Israel Defense Forces deploy heavily armored Namer APCs at Gaza Border

According to Global Conflicts on October 16, 2023, the Israel Defense Forces deployed additional reinforcements to Road 232, consisting of heavily armored Namer APCs, all equipped with Trophy Active Protection Systems (APS). They will be utilized to facilitate the movement of ground forces into Gaza. Road 232, an Israeli highway, runs parallel to the blockaded Gaza Strip and appears to have evolved into the new de facto frontier between territory controlled by Israel and Hamas, the Islamist movement that launched a surprise attack on October 7, 2023.
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The Israel Defense Forces deployed additional heavily armored Namer APCs, all equipped with Trophy Active Protection Systems (APS), to Road 232 (Picture source: Twitter)

The Namer APC, in its original form, was initially constructed using the chassis of the outdated Merkava Mk.1 main battle tank. In addition to its distinctive role, the Merkava chassis serves as the foundation for various armored vehicles in the IDF. These include the Nemmera armored recovery vehicle, the Sholef 155 mm self-propelled howitzer, and the Ofek heavy armored personnel carrier.

The Namer was first introduced in 2005 for trials and evaluation before it underwent a redesign, transitioning to the Merkava Mk.4 main battle tank chassis, with the initial production vehicles delivered in 2008. The primary objective was to provide protection and mobility for infantry.

In terms of armament, the basic Namer variant was equipped with a remotely controlled weapon station featuring a 12.7mm machine gun, with the option to replace it with a 40mm automatic grenade launcher. Additionally, there was a manually operated 7.62mm machine gun on top of the commander's hatch. Some Namer variants were armed with the Samson weapon station, which included a 30mm automatic cannon and Spike anti-tank guided missiles.

The Namer APC featured modular armor, combined with the Trophy Active Protection System, offering a substantial level of protection for both crew and infantry. This level of protection was equivalent to that of the Merkava Mk.4 main battle tank. Concerning mobility, the Namer shared the same running gear as the Merkava Mk.4, featuring a suspension system with rubber-tired road wheels and spring-loaded armored skirts for protection. It could attain a maximum road speed of 60 km/h and had a cruising range of 500 km.

The Namer is equipped with CBRN protection and automatic fire suppression systems. It also featured a fully networked architecture, including the Battle Management System/Infantry designed to support the dismounted 'Integrated Advanced Soldier' (IAS) system.

The Namer 1500, unveiled on June 23, 2023, represents the latest generation of the Namer APC family and introduces several key advancements. It is equipped with a significantly more powerful 1,500 horsepower engine, marking a substantial increase in power and speed compared to its predecessors. The Namer 1500 incorporates advanced touchscreen technology, designed to enhance the operator's interface for more efficient control. It also features a remotely operated weapon station on its roof, akin to earlier models, now armed with a 12.7mm heavy machine gun.

The armor design of the Namer 1500 surpasses even the heavily fortified Merkava IV tanks. In combination with the advanced Israeli Trophy Active Protection System (APS), it offers the maximum degree of protection against threats such as anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs).