Israel announced Sunday that it would begin serial production of a new, advanced armored personnel carrier (APC) after years of development.
The “Eitan” is an eight-wheeled, lightweight vehicle that combines technologies from the Merkava tank and the Namer APC, but at a cheaper price, the Defense Ministry said in a statement.
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 development took place in Israel as well as in the United States, and its parts will be produced in more than 60 factories in both countries.
Each APC requires the production of approximately one million parts, including over 20 tons of steel, 30 kilometers of welding wire, 6 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 provide combat soldiers with quick mobility and enable them to adapt to all relevant combat scenarios. In addition, the Eitan will be the world’s most well-protected APC, equipped with advanced combat capabilities.”