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Iran unveiled today one of several underground missile bases where the country's Revolutionary Guards' ballistic missile units are based. Such facilities comprise a network of interconnected tunnels, fitted with concrete paved surfaces enabling rapid and efficient transportation of missiles from storage areas to launch points.
Asymmetric underground manoeuvrability and operability is shaping the modern battlespace in urban and complex terrain, offering a clear benefit to the irregular side. The fierce fighting between Israel and the Palestinian terror organisations in Gaza is highlighting the growing need for technologies that can assist the regular military operating in the subterranean dimension.
Operation 'Protective Edge' will be remembered as one of the first military operations where a modern army had to face an irregular enemy mostly in the subterranean operational environment. While irregular forces have exploited the underground dimension in the past, in Gaza, Lebanon, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan, the Palestinians in Gaza relied on their subterranean tunnel network as a battlespace - gaining mobility, communications, force protection and survivability, and denying the enemy from its main advantage - dominance in intelligence and firepower.
As robots are assuming part of the roles performed by human operators, particularly in dangerous missions, it is obvious they will be used in subterranean environments. However, denied the basic attributes necessary for its operation - navigation, guidance and communications - most military robot are still awaiting some technological solutions when tasked with missions underground
Underground warfare is not new. Since ancient and medical times warfighters have often used subterranean passages, natural or man made, to gain access into enemy fortifications and escape siege. In modern times, underground warfare has been utilised primarily in guerrilla, enabling a weaker side to combat militarily superior opponent, taking advantage of tunnels, caves and other underground infrastructures prepared in advance as part of an orderly military strategy.
GILAT SATCOM is introducing a unique satellite link providing a global link to users in deep underground, closed or remote facilities. The company offers a turnkey solution called Suricate, connecting the user via tactical radio link, acting as a dynamic relay system