IDF tanks near Gaza 58.
(photo credit: Associated Press)
Israel has augmented its defenses along the Gaza border with new surveillance and radar systems capable of better detecting infiltrating Palestinian terrorists.
On Tuesday, the Ground Forces Command unveiled its newly-upgraded Combat Collection Corps, headed by Brig.-Gen. Eli Polak, which is responsible for providing field intelligence and surveillance along Israel’s borders as well as accompanying ground forces as they pursue moving targets.
The corps consists of three battalions and a number of surveillance teams equipped with high-quality camouflage capabilities enabling them to collect intelligence ahead of arrest operations like those carried out in the West Bank, or to collect intelligence on Hizbullah operatives along the border with Lebanon.
“Our job is to provide surveillance along Israel’s borders,” Polak said. “To do this, we use various intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) systems which help us track the enemy and assist ground forces in locating them.”
The corps’ biggest challenge is currently along the border with the Gaza Strip, where since Operation Cast Lead last year it has upgraded its detection systems, integrating new, more advanced radar systems as well as additional remotely controlled weapons.
In December, the remote weapon system, called Roeh Yoreh (See Shoot) by the IDF, was successfully used to engage four terrorists as they made their way to the northern border to infiltrate into Israel. Two of the terrorists were killed and a third was wounded. Combat Collection teams then directed an attack helicopter to the scene, which neutralized the cell.
The new radar systems deployed along the border come from the family of the ELM 2112 Persistent Ground Surveillance Radar developed by Elta Systems, a subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries.
The radars, according to Elta, can cover from 300 m. to 20 kilometers
for moving persons, and ranges of up to 40 km. for vehicles. The radars
do not rotate and therefore can provide uninterrupted 360-degree
coverage of an area.
The Combat Collection Corps has also decided to purchase over 100 new
surveillance systems to bolster its intelligence-gathering
capabilities. They will be deployed along all of Israel’s borders. The
corps is also in the process of developing a new mobile surveillance
platform together with Elta called RADMIP, or Granite by the IDF. Based
on a pickup truck, the Granite will be coated with reinforced steel
protective plates and will hold a 6 m. extendable tower that can carry