JERUSALEM (AFP) – Israel's military is set to change to increase its "technological advantage" over other regional armies, Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon said on Thursday, while cutting away at costly traditional field forces.
"We are facing a revolutionary multi-year plan, at the end of which, in a few years, we'll see a different IDF (Israel defence forces)," he wrote on his Facebook page.
According to Yaalon, "in light of the changes in the region and the abilities the army developed", the defence establishment decided to "initiate significant reform".
This includes "investment in weaponry and systems that will help the IDF keep a dramatic technological advantage over states and organisations around us".
Yaalon pledged to continue invest in "accurate munitions, intelligence, teleprocessing, active defence and cyber warfare".
"The current and future battlefields are totally different from what we knew in the past," he wrote.
Reports in Israeli media spoke of reductions in the number of tanks, ships and planes, as well as firing thousands of career servicemen over the next year.
According to the reports, the plans will soon be brought before the cabinet for approval.
Yaalon also pointed to "the budgetary constraints of 2013-2014", which forced the army to do with less training and reserve duty.
The cabinet in May approved cuts of 3.0 billion shekels ($840.73 mln/648 mln euros) to the defence budget, but at approximately 56 billion shekels ($15 bln/12 bln euros) it is still the country's largest public spending project by far.