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TEL AVIV: Israel has developed systems that are uncovering a great number of tunnels that cross the Israeli border from Gaza and Lebanon.
These technologies are being studied by the U.S military, which is working hard to prepare for what they believe will be enormously complex tunnel warfare in Asia, as Breaking D readers know. The U.S Army for example, recently launched an accelerated effort to train for subterranean combat. Finding new tunnels will be a key part of such combat.
The Israelis are combatting terrorists trying to enter Israel through the tunnels. The huge effort involved in digging these tunnels, especially in the rocky soil in Northern Israel, was made to give Hamas in Gaza and the Hezbollah in Lebanon an advantage after the Israeli Iron Dome anti-missile system proved its capability against their rockets.
After the first tunnels were discovered under the Israeli border with Gaza the IDF made it a top priority to find ways to detect digging operations and existing tunnels. A technology lab, manned by a team of, physicists, engineers, intelligence personnel, and geologists, was hastily established in the Gaza Division of the IDF for detecting tunnels.
It’s part of integrated efforts by Israeli on the technological, intelligence and operational fronts. The laboratory later was expanded to the border with Lebanon after tunnels were discovered there. That lab is the technological arm for detecting the tunnels and uses innovative soil research that includes scanning and decoding signals. It is also working to improve existing technologies and strives to develop new detection and mapping detection techniques. The laboratory members work closely with intelligence personnel for detection, mapping and ways to destroy them.
The IDF last year completed a four-month review of what it considered its outdated approach to underground combat, and published a new training manual.
These efforts appear to have led to a series of successes over the past few months, with the exposure and destruction of a number of tunnels from Gaza and Lebanon to Israel. It is a highly classified system based on sensors that monitor what is happening on the ground and provide warning in the event of a cavity discovery, but its full details may not be published. Grouped together, these sensors have a strategic significance since it appears to be the first effective system of its kind in the world for this purpose.
In addition to the detection systems, the IDF’s special units within its engineer’s corps have been equipped with a special conical penetrator, special drilling systems, systems that can be inserted into a tunnel to check it, a robotic system used to inject certain “emulsions” after the tunnel is detected and before it is destroyed and another special “emulsion” used to quickly seal the tunnel’s shaft.