IDF commando unit Shayetet 13 was recently given new equipment intended to unify and simplify its combat gear.
The new eqipment includes a vest made to be carried in parched, damp and wet terrain, does not soak up water and that keeping soldiers nimble, and is considered resistant when crawling across sand, through tiny crevices, or when continuously squatting during a stakeout.
Its various compartments can fit an array of different-sized weaponry, from heavy-duty Grenades and small explosive charges, through observation and surveillance devices, to cartridges, a commando knife and a water drinking kit.
"When you look at a Shayetet 13 soldier, you see a well-equipped warrior, different from how they were five or ten years ago," officers from the Navy's elite units explained. "A warrior today must perform in more kinds of special missions, with more kinds of technological equipment that he carries on his body, while still needing to be lethal and secretive. This is why everything is made smaller and more advanced. The new vest allows fast and catlike movement."
The IDF has also begun examining a new brand of "super rifle," which may replace the individual rifles of the unit's most elite and highly trained warriors in the foreseeable future . The multi-purpose MCX rifle by US company SIG Sauer is one such weapon, considered by the IDF for its ability to hit its target for several different distances. The rifle is due to arrive within the next few months.
"Each warrior in the unit presently has four-to-five different (individual—ed) weapons, when ten years ago each warrior had three-to-four," sources in the navy said, explaining the wish to scale down and offer more versatile options, both in terms of range, lethalness and the weapon's ability to work in "silence" mode.
Additionally, having each soldier responsible for less types of weapons will require less training time and less types of training.
"Our warrior is our main resource, and their time is valuable and important," navy sources stated, explaning that "at present, we put weeks into their marksman abilities."