The Israel Defense Forces announced on Tuesday that it has completed the construction of its new wartime command and control center, built under the IDF headquarters in Rabin Base in Tel Aviv.
The new bunker war room, code-named “Fortress of Zion,” is expected to become fully operational in the next few weeks. It will replace the current IDF bunker, dubbed “The Pit,” which was built in 1966.
The IDF said the new compound is equipped with state-of-the-art technology for overseeing military operations across all sectors and by all corps in times of peace and war alike.
It will be routinely manned by Operations Directorate personnel, who will be joined by the General Staff, GOCs and corps commanders at times of special operations or a full-scale conflict.
Like its predecessor, the new bunker includes offices for the prime minister, and the defense and foreign ministers, and can accommodate cabinet meetings. It also includes a special deck to accommodate the heads of the Shin Bet security agency and the Mossad national intelligence agency.
The IDF had hoped to complete the bunker’s construction several years ago, but the project hit numerous budgetary and technical difficulties.
Eventually, a tender was issued for the construction. The winner was a U.S. defense contractor, which enabled Israel to use U.S. aid to complete part of the project.
Construction was sped up following a state comptroller’s report warning that the existing war room failed to meet various safety codes, placing those inside it at risk.