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The Minds Behind IAF's Next Invention Release date 07.06.2015
The cadets of the elite "Talpiot" program is geared towards aiding in the development of products aimed at answering operational needs. Who are the people behind IAF's next invention?
Noami Zoreff & Talya Yariv

The soldiers of the elite "Talpiot" training program are unlike all others in the IDF. They are trained in IAF's School for Command and afterwards integrate into the different forces to fill research and development positions as officers.

The program has been operating for 40 years with the same clear goal: developing pioneering technological leaders to serve Israel's security needs. "We want to position exceptional officers in key units so that they can advance their activity and sometimes even make the impossible possible", explains Major Yuval, a graduate of the program and its current commander.

40 Months of Intensive Studying
So how is it done? It begins with rigorous admission tests and continues with the longest training period in the IDF: 40 months of intensive trainings which include undergraduate studies (Physics, Computers or Mathematics), military-related studies, basic training course and officers' course. "The program imbues the cadets with comprehensive systemic vision on Israel's security forces, along with deep academic knowledge", says Major Yuval. "The cadets don't study a specific profession - they must acquire it later in the different units. Their starting point is the most important thing for us, and we focus on that".

Robots that Answer Operational Needs
During the second training year, the cadets gather to design and construct technological systems which are afterwards presented to high-ranking officers. This year, in a project presented last week, the cadets were required to design systems that will answer IDF's relevant operational needs.
One of the teams created a computerized robot designed to answer relevant operational needs. "The cadets generate a product that can later be used in the field. They learn to take theoretical knowledge and turn it into an operational system. This is the first time the cadets build a machine as a team".

One of the most important aspects emphasized by the commanders of the programs is providing the cadets with the ability to lead and work inside a group. "It happened more than once that the process of building a product in a group led to various social and personal situations we had to solve by ourselves", says Or, a "Talpiot" cadet. "The goal is encouraging team work, personal leadership, and professionalism".

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Photo by: Talya Yariv