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Survive and Tell (cont.)

Ground RADAR for Intelligence purposes

During the War of Attrition in the Golan Heights, following the Yom Kippur War, operations of the Syrian forces, especially at night, caused Intelligence gathering problems.

Throughout the day, observation was executed via an optical device up to a range of approx. 10 km. During Raful's, GOC Northern Command, meeting with BG Uzi Eilam, Chief of R&D and myself, he asked Uzi to quickly supply him with an observation system that would also be able to function at night and at a distance of 50-60 Km.

I returned to my office and that very same evening summoned Yaacov Paz, Marketing Manager of Elta, and Dr. Nino Levy, then Chief Engineer of Elta, to my office. I asked them if they could supply, as soon as possible, a suitable radar system that would answer Raful's requirements. They answered that they could possibly modify the existing "Dagon" RADAR, a marine RADAR system, to a ground RADAR system by adding a M.T.I. (Moving Target Indicator) – a device that distinguishes moving objects. For this purpose, they would need a RADAR and a budget. I attained this RADAR from the Navy and allocated them a budget, but stipulated that I needed quick results, not only on paper.

A computer at the Defense Board issues the codes for classified projects and exercises. In this instance, the computer offered us the code name "Fruit Of The Earth". I said that Raful, an agriculturist, would appreciate this name. A week later I received an intermediate report that there was a good chance of accomplishing the requirements and, about one month later, we were ready with a trial model. (My assistants on the subject of RADAR were Dr. Menashe Simchi and Captain Robi Shechter). We moved the RADAR ("improved engineering model") to the Golan Heights and it remained there because the Northern Command insisted on keeping it.

Following the success of this trial radar system, the development was completed and Elta produced additional units for the IDF, which are still used to this day. Elta also exported similar versions with much success.

High-power Laser

A young lieutenant called Zeev Bauman served in the Optronics branch. Zeev, graduate ROTC (academic reservist), had studied for his first and second academic degrees at the Hebrew University, in Jerusalem, with Prof. Shaul Yatsiv. Prof. Yatsiv informed me of Bauman's genius and how essential it was for him to complete his doctorate studies, because he was one of a kind and, being that he was young, meant it was the right time for him.

Zeev's second academic degree was in the field of high power LASER. Zeev enlightened me on the fascinating secrets of LASER and described at length the potential it had for diverse utilization, both in civil and, specifically, military spheres. Zeev showed me many articles about the activities in colleges and laboratories of the Defense Departments around the world. I asked him to write a proposal for research and development of High Power LASER systems. Zeev worked diligently and, six months later, gave me a book comprising of 300 pages in which he presented a detailed description of the LASER theory, ways for implementing various outputs and different wavelengths. I sat with him and discussed the details over the coming weeks and we drew up a Staff Paper as well as a work plan and budget. I presented all of the material to the Deputy Chief Scientist, Yedidia Shamir, for his assessment and professional opinion.

Once I had received his blessing, accompanied by a few remarks and important recommendations, I gave the corrected, improved and fully documented Staff Paper to the Chief of R&D, Brigadier General Uzi Elam.

The book also apparently impressed BG Uzi Elam, because he transferred the Staff Paper, as it is called in the army, together with his recommendation to the Minister of Defense, Shimon Peres, and his staff. Accordingly, a meeting was set to take place on Monday at 08:30 hours.

I was very nervous on the night prior to the meeting and presentation to Minister Shimon Peres. I practiced my speech and how I would appear before him over and over again. I had never had a chance to speak with him beforehand, apart from the dinner with the Nigerian Government and my visit to the homes of Ben Gurion and Moshe Dayan.

Lieutenant Zeev Bauman took the matter much more lightly. I arrived at the office a little earlier than usual, at 08:00 hours, and the telephone was already ringing "angrily". It was the Minister's office. They asked why I had not reported for the meeting that had been changed to 08:00 hours. I grabbed Zeev and the material, some of it on slides, and we ran to the Minister of Defense's Conference Room.

We entered the packed room. Uzi Elam earned time in order to allow us to organize ourselves for the presentation. I managed to discern the Chief of Staff, Mota Gur, the General Manager of the Ministry of Defense, Prof. Pinhas (Siko) Zussman and the Chief Scientist, Prof. Yoval Neeman, sitting in the room.

Also participating in the meeting were the ex-Chief Scientist and the President of the Technion, Brigadier General (Res.) Amos Horev, Major General Israel Tal and many others, economists and financiers.

Uzi Elam tried to gain time till I arrived and when he saw me he announced that Colonel Shalom Eitan, Chief of Electronic Systems And Electronic Warfare, would present the project. I opened my lecture with the technical aspects of the LASER and described it via impressive terminology, such as "coherent" "monochromatic", etc. I explained the issue of monochromatic in simple terms, which sufficed for the Minister. But with regards to his question, "What is coherent?" I became tongue-tied, because I had to explain unknown things doubled with other unknown things. I said that coherent is to be in phase and, afterwards, completed the explanation by saying that it was at the same time and coordinated, together and similar. This explanation was not adequate for Shimon Peres. I was so embarrassed and, in consequence, was not able to give a simple answer.

At this awkward moment, Prof. Yuval Neeman came to my rescue and said, "Look Shimon, in China there are one billion Chinese people. If each of them got on to a table one meter high and then jumped, if and when he/she pleased, nothing would happen to the earth. But if these same Chinese people jumped of the table together, at the same time and at the same phase (coherent), according to one of Mau's commands, something would happen to the earth and even Israel would feel it".

Even if I had thought of such a simple explanation, I would never have dared to use it. Only those with extended knowledge of such complicated things knew how to explain in such simple terms. As in the past, I was sorry that I had still not acquired the ability to explain complex issues in a simple manner.

After this embarrassing moment, I made a note to myself to learn and try harder to adapt an unpretentious manner of speech, render simple explanations and not to prove that I know how to complicate matters. I took the fact that I was not able to explain the issue to the Minister of Defense, in the presence of a long list of important people, whom I greatly admired, so much to heart that, later on, every time I came across a person who spoke clearly and eloquently, my reaction was very often rude.

All of those present discussed the issue. There were those who expressed their opinion, and all of them recommended to approve the plan that I had presented, which was pretentious and expensive. I presented as it was recommended, with several alternatives. They all went for the most ambitious and expensive alternative.

I left that meeting weary yet satisfied, but with an empty feeling. I did not expect the plan to be approved without objection or without somebody refuting my theory.

For a long time, without being able to explain it to myself, I felt something had occurred similar to the story "The King's Clothes". The issue was too serious and the approved budget was too large to have been passed first time and without debate.

My first visit to the USA

During my service at R&D, I acted as Technical Project Manager within the framework for exchange of information with the American Defense Forces.

Within this position, I had written contact with my counterparts and we transferred written information and visited each other. They visited the IDF and the Laboratories of our Defense Force and we visited them. The contact with the American R&D institutions gave me many opportunities to become acquainted with the work methods of large, organized development institutions and, mainly, project management and control.

My first visit to the USA, on the subject of electronic warfare, took place in May 1973. The delegation was comprised of Brigadier General Shlomo Inbar, Chief Signal and Electronics Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Yossef Barnea, an officer from the signal and electronics corps, Lieutenant Colonel Egon Ron, the Chief of the Technical Branch at that unit and myself, Colonel Shalom Eitan, Chief of Electronics And Electronic Warfare (and Optronics) at the R&D unit. This was my first visit to the States and I was very excited about the trip. All the other participants of the delegation had spent time in the States.

Yossef and Agon had studied for their Masters degree at the "Brooklyn Poly" and Shlomo Inbar had visited many times, both on behalf of the Signal corps and prior to being appointed Chief Signal and Electronics Officer, as Commander of the Sigint and Commint Unit.

During this visit, we stayed at army bases and visited labs in a number of American states. We visited Fort Manmouth, New Jersey, the Pentagon in Washington DC, Fort Hood in Texas, Fort Huachuca in Arizona and Fort Bliss in Texas (where we were joined by Lieutenant Colonel Humik Dayagi who was in charge of the electronic warfare division in the Air Force). 

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LtR: Lt.Col Egon Ron, Lt.Col. Joseph Barnea, escort officer, BGen Shlomo Inbar
Col. Shalom Eitan, Lt.Col. Nahum Dayagi, Lt.Col.Yaakov Granot

In view of the limited time schedule and in order to demonstrate a congenial atmosphere, the Americans granted us the use of a helicopter that flew us from the Boston Airport to the top security base near Boston. We met a large number of army personnel and citizens, both at the laboratories and the operational units. At the weekends we traveled in a hired car, and that is how we were able to visit the Grand Canyon, the Hoover Dam and Los Vegas.

The visit took place in the month of May. At the time that the Egyptian army was holding an enormous exercise, which the Israeli Intelligence assessed as a deployment that could develop into an offensive attack.

The IDF mobilized reservists and, accordingly, we very nearly interrupted our trip in order to return to Israel. When it emerged that the Egyptians had changed the nature of the deployment, it was decided that we would continue our trip.

I could not get over the power and size of the United States of America and especially the order and organization of the visit that had been coordinated in such an exemplary manner, right up to the finest of details. Lieutenant Yaacov Granot, Assistant Attaché for R&D, had organized the trip and accompanied us on weekdays. On the weekends he flew home to Washington. During this trip, I spent the weekend at the home of my cousin, Miriam Spectorman Simpson in Queens, N.Y. whom, for many years, I had kept in my heart the affection I felt for her, and at the home of Dr. Peck who lived in Mahwah, N.J.

The second visit in 1974 was on the subject of night vision, following the Yom Kippur War. The delegation was comprised of Colonel Joshua (Josh) Rosen, Lieutenant Colonel Jacky Hezkia, Dr. of Physics at RAFAEL, an Ordnance Corps Officer and, of course, myself as Head of the mission. This trip was of greater importance, especially for me, because we were exposed to immense databases and we conveyed to them that if they would not provide us with the relevant technology, Infra Red detectors for passive night vision and in particular for Air to Air missile sensors), we would have no choice but to invest unnecessary resources to develop it ourselves. I hinted to them that we had proven our aptitude for this sphere at the universities. I established contacts that were crucial for my job at R&D and for my service a few years later in Washington.

Jacky Hezkia was Deputy Commander of the brigade that fought at the Golan Heights. He gave a lecture at Fort Hood, Texas, about his night combat experience in the armored brigade. His English was very limited and primitive. I tried to teach him how to tell about the battle, but when he began to speak in front of hundreds of armored corps personnel, he forgot all he had learnt and spoke in his regular voice using his limited vocabulary. The rest of the delegation felt very uncomfortable about his speech, which went as follows (imagine an Indian American, during the American expansion to the west, standing in front of you and saying):
"Night…see nothing, here tanks come close…big noise we no shoot. Tanks come very close we BOOM BOOM BOOM… the Syrian go in the behind, we safe. See night very important"
The officers burst out into hysterical laughter and clapped hands in rhythm, as customary at a successful performance. We were very embarrassed but, in fact, he had won their heart. They opened up, bombarded him with questions to find out more details and, in consequence, became very cooperative.

In view of this experience, Jacky repeated his performance a number of times and with the same success. In spite of the fact that Jacky learnt a little English during our stay, we did not allow him to change the text, the grammar or the pronunciation.

As before, I visited my cousin Mara (Spectorman) Simpson during this trip. She lived with her two daughters, Yardena and Liora, and her husband William (Bill).

In New York, I met my former deputy, Yochanan Wiesenfroind, who had in the meantime immigrated to the United States and had been appointed Manager of the Psychiatric Ward at the Belleview Hospital. Yochanan, who had divorced his wife, also a doctor from Vienna, lived in New York with his daughter, Anat. He invited me to his apartment. I came with Yaacov Hezkia and Josh.

The Facsimile Machine arrives for the first time in Israel

During the Yom Kippur war, a number of reservists from the R&D unit were called up and some of them volunteered without being recruited. There were those that said that they had been embarrassed to stay at home and were prepared to do anything as long as they were allowed to wear the uniform. One of the most distinguishable was Dr. Ezra Zeev.

Amongst those that requested to serve reserve duties for reasons concerning livelihood were Rafi Sirkis, who had been fired from his job by Colonel (Res.) Nutek Eldar, who had taken over the Heiman Shamir Company.

Rafi, a very agreeable, amicable and friendly man, had vast knowledge and experience in many spheres. He told us of the wonders of a machine that, at that time, was still being developed – the facsimile. I was enthusiastic about the idea that one could transfer printed and handwritten documents, including drawings and blueprints, via telephone lines. I suggested that Rafi write a pamphlet describing the system, its advantages and disadvantages and the forecast of its technological development. During the Yom Kippur War, the Air Force Personnel were convinced of the attributes of the machine and purchased, as far as I remember, about 14 machines from the DACOM Company, which Rafi had begun to represent in Israel. The pamphlet, with his dedication, is still in my possession and I recently looked at it by chance and saw how Rafi's fertile imagination with regard to the development of the machine was fairly accurate.

The Electronics Industry

I visited factories in Israel to become acquainted with their potential. I tried to personally meet with each engineer dealing in development activities.

I was received in each and every factory openly and politely and they all tried to impress me with their capabilities and achievements.

This was the situation at "Elbit", at A.E.L. (now Elisra), Eljim, Elta, E.C.I., at Telrad, Scitex, Elscint and "Tadiran".

The only exception was "RAFAEL". At RAFAEL, I felt their condescending attitude as soon as I reached the entrance. The entrance procedures were improper, especially in view of the fact that a girl soldier came to receive a guest at the gate.

At Elta, they tried a similar "ploy" once, or perhaps it had been by mistake – they made me wait next to the Security Guard for half an hour. My visit had been prearranged and I arrived on time, but I do not know the reason why my name had not been written on the list of visitors. After half an hour, I returned to my office.

Afterwards, the entire "Elta" management came to me to try to appease me. I was not angry at all, but thought that they were not interested in meeting me.

I established an excellent working relationship with Elta and wanted to work there after I left the army. I utilized my relationships with personnel in various companies in order to promote issues and allocate development budgets. I also assisted companies to find solutions for specific problems by approaching experts in the relevant fields. Thus, for instance, I assisted "Tadiran" to purchase the services of Dr. Yosef Shapira on the subject of electromagnetic compatibility. Prior to my visit, Tadiran had not been aware of the fact that they had a problem in this sphere.

One day, after I had been acting as Chief of the Electronics And Electronic Warfare Department for over two years, I was invited for an "Official" visit to the Tadiran offices. They gave me a guided tour of the production lines and Dr. Avraham Harel, who was an engineer and Chief Scientist of the Company, accompanied me and gave explanations about the Company.

At the end of the visit, I was ushered into the General Manager's office, Elkana Kaspi, who was stretched out on his armchair and smoking a thick and aromatic cigar. Elkana made me feel that I was very honored to have been invited into his office, which was considered "sacred" by the Israeli industry. He endeavored to inform me that not everyone receives such a reception and expected me to be very impressed. He even expected to hear me compliment the Company which I had spent a half a day visiting.

I greatly disappointed him because I was not at all impressed by his "bragging". I expressed my astonishment that I had not seen one computer in all of the plant and no one had mentioned the word "software", which implies how backward the company was. At the same time, I told him about a company called Tekem, (Advanced Technology Ltd.) and that I thought it was worthwhile to buy shares in this company so that Tadiran enter the modern age of sophisticated industries.

With Uzi Elam's influence, technical courses were introduced to the R&D Department.

I only had the chance to give one lecture and I dedicated the entire lecture to optronics, a subject I was very enthusiastic about. I loved everything about this subject and I spent as much time as possible learning about it.

At the Staff and Command School, I gave a lecture on the subject of LASER and gave a demonstration via a portable green Laser. I had brought unprocessed material to produce optical fibers and a 25 mm micro-channel plate for amplifying starlight from one of my visits to the USA. I gave a detailed explanation how this phenomenon occurs. The S&C officers (Majors and Lt. Col's), who are usually skeptical and critical about guest lecturers, showed great interest and, it seemed to me, that they fell in love with the subject of optronics, especially as they could envision its use on the battle field.

I explained about infrared waves and about the technique for thermal vision. I did not have the relevant apparatus to show them, but told them how it looked, because I had seen such a machine in action during my visit to the Night Vision Laboratory (N.V.L.) in Fort Belvoir, Virginia.

During this year, when I was so actively involved with optronics, a New Immigrant arrived in Israel from Russia. His name was Victor Polski, a physicist, renowned for his Zionist activities and his struggle to reach Israel. Victor was friendly with Prof. Yuval Neeman, who saw himself as being the Russian physicist's guardian. Victor told us that he had worked at a factory in Russia that developed and manufactured tubes for amplifying starlight generation A'. I wanted to establish an infrastructure for tubes that would be the basis for all apparatuses in Israel.

I recommended that a factory for restoring generation B' tubes be established and, over time, perhaps even produce, or go straight into producing Generation C'. The process was complex. Even though there were many who objected, the infrastructure was established and, now, Victor Polski manages an outstanding factory in Katsrin on the Golan Heights (The company is called "Or-Leil"). My heart was full of joy when Victor informed me of his personal and the factory's achievements, the factory that he had established and managed.

"Rehovot Instruments", owned and managed by Prof. Joe Yaffe, supported itself financially, in the main, from development funds derived from my department. The factory dealt in a number of other spheres, such as security fences, marine mines, but the majority of its income and expertise was in view of their activities for developing passive (thermal) vision systems. The initial expertise was obtained from the HUGHES Company, following the acquisition of an elementary sensor and, with the help of this sensor, the P.W.S. (Perimeter Warning System) was developed. Prof. Yaffe demonstrated the device to us at his home in Old Jaffa and we were able to see a "man" moving in the night along the breakwater. According to this expertise and the funding from the R&D Department, and while utilizing the sensor that was developed by Prof. Kidron, we entered into the real project - a thermal operations system, most vital for the Navy.

The development, under the guidance of the Navy, progressed well but I saw that the factory could not exist from this project alone and, certainly, the R&D Department could not finance the factory indefinitely. I was convinced that the thermal vision technology was vital for combat in obscure conditions and for detecting a source radiating heat. I had to ensure that the preliminary infrastructure of the "Rehovot Instruments" be maintained and, even, developed. The Ministry of Defense did not have the power to expand its hold within the defense industries at that time and, therefore, "privatization" was instigated. Prof. Yaffe, owner of the company, knew that he had to find a strategic partner or, in the worst case, sell his company. I made efforts to help him.

Tadiran acquired "Rehovot Instruments"

"Tadiran" was looking for ways to extend their activities and enter into the optronics business. I recommended that they inquire whether the "Rehovot Instruments" was for sale or if they were willing to acquire a strategic partner. This idea, which had been discussed prior to our meeting, was realized. They began to check into the matter and when they found that this was an appropriate measure, they approached the General Manager of "Koor", Meir Amit, to approve the acquisition. Meir Amit was not on very good terms with Elenka Kaspi and this presented an obstacle for the authorization.

The "Tadiran" management asked me to accompany them and give a presentation to Meir Amit on the subject of optronics, thermal vision and the potential of this field. A meeting was set for 8 a.m. at Meir Amit's office on the 15th floor of the "Koor" building. The R&D management was aware of the assistance that had been rendered to find a purchaser for the "Rehovot Instruments"

The "Tadiran" personnel and myself arrived at the building at 7:45 a.m. and went up in the elevator. We waited for the General Manager of "Koor" to arrive. At 8:10 a.m. one of Amit's assistants, Shalom Iron, (Freddie Blum, ex Chief Artillery Officer and Assistant to the Chief of Operations Branch) arrived out of breath and informed us that he had climbed the stairs because the elevator was stuck and he did not know whether Amit was in the elevator or whether he was climbing the stairs, as he himself had done. Meir Amit arrived at around 8:25 a.m., sweating and out of breath and apologized that we had been kept waiting for such a long time because of a technical problem. A few minutes later, after a rest and small talk about technical failures, I presented my stand. I do not know if it was my presentation or other factors that caused him to overcome his preliminary objections, but Tadiran received his authorization to execute the deal. Tadiran entered into the field of optronics via the purchase of "Rehovot Instruments" and paved the way for purchasing the "El-Op" Company.

Command & Control And Electronic Warfare-At Tadiran

Col. (Res.) Herut Zemach, who I had met during my military service, approached me on a number of occasions on behalf of the Tadiran marketing department. He was interested in me for three things – each one concerning a different field. The first issue was with regard to the "Zehavit" Project. The codename "Zahavit" (named after Yaacov Ba'al Shem's daughter) appeared in my work plan and referred to the issue of Command and Control. The Signal Corps were leaders in this field. All over the world, people were working on Command and Control systems but none of the armies around the world had an operational Command and Control system for the ground forces. The main problem was the difficulty in defining the specifications. Not one of the armies agreed about what, how and which specification was needed in order to receive the data. Communications, meaning from a fighter level up to the level of the intermittent army division and unreliable and uncoordinated data sources.

Each Brigade or Division Commander held a different opinion with regard to the requirements and/or the character of the Command and Control system. The Navy and Air Force, for whom the data runs from set bases or electronic systems, such as RADAR and other computerized systems, were successful in establishing Command and Control systems. The ground forces had only executed experiments but had not gained any achievements.

I was very interested in developing a technological infrastructure, so that when the day came and the definition would be finalized, the industry would be able to offer a solution. Therefore, I decided to push forward and promote an issue which was relatively easier to define and implement, a Command and Control system on GHQ level. There was no operational logic to this decision, but there was definitely technological justification.

We found an interesting combination of people who also wanted to be part of the project. The Signal Corps appointed Colonel Zvi Amid to head the Project. The GHQ decided to appoint Brigadier General Moshe Levy (called Moshe and a half because of his height) head of operational department to concentrate the issue. "Tadiran", together with the Hughes Company, won the tender for the project. My condition was that there would be a leading Israeli Company working together with an experienced American company as assistant chief contractor. I assisted Zvi Amid with advisors such as Dr. Jules Finkel from the Weizman Institute and as many other experts as he required, and he undertook the mission quickly and efficiently. Herut Zemach headed "Tadiran" activities. I had every confidence that he would turn every stone and make every effort in order to promote the issue. Unfortunately, this project was halted at quite an early stage, after I left the R&D. I never investigated the reason why it was halted, but it seems to me that Zvi and "Tadiran" wanted to jump too far too quickly. I had only wanted to initiate a pilot in order to establish the technology. It was the extensive budget and Ezer Weizman, Minister of Defense, which caused the closing of the project. "Tadiran" was unable to benefit from this project and Herut Zemach was frustrated. The State of Israel learnt quite a lot from these actions. Young personnel encountered systems design approach. At the Weizman Institute – Computer Center- very interesting experiments were executed. Engineers from the Signal Corps were learning how to deal with unconventional problems.

Production of Thermal Sensors

The second issue was the development and production of sensors. I wanted to complete the development at the Technion, almost laboratorial production, and then to transfer to industrial production lines. I interested Herut Zemach in the project and, via him and others, also managed to interest the "Tadiran" management. Together with the Acquisitions and Production Authority (APA), I drew up a forecast of supplies for the Ministry of Defense, according to the long-term production and equipment supply plans. The data, even if only at the planning stage, was very impressive and aroused interest in the industry. APA from the Ministry of Defense was interested in establishing production capabilities for this sensitive item which was thought of, and still is, as an issue of utmost strategic importance and it was, therefore, assigned to one of the most senior persons (Israel HaMeiri). "Tadiran" secured a permit for producing the sensors and received all the data that had been developed at the Technion.

The project did not develop very well at "Tadiran", because the Ministry of Defense did not stand by its purchasing obligations and RAFAEL, in contrary to what had been agreed, simultaneously developed production capabilities and was able to supply itself with the equipment it needed and even competed with "Tadiran". In the end, after many years of illogical competition, it was decided to merge the "Tadiran" and RAFAEL activities.

The third issue was the sophisticated (RAS) Radiation Acquisition System. I interested Herut Zemach in the system which was very close to his heart, because he was the Navy's "Mr. Electronic Warfare" (in parallel to Col. Yoske Naor of the Air Force). He had received the Israel Defense Prize for his activities and it is possible to define him as one of the architects of the Navy's great victory during the Yom Kippur War. RAS was a system being developed by an American Company called Q.E.D. One of the owners of Q.E.D. was the famous violinist, Isaac Stern. A number of excellent engineers worked at the company and they offered us a sophisticated Elint system. The Air Force was not interested in the system, but did not object to the development activities. The Air Force appointed Heimik Deigi to manage the project. Heimik was head of the "Andartah" Project, another sophisticated project at RAFAEL. In view of financial problems, the uncertainty with regard to the agreement with Q.E.D., and the lack of the Air Force's interest, it was decided to halt the project in the States and the equipment that had been developed was brought to Israel and stored at Air Force Electronics Depot 108. Herut Zemach, who wanted to establish electronic warfare at "Tadiran", a sphere that had only been modestly dealt with up till then, asked if I could help him. I suggested that he receive - free of charge, gratis - the RAS system. This was on condition that Tadiran invite the Systems Engineer, George Pearlman, to Israel for a period of at least one year. Herut took the challenge, received the RAS and invited Pearlman to come to Israel. Many "offspring" were born from the RAS.

The work and activities at the R&D department were very exciting. The ability to invite any person in the country to my office, and hear him lecture on his sphere of activities, was very useful for me. I was able to learn more than I ever could on a course. Here, I received private courses from the best people. The many visits to the factories and laboratories helped me to become familiar with the actual activities. I met very talented and interesting people¨ either by my invitation or theirs. I gained great satisfaction from the work at the R&D and from meeting talented people with technological vision. The experience I attained during those years was greater than the physical and psychological effort. I loved my work and fully identified with it.

The Defense R&D Unit acted similarly to the Venture Capital Companies in the late 80's and in the 90's. We invested, not for a profit, but for establishing the necessary infrastructure for an independent advanced defense industry. The industry will pay the dividends in better solutions for military challenges as well as providing the forces with secret or strategic systems others refuse to supply us with. A great byproduct, almost a windfall, was the development of a strong defense industry exporting for billions of dollars to many countries.

The failures, which were not few in number, I suffered in silence and I did not share my agony with anybody else. During the three years at R&D, I dealt with a number of interesting and diverse subjects. Most of them cannot be referred to even today because of their sensitivity. I learnt a lot and was sorry that I had reached the development sphere so late in my in life and in my army career.

I was sorry that I had wasted so my years in the antiaircraft array, especially after I had completed my studies at the Technion. My job at the 883 rd Battalion had also been rewarding, and I have no doubt that that I developed personally at the R&D even more. I had contributed a great deal to the 883rd Battalion, but more often than not, I gave more than I earned. The antiaircraft array appreciated me, but did not like me enough to appoint me its Chief.

When there is a balance between contribution and reward, the general feeling is much better. I received full compensation for my devotion and diligence to the IDF since the War of Independence at the R&D. I have had more than my fair share of luck in life, but sometimes I did not hold out my hand to grasp what was offered to me. However, I did not miss the R&D opportunity.

The First Chief of R&D and founder was Brigadier General Itzhak Ya'akov (Yatsa). He left the R&D after the first year of activities and was appointed Chief Scientist of Haim Bar Lev's Ministry of Commerce and Industry. He had met Haim Bar-Lev during the days of the "Palmach". Lt. General Tzu (Former IDF Chief of the GHQ), who was Assistant Minister of Defense, held the farewell party for Yatsa. The party was held in the garden of his home in Zahala and two of Yasta's assistants were invited – Yedidia Shamir and Uzi Elam and, of course, all of the Department Heads.

The party was held on the eve of Rosh HaShana (Jewish New Years Eve), about ten days prior to the outbreak of the Yom Kippur War. It was a very enjoyable party in a pleasant atmosphere and nobody imagined that ten days later a disaster would befall Israel and that Dado, the Chief of Staff, a charming man, would become a victim.

Uzi Elam was appointed Head of R&D and I loved working with him. His calm attitude, instructions and remarks, which he always gave with a smile, never left you wondering what he expected of you.

When, as Head of R&D, he interviewed me, I understood that he knew exactly how I had first met Yatsa and he made it clear that he intended to send me to the USA, as per my request, and even wrote in his memo that I would be Ya'acov Granot's replacement. In the meantime a tragedy occurred and Ya'acov Granot's son, a helicopter pilot, was killed.

The newly appointed Chief of Staff, Lt. General Mota Gur, the former defense attaché in the USA, was very friendly with Ya'acov Granot and extended his tenure for an additional year in order to help the family overcome their tragedy. This was convenient for me because I wanted to serve at least an additional year in the Electronic Systems And Electronic Warfare Department. A year after Uzi Elam was appointed Head of R&D, it was decided, for some incomprehensible reason, to appoint Shlomo Inbar Head of R&D and promote him to the rank of Major General.

This came as a shock to many of us. Nobody could understand what had happened and why Uzi, who had been very good at his job, had been dismissed.

Uzi was placed in a side room for a year and a half, a kind of exile, till he was appointed to the prestigious position of Chairman of the Atomic Energy Committee or Head of the Scientific Department.

Dr. Arie Lavi, Head of Missiles and Rockets, announced that he was leaving and joining Yatsa at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. I informed Shlomo Inbar of my agreement with Uzi Elam with regards to my leaving for Washington and many others wished to transfer to new positions. Shlomo would not accept the mass "desertion" and halted the shift of officers. He told me that he did not intend to fulfill the agreement drawn up between Uzi Elam and myself with regard to my leaving for the USA, because I was indispensable to the R&D and he wanted me to manage the Electronic Systems And Electronic Warfare(and Optronics) Department.

My relationship with Shlomo Inbar passed a number of stages. During the period of preparation for entering the Technion and during the studies, we had been very good friends. Shlomo, who was not one of the brightest of students (an understatement), did not have sufficient basic knowledge of physics and math, and neither did I, which hindered us. Haim Niv and I helped him in his studies and he received much more consideration than other students. Lieutenant Colonel was a very respected rank and the Technion took this into consideration.

During the second year, Shlomo was in despair and prepared to leave the studies. On one Thursday, a day he usually went home for the weekend, he informed me that he was going home and did not intend to return because he could not take the pace of the studies and the fail marks he had received up till then. I made every effort to persuade him to change his mind and to continue to make an effort because I felt that we were required in the IDF for the transitional period, until the young and talented generation would be able to take the command and us "oldies" would leave. I was apparently able to convince him or perhaps it was Sara, his wife, who changed his mind. On the Sunday following his dramatic announcement, Shlomo returned to his studies, but did not forget the intervention, as you will see, a few years later. With tremendous effort and with the help of his friends, Shlomo completed his studies and was authorized Electricity Engineer.

About two years following his studies at the Technion, he was appointed a position at the logistics Department at the GHQ and promoted to the rank of Colonel. I was happy and proud that I finally had a friend who was Colonel.

A year later, he was appointed commander of one of the important units in the Intelligence Corps. I only knew a little about what went on there, but I knew that the technology was very advanced, that many engineers were enlisted to this unit and that the work was very interesting.

I phoned him and asked for a meeting. He set the meeting for a few days later. During the meeting, I explained to Shlomo that I was interested in receiving a job within the engineering sphere in order to implement my operational experience and my studies at the Technion. Shlomo made great efforts to explain to me how I was not suitable for a job in his organization, that I lacked knowledge, understanding and experience. He then complimented himself with regard to the scope and level, so much so that I was embarrassed.

I knew that he was trying to fool me because I knew him well. The intensity and earnestness with which he complimented himself and the attributes that he ascribed himself nearly had me convinced. I returned home and told Rivka that something had happened to Shlomo that I could not explain. I knew that I would have to strike Shlomo from my list of friends. I never approached him again.

When I was appointed Chief of Electronic Systems and Electronic Warfare he called to congratulate me. He was already Chief Signal and Electronics Officer and had received the rank of Brigadier General. He invited me to his headquarters and offered his cooperation. Shlomo organized a special course for me to acquaint myself with the Signal Corps and explained to me how he had made efforts to persuade Yatsa to choose me for the job. I tend to believe Yatsa's version more than his.

And now, Shlomo Inbar, my friend from the Technion, who had twice protested his "friendship", was halting my appointment as Senior Assistant Defense Attache for R&D in Washington DC, in spite of Yatsa's and Uzi's promises. He cancelled my job in Washington, a job that I had craved for three years.

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