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.
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.
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.
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.