The IDF’s Ground Forces will have to cut NIS 1 billion shekels ($267.3 million) of their 2012 budget as part of the overall defense budget cuts, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Tuesday.
The decision has prompted a series of cutbacks on acquisitions and training, which military sources said could impede the army’s force-portance over the next few years.
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GOC Army Headquarters Major-General Sami Turgeman has reportedly completed his emergency cutbacks plan, declaring a series of austerity measures regarding training, acquisitions and warfare development.
The Army Headquarters would have to cut nearly two-thirds of its NIS 300 million ($8.25 million) domestic acquisitions budget, which may mean that the IDF would have to default on pending deals with Elbit Systems, the Israel Military Industries, or Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.
The cut will impede existing deals, as well as the development and acquisition of future proactive defense systems, such as Rafael’s Windbreaker tank defense system.
The defense establishment’s Administration for the Development of Weapons and the Technological Industry (Maf’at) will also have to suffer a cut of several million shekels to its annual NIS 800 million ($214 million) budget.
Maf’at sources warned that the current budget was the administration’s "red line."
Cuts detrimental to Reserves Corps
The budget cuts are also expected to have what has already been described as a detrimental effect on the Reserves: The Ground Forces’ reserve deployment was initially allotted NIS 1.5 billion ($401 million) for 2012, but the budget cuts will apparently force the military to focus on regular forces and elite units’ training, while scaling back on reserve forces’ training.
Military sources said that the IDF will do everything possible not to disturb the training of commanding officers on all levels.
A military source warned that such cutback would carry a hefty price. As an example, he cited the military’s plan to create "action units" – combat units able to carry out versatile operations in any of the IDF’s sectors.