Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Israel Places Automated Robotic Machine Guns At Border

Israel Wants Robotic Guns, Missiles To Guard Gaza Border
By Barbara Opall
Defense News

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is creating automated kill zones around the Gaza Strip aimed at halting infiltrations by terrorists, arms smugglers and other hostile individuals.

Now in final stages of operational testing, the “See-Shoot” system will add weapons to the network of overlapping sensors already deployed along the approximately 60-kilometer border separating Israel from the Palestinian coastal territory.

Developed by state-owned Rafael, See-Shoot consists of a series of remotely controlled weapon stations which receive fire-control information from ground sensors and manned and unmanned aircraft. Once a target is verified and authorized for destruction, operators sitting safely behind command center computers push a button to fire the weapon.

See-Shoot embodies the IDF’s goal of waging no-signature warfare along its border areas. It obviates the need to dispatch infantry to intercept intruders or to respond to probing maneuvers by enemy squads.

According to the latest issue of “In the Camp,” the IDF’s official weekly Hebrew-language journal, initial deployment plans for the See-Shoot system call for mounting a 0.5-caliber automated machine gun in each of several pillboxes interspersed along the Gaza border fence.
Connected via fiber optics to a remote operator station and a command-and-control center, each machine gun-mounted station serves as a type of robotic sniper, capable of enforcing a nearly 1,500-meter-deep no-go zone.

The IDF’s Southern Command is also considering adding Gill/Spike anti-tank missiles to extend the no-go zones to several kilometers, defense and industry sources here said.

Each weapon station is protected against vandalism and weather by an armored folding shield, which also is activated remotely by computer operators.

“Nobody has any business approaching our border fence,” the official said. “It’s well-understood that this area is off-limits, and this new technology will make it easier for us to prevent the next kidnapping or terror event.”

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