The Israel Defense Forces has called in a racing car engineer to design a new speedy jeep, capable of reaching 140 kilometers per hour, to patrol the southern border.
The need for the vehicle has been underlined over recent months by the growing incidence of terrorism near the border with Egypt, which on Friday saw the killing of 20-year-old Corporal Netanel Yahalomi at Har Harif.
The new “Wilderness” jeep, set to be introduced in about six months, is being designed with input from Ido Cohen, whose cars have participated in many international races and won the Dakar Rally in 2004, Yedioth Ahronoth reported on Monday.
A prototype is already being tested, the paper said.
The IDF has ordered dozens of the new jeeps, which is an upgrade of the IDF’s Storm-3 vehicle, developed by Cohen and Upper Nazareth-based Automotive Industries.
“We need a vehicle with increased abilities in the southern border region that can chase and catch any other vehicle,” stated Lt.-Col. Nissim Einat, head of the tactical division of the IDF ground forces’ technological brigade.
Said Cohen: “We made the body more aggressive and resilient, without the plastic parts that fall apart during fast driving.” The jeep has a shortened chassis and bigger wheels, he noted, for additional stability, speed and maneuverability.
It also has no doors, “so that soldiers will be able to quickly disembark and give chase on foot,” and a machine-gun fitting so that troops can fire while moving.