Defense Ministry to deliver first new advanced ‘Eitan’ APC to IDF
Eight-wheeled lightweight vehicle will begin to replace military’s ‘old and less advanced’ M113 fully tracked armored personnel carriers
Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.
The Defense Ministry on Tuesday announced it had completed the initial serial production of a first new, advanced armored personnel carrier (APC), and would soon deliver it to the Israel Defense Forces.
The “Eitan” is an eight-wheeled, lightweight vehicle that combines technologies from the Merkava tank and the Namer APC.
It was built partially in response to lessons learned from the 2014 Gaza war, and will begin replacing the IDF’s current M113 fully tracked APCs.
The Eitan is intended to give troops greater speed and mobility — it can reach 90 kilometers per hour (56 mph) — as well as better security.
The first serially produced “Eitan” APC drove off the production line at the “Merkava” factory at the military’s Tel HaShomer base on Tuesday, and will soon be delivered to the IDF’s Nahal infantry brigade for operational use, the ministry said.
Each APC requires the production of approximately one million parts, including over 20 tons of steel, 30 kilometers of welding wire, six kilometers of power and communication cable, and about 70 liters of paint.
Brig. Gen. Guy Paglin, head of the Defense Ministry’s Armored Vehicles Directorate, said the Eitan will gradually be integrated into the IDF’s various combat units.
“The development of new weapons allows us to replace old and less advanced technologies, thus promising that our soldiers are equipped with the best, most advanced defense equipment for all combat scenarios,” he said.