The Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) blue-and-white flying-saucer-shaped pavilion has become one of the long-standing landmarks at Le Bourget. This year, the building has been transformed into a large stand-up 3-D theater in which the viewer gets a futuristic view of how IAI products can be employed to provide a full range of defense and homeland security solutions. The result is one of the more interesting and entertaining multimedia displays ever shown at Le Bourget.
Visitors to the pavilion are issued a set of 3-D glasses and as the lights go down in the theatre the viewer is immediately fast-forwarded through a quick spiraling opening sequence of special effects and surround sound that is reminiscent of Jodie Foster’s trip through the cosmos to the planet Vega in the film Contact. Then the IAI-produced presentation switches to a Tom Clancy Op-Center type of theme with actors in stylistic black-on-black, Moscow “night crawler” club style outfits and Bluetooth headsets who pass through vaulted doors and into a networkcentric warfare command center.
Viewers are then treated to a computer-generated and very quick-paced war game exercise in which IAI products are featured performing a series of interconnected and synergistic operations to ward off enemy attacks–all of which are controlled from this futuristic center. IAI’s line of unmanned aerial combat vehicles are seen hunting down enemy ships and vehicles suspected of carrying explosives. The Arrow ballistic missile defense system shoots down incoming missiles launched by a neighboring country. From the command center, the actors show that using IAI sensor platforms and communications solutions they can have a real-time data relayed to them and simultaneously give commands to special forces on the ground, helicopter gunships hovering in the air, F-16s on long-range intercept and a complete network of police and security forces–including armored robot vehicles–within the area of immediate concern.
The entire film is only about seven minutes in length but is a more effective demonstration of how IAI defense solutions can be employed in tandem with one another than two hours’ worth of press briefings. The real star of the show is the new multimission joint operation control center. The architecture for this system portrayed is called Twister and was developed by IAI in conjunction with other industrial partners and was largely developed with proven commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware and software. The goal of the system’s design is to shorten the time between gathering and processing of sensor data and then providing commands or targeting solutions to the actual “trigger pullers” in the field.