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Tuesday, January 22, 2008       Free Headline Alerts

Soldiers' GPS uniforms would prevent
friendly fire incidents

TEL AVIV — The Israel Army may equip its combat soldiers with GPS systems.

Industry sources said the army has been discussing the procurement of GPS indicators from an Israeli firm. The indicators would enable commanders to track their soldiers in real-time.

"One of the main problems of a field commander is that he doesn't know always know where his troops are," a senior officer told the Jerusalem Post.

"With this indicator, commanders and pilots would know that the building they are about to bomb is clear of fellow IDF troops."

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An Israeli company, ITL Optronics, has developed GPS indicators, Middle East Newsline reported. The system, which transmits a signal to the commander, can be attached to the soldier's vest.

Military sources said the GPS indicators could reduce friendly fire, which plagued the army during the war against Hizbullah in 2006. NATO has made GPS indicators a standard.

ITL has been contracted to develop a laser system for snipers. The contract, issued by the Defense Ministry's Research and Development Directorate, stipulated the capability to strike a target on first shot.

The company has developed a system called Focus, which uses a laser to determine the degree and angle of fire based on wind and other factors. ITL also used laser technology to develop a system that could detect improvised explosive devices.

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