The Desert Reconnaissance Battalion (Hebrew: “Gadsar”) is unique in many regards. It’s comprised almost entirely of Bedouin soldiers and stationed near the Gaza Strip, where its soldiers use their unique skills to track terrorists and thwart infiltration attempts into Israel. How? They use their special tracking skills – abilities that would take years to learn for a soldier who didn’t grow up in the Bedouin lifestyle. Desert Reconnaissance Battalion soldier at special training Years of living in sparsely populated desert areas and spending lots of time outdoors taught the soldiers of the Desert Reconnaissance Battalion how to be an Israeli Sherlock Holmes. They can spot a single footprint in the sand and learn volumes from it – who, what, where and whether it’s a security threat or not. In Hebrew they’re unofficially called ‘gashashim’, – ‘trackers’, or literally, ‘feelers’. Desert Reconnaissance Battalion soldier takes position The battalion was founded in 1987 especially to
In a joint IDF-ISA activity, IDF soldiers arrested the suspects responsible for carrying out the gunfire attack that occurred on Saturday, December 24, 2011, directed at an Israeli vehicle heading towards Ma’ale Shomeron, near Azzun. The trial of the suspects is currently ongoing in the military court of Samaria. During their investigation, both admitted their responsibility for the shooting as well as involvement in other terror activity in the area of Azzun, involving other militants from the village, who were also arrested and taken for questioning. In the past few weeks, 17 residents of Azzun were arrested on suspicion of involvement in terror activity. During the investigation, the rifle used to carry out the attack was uncovered, among a pipe bomb and three additional rifles. The suspects confessed executing additional shooting attacks in the beginning of December 2011, including shooting at security forces. They were also involved in a number of rock and fire bomb hurling incidents, directed at both Israeli civilian and IDF vehicles on the main road near Azzun. Indictments against four of those detained were handed down to the military court in Samaria, charging them with: attempt of causing death with intent, throwing of an explosive device and throwing objects at a moving vehicle. Some of the men were also charged with trading in military equipment. The IDF and ISA are constantly operating to reduce the phenomenon of shooting incidents and rock and fire bomb hurling incidents at Israeli vehicles and IDF soldiers around the village of Azzun, and will continue to thwart such attempts.
The Alpine Unit (Hebrew: ‘Alpinistim’ ) is the elite winter-climate warfare unit of the IDF. Its purpose: a commando force specially trained to operate under conditions of snow, sleet, and dangerous weather uncommon to Israel. The unit was created in 1974 as a response to the events of the Yom-Kippur War, when Syrian forces captured Mt. Hermon , Israel’s northernmost outpost. Since then it has remained one of the most elite and classified units of the IDF . It is comprised entirely of volunteer reserve soldiers who served in elite units such as Egoz
A few weeks ago we gave you an insight on eight amazing technologies the IDF uses for the protection of the State of Israel and its citizens. As many people pointed out, there are still many more amazing gadgets and systems IDF soldiers work with every day. So grab a cup of coffee, pull your chair close and read about 5 more incredible technologies used by the IDF. 1. The Protector USV (unmanned surface vehicle): You have heard of drones in the IDF and you have probably heard of unmanned vehicles, but did you know the IDF also has robot boats? Meet the Protector USV. This 9 meter long unmanned vessel is fast, stealthy and highly maneuverable. Capable of reaching speeds of up to 92 km/h (57 mph), the Protector offers surveillance, identification and interception capabilities. The Protector is highly autonomous but can be easily remote-controlled by two operators on shore or a nearby vessel. Equipped with an extremely accurate, stabilized weapons station, a search radar, electro-optical detection systems, a speaker system and a targeting system with day and night capabilities, this easily reconfigurable system can be used for a wide variety of missions. Force protection, anti-terror missions, surveillance or sabotage; the Protector USV does it all with the crew safely out of harm’s way. 2. The VIPeR (Versatile, Intelligent, Portable Robot): Did you love R/C cars as a kid but always thought that they were lacking something? Take a look at the VIPeR. It’s a portable, lightweight robot designed specifically for urban guerrilla warfare and thanks to its special wheel system that can literally change its shape, VIPeR knows how to handle a variety of obstacles such as climbing stairs and big rocks or crawling into very confined spaces and caves. VIPeR is equipped with several day & night cameras, sensible microphones, GPS and an array of sensors that can detect and locate chemicals, gases, explosives and radiation. One single operator controls the robot with a gaming style controller and a helmet mounted display, giving him the ability to see everything that VIPeR sees, from a safe distance. Despite all of these capabilities, VIPeR weighs in at just over 11 kilo and can easily be carried in a soldier’s backpack. Besides being the perfect tool for safe surveillance and reconnaissance missions, this amazing robot can also be outfitted with a 4-ft robotic arm including a gripper, a 9mm mini-Uzi with scope and pointer and even a grenade launcher. This is definitely not your childhood toy. Soldier operating the VIPeR (Photo: www.soldiermod.com) 3. The Delilah missile: “Honestly, it’s the most amazing weapon in the Air Force today.” – These are the words an IAF officer used to describe the Delilah and it’s easy to understand why he is right. For many years the Delilah was one of the IDF’s biggest secrets, quietly undergoing improvement after improvement, until it became what it is today. Delilah is a cruise missile but it possesses some very unique capabilities that set it apart from the rest. A typical cruise missile is launched and finds its pre-programmed target with the help of its navigational system. The navigator can send the missile commands and make small adjustments in its flight path, but once the missile begins its final approach no changes can be made. If the missile attacks a target that moves in the last moment or even a wrong target, the missile simply misses with possibly devastating consequences. This is where the Delilah’s special abilities come into play. Patience is a virtue – The Delilah can loiter around the target area and wait until the right moment to attack (Photo: IMI) Let’s say Delilah is approaching a target and in the last moment the navigator sees on the images transmitted from the missile’s camera that there are civilians in the target zone. All he needs to do is push a button and Delilah aborts its attack, returns to the air and keeps loitering in the target zone until it receives new instructions. Delilah can also be launched in the direction of a suspected target and be instructed to patrol the area and search for its target, effectively functioning as a surveillance drone. Once the navigator identifies the target, he instructs Delilah to approach it. If the target was correctly identified Delilah will attack. If it was not the correct target, a push of a button is enough and Delilah will abort its approach and continue to search for the real target. “The most amazing weapon in the IAF today” – Delilah's eye can spot you from over 15km away Read the full story of the Delilah in the IAF Magazine. 4. The SIMON Breach Grenade: One of the most dangerous tasks of urban warfare is entering a building with enemy fighters inside. The sounds of movement outside of a door can give away the soldier’s position and should the door be booby-trapped, the lives of the soldiers are in danger. With this in mind, Rafael developed the SIMON. It is an advanced, lightweight door-breaching device that easily attaches to almost any conventional assault rifle and is fired from a safe distance of 15-30 meters. A fail-safe mechanism ensures that the SIMON is only armed after it has travelled a minimum distance of 15 meters. When the SIMON’s tip hits the door, the explosives in the warhead are triggered and blast open the door. SIMON contains only 120-150 grams of explosives, but its special shape ensures that the energy from the explosion is directed straight at the door, with very little damage to people inside and outside. Simon says: “Open door!” 5. The MATADOR: Sometimes, however, entering through the door is not an issue. That’s when the MATADOR comes into play. Created as a cost-effective, low maintenance weapon system, this shoulder launched wall-breacher packs a heavy punch. The MATADOR’s rocket-propelled warhead operates in two modes. In blast mode the whole warhead explodes on impact on a wall and creates a man-sized hole for troops to enter through. When soldiers know that entering a room is too dangerous because of a high number of enemies inside, they can switch into delay mode. In this mode the warhead explodes in two stages. One small detonation penetrates the wall, and a delay of one millisecond ensures that the second explosion occurs inside the building, effectively taking out every threat inside. MATADOR’s special firing mechanism allows the weapon to be launched in enclosed spaces, so soldiers don’t have to be exposed when firing. And if this isn’t already enough for you; the MATADOR is also extremely effective against most know armored personnel carriers and light tanks in the world.
The Protector unmanned surface vehicle (USV) is an Israeli-developed unmanned vessel using cutting edge technology. Nine meter long, weighting about 4,000 Kg (8,800 lbs) and reaching a speed of up to 92 Kph (57 mph), the Protector USV is based on former models of unmanned, autonomous, remotely controlled unmanned surface vehicles. Highly maneuverable and stealthy, the Protector can conduct a wide spectrum of critical missions, without exposing personnel and capital assets to unnecessary risk. Though autonomous, the device can easily be controlled from a shore several miles from the Protector. The Protector USV. Photo: Wikipedia Deployed by the Israeli Navy since 2009, the weapon system carried by the Protector USV is based on Rafael ‘s Typhoon remote-controlled, stabilized weapon station, capable of operating various small caliber guns. The highly accurate, stabilized weapon station has excellent hit-and-kill probability. The high-tech equipment installed on the unmanned vessel, such as highly accurate, stabilized weapons station, search radar and a targeting system with day and night capabilities enables the Protector USV a wide variety of operational functions. The missions that are entrusted upon this innovative device are varied and complex; it can gather intelligence , take part in naval warfare and act as an anti-terror protection force .