On Monday, Israel unveiled its locally produced ‘Eitan’ 8×8 armored personnel carrier (APC) that it hopes to purchase in vast quantities in the near future. Eitan, is developed by the Ministry’s Tank Development Program Directorate (Mantak), and is a possible successor for thousands of American-made M113 APCs which make up the backbone of the IDF APCs. Israel has been operating M113s since the early 1970s.
The newly designed APC can carry up to 12 infantrymen and is reportedly built with commercially available automotive components, enabling the designers to develop an APC that costs half the Isreali tracked APC, Namer. The hull, weapons systems, and armor were all locally developed in Isreal. Eitan has a maximum road speed of 90 km/h (56 mp/h).
Eitan is expected to incorporate a new generation of active protection, based on the Trophy Active Protection System developed by state-owned Rafael. It also will feature an advanced, unmanned 30/40-millimeter turret and a full compliment of munitions and sensors.
For many years IDF traditionally favored tracked over wheeled vehicles. The few exceptions where the Panhard AML-60 armored car. The IDF also uses up-armored HMMWVs on border patrols, but the core of its armored vehicles fleet is tracked.
Eitan will be the first wheeled APC in Israel’s military history, and is expected to be fielded in five years.