IDF purchases ATVs for risky transport

Plan to enable soldiers to carry large amounts of equipment into enemy territory and operate independently.

February 6, 2010 23:05
1 minute read.


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In an effort to improve IDF logistic capabilities, The Ground Forces Command has purchased dozens of Polaris all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) that will be distributed to infantry battalions to transport supplies behind enemy lines.

Each battalion will receive a number of two-seater ATVs, which an IDF source said, could carry 700 kilograms of supplies in the back compartment, as well as at least one wounded soldier. The vehicles have a maximum speed of close to 80 kilometers-per-hour.

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The ATVs arrived in Israel in December and infantry brigades have sent soldiers to bases in the South to learn how to operate them. The IDF purposely purchased the two-seater vehicles so one soldier can drive and the other is free to protect the vehicle.

IDF sources said that the ATVs would enable soldiers to carry large amounts of equipment into enemy territory and continue to operate independently even if they are cut off from regular military supply lines.

The IDF Ground Forces Command is also working on developing a number of systems that can prevent “friendly fire” incidents. During last winter’s Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip, four IDF soldiers were killed by friendly fire.

One option under consideration by the Ground Forces Command is to distribute thermal flags that contain a special chemical substance that can be seen by thermal-imaging systems already in use by IDF commanders. After taking up positions in homes, the soldiers would hang the flag which would be seen only by other IDF troops.

Another option under consideration is to use a special laser device that sends a pulse towards potential targets and if it receives a response knows that the suspected targets are in fact friendly forces.

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