On combat benefits of installing anti-theft alarms on tanks

Y. B. Karasik,
Thoughts Guiding Systems Corp.,
Ottawa, Canada.
e-mail:karasik@sympatico.ca

Around 5am on June 25, 2006 a squad of 7 Hamas militants from Gaza sneaked under the Gaza fence into Israel. 2 of them attacked a fortified post of the Israeli Army and were killed by a return fire. 3 more attacked an empty armored personnel carrier. And the other 2 hit an Israeli tank with the crew of 4 by an RPG.

The RPG did not cause much damage to the tank and did not set it on fire. All its systems and weapons remained operational and none of the crew was killed. Nevertheless, the tank commander and a second crew member made a wrong judgement and decided to leave the tank. They were immediately gunned down by the militants as soon as they descended to the ground. The third soldier, the gunner, was sleeping in his seat when RPG struck. The noise awoke him and when he opened his eyes he saw the other 2 leaving the tank and heard how they were killed outside. So he decided to stay in the tank and do nothing, which resulted in his capture.

The author of the article in The Jerusalem Post that revealed this story lamented why the gunner did not pull the trigger and did not shoot from the machine gun to let the adjacent troops know that the tank was attacked. He was convinced that the 2 militants would have immediately fled, spooked by the big noise and the fear that other troops would come to the rescue of the tank crew. He might well be right in that assessment. But the gunner explained after his release from captivity that he was at a loss at the moment and not in the fighting mood to pull the trigger.

This makes me to think that a simple anti-theft alarm commonly found in cars (but more loud, of course) could help in such situations. It would create a much bigger and frightening noise than a firing machine gun. And such an anti-theft alarm would be set into action by itself (as soon as RPG strikes) regardless of the fighting mood of the crew at the moment.

There are definitely combat benefits in installing powerful anti-theft alarms on tanks, APCs, etc. activated by impact of grenades or shells. Terrorists would flee in panic. Of course, the alarm has to be switched off when a tank or APC is not on a guard duty but in action.

The solution attains IFR, resolves a contradiction, and, hence, is good from the TRIZ standpoint. I hope that it will be noticed and implemented by the military.