PETAH TIKVAH (AFP) - An Israeli soldier cautiously eyes the slim, damp tunnel carved from surrounding rock thru a tightly strapped black headset.

He isn't always in one of the assault tunnels constructed by Lebanon’s Hezbollah underneath the border with Israel, however one in all a brand new technology of soldiers the use of digital and augmented reality to train.

In a small computer-covered room, T.

., a 20-year-antique member of Yahalom, or Diamond -- the special operations unit of the navy’s fight engineering corps -- simulates an develop alongside the slender passage.

His head sweeps from aspect-to-side and up and down, at the same time as his hands probe partitions invisible to the onlooker.

"We see everything, even falling drops of water," says the soldier, who cannot be named for protection reasons.

"I truely sense like I’m there," he instructed AFP. "I feel the humidity, the sense of being stifled."

The headset displays every detail of the digital tunnel -- a reconstruction of one in every of several subterranean infiltrations uncovered with the aid of the military -- permitting teachers to guide T. In actual time.

In December, the Israeli military launched an anti-tunnel operation on the Lebanese border dubbed "Northern shield".

Israel said it had discovered six tunnels, at the same time as UN officials showed 3 reached into the Jewish state’s territory.

Hezbollah deliberate to use them to abduct or kill Israeli soldiers or civilians, and to capture territory inside the occasion of hostilities, according to the military.

They ran for dozens of metres and a few reached a depth of 55 metres (a hundred and eighty ft).

In recent days, fresh tensions have erupted among Hezbollah and Israel; the Iran-aligned Shiite movement blamed the Jewish kingdom for a drone assault on its Beirut stronghold. Israel has now not commented.

Hezbollah chief Hasan Nasrallah called it the primary such "opposed motion" since a 2006 war between his motion and the Jewish country. He threatened retaliation.

The Israeli military is also in search of tunnels dug into the Hamas-dominated Gaza Strip.

they are used by militants and, at the Egyptian border, smugglers looking to steer clear of a blockade on the Palestinian enclave.

The Israeli military says it has destroyed several tunnels that bumped into its territory and had been designed as assault launchpads.

The Egyptian navy has vigorously looked for and blocked smuggling tunnels from its facet of the frontier.

technology is essential

until recently the domain of online game creators, the digital global has in current years made inroads into clinical, aerospace and military research, wherein it's miles increasingly used for training.

"era is an critical part of the combat," which justifies heavy funding, says H., commanding officer of Yahalom’s schooling centre at a military base in central Israel.

The Hezbollah tunnels exposed by way of Israel were digitally scanned and appear on a soldier’s headset as they're in fact.

"The soldier sees what a tunnel looks like," says H.

because it isn't always usually possible to educate within the area, the virtual global allows employees to familiarise themselves with a adverse underground environment with out leaving their base, he added.

There are a dozen soldiers at the current route; one hundred have been via it since it began 3 years ago.

whilst digital truth (VR) ambitions to location the person in a simulated world, augmented fact (AR) allows factors to be added in a real-global environment. Each aim to offer a multisensory revel in.

squaddies can revel in eventualities wherein there are limitations which include holes, cables, or explosive devices and simulate the hand movements they will need to defuse a real bomb.

"There are factors you can still face in a tunnel which are hard to reproduce," along with humidity, says the commander, but it serves as an awesome introduction to the difficulty.

"It’s no longer very great to be dozens of metres underground, reduce off from the arena," says T. "anything that assist you to put together is essential.

He says that the electronic training has made him "more geared up to enter a tunnel" in real existence.

no longer some distance from the "VR room" is a physical mockup of a Hamas tunnel wherein squaddies can have interaction in combat physical activities, sharpening what they have learnt thru VR.

three soldiers make their manner inner, their faces blanketed with balaclavas, system weapons in their hands as they pass through the rock passageway, narrow and dark.