IDF reveals secretive data intelligence unit

Three years after it was set up, the IDF on Wednesday unveiled Unit 3060, a secretive data science team that develops applications for intelligence uses.


According to intelligence sources, the IDF’s Unit 3060 is engaged in research and development in the fields of machine learning, artificial intelligence, Big Data and image processing. The unit aims to provide intelligence officers and commanders in the field with real-time images and analysis to help them make operational decisions.

One of the systems developed by the unit is known as Derech Hamelech and enables intelligence officers to do complex field analysis ahead of maneuvers. The system integrates various parameters such as visuals, intelligence information and topographics to help optimize the best path for forces to approach their target.

“The systems developed by the unit are able to process large amounts of intelligence and can process and analyze the data to create recommendations for intelligence officers,” a military source told the army’s Bamachane website.

Military sources told Bamachane that during combat, the unit’s soldiers are integrated into various intelligence units to assimilate the systems according to operational needs with technological solutions developed in real time. The sources added that the unit functions similarly to a startup company, with short development cycles and a strong connection between developers and end users.

The soldiers in the unit come from the fields of data science, physics, maths and computer programming. The unit also cooperates with academic institutions and high-tech companies.

Among those working with Unit 3060 Big Data department is eBay Israel’s chief scientist Dr. Kira Radinsky, a Military Intelligence graduate who won the Israel Defense Prize for her work, and has developed predictive analysis tools.

Radinsky said the data science capabilities being developed in the unit could help Israel become a world leader in the field.