Israeli army to use Caterpillar D9R armored bulldozers to destroy Hamas tunnels in Gaza Strip


As the Israeli military assembles its forces in anticipation of a potential large-scale incursion into the Gaza Strip, soldiers are getting ready to confront a challenging urban landscape filled with intricate tunnels, explosive hazards, and sniper positions. Within this complex environment, the D9R armored bulldozer, originally crafted by Caterpillar and fondly referred to as 'Doobi' or 'Teddy Bear,' is poised to assume a vital role, especially in countering the tunnels utilized by Hamas.
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D9R is a modified armored bulldozer, initially based on a Caterpillar model, designed for specific operations in urban areas. (Picture source: Wikimedia )


The D9R is a modified armored bulldozer, initially based on a Caterpillar model, designed for specific operations in urban areas. Its primary use lies in its ability to clear enemy fortifications and tunnels, a recurring threat posed by groups like Hamas. Equipped with 15 tons of additional armor and a reinforced blade, the D9R is virtually impenetrable to gunfire and explosives, making it a preferred choice for this dangerous task.

A ground operation in the dense residential neighborhoods of the Palestinian enclave will require specialized equipment like this to clear the way for the 300 tanks and 173,000 troops massed on the border. The armored bulldozer can safely detonate mines and IEDs, making the vehicle virtually impervious to attack.

Indeed, the D9R's most significant upgrade came in 2015 with the addition of an armored cabin and 'slat armor'. This modification is specifically intended to provide better protection against rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) often used by Hamas to defend their tunnels. The slatted armor allows the sensitive end of the RPG to be deflected, reducing its effectiveness upon impact.

The D9R is also an imposing vehicle, measuring 8 meters long, 4 meters high, and 4.5 meters wide, with a weight of 62 tonnes. It is powered by a 405 horsepower Cat 3408C engine, capable of pulling more than 70 tons, allowing it to overcome obstacles and move efficiently in urban areas, including areas where tunnels can be concealed. If you would like to learn more about the Caterpillar D9R bulldozer, read the article written by Army Recognition on September 18, 2023.