Israel’s Advanced Underwater Terrorist Detection System

February 6, 2015  

During Operation Protective Edge in the summer, a small force of Hamas naval commandos managed to approach the Israeli coast from the sea, undetected by military surveillance until the group reached the shore. That event, which was thwarted due to the alertness of a Navy spotter, is not expected to repeat itself. The reason: the AquaShield Diver Detection Sonar system, manufactured by DSIT, which makes it possible for the Israeli Defense Forces to identify individual divers underwater from a far greater distance from the coast.

The Israeli Navy is currently installing the system along Israel’s northern sea border, and has already installed it along the sea border with the Gaza Strip, Israel Hayom has learned.

According to a senior Navy officer, “The chances of a diver infiltrating the system are zero. The system is proven and constitutes a sea barrier for Israel.”

AquaShield is essentially a sonar system built to detect divers and provide protection for vital infrastructure located at sea and on the coast, such as gas rigs and ports.

During the Gaza war the IDF was forced, for the first time, to contend with the threat posed by Hamas’ unit of underwater divers. One group managed to infiltrate Israel near Kibbutz Zikim and was spotted and killed. Had the AquaShield system been deployed prior to Operation Protective Edge, the terrorists would likely have never reached the beach.

A senior Navy official said the IDF recognized the threat of infiltrators from the sea before Operation Protective Edge, but that the system’s technological capabilities only became sufficient later. According to the official, the incident near Zikim sparked an expedited deployment of the system in the Gaza sector. He added that other detection systems were in place at the time of the infiltration, but “the technology wasn’t good enough.”

The new system, according to the IDF, is a “quantum leap” in the field of diver detection, facilitating the detection of threats from far greater distances and providing the Navy with more time to provide an effective response. Additionally, the system has automatic detection and tracking capabilities and it can automatically categorize different types of targets. The system also provides few false alarms, and a relatively small number of detectors is required to cover larger areas.

The overall cost of the system, the Navy said, was several million shekels to cover all the relevant sectors: Gaza, Lebanon, and in the future, the Red Sea.

By: Lilach Shoval and Israel Hayom Staff

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  1. IsraeliGirl143 says:

    Israel is AWESOME! I wonder what they are going to do next!

  2. heyjules says:

    Interesting article.

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