TechIsrael wants to destroy Hamas' underground tunnels. They would use a special weapon

Israel wants to destroy Hamas' underground tunnels. They would use a special weapon

Tunnels in Gaza - illustrative photo
Tunnels in Gaza - illustrative photo
Images source: © CC BY-SA 2.0 Deed, Israel Defense Forces
4:43 PM EDT, October 26, 2023

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) are seeking ways to destroy Hamas' underground tunnels, which militants use to transport weapons, food, and even fuel. They also use them as hiding places and corridors that allow them to move unnoticed from one point to another. According to the Defence Industry Europe service, the Israelis have resorted to a "special weapon" that could potentially damage the so-called "Metro City".

Hamas' underground tunnels remain out of reach of Israel Defense Forces soldiers, as well as the fighter planes and drones they use. Additionally, as Defence Industry Europe points out, "standard bombs used by Israeli air forces are not capable of destroying these tunnels". Some of them have hit some of the entrances to the underground corridors, severely damaging them, but in the IDF's opinion, these are not sufficient actions.

Israel wants to destroy Hamas' underground tunnels

As we reported, the Israelis are attacking "Metro City" (as IDF soldiers call Hamas' underground tunnels) using bombs intended for destroying underground fortifications. The GBU-28 bombs, expressively referred to as "bunker busters", are designed to penetrate deep into the earth and damage the structures concealed there. These are laser-guided bombs, developed in record time for the Gulf War in 1991.

The GBU-28 bombs, weighing approximately 2.54 tons, six meters long, and 38 cm in diameter, are dropped from fighters such as the F-15E Strike Eagle, or suitably equipped bombers. As they fall, the weapons gain speed, allowing it to penetrate to a depth of about 98.4 feet in the case of earth, or to a depth of 19.7 feet in the case of concrete. The GBU-28 does not detonate at the moment it hits the ground, but with a slight delay.

In practice, this means that the explosion occurs below the surface. Such an explosion creates a powerful shock wave that destroys everything in its vicinity and also damages nearby structures. It can even cause them to collapse.

The "special weapon" is supposed to work on similar principles, as mentioned by Defence Industry Europe. The service explains that "details about this special weapon remain undisclosed, but sources suggest that it generates underground shock waves aimed at damaging tunnels". It also reminds us that since the beginning of the conflict with Hamas, Israel has implemented many new military systems. An example could be the Iron Beam air defense laser system, which the IDF initially planned to implement in 2025.

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