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דחפור D9 דובי - דחפור משוריין של צה"ל - גיבור הלוחמה בטרור, מציל חיים אמיתי, חומת מגן של צבא הגנה לישראל

דחפור ה-D9 הישראלי, המכונה "דובי", הוא דחפור הלחימה הממוגן ביותר בעולם: הוא חסין לאש נק"ל וצלפים, חסין בפני פיצוצים, רימונים, מטעני חבלה וכן מטעני גחון ענקיים (ה-D9 שרד ללא נזק משמעותי וללא פגיעות לצוות מטען גחון של 500 ק"ג חומר נפץ, שיא גינס!). הוא עמיד גם נגד רקטות וטילי נ"ט, הודות למיגון הכלוב (מיגון סולמות/מיגון סטטיסטי) הישראלי שמותקן עליו. ה-D9 הצה"לי הציל חיי אדם רבים במלחמה של ישראל נגד הטרור ומהווה את חוד החנית של חיל ההנדסה הקרבית של צה"ל.

IDF Caterpillar D9 by Zachi Evenor

The Israeli armored Caterpillar D9 bulldozer ("Doobi", lit. "Teddy Bear") is one the best answers the IDF has to (counter) terrorism. Armored by the IDF/IMI/IAI to withstand giant explosive charges and hostile fire, it is resistant to landmines and bulletproof. The Israeli armor include ballistic plate that cover almost every part of the D9, a bulletproof glass windows and a steel cage of slat armor to protect its crew from anti-tank rockets. This dozer provides thick hide to the heroes from the Combat Engineering Corps who operate it. It saved many lives, both of its operators and both of other soldiers and civilians.

This armored behemoth weighs more than 56 ton, with a 410-436 horse-power engine and a drawbar pull of 71.6 tons (D9T, the D9R has 405 hp). The D9 is a front-line tool in the battle against terrorism. It rescued damaged AFVs, detonated IEDs, cleared paths, destroyed booby-traps, demolished terrorist structures and infrastructure (including under fire) and provided cover for IDF soldiers. Some senior terrorists were killed (such as Muhammed Tawalbe in Jenin and Case Adwan - the plotter of the Passover Massacre in Netanya 2002) after the D9 toppled their house over their head, thus preventing them to commit another mass-murder acts of terrorism. It showed prominence in Jenin 2002 (Operation Defensive Shield) and in Rafah in 2004 (Operation Rainbow) and even in the Second Lebanon War (2006) 
cutting down IDF casualties (such as by clearing IEDs which contained about 500kg of explosives (!) that could easily destroy a main battle tank). D9 armored bulldozers took an important part in Operation Cast Lead (2009) and Operation Protective Edge (2014), destroying terrorist infrastructure, uncovering underground tunnels, clearing booby traps and belly explosive charges thus  saving Israeli lives. The D9 been a key engineering vehicle in Yom Kippur War (1973), helping to breach the way to the Suez Canal, towing bridges and helping to bridge it. It was also the first motorized vehicle to reach the peak of mount Hermon, thus preventing it to fall to the hands of the Syrians. The Caterpillar D9 is a feat of engineering and excellent bulldozer, which got highly favorable review from everyone who benefited its usage. 

By looking at the links below and the PDF you can learn more about the Doobi ("Teddy-Bear") that has becometh the terrorist's worst nightmare (by par with the AH-64 Apache helicopter gunship and the Shabak - Israel General Security Service) in the skilled hands of the Israeli Combat Engineering Corps.


Photography by Zachi Evenor, Wikipedia, Moti Sender, IDF Spokesperson and BaMachane.
From Wikipedia:
The Caterpillar D9 is a large track-type tractor designed and manufactured by Caterpillar Inc. Though it comes in many configurations it is usually sold as a bulldozer equipped with a detachable large blade and a rear ripper attachment. The D9, with 354 kW (474 hp) of gross power and an operating weight of 49 tons, is in the upper end, but not the heaviest, of Caterpillar's track-type tractors, which range in size from the D3 57 kW (77 hp), 8 tons, to the D11 698 kW (935 hp), 104 tons. 

The D9's primary working tools are the blade, affixed to the front and controled by 4 hydraulic arms, and the optional ripper, which can be attached to the back. The blade is mainly intended for earthmoving and bulk material handling: pushing up sand, dirt and rubble. It also can be used to push other heavy equipment such as earthmoving scraper pans, and in military applications, main battle tanks. The rear ripper is intended for use in loosening rockey ground and ripping out larger stones. It can also break frozen ground. 
The D9 has undergone several generations of engineering enhancements. The current version is the D9R but the older models such as the D9N and D9L are still common. The L, N and R models of the D9 are visually very similar, differing primarily in the design of their internal systems. 

The size and weight of the larger track-type tractors dictate that they are used primarily for major pro
jects. The D9 is most commonly found in use in construction, forestry, mining, waste, and quarry operations. The size, durability, reliability, and low operating costs have made the D9 one of the most popular large track-type tractors in the world, and the same attributes that made it popular for hard and demanding works made it suitable to military and combat engineering applications. 

The Israeli Armored D9, nicknamed Doobi (Hebrew: דובי‎; lit. teddy bear) is a Caterpillar D9 bulldozer that was modified by the Israel Defence Forces, Israeli Military Industries and Israel Aerospace Industries to increase the survivability of the dozer in hostile environments and enable it to withstand heavy attacks. It saved many lives, both of its operators and both of other soldiers and civilians. 

The D9R, the latest generation of D9 bulldozers in IDF service, has a power of 405 horse power and drawbar pull of 71.6 metric tons (about 716 kN). It has a crew of two: operator and commander. It is operated by the TZAMA (צמ"ה = ציוד מכני הנדסי, Mechanical Engineering Equipment) units of the Israeli Combat Engineering Corps. 

The main IDF modification i
s the installation of an Israeli-made armor kit which provides armor protection to the mechanical systems and to the operator cabin. The operator and commander are protected inside an armored cabin ("the cockpit"), with bulletproof windows to protect against bombs, machinegun, and sniper fire. The IDF also developed a slat armor add-on to deflect RPG rounds. The fitted armor package adds roughly 15 additional tons to the production-line weight of the D9. The modified D9 bulldozers can be fitted with disparate features, such as crew-operated machine guns – such as the FN MAG 7.62mm machine-gun, smoke projectors, or smoke grenade launchers. 

The D9 served in the IDF since its creation. D9Gs and D9Hs served during the Israeli Wars with great success but without armor protection. A standard armor was developed by TAAS (a crew headed by Yigal Kasher) to the D9L and D9N models, which are still in service in the IDF today. The D9L has 460 hp and 4 gears in the high sprocke
t design. The D9N is smaller, with only 375 hp and 3 gears in the high sprocket design. The left window arrangement was modified to a zigzag pattern in order to enable better view to the commander. The current D9 model in IDF service is the D9R, with 405 hp and drawbar pull of more than 71 tons. The D9R armor kit was developed by MASHA (מש"א, Maintenance and Restoration Center ) and Ramta division of the IAI, it includes new carbine armor to enhance visibility for the crew without compromising on defense. In 2005 a slat armor and protection improvements were introduced by MASHA and CHATAL (Technological Division of Ground Army, IDF). Following the wars in 2006  the slat armor was installed on the D9Rs in large numbers. Its developers and installers won the Ground Army Commander award.
The D9s' armor proved to be highly effective against Palestinian weapons, and considered a great success, as no D9 operator was killed during the eight-years Second Intifada. 


The IDF uses the D9 for a wide variety of engineering tasks, such as earthworks, digging moats, mounting sand barriers, building fortifications, rescuing stucked, overturned or damaged armored fighting vehicles (along with M88 Recovery Vehicle), clearing landmines, detonating IEDs and explosives, clearing terrain obstacles and opening routes to armored fighting vehicles and infantry, as well as structures demolition, including under fire. The D9s were employed successfully during the wars of Israel. They open routes for armored vehicles and breached the Arabs' terrain obstacles and landmines. An Israeli D9 was the first ever motorize vehicle to reach the peak of Mount Chermon during the Yom Kippur War (1973). D9s also took part in breaching the Suez canal by towing bridges and barges, clearing the way and destroying sand barriers. During the Lebanon War (1982) and afterward the D9s were essential in opening routes and paving ways for IDF armored columns. They also cleared landmines and built fortifications. 
During 2012 the D9 deployed newer and advance D9s with improved Israeli armor.

During the Second Intifada the armored D9 bulldozer gain notoriety as being an effective tool against terrorists and Palestinian threats, as they were almost impervious to Palestinian weapons and withstood even RPGs and Belly charges with more than 100kg and even half a ton of explosive. Therefore they were used to open safe routes to IDF forces and detonate explosive charges. The bulldozer was used extensively to clear shrubbery and structures which was used as cover for Palestinian attacks. This measure, called "Hissuf" (חישוף), reduced terrorist ambushes drastically. In addition they razed houses of families of suicide bombers in order to deter potential terrorists who where promised large sums of money from Arab countries and Muslim "charity" organizations. Following several incidents where armed Palestinians barricaded themselves inside houses and killed soldiers attempting to breach the entries, the IDF developed "Noal Sir Lachatz" (נוהל סיר לחץ "Pressure Pot Regulation") in which D9s and other engineering vehicles were used to bring them out by razing the houses; most of them surrendered because of fears of being buried alive, but some, including senior terrorists, were killed when the bulldozers toppled the houses over them after they refused to surrender.

During the Battle of Jenin 2002, D9 bulldozers razed houses from which militants fired upon Israeli soldiers or contained possible IEDs and booby traps. After the deadly ambush in which 13 soldiers were killed the D9s razed the center of the camp and forced the remaining Palestinian terrorists to surrender, thus finishing the battle with an Israeli victory without further Israeli casualties. It was a D9 bulldozer, who killed Muhamed Tawalbe, a vicious terrorist master-mind and the leader of the Islamic Jihad in Jenin, after it rammed down a wall upon him. The unit of the D9 operators received Recommendation of Honor (Tzalash, צל"ש) for its conduct in Jenin. 

In Rafah and near the Philadelphie Route the D9s razed thousands of buildings according to human rights reports, as a security measure necessary to discover and destroy smuggling tunnels and destroy firing positions (of machineguns and RPGs) that threaten the forces in the area. During Operation Rainbow in Rafah, the heavy utilization of D9 armored bulldozers was one of the main reasons that the battle ended with no casualties to IDF forces (but with 40 dead terrorists). The D9 also served as a moving defensive shield to Combat Engineers, infantry and light armored vehicles. During the operations in the Gaza Strip, the D9 led the column of armor, clearing the way from obstacles, IEDs and improvised landmines. The TZAMA Reserve Battalion South Command received a medal of excellence from Israel's president for its conduct in the Gaza Strip. During Operation Cast Lead (2008-2009) against Palestinian terrorism and rocket barrages from the Gaza Strip, manned D9R and unmanned D9N armored bulldozers lead the way for IDF ground forces (such as tanks and infantry), opening routes and clearing large quantities of IEDs, explosive charges and landmines. They also demolished rigged structures. In one case, a house full of explosives detonated on a D9, but the crew survived unharmed. Many RPG rounds were shot at the D9 armored bulldozers, but no crewmen were killed. The D9 again was a key factor in keeping IDF casualties extremely low.

While Palestinians saw the D9 as a devastating weapon, and human rights groups criticized it for the massive damage it caused to Palestinian infrastructure (though it was needed to combat Palestinian terrorists who use civilians as human shield and civilian infrastructure as shelter), Israelis and military experts such as Yagil Henkin and Martin van Creveld saw the D9 as a necessary tool for combatting insurgency and terrorism and a key factor in reducing IDF casualties. 

The US armed forces were highly impressed from the D9 effectiveness in battling terrorism and purchased armor kits from Israel. A field review of the Marines Corps stated that the D9 "received highly favorable reviews from all who benefited from their usage" and estimated a one D9 is the equivalent of four D7s.