In first, Israel test-fires anti-tank missile from unmanned APC turret
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In first, Israel test-fires anti-tank missile from unmanned APC turret

Ministry says system will provide better protection to soldiers in armored vehicles and allow them to strike targets from further away

An unmanned Spike anti-tank missile system is seen atop the turret of a Namer armored personnel carrier. (Defense Ministry)
An unmanned Spike anti-tank missile system is seen atop the turret of a Namer armored personnel carrier. (Defense Ministry)

Israel has successfully test-fired an unmanned anti-tank missile system that will be affixed to the military’s latest generation of armored personnel carriers, the Defense Ministry announced Wednesday.

The system, which is equipped with medium-range Spike missiles developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, will be installed on the turrets of Eitan and Namer models of APCs and can be operated from within the vehicle.

The ministry said the test had been a first.

“The turret system is composed of special and innovative control systems that allows the turret to be controlled from the crew compartment in order to prevent exposing the soldiers to external dangers,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement.

The turret comes with an active defense system and other special forms of protection, according to the ministry, and is capable of firing on and observing targets “beyond the hill.”

In addition to being placed on the heavily armored Namer APCs, the anti-tank missile system will also be affixed to the turret of the eight-wheeled Eitan APCs, which starting in 2020 will begin replacing the Israel Defense Forces’s current M113 fully tracked APCs.

The Defense Ministry said the installation of the anti-tank missiles on the APCs “will enable IDF soldiers to fire missiles from within the vehicles, while they are still protected, which will significantly increase the attack range of the vehicles.”

The ministry said the test-firing of the missile was just the first stage of tests for the system. It did not give an estimate of when it will be operational.

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