Photo: Nir Landau
The Kirya base in Tel Aviv
Photo: Nir Landau

Upgraded Air Force bunker to be protected from nukes

New control stations will be streamlined, improving synchronization and coordination during wartime; renovations project is funded by the Pentagon.

Deep underground, the Air Force bunker at the Kirya base in Tel Aviv is being upgraded in a project that costs tens of millions of shekels.



Among other things, the bunker's defense is going to be upgraded to include protection from biological and nuclear weapons.


The project is only months from being done and operational testing of some of the new additions to the bunker are due to start soon.


The plan to upgrade the outdated bunker started over three years ago and is designed to ensure it meets the IDF's operational needs, as well as to streamline work at the bunker.


Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ya'alon at the bunker with top IDF brass (Photo: Haim Tzah, GPO)
Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ya'alon at the bunker with top IDF brass (Photo: Haim Tzah, GPO)


The upgraded bunker, which is being built on top of the old bunker and expands it, will include several underground levels with dozens of control and inspection stations that are being built in a more efficient manner to improve synchronization and coordination between elements of command, intelligence, operations and control, in military operations.


The main control hall (nicknamed "The Hothouse"), from where top defense officials command and where the defense minister and the prime minister are "hosted" when their presence there is required, will also be upgraded.


"The infrastructure in the bunker is not ideal for broad-scale operations or wars. Some of the flooring is in poor condition and the electricity system is temporary," an Air Force official told Ynet. "In the new bunker, we will be able to manage a multi-front war with all of the Air Force's might, in tandem and in less time. The bunker will turn into one of the Air Force's operational control centers, and will be one of the most advanced in the world."


One of the reasons work on the new bunker is taking so long is the fact the control center in the bunker is manned around the clock, especially in times of heightened security tensions and in times of war, like last summer.


The head of the Air Force's Air Staff Group, Brig.-Gen. Amikam Norkin, is in charge of the project after replacing the now Head of Manpower Directorate, Maj.-Gen. Hagai Topolanski.


The upgrade is done in cooperation with the Pentagon, with US involvement including funding the renovations and getting the bunker in line with the American Military's command centers.


פרסום ראשון: 12.13.14, 23:50
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