Israeli military expo takes aim at the future

Israeli military expo takes aim at the future

There's plenty of new tech out there for security forces, and visitors at a Tel Aviv show got to see what's available

5.11 Tactical's ReadiMask system (Photo credit: Gabriel Cohen)
5.11 Tactical's ReadiMask system (Photo credit: Gabriel Cohen)

The Israel Security and Defense Week Show, the only professional expo in the defense field in Israel, is where exhibitors, potential customers, and professionals in the military, police and defense forces go for the latest in Israeli-developed security technology. Now in its 28th year, the show this week drew hundreds of top-level security officials from Israel and around the world to see new innovations, equipment, and products used by law enforcement and security forces to keep people safe.

Dozens of top-flight exhibitors were on hand to offer viewers “a close-up of the technologies for use in meeting fresh challenges, and of the advanced high-tech solutions designed to overcome new protection and defense obstacles,” an expo brochure said.

The event at the Tel Aviv Convention Center, which drew to a close Thursday, was organized by Sigma Team Exhibition Organizers Ltd. in conjunction with the Israeli Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry.

Among the exhibitors was 5.11 Tactical, an Israeli military accessory supplier and importer, which presented a line of products, part of its “head to toe” approach to tactical equipment, which includes boots, clothing, knives, bags and headgear. The firm’s ReadiMask disposable gas mask system is intended for use in emergency situations when a standard gas mask is unavailable. The system comes in full-face and mouth-only versions, and is effective against pepper spray, chemical and biological agents, tear gas and smoke.

5.11 also showed off its TacTec plate carrier, an improved combat vest with a quick-release tab, which turns into a strap for pulling injured soldiers off the battlefield. The vest has a micro-loop web platform to support common attachments, allowing users to hook on magazine or canteen pouches or any other equipment needed.

Mifram Security, which develops protection systems for public and private buildings, displayed its MVB (modular vehicle barrier) system, capable of stopping a car or truck weighing up to 2.5 tons in its tracks. The device can be set up within minutes. Israeli police used it during the pope’s recent visit to the country.

Mifram also makes Scarlet, a bullet-proof fabric capable of stopping 9 mm and 5.56 NATO bullets. The material is designed for situations where individuals need to walk from a vehicle to a building without being exposed to danger — or, for example, when a prisoner needs to be escorted to a courtroom from a vehicle, said Sinai Pasternak, Mifram’s CEO.

All of Mifram’s products are unique solutions to unique problems, said Pasternak. “Our customers don’t come and look for a product in a catalog. They come and tell us what their problem is and we develop a solution.”

Matrix, developed by Shafir Production Systems Ltd., is an automated lockbox unit. The MyBox system, for visitors to a facility, relies on keycards issued to individuals. Users select a box size of a variety available for the object they are depositing, up to and including a handgun, and leave their items in the box for later retrieval. When the user returns, they swipe the card and input their PIN, and the correct drawer and compartment unlock.

The firm’s Protector system is designed with employees in mind. An administrator can set rules for which employees have access to what items, such as keys to different vehicles. The administrator can also receive alerts by e-mail or smartphone if certain conditions are violated. For instance, the Protector would send the manager an e-mail if the backup keys were checked out.

Customers have been putting the Matrix system to some creative uses, said Ronen Alony, the firm’s business development and marketing manager. “We recently talked with a cell phone repairman, who wants customers to deposit their phones in a MyBox and pick them up a few days later when they’re fixed.”

These products, along with many others shown at the event, provide “an opportunity for promoting and marketing products through contact with decision makers and buyers representing the entire gamut of Israel’s defense interests and homeland security needs,” Sigma Team said. As far as they are concerned, the future of Israeli defense tech looks bright indeed.

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