New advanced Israeli Eitan AFV to enter serial production

On Feb.9, the Israeli Defense Ministry announced that the new Eitan armored fighting vehicle (AFV) is ready for serial production.

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The new Eitan AFV as presented in a picture released on Feb. 9, 2020, by the Israeli Defense Ministry (Picture source: Israeli MoD)

The new Eitan is an 8x8 vehicle that combines technologies from the Merkava main battle tank and the Namer APC, but at a cheaper price, the Defense Ministry said. The new Eitan, co-developed with the US, can reach 90 km/h (56 mph), is lighter and cheaper than previous APCs deployed by the IDF.

The Eitan was developed partially in response to lessons learned from the 2014 Gaza war and is progressively replacing the IDF’s current M113 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: it will be fitted with Elbit System’s Iron Fist Light Decoupled (IFLD) active protection system. The selection of the IFLD for the IDF’s Eitan AFV came on the heels of the decision by the U.S. Army to proceed with the IFLD for the Bradley IFV.

IFLD uses independent optical sensors, tracking radar, launchers and countermeasure munitions to defeat threats at a safe distance from the defended combat vehicles. The system provides 360-degree protection coverage for close-range scenarios in both open terrain and urban environments. Its low size and weight, versatile high-performance, negligible residual penetration and ease of integration position IFLD as an optimal active protection solution for any fighting vehicle.

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 wired, and about 70 liters of paint.


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