IDF delays offensive to first equip reserve forces with over 100 000 ceramic armor vests


Amid rising concerns over inadequate combat equipment for Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers deployed in the ongoing war in Gaza, the Ministry of Defense has announced significant procurement of various combat gear, costing in excess of NIS 100 million (approximately $25 million). The announcement comes as a response to complaints from IDF soldiers regarding the scarcity of essential combat equipment, following the large-scale mobilization of reserve forces.
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Amid rising concerns over inadequate combat equipment for Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers deployed in the ongoing war in Gaza, the Ministry of Defense has announced significant procurement of various combat gears, costing in excess of NIS 100 million (approximately $25 million). (Picture source: Israel Defense Forces )


As part of a series of 11 transactions spearheaded by the Ministry, over 100,000 ceramic armor vests have been acquired from both domestic and international companies. These vests meet the standards set forth by the IDF's ground forces and have passed ballistic tests prior to being distributed among different military units. These vests are considered crucial for soldiers' safety, particularly in high-risk areas where the threat of gunfire and shrapnel is prevalent.

Major General (ret.) Eyal Zamir, the Director General of the Ministry of Defense, has also initiated a rapid procurement process for M4 carbine assault rifles. These weapons are specifically designated for reserve units situated in border towns surrounding the Gaza Strip as well as Israel’s northern border. In the coming days, these rifles are expected to be delivered to enhance the combat capabilities of reserve units across the nation.

Initially intended for special forces for whom a light weapon guarantees better mobility and maneuverability, this weapon then equipped units not needing the range of an M16. This is particularly the case for vehicle crews, gunners and at the combat group level, non-commissioned officers, officers, radios, etc.

In addition to the M4 carbines, the Ministry also acquired Arad-type assault rifles manufactured by Israel Weapon Industries (IWI) and scopes produced by its subsidiary company, Meprolight. This equipment is slated for distribution to IDF units and reserve units to upgrade their operational effectiveness.

The ARAD is an assault rifle designed in 2019 by Israel Weapon Industries, named after the Israeli city of Arad. It is primarily designed for export purposes. The ARAD is an assault rifle based on the AR-15.

Despite earlier assertions that no equipment shortages existed, military officials on Tuesday acknowledged the problem and confirmed ongoing efforts to address these gaps expediently. These admissions came in the wake of citizen-led initiatives to procure military gear, notably vests, for the troops. A significant number of vests obtained through these community-based efforts were later found to be defective and failed to pass ballistic tests.

In conjunction with the arms and armor procurement, the Ministry of Defense revealed that approximately NIS 13 million (approximately $3 million) has been allocated for deploying essential security components in communities that are under threat. The focus is to enhance not just the military forces but also to improve the overall security infrastructure in vulnerable areas.