IDF adopts new mobile phone for transferring classified information



The IDF's new "Maya" mobile phone. Credit: IDF Spokesperson's Unit.

(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to After more than a decade in which the Mountain Rose served as the secure operational mobile network of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), the Israeli military is poised to adopt a new device from Motorola that will allow the transfer of classified information.

The upgrade means that for the first time, Israel’s armed forces will able to use a secure version of the WhatsApp messaging application, send video clips and locations in real time, and identify fallen soldiers by their fingerprints.

The new technology comprises a sweeping change for the IDF, which for the past 10 years has employed a secure mobile system that could only be used for spoken conversations about classified matters. The new device, which will be called "Maya," was developed for the Android operating system and will feature a touch screen and operational applications. It will be outfitted to withstand tough field conditions, including dust and water, and long falls.

The army’s C41 Teleprocessing Corps is currently busy developing the applications to be installed on the device, which will also feature an “operational Waze” navigation app that will allow routes to be programmed into the device quickly.

In addition, the army has developed an application to allow soldiers in the field to reorder ammunition, food, and any other logistical equipment that is needed. Another advantage to the Maya is that doctors working in field conditions will be able to take pictures of patients and send them to experts at Israel’s hospitals, who can consult on how best to treat a compound wound.

The IDF plans to order thousands of the operational mobile phones, which will be distributed to personnel up to the rank of company commander, and probably platoon commander. The system will go “operational” starting in 2017, and the current assessment is that it will be installed by the end of 2018.

Posted on July 1, 2016 .