The new system, named Octopus, underwent testing and technical approval over the last several months and operational activity in a few units.
The wearable computerized system was developed by the US comapny BDAT–Black Diamond Advanced Technology, in cooperation with CTI, located in New York and under the ownership of the Israeli businessman, Eyal Shachi.
Development was carried out by the Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure (MAFAT) and by the IDF’s ground forces branch, and manufactured in the US with American foreign aid.
The Octopus system is installed on a rig and includes an encrypted assignment computer that operates the C&C application as well as a 6.5 inch monitor.
The system is intended for the regiment commander level and above, and for use by special forces.
Octopus will be integrated in to the Digital Army Program (DAP) developed by Elbit Systems, and was specially modified for rugged environment conditions (dust, sand, moisture, sunshine, wind, etc.) and for operations in a tactical combat environment. It is attached to the uniform via two clips, and can easily be removed.
The new system includes a GPS receiver and ports for a wide range of external sensors, such as cameras and thermal imaging. It is energy efficient, so the computer can operate for a long duration, even with the absence of an external battery. It is also possible to detach the battery from the computer and connect it to another C&C system without reactivation.
“The advantage is in the duality of the system: it can serve the forces both on foot and in a vehicle,” says Lt. Col. (Res.) Udi Kauf, who oversees CTI’s operations in Israel and in Europe.
“The system has a mount which sits on the soldier’s back as part of the infantry rig that the computer is installed upon. This allows for the computer to be extracted from the mount and placed on a similar mount, installed in a vehicle, and vice versa. The integration is financially efficient and allows for operational and functional continuity.”
According to Eyal Shachi, CTI’s CEO, "The Octopus represents a significant breakthrough in the field of wearable computers for soldiers. As it stands up to strict military standards (with regards to environmental conditions, electromagnetic compatibility, and durability), and given its modular architecture, the Octopus will become a significant military computerization measure for many years to come, and in tomorrow’s battlefield."