Following recent reports that the U.S. was building an underground "Site 911" facility in Israel, the U.S. Army Engineer Corps appears to be working on constructing another secret underground military facility in Israel, dubbed "Site 81, Phase 2."
A tender for the project was issued on an official U.S. government website. The project is estimated at $100 million, and includes the construction of a 6,000 sq. meter (about 65,000 sq. feet) compound below an already existing building.
According to the tender, the above-ground building is in use and will continue to be operational during construction. The work required for the project includes, among other things, installing generators, cranes, elevators and fire-extinguishing equipment.
One of the stated conditions for the project is that it must be carried out by a U.S. company or an international group that includes an American subsidiary. At the time of the issuance of the tender, it was set to close on March 4.
In November, the Washington Post reported the construction of a five-story underground bunker at an air force base near Tel Aviv. The project, called "Site 911," was built to be used by the Israel Air Force and as of February has cost an estimated $62 million, according to the results of the tender.
According to the November report, "Site 911" appears to be one of the largest projects the U.S. Army Engineer Corps has ever undertaken. Each of the first three underground floors is to be roughly 41,000 square feet (approximately 3,800 square meters), according to the corps' notice. The lower two floors are to be much smaller and hold equipment, the Post reported.
The site is meant to withstand a nuclear attack, and is built with blast resistant doors, protection from non-ionized radiation, and is very heavily guarded.
Over the years, the corps has built underground hangars for Israeli fighter jets, facilities for handling nuclear weapons (which Israel has never admitted to possessing), command centers, training bases, intelligence facilities and simulators, according to corps' publications.