equipment to its ranks this year.

The Israeli Navy welcomed the addition of the INS Tanin, the fourth of six German-built, Israeli-equipped Dolphin-class submarines, which arrived at its home base in Haifa in September. Two locally-built tow vessels were also built to support the Dolphin-class submarines. 

The Israeli Air Force received several new manned and unmanned aircraft, including the Lockheed-Martin Hercules Samson C-130J and part of Israel’s squadron of Alenia-Aermacchi M346 jets.

In addition, Elbit Systems’ Hermes 900 unmanned aerial system (UAS) became operational during the summer war; similarly, the IDF used US-built Patriot batteries to intercept unmanned vehicles from Palestinian Arab terrorists for the first time in world military history. 

IDF ground forces received new equipment as well. The IDF Armored Corps debuted a new tank round, the Hatzav multi-mission tank round, during Protective Edge; it also reorganized its tank arsenal completely, retiring older Merkava models. 

In tech, the “Yahalom” (Diamond) Unit of IDF Combat Engineers fielded its first Foster Miller-built Talon 4 tracked ordinance disposal robot in support of Operation Protective Edge, and the C4I Branch integrated a new layer of connectivity into its network for greater control and fielded a new Decision Support System (DSS). 

The Homefront Command also debuted a system which disseminates personalized text messages of incoming rocket threats to soldiers on base. 

Finally, the Medical Corps issued a brand-new medical kit for emergency first-aid for soldiers deployed during the summer war. 

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