Thursday, August 25, 2011
IDF develops doctrine for accurate sniper fire
New operational doctrine for snipers developed in anticipation of violent demonstrations over Palestinian’s unilateral declaration of statehood.
As the IDF prepares for violent demonstrations it predicts will break out following the Palestinian’s unilateral declaration of statehood at the United Nations on September 20, it has developed a new operational doctrine for snipers using laser designators to ensure accurate hits.
The new doctrine was developed by the Paratroop Brigade, which was among the forces that stopped hundreds of people from crossing into Israel from Syria in early June during the last round of protests there that ended with more than 20 dead, according to the Syrian press. Israel says the number of dead was significantly lower.
The doctrine includes the use of the Amit targeting system, which was developed by Elbit Systems and became operational in the IDF following Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip in 2009.
The Amit weighs less than 2 kg., including an eight-hour rechargeable battery, and enables an operator to locate targets up to a kilometer away, under all weather conditions.
Until then, the IDF used heavier systems that needed to be mounted on a tripod. The new system costs less than a third of those, and is more mobile.
The IDF tested the Amit’s thermal-imaging capabilities during Cast Lead, distributing flags coated in a special chemical, detectable only by the Amit, among units in hopes of avoiding friendly-fire incidents.
The Paratroop Brigade came up with the idea to use the Amit due to the poor visibility it encountered during the protests along the Syrian border.
“The snipers could not see well and we used the Amit, which can see in all weather, to put a laser designator on the legs of the protester and then the sniper shot at the laser,” an IDF Ground Forces Command officer explained. “Our goal was not to kill people but to shoot at the legs of the violent protesters who were trying to cross into Israel. This made the shooting more accurate.”
In addition to instituting the use of the Amit, the IDF has also decided to procure new non-lethal weapons that will help disperse large demonstrations and marches that could break out in the West Bank and along Israel’s borders in the north.
Last month, the IDF decided to begin distributing throughout the infantry a new receiver for the standard-issue M-16 semi-automatic rifle that can enable it to shoot a 0.22 mm. round instead of the usual 5.56 mm. bullet. The smaller rounds are not as lethal when fired from a distance.
In addition, the IDF has purchased impact rounds for snipers for use with Remington M-24 7.62 mm. rifles. Impact rounds are usually made of non-lead materials and do not penetrate the skin but deal a painful blow.