New tech will make IDF infantrymen more lethal

Two new inventions - a frame charge and a pocket-sized detonator - will make infantry battalions more effective in urban warfare.

December 2, 2010 02:56
2 minute read.
A TANK battles sandy terrain. Maj. Yair and his te

idf tank 58. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

Two new inventions by the IDF Ground Forces Command are slated to make regular infantry battalions far more lethal in urban warfare.

The inventions – a frame charge and a pocket-sized detonator – will be distributed throughout the army in the coming months. They were both developed by the Ground Forces Command’s Technological and Logistics Division.

The first invention is a frame charge consisting of 60-cm. plastic poles that are filled with plastic explosives and can connect to one another like Lego into a desired shape. The frame is then held up by two accompanying legs.

Six poles carried by a soldier weigh approximately 6 kilograms and can be assembled within minutes. The frame can be used to blow down a door or create an opening in a concrete wall. The explosives are water proof and are resistant to bullets, meaning that if they are hit by a bullet they will not explode.

“It is very simple to construct and will be supplied to every regular infantry unit,” said Maj. Shimon Shmulman, head of the Technological and Logistics Division’s explosives unit. “This system lowers the weight of the explosives and makes it much simpler to use explosives than in the past.”

The decision to invent the frame charge was made after Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip in early 2009, during which IDF troops had to rely on members of the Combat Engineering Corps like the Yahalom special forces unit for explosives assistance. This happened often, particularly in an urban setting like the Gaza Strip.

“Commanders wanted to have an independent capability,” a senior IDF officer explained. “They did not want to have to call upon another unit every time they needed to blow something up.”

The second invention is a detonator the size of a cigarette box that can be attached to the frame charge fairly easily by regular infantrymen with minimal explosives training.

The detonator comes with a timer that can be set anywhere from several seconds to minutes to detonate the explosives. Until now, IDF soldiers needed to roll out a wire from the explosives charge to a place where they would seek cover and trigger it from there.

“This meant that soldiers needed to be experts at evaluating how long a wire needed to be and how much time it would give them,” said Maj.

Itzik David, also from the Technological and Logistics Division. “Now, the soldier can choose the time he wants, seek cover and wait until it blows up.”

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