This post is also available in: עברית (Hebrew)
Israel’s Ministry of Defense Merkava Tank Program Administration in collaboration with IDF’s ground forces, continues to develop the Eitan wheeled armored personnel carrier (APC), and have recently completed a series of operational tests, demonstrating its use in rough terrain. The tests were conducted at several sites, including training fields at southern Israel and the Golan Heights.
The Eitan is an advanced multi-purpose APC with various capabilities, designed for combat and warrior transport at the battlefield in various types of harsh terrain. The Eitan will be the most advanced and armor-protected wheeled combat vehicle in the world. It will be equipped with an active defense system (similar to the Namer series and the Merkava IV tanks) as well as with additional unique protection systems.
The Eitan’s most remarkable advantage will be its excellent mobility capabilities among different combat zones, and the fact that it is compatible for driving at a 90 km/h speed on paved roads without the help of a transporter.
The Eitan is equipped with an 8×8 wheel system and it is its active defense system that enables it a rapid ride of 90 kmh or more. The Eitan will join the Namer APC and enable the IDF to gradually replace the obsolete M113 APCs.
The Eitan was designed as a multi-purpose vehicle for a variety of missions. Its manufacturing and maintenance costs will be very low: half of the cost of the Namer or any other wheeled APC in the world, enabling the purchase of large numbers of vehicles in shorter time periods, in parallel to the purchase of the Namer APCs.
The Eitan will serve as the basis for a series of vehicles for various missions: from a vehicle transporting 12 warriors to a vehicle that incorporates an advanced fire force, with an unmanned controlled turret and a 30/40 mm artillery.
The APC’s weight reaches 30-35 tons, the engine power is 750 horsepower and it maximal velocity (on paved roads) is more than 90 kmh. It is capable of carrying 12 warriors (similarly to the Namer) – a driver, commander, machine gunner and additional nine soldiers.