The Israeli Ministry of Defense (IMOD) has begun serial production of the Eitan wheeled armored personnel carrier (APC) for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
The first batch of vehicles will enter the IDF operational service by the end of 2021.
מנת”ק החלה בייצור הסדרתי של “איתן” – הנגמ”ש הגלגלי הראשון. ה”איתנים” הראשונים ייכנסו לשירות מבצעי בצה”ל בסוף שנת 2021. הם יצוידו במערכת ההגנה האקטיבית המתקדמת “חץ דורבן” ובצריח לא מאויש, המקנה לכלי קטלניות גבוהה pic.twitter.com/9J3bXcEty7
— משרד הביטחון (@MoDIsrael) February 9, 2020
Eitan (Hebrew for “steadfast”) is an 8×8 wheeled vehicle and is being developed by the Merkava and Armored Vehicles Directorate in the IMOD to replace the aging M113 armored personnel carrier in use by the IDF. The first Eitan APC was unveiled on August 1, 2016.
Weighing less than 35 tons, Eitan is much lighter than the Namer tracked APC which based on the Merkava main battle tank (MBT)chassis. Eitan will complement the Namer APC in IDF service. Eitan is the first wheeled 8×8 APC developed in Israel.
The Eitan APC is eight meters long and three meters wide and weighs 30-35 tons. It is powered by a 750-hp (559 kW) diesel engine and has a top speed of 90 km/h on paved roads. The Eitan has run-flat tires and central tire inflation system, and is designed with a protected, relatively high floor to protect from mine and IED blast effects.
The Eitan can be equipped with a 30 mm gun (Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) variant) and a remote-controlled weapon station (RCWS) armed with a 12.7 mm machine gun (APC variant). It also has a pintle-mounted 7.62 mm machine gun.
The APC is fitted with the Iron Fist Light Decoupled (IF-LD) Active Protection System (APS). The Iron Fist system uses optical sensors, tracking radar, launchers and countermeasure munitions to defeat threats at a safe distance. The Iron Fist system provides 360-degree protection coverage for close-range scenarios in both open terrain and urban environment.
The APC can carry 12 men including 3 crew (commander, gunner and driver).