The Israel Defense Forces plans to cease independent quality assurance testing on weapons, leaving it in the hands of the manufacturers and suppliers, Israel Radio reported Tuesday. Defense officials have criticized the move as detrimental to soldiers' safety.
The move includes quality assurance testing for tanks, armored personnel carriers and munitions. It was ordered as part of the reorganization planned for the military's NASA 5000 Quality Assurance Unit, which comprises 80 inspectors.
The unit's reorganization would see it dismiss about half its personnel, and the rest would be left to ensure that the quality assurance documentation filed by weapon manufacturers and suppliers is up to code.
Maj. Gen. (ret.) Hagai Shalom, who headed the IDF's Technological and Logistics Directorate between 1992 and 1995, told Israel Hayom: "This move might save the IDF a few positions, but it poses a real danger."
A statement by the IDF Spokesperson's Unit said: "The IDF is currently conducting preparatory work meant to devise a plan to realize this decision, based on professional criteria and while making allowances for irregularities that would mandate a different course of action by the military. This is a gradual process that will span across three years. It will be conducted with the utmost sensitivity to personnel needs in the field."