March 21, 2016
Israel has started testing a secret new weapon for defeating the tunnel systems which the Palestinian Hamas and Hizballah are busy digging for surprise attacks against Israel. Following Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014, a great deal of attention shifted to Israel’s need to develop a technological solution to the underground tunnel problem.
Now, according to Foreign Policy magazine, it appears Israel has found that solution. Western sources reported on 11th March 2016, that the new weapon, dubbed the “Underground Iron Dome,” can detect a tunnel, then send in a moving missile ton blow it up. The new weapon is not counter measure only against threat from Gaza and Lebanon but against Iran nukes too.
US intelligence sources disclosed only that new weapon is equipped with seismic sensors to detect underground vibrations and map their location before destroying them. Western experts haven been talking for years about a secret Israeli weapon capable of destroyingn Iran’s Fordo nuclear facility, which is buried deep inside a mountain not farn from the Shiite shrine city of Qom. They suggested that this hypotheticaln weapon could be slipped through the Fordo facility’s vents, thread its way through the underground chambers and take down the illicit enrichment facility. It was discussed again three years ago, when the Israeli Air Force on 23rd Aug. 2013 blew up the Popular Palestinian Front-General Command underground facility at Al-Naama on the South Lebanese coast, 15 km south of Beirut. (Source: DEBKAfile )
The new threat to Israel that appeared in the summer of 2014,n Operation Protective Edge was a network of terror tunnels. Now, Israel Hayom reports, Israel has built its own network of defense tunnels along the Gaza border, with the cooperation of the United States. The US government is set to invest $120 million in developing and manufacturing the “Israeli invention” for detecting and identifying tunnels, in collaboration with the Ministry of Defense, following Congress’ approval of the budget transfer. Israel is set to invest a similar amount. For its investment U.S. will receive prototypes, access to test sites, and rights to any intellectual property. Military officials estimated the costs of setting up an advanced tunnel barrier at about 2.8 billion shekels ($710 million).
The goal, U.S. Defense Department spokesman Christopher Sherwood told Foreign Policy, “is to establish anti-tunnel capabilities to detect, map, and neutralize underground tunnels that threaten the U.S. or Israel…”The US is in need of such a system on its Mexico border and with the Americans in the picture, there is a chance that the project here will start to make progress. The injection of American money and technology will shorten the process and the system will be upgraded, meaning that it will be deployed more quickly. (Source: Israel Hayom
Among the Israeli companies working on the tunnel-detection project are Elbit Systems and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, both of which developed the Iron Dome.
As part of Israel’s anti-tunnel campaign the IDF‘s earlier recruit was a versatile little Foster-Miller military robot Talon 4 which proved he can handle himself on the battlefields of Iraq and was drafted for use in the dangerous tunnels on the Gaza Strip border instead of soldiers to reduce risks to troops.
Hamas is in its own race against time. From the organization’s perspective, it’s already finished its preparations for a military entanglement with Israel and is now grappling with timing. And thisn timing will be greatly affected by the pace of the Israeli project’s progress. Hamas is preparing a surprise attack. If they are led to believe for a moment that Israel has a solution that will bring its tunnels out into the open, it will push them to bring their attack forward. The IDF is already making estimates around possibility that the collision is likely to take place within a few months. A series of gestures and events over the past few weeks attest to the building concern that the next round of fighting between Israel and Hamas will arrive sooner rather than later. It started with reports, specifically in Israel, on the certainty that Hamas’ tunnels have already entered Israeli territory.
Both Palestinian Hamas and the pro-Iranian Hizballah are working overtime on tunnels for sneaking terrorists and commando fighters into Israel to attack IDF posts and civilian locations. During Israel’s last counter-terror operation in the Gaza Strip, Hamas staged a deadly tunnel attack on the Israel side of the border and is planning repeats. Hizballah is training commando units for underground surprise incursions to capture parts of Galilee in northern Israel. Israel still appears unable to completely counter Hamas’s subterranean advantage. And if the development of the Underground Iron Dome is any indication, it could be several years before Israel is able to employ an effective anti-tunnel system.
Some related articles: