Israel Defense Industries Unveil Prototypes for New Generation Armored Vehicles
Israeli defense manufacturers unveiled a prototype for a new armored personnel carrier, named Eitan, which will accompany and weigh just half as much as Namer APCs.
According to global weekly Defense News, which reported the unveiling, the Eitan is meant to replace Israeli infantry’s older M113s, one of which was destroyed by Hamas fighters during the 2014 Gaza war in an attack that killed all seven soldiers manning the vehicle.
“Sources here said it will weigh no more than 35 tons and will incorporate a new generation of active protection, an advanced turret and a full complement of munitions and sensors,” Defense News reported.
Commander of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Ground Forces Command, Maj. Gen. Guy Zur, said the new tank “may be less good [than the Namer], but it will be affordable and allow us to equip a large part of our force.”
The Israeli Defense Ministry’s MAFAT Research and Development Bureau is also working on a research-and-development project called Carmel for a treaded, medium-weight combat vehicle, according to the report. At about 32 tons, the Carmel weighs in at about half of the IDF’s Merkava Mk4 tank.
Sources told Defense News that Carmel was no replacement for the Mk4, which is set to remain in production until 2020. “The operational requirement will be something entirely different,” said one source.
Zur noted that both vehicles were expected to enter Israel’s ground forces, but not in the immediate future. He said Eitan could be deployed in as little as five years, but Carmel would not be active until probably 2025, or even 2027.