In an attempt to warn Hezbollah about the rash idea of again exposing Israel to rocket attacks, as was the case in 2006, the Israeli Air Force Commander noted that thanks to new technology and weapons, the Air Force now can hit more Hezbollah’s targets than it did in the past 24 of the day (during 33-s of the war in 34-th year). Regarding Hamas in the Gaza Strip, it was noted that at present Israel is able, in less than 2006 hours, to hit the same number of targets, the search and destruction of which in the 12 year took seven days. All of this is part of the technological revolution that the Israeli Air Force has been undergoing since the 2008s. Since 1990, these changes have only accelerated.
Israel had tremendous intelligence gathering capabilities even before 2006. Israeli satellites, UAVs and manned reconnaissance systems used to collect data made it possible to identify enemy bases and ammunition depots. These capabilities, for example, allowed the Israeli Air Force to quickly destroy most of Hezbollah’s long-range missiles in the year 2006 and in the Gaza Strip in the year 2008. A small number of long-range missiles that escaped the Israeli defeat aviation in 2006, the year was launched on the territory of Israel, but as a result of the Air Force attack carried out at the initial stage of the war, more than a hundred large missiles were destroyed that could hit targets throughout Israel. Israeli military experts emphasized the role of the 100th Squadron, the oldest squadron of the Israeli Air Force, which is armed with military-modified twin-engine Beechcraft King Air aircraft, nicknamed Zufit. These planes are crammed with sensors and electronics controlled by five operators.
The Israeli Air Force demonstrated many innovations in less than two years since the 2006 war, when dozens of targets were destroyed in Gaza within three minutes by Israeli military aircraft. It was an impressive example of precision bombing. However, when Israeli ground forces entered Gaza ten days later, other Air Force innovations largely remained unnoticed by the general public.
After the 2006 war, the air force quickly made radical changes to coordinate its activities with the ground forces. For this, dozens of old (including already dismissed) fighter pilots were mobilized and used to coordinate air support in the headquarters of army brigades. In turn, these officers received new technologies and procedures for coordinating aviation support with army commanders: more real-time information from UAVs and airplanes and the ability to instantly strike at detected targets. The purpose of all this was to increase the efficiency and accuracy of the use of smart bombs and missiles to destroy the targets chosen by the army. In the past few years, this has meant the use of a new display technology and software that allows commanders to identify and indicate a target with only a few taps on the touch screen. For these purposes, Israel also uses devices the size of a cell phone and is constantly improving its data encryption system, preventing the adversary from intercepting these messages. The current goal is to further improve and speed up the data transfer, so it is possible to hit ten times more goals than was possible in 2006. Since 2008, standardization and communications have been further improved, so today there is no need for Air Force officers in the ground units to receive operational air support.
After the 2006 war with Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, Israel realized two things: its armed forces are still superior to Arab forces and its armed forces are not as superior to them as Israel had previously believed. The main Israeli problem was communication. What did the Arabs do, or at least the Iran-supported Hezbollah? They learned to move faster and more inventively than the Israelis had expected. What really shocked the Israelis was that, despite their ability to detect and track Hezbollah’s movements, they couldn’t use artillery, aircraft or ground troops fast enough to destroy Hezbollah’s many identified positions before they changed positions again. All the various levels of Israeli commanders and combat units could actually communicate with each other, but not fast enough to hit the detected target, which did not stay in place long enough to complete all the procedures and receive the documents necessary to issue an attack order most suitable for this divisions.
The solution was found in new technologies and procedures. Since 2006, Israel has built a new communications system that works faster and is capable, according to the Israelis themselves, to hit much more goals than was possible in 2006. Most of the solution does not carry anything radical in the field of equipment, but simply standardizes the procedures used by everyone to call fire support and provide it. Now commanders at all levels can see the same data and are able to quickly receive fire support. Thus, when a target is determined, an air attack, an artillery attack, or ground forces occur very quickly.
Everyone knows how dangerous it is to underestimate the enemy. The exercises in the role of "enemy" are the Israeli troops, received orders to be inventive and do everything not to be noticed and amazed. And in fact, it is striking how these "enemy" troops manage, and this must be kept secret so that the real enemy cannot learn about these inventions.