Elbit’s Torch-X HQ: enhancing combat effectiveness for European forces

By Arie Egozi

Countries in Europe are evaluating the potential use of the advanced combat management system developed by Israeli company Elbit Systems. Interest in this system has grown due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and the valuable lessons learnt from it.

Multi-domain warfare is a significant buzzword in the defence industry. This type of warfare requires a flexible and secure framework to enhance operational effectiveness and strategic planning. To reduce the cognitive burden on headquarters staff, the operational framework must efficiently manage data, seamlessly integrate a wide range of manned and unmanned sensors and effectors, and facilitate coordination and control.

Artificial intelligence plays a crucial role in this context. Israeli defence company Elbit Systems now offers a unique battle management system that can be tailored to suit the requirements of any armed force. One notable product based on these advanced features is the Elbit Torch-X HQ.

According to the Israeli company, the Elbit Torch-X HQ supports and optimises planning and execution activities for specific military operations, including intelligence preparation of the battlefield, intelligence planning, analysis and scoping courses of action (COA), and orders distribution.

With the combat zone already populated with different types of unmanned systems, whether in the air, on the ground, or at sea, the Torch-X HQ incorporates operational features for both manned and unmanned systems. The solution supports different levels of human involvement in tasking unmanned systems, ranging from fully automated to semi-automated planning and execution. The Torch-X HQ can be easily customised to support any level of unmanned system autonomy.

Elbit emphasises that the Torch-X HQ is a secure battle management system, designed and developed with security as a primary consideration. To gain further insight into this exceptional system, I spoke with Gil Maoz, Elbit’s Vice President for Strategy & BD C4I & Cyber. He explained that the company’s technology collects relevant data from the theatre of operations and presents commanders with real-time alternative solutions.

Maoz stated, “This is already happening in the AI-based systems we offer to our clients.” He added that the system is designed to empower human commanders to select the best combat plan, taking into account factors such as line of sight, optimal weapon selection for each situation, and the safety of forces in the combat zone.

According to Maoz, the decision-making process, which identifies the best solution, is not centralised but shared among the relevant units on the ground, in the air, and at sea. This approach ensures timely and informed action. He further noted that Elbit’s solution can be implemented in defence forces of various sizes, from small units to battalion levels.

Maoz explained, “The technology can even be used by infantry soldiers. If selected by the client, the soldier is equipped with a lightweight carry-on system that enables them to employ their weapon, whether it’s an assault rifle or an anti-tank system, in the most effective way based on the battle circumstances.” He emphasised that the distribution of system capabilities enables combat flexibility and minimises the risk of friendly fire.

The increasing number of diverse combat systems, manned and unmanned, in modern warfare necessitates a reliable communication link between all these participants. Maoz highlighted that the use of AI establishes a communication system that transmits relevant data to each participant, even in complex combat situations. For example, a field commander can order a drone swarm for specific use within a defined combat zone and exercise control based on evolving developments in that particular theatre of operations.

According to Elbit, this direct control of each combat formation and available combat resources is a unique capability that enhances the effectiveness of each member in the military unit, whether for pre-designed missions or ad hoc ones that arise during combat. Recognising the importance of logistics in the combat zone, Elbit’s systems also address this challenge. The senior official from the company explained that the system automatically allocates the necessary.




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