As the Israeli army prepares for a full-scale invasion of Gaza, they are relying on the D9R armored bulldozer, affectionately known as Doobi,’ or ‘Teddy Bear.’
The nickname comes from the Hebrew acronym for armored mechanical engineering equipment (TZMEDA), which sounds like ‘doobi.’ The D9R is also known as ‘דובי’ in Hebrew, which means ‘teddy bear.’
This nickname reflects the affection and respect that the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) have for this powerful and reliable machine, which often saves their lives in combat situations.
A powerful and protective bulldozer for military operations
This robust vehicle is essential for navigating the narrow streets, extensive tunnel networks, booby traps, and sniper positions in the urban environment.
It is also capable of detonating mines and improvised explosive devices, as well as demolishing obstacles in its path. With its ability to withstand guns and explosives, the D9R ensures the safe advancement of infantry.
A massive and resilient machine for combat zones
The D9R is designed and manufactured by Caterpillar. It is equipped with specialized features such as added armor and a reinforced blade, which enable it to perform various engineering and combat operations. With the blade, it measures 27.03 feet long and 15.3 feet wide and weighs 62 tons.
A versatile and enhanced bulldozer with multiple attachments and upgrades
The IDF Caterpillar D9 is a modified version of the D9R bulldozer, designed and manufactured by Caterpillar. It is equipped with various attachments, such as a mounted machine gun, grenade launcher, or smoke projector, enhancing its combat capabilities.
Upgrades like ‘slat armor’ were added in 2015 to provide increased protection against rocket-propelled grenades and other threats. The IDF Caterpillar D9 can handle a variety of tasks, including digging trenches, building bridges and constructing defensive structures.
Additionally, a remotely operated version called the D9R Panda was introduced in 2018 for more hostile environments.
While the exact cost of an IDF Caterpillar D9 is uncertain, a new Cat D9 bulldozer without additional upgrades is priced at around $1 million.
As Israel moves on its assault on Gaza, the D9R, with its reinforced blade and slat armor, will serve as a nearly impervious force against bullets and explosives. It will surely play a vital role in breaching defensive lines, including mines and tunnels, as well as combating Hamas’ resistance.
Kurt’s key takeaways
The D9R is not only a machine but also a symbol of Israel’s military might and determination. As the conflict in Gaza escalates, the D9R will continue to be at the forefront of Israel’s offensive ground strategy.
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