In a recent article published on the German website esut.de, journalist Lars Hoffmann reviewed the activities of the Israeli company Rafael in the field of military digitization in Germany. The journalist said that the company is expanding these activities in Germany through its subsidiary Dynamit Nobel Defense (DND).
The offers, which are expected in the coming years as part of the digitalisation of ground operations and the tendency of the German public procurement authorities to allow competition from both domestic and foreign companies, are seen as creating opportunities for many producers. The American company Motorola recently won a tender for deploying cellular networks, while the Danish company Systematic provides the Battle Management System (BMS) for the army.
Against this background, at the end of 2020, Rafael founded the DND Digital division, which currently has 13 employees, mostly programmers and software engineers, in Berlin and Leipzig. The goal is to increase the number to 24 by the end of the year and then to 40 in 2022. DND Digital, with its hardware and software, wants to compete for lucrative projects to digitize the German army. According to Simon Brunges, head of DND’s digital department, the company is already competing in a recent tender for new military radios, as well as in the tender for command radios, also called Combat Net Radio, which is expected in the coming months. DND wants to offer software-defined radio stations (SDRs) from the BNET series, developed by the parent company Rafael and adapted to the needs of the German army. On the software side, DND Digital offers, among other things, the Fire Weaver network, which is already used by the IDF.
Brünjes said DND Digital’s goal is to “Germanize” products originally developed in Israel for local procurement. The company’s digital division will, among other things, develop software applications in Germany and adapt them to the requirements of the German market, so that there are no so-called black boxes for the German army. According to the head of the department, critical data for this purpose will not pass through Israeli algorithms, as this is incompatible with Germany’s digital sovereignty. Brunes calculated that in the case of radio technology, production should be completely independent of Israel after 2024, the article said.
Overall, DND CEO Brunges estimates that Israel has a “six to seven years” lead over Germany when it comes to IT defense products. The German army can also take advantage of this. Brunos said he wanted to demonstrate the company’s capabilities to the armed forces and other users as soon as DND Digital’s core structure is established. At the end of the summer, small “use cases” for an audience of experts will be demonstrated for the first time, with demonstrations for the army command that will follow next year, the article said.