Defense minister praises science fiction-type system that “dramatically changed” Israel’s security.
• ”These developments give the IDF its technological and operational advantage and make an entire nation safer. Thanks to you, Israel is a superpower in the field of defense technology.”
By Israel Hayom Staff
The military team responsible for developing the breakthrough technology used to detect and destroy terror tunnels under Israel’s borders was awarded the 2018 Israel Defense Prize on Tuesday.
This award is the defense establishment’s highest honor. Created in 1958, it recognizes projects and activities that have made significant operational and technological contributions to national security and the defense of the State of Israel.
The counter-tunnel technology project is a joint venture by the Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure at the Defense Ministry, GOC Army Headquarters, Elbit Systems and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, credited with revolutionizing the way Israel is dealing with the threat posed by Hamas’ grid of terror tunnels.
Two other teams heading clandestine intelligence projects were also awarded the prize, for their contribution to thwarting hundreds of terrorist attacks and other threats to national security.
These teams comprised personnel from Military Intelligence, the Central Command’s Intelligence Unit, the C4I Corps’ Software Development Division, the Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure at the Defense Ministry, and Israel Aerospace Industries’ MLM Division, which develops integrated combat systems.
President Reuven Rivlin, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot and Director General of the Defense Ministry Maj. Gen. (res.) Udi Adam, presented the teams with the awards in a ceremony hosted at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem.
”In presenting you with this prize, the defense establishment expresses its strong belief in the superiority of the human factor,” Rivlin said.
”The systems and teams selected for this year’s prestigious award are living testament to the tremendous changes that have taken place with respect to the security challenges facing Israel.
”In recent years, we have been dealing with the various new threats, chief among them the Iranian threat, which is both near and far and requires us to maximize the capabilities. But at the same time, new battlefields are formed – terrorism, cyber, underground warfare and the challenge of managing the daily friction with the Palestinian population,” he continued.
”These complex threats, all together and individually, have reshaped the threat map. Faced with these challenges, our excellent defense establishment is quick to learn and adapt. We have updated our combat doctrine, revised our operational objectives, redefined our troops’ deployment and, above all, we have developed excellent systems that allow us to defend ourselves optimally.”
Lieberman lauded the winners for “dramatically changing security realities in Israel. The tunnel detection project is based on cutting-edge technology that is first of its kind in the world, something bordering on science fiction. Thanks to the brilliant minds here we have stripped Hamas of its strategic weapon, in which it invested hundreds of millions of dollars.
”The system that has been able to thwart hundreds of terrorist attacks is equally amazing and it is safe to say that many Israelis owe you their lives,” he told the winners.
Adam noted that “Israel’s security needs present the defense establishment as a whole with unique challenges: not only to build a new building but to invent building materials that do not yet exist.
”These developments give the IDF its technological and operational advantage and make an entire nation safer. Thanks to you, Israel is a superpower in the field of defense technology,” he told the winners, further commending them for “never seeking glory” as ”you work knowing that your names and achievements will never be made public.”
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