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Recently, Mittler Report’s main industry interviewer, Curtis Hand, spoke with David Harel, CEO of Israeli firm Asio Technologies. Their dialogue centred around Asio’s battle management system (BMS) and other solutions currently used by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in the conflict against Hamas in Gaza.

Why Asio; what is its reason for being?

Asio Technologies emerged from the ranks of battle-hardened IDF fighters and field commanders hailing from specialised units, all possessing a keen technical aptitude. Our paramount mission is to harness first-hand operational expertise to enhance Israel’s security and safeguard our warriors, extending our commitment to the security and well-being of allied defence forces. Our strategic emphasis lies in spearheading the advancement and digital evolution of contemporary soldiers, outfitting them with state-of-the-art technology to ensure secure and efficient mission accomplishment.

What are the main Asio solutions currently in use in the conflict in Gaza and in the West Bank?

The Orion BMS stands as a robust mobile terminal tailored for dismounted forces. It empowers both off-grid and on-grid mission planning and execution, providing real-time navigation and heightened situational awareness through our proprietary Geographic Information System (GIS), 3D terrain visualisation, and augmented-reality (AR) capabilities. Orion, actively deployed by the IDF in the ongoing conflict, has demonstrated its efficacy across diverse combat scenarios. This system seamlessly integrates with other tactical solutions from Asio Technologies, such as the LYNX tactical handheld day/night situation awareness system, offering comprehensive AR from a three-dimensional perspective.

IDF soldiers using Asio Technologies’ Orion BMS in Gaza. (Photo: IDF)

Accompanying this article are images depicting IDF soldiers in Gaza utilising Orion. The Hebrew text in the photos, sourced from a TV article on the soldiers in Gaza, underscores the shift from traditional maps to compact Android devices, emphasising the digitised nature of contemporary command platforms.

Another distinctive solution from Asio Technologies is the AeroGuardian NOCTA optical navigation system. While we cannot disclose specific users, we can elucidate its potential as an exceedingly effective tool for operational forces in conflict zones where GNSS signals are jammed. AeroGuardian NOCTA, previously known as NavGuard, presents a vision-based navigation solution ensuring uninterrupted unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) operations. This jam-proof system facilitates accurate and autonomous navigation without relying on GNSS, making it especially suited for environments where GNSS signals are compromised, jammed, or unavailable altogether.

In conflict zones like Gaza, relying solely on GPS for navigation becomes impractical due to potential disruption or jamming. AeroGuardian NOCTA mitigates this challenge, enabling forces to operate UAVs without interruption and execute their missions with enhanced efficiency and safety.

Screenshot from Israeli TV news channel N12 showing IDF troops using the Orion system. (Image: N12)

How is it that the solutions are important to these operations?

In the contemporary battlefield today’s soldiers are essentially digital warriors. However, the recent conflict against Hamas has underscored that relying solely on aerial attacks does not ensure victory. Ground troops remain indispensable. Our mission is to furnish these soldiers with the essential tools and support required to execute their missions effectively and safely in the ever-evolving landscape of modern warfare.

What are the main qualities unique to Asio?

First and foremost, Asio Technologies epitomises innovation on the battlefield: a principle evident in each of its cutting-edge products. The company proactively anticipates and addresses critical requirements derived directly from real battlefield scenarios demanding advanced technological capabilities. One such ground-breaking product is AeroGuardian: a vision-based positioning system that breaks away from reliance on GNSS signals. Instead, it employs machine vision and optical reference technology, revolutionising support for UAV navigation in jammed areas. This innovative approach involves processing video feeds from onboard cameras and translating the information into precise co-ordinates. In both typical and atypical battlefield settings where GNSS signals are vulnerable to jamming and spoofing, Asio Technologies’ solution renders GNSS jamming irrelevant.

Secondly, our solutions are crafted by ground fighters for ground fighters. We possess an intimate understanding of their needs and are well acquainted with the missions they undertake. Our purpose-built solutions cater specifically to the operational requirements of ground-level forces, ensuring they have access to the most advanced technology available.

Thirdly, our remarkably quick time to market sets us apart. As a private medium-sized company we take pride in swiftly delivering products and efficiently incorporating necessary updates based on customer requirements. All our offerings are grounded in our distinctive technology and capabilities, reinforcing our commitment to providing cutting-edge solutions for the dynamic demands of the modern battlefield.

Who else is using Asio solutions and where are they available or in use?

Asio solutions have found deployment with military forces in Israel, North America, and Asia. The AeroGuardian system is gaining traction across a spectrum of UAV manufacturers and defence integrators who are incorporating it into their platforms. We anticipate that in the forthcoming years it will evolve into an indispensable component for any UAV seeking secure autonomous beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) capabilities. The system’s versatility and effectiveness make it a sought-after choice, contributing to its potential ubiquity in the UAV landscape.

How can these dismounted solutions be used to avoid friendly fire or collateral casualties?

The Orion battle management system stands as a compact digital unit designed to furnish soldiers with comprehensive information pertaining to mission planning, navigation, and identification of friend and foe. Its seamless communication capabilities with the command-and-control centre facilitate the exchange of critical information. The system’s real-time update feature empowers the force to share vital details concerning friendly and hostile forces, as well as other mission-critical information. This capability fosters the creation of a unified situational awareness picture, enabling the unit to make well-informed decisions regarding their manoeuvres on the battlefield.

The Orion BMS from Asio Technologies is a robust mobile terminal tailored for dismounted forces. It empowers both off-grid and on-grid mission planning and execution, providing real-time navigation and heightened situational awareness. (Photo: Asio Technologies)

Thank you for your time during this period of strife. Stay safe!

– Curtis Hand