Exclusive at the Latrun Week: the Latest Israeli Armored Vehicle Developments

Brig. Gen. Baruch Matzliach, Head of IMOD's Tank Administration (MANTAK) addressed the primary projects in the field of armored vehicles and tanks at the 2nd International Ground Warfare & Logistics Conference

Exclusive at the Latrun Week: the Latest Israeli Armored Vehicle Developments

Brig. Gen. Baruch Matzliach (Photo: Gilad Kavalerchik)

"Today," said Brig. Gen. Baruch Matzliach, Head of IMOD's Tank Administration (MANTAK) at the Ground Warfare & Logistics Conference in Latrun, "Production lines in the State of Israel turn out Merkava Mark-IV tanks fitted with the Trophy system and Namer APCs also fitted with the Trophy system. However, the IDF prepares for threats on the battlefield, and today's threats to armored platforms are kinetic weapons (from small arms to 120mm tank guns), shaped-charge munitions (RPG rockets and ATGMs) and belly and roadside charges (IEDs). These are the threats that currently exist on the battlefield, mainly in urban combat zones."

"Opposite these and other threats," said the Head of MANTAK, "The real revolution is taking place. It consists of state-of-the-art sensors and computer systems fitted to the tanks. The revolution will be implemented in the Merkava Barak variant, the tank of the coming years. This tank will be fitted with multiple sensors, a Radar system designed to detect threatening motion, a state-of-the-art sight system, cameras and most notably – a mission computer with a display screen that will display the sources of threatening fire to the tank commander and gunner and would enable them to aim, fire and destroy those hostile threats. The mission computer will not only display the target. It will also traverse the gun and operate the sight system so as to provide the tank commander and the gunner with a wider field of view and with the ability to respond promptly. The computer will provide the tank crew with the ability to close the fire loop very quickly, all the way to the destruction of the target, along with the ability to see invisible targets using the sensors, and simple operation – all with the hatches closed. Another element of this revolution: communications that will enable the crews to exchange information between tanks, which would enable them to fight collectively as a group of tanks. This is the revolution which we will witness fairly soon," said Matzliach.

Regarding the Namer APC – this category now includes a family of Namer APCs, and the present acquisition includes a Namer APC for infantry and a Namer APC for combat engineering units. The future phase involves a conversion of the Namer APC from a warfighter transporting platform to a fighting vehicle. The intention is to fit the Namer APC with a 30mm turret that may be operated autonomously, thereby converting the Namer APC into a fighting vehicle. The turret, which is particularly suitable for urban warfare, will not restrict or disturb the squad of warfighters travelling inside the vehicle.

Another project involves the wheeled APC designated Eitan. This vehicle, operated by a crew of two or three, is agile and highly mobile. As a wheeled vehicle, it is more expensive than a tracked vehicle, but can carry a more substantial load. The Eitan APC, too, will be fitted with a protection system.




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