IDF 'Tunnel Shield' May Be Deployed by 2015

New anti-tunnel technology to be field-tested soon. Two solutions were picked out of 700 suggested.

Kobi Finkler, Gil Ronen ,

IDF excavators in Gaza
IDF excavators in Gaza

According to a senior IDF officer, the military is about to carry out comprehensive field tests of technological means for locating tunnels. The technology has already been successfully tested in laboratory conditions.

If the experiment is successful, the systems will be deployed around Gaza at a cost of a billion to 1.5 billion shekels.

The senior officer said that the IDF had received about 700 offers for anti-tunnel systems, and chose two.

Channel 2 said that the system was made up of sensors that could detect tunnels as they were being dug, as well as existing tunnels.

The senior officer also spoke about the Iron Dome system and confirmed that the system worked well during Operation Protective Edge. However, he warned, “we cannot rest on our laurels: in the next campaign, the terrorists will try to improve the range of the missiles, the altitude of their trajectory and the amount of missiles launched each time. Therefore, the system must constantly update itself, and we are operating accordingly.”

The Trophy defense system that protects armored vehicles from anti-tank missiles also worked efficiently in the war, the officer said. Another 3 billion shekels are required to provide protection for all of the vehicles. “Money was never the issue,” he stressed, “only providing the proper means [for protection].”

Various media reports over the years have described possible solutions as including sensors that would detect tunnels as they were being dug, massive trench digging contraptions that could create a deep protective trench around Gaza, and robots that could dig their way into tunnels and blow them up.