Here are some images of Meng's 1/35 scale Caterpillar D9R Armored Bulldozer in United States Marine Corps markings, Iraq 2004.
The Israeli Armored CAT D9—nicknamed Doobi (Hebrew: דובי, for teddy bear)—is a Caterpillar D9 armored bulldozer that was modified by the Israel Defense Forces, Israeli Military Industries and Israel Aerospace Industries to increase the survivability of the bulldozer in hostile environments and enable it to withstand heavy attacks, thus making it suitable for military combat engineering use. The IDF Caterpillar D9 is operated by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Combat Engineering Corps for combat engineering and counter-terrorism operations.
The D9R, the latest generation of Caterpillar D9 bulldozers in IDF service, has a power of 405–410 horse power and drawbar pull of 71.6 metric tons (about 716 kN).
Older generations, such as D9L and D9N are still in service, mainly in
the reserve forces. The D9 has a crew of two: operator and commander. It
is operated by the TZAMA (In Hebrew: צמ"ה = ציוד מכני הנדסי, mechanical engineering equipment) units of the Combat Engineering Corps.
The main IDF modification is the installation of an Israeli-made vehicle 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 glass windows to protect against bombs, machine guns, and sniper fire. The IDF also developed and installed slat armor add-on to deflect rocket-propelled grenade
(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,
smoke projectors, or grenade launchers. The Israeli armor and durable construction of the D9 makes it impervious to landmines, IED and large belly charges.
The IDF uses the D9 for a wide variety of combat engineering tasks, such as earthworks, digging moats, mounting sand barriers, building fortifications, rescuing stuck, overturned or damaged armored fighting vehicles (along with the M88 Recovery Vehicle), clearing land mines, detonating IEDs and explosives, handling booby traps, clearing terrain obstacles and opening routes to armored fighting vehicles and infantry, as well as structures demolition, including under fire.
The Caterpillar D9 bulldozer was introduced in 1954 by Caterpillar Inc. and quickly found its way to civilian engineering in Israel and from there it was recruited to military service by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
Unarmored D9 bulldozers took part in the Sinai War (1956), Six Days War (1967), Yom Kippur War (1973) and Operation Peace for Galilee (1982).
During Yom Kippur War
D9 bulldozers opened routes to Israeli forces, clearing landmines and
other anti-tank obstacles. In the southern front, D9s towed bridges and
breaching equipment and helped General Ariel Sharon to cross the Suez canal
and determine the war with Egypt. The D9s razed the sand barrier around
the canal and cleared mines near it. In the northern front, the D9 was
the first motorized vehicle to reach the summit of Mount Hermon as it paved the way for IDF Engineering Corps, Golani Brigade and Paratroopers Brigade to claim the summit and prevent it from falling in the hands of Syria.
During Operation Peace for Galilee
D9s were employed in breaching and paving ways through mountains and
fields in the mountain landscape of southern Lebanon. The D9s also
cleared minefields and explosive belly charges set on the main routes by
Syrian army and Palestinian insurgents. Because the D9 served as
front-line tools, the IDF developed armor kits to protect the lives of
the soldiers operating them.
Between the wars, D9 bulldozers were employed in earthworks, fortifications
buildings, opening routes and clearing explosive charges. During the
late 1980s Israeli-made armor was installed on the D9L bulldozers that
were in IDF service. Improved armor kits were designed and installed on
the D9N bulldozers during the 1990s.
During the Second Intifada
(2000 and henceforth) the armored D9 bulldozers gain notoriety as being
an effective tool against Palestinian militants, as they were almost
impervious to Palestinian weapons and withstood even RPGs and Belly charges
with more than 100 kg and even half a ton of explosive. Therefore, they
were used to open safe routes to IDF forces and detonate explosive
charges. The bulldozers were used extensively to clear shrubbery and
structures which was used as cover for Palestinian attacks. In addition
they razed houses of families of suicide bombers.
Following several incidents where armed Palestinians barricaded
themselves inside houses and killed soldiers attempting to breach the
entries, the IDF developed "nohal sir lachatz" (נוהל סיר לחץ "pressure cooker procedure") in which D9s and other engineering vehicles were used to bring them out by razing the houses; most of them surrendered because of fear of being buried alive.
During the Battle of Jenin 2002 armored D9 bulldozers cleared booby traps and improvised explosive devices,
and eventually razed houses from which militants fired upon Israeli
soldiers or contained possible IEDs and booby traps. A translated
interview with one of the drivers was published by Gush Shalom.
After the deadly ambush in which 13 soldiers were killed the D9s razed
the center of the camp and forced the remaining Palestinian fighters to
surrender, thus finishing the battle with an Israeli victory.
In Rafah and near the Philadelphi Route
the D9s razed thousands of buildings according to human rights reports;
Israel claimed it is a security measure necessary to discover and
destroy smuggling tunnels
and destroy firing positions that threaten the forces in the area,
while Palestinians claimed it was to create a "buffer zone" and punish
Palestinians for IDF casualties.
While Palestinians saw the D9 as a devastating weapon, and human
rights groups criticized it for the massive damage it caused to
Palestinian infrastructure, Israelis and military experts saw the D9 as a
necessary tool for combatting insurgency and terrorism and a key factor
in reducing IDF casualties.
During the early 2000s, the new D9R entered IDF service, equipped with a new generation armor designed by the IDF's MASHA (Hebrew: מש"א, lit. Restoration and Maintenance Center), Israel Aerospace Industries and Zoko Shiloovim (Caterpillar Inc. importers in Israel). Due to the increasing threat of shaped charge anti-tank rockets and anti-tank missile,
the IDF introduced in 2005 a slat armor, installed in large numbers on
the IDF D9R dozers in 2006. The slat armor proved to be effective and
life-saving; its developers and installers won the IDF's Ground Command
The IDF also operates armored remote-controlled D9N bulldozers, called "Raam HaShachar" (Hebrew: רעם השחר,
lit. "thunder of dawn") often incorrectly referred as "black thunder".
The remote-controlled bulldozer is used when there is a great risk for
human life, mainly when opening dangerous routes and detonating
Armored D9R bulldozers and unmanned "Raam HaShachar" D9N bulldozers played important role in the Second Lebanon War (2006) and Operation Cast Lead
(2008–2009). Both bulldozer types were involved in opening routes,
clearing explosives and IEDs, building sand mounds to protect AFVs
and infantry camps, and demolishing structures such as rigged
buildings, HQs, warehouses, outposts, bunkers and tunnels – often
concealed in civilian structures. One D9 was abandoned by IDF during battles near Al-Tiri and was captured by Hezbollah fighters. In total, 100 D9s were deployed during Operation Cast Lead.
Armored D9R bulldozers took part in the effort to extinguish 2010 Mount Carmel forest fire.
The armored bulldozers opened route to fire trucks and fire fighters
into the heart of the fire. They also created buffer zones by clearing
shrubbery and mounting soil barriers in order to prevent the fire from
spreading. They also helped extinguish fires by burying them in dirt and
In 2014 the IDF Caterpillar D9 was recorded in Guinness Book of Records as the most armored bulldozer in the world.