US delivers David light armored vehicles to Israel amid ongoing war

According to the Israeli Ministry of Defense on October 19, 2023, the United States recently delivered the initial shipment of US-made David light armored vehicles, which is part of a Foreign Military Sale (FMS). This FMS was awarded on April 6, 2023, to the American company MDT Armor, for a total value of $21,913,585. For the first time in decades, a US cargo plane has delivered armored vehicles to Israel during a period of ongoing conflict. These armored vehicles are intended to replace vehicles within the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) damaged during the war against Hamas militants that began on October 7, 2023.
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The David light armored vehicle is built using components from either Toyota or Land Rover (Picture source: Israel MoD)

The delivery of these vehicles is part of an extensive procurement operation jointly led by the Israel Ministry of Defense's Directorate of Production and Procurement (DOPP) and the US Procurement Mission. The Defense Ministry reported that the procurement directorate and the procurement mission in New York are overseeing a comprehensive procurement operation designed to enhance the IDF's vehicle fleet to meet various wartime scenarios.

Since the initiation of the recent conflict, the Israeli Director General of the Ministry of Defense, Maj. Gen. (res.) Eyal Zamir, has authorized procurement orders sourced both locally and internationally, with a total estimated value of over 400 million NIS, equivalent to approximately $98.7 million. The delivery and deployment of hundreds of these vehicles are expected to provide essential support to the IDF's mission. The Israel Ministry of Defense has already delivered hundreds of vehicles to the IDF, with additional vehicles currently en route to Israel, further bolstering the IDF's operational capabilities.

The David is a light armored vehicle that has seen a decade of use in combat conditions. It's built using components from either Toyota or Land Rover and offers a maximum gross vehicle weight (GVW) of up to 4.5 tons, with up to STANAG II protection. It's been employed extensively by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in various combat scenarios, encountering threats ranging from rocks and stones to assault weapons and improvised devices.

The David is built on the Toyota Hilux platform, which provides it with adaptability and versatility. It can be configured with either right-hand drive (RHD) or left-hand drive (LHD) options and is available with 3, 4, or 5 doors for crew access. Its maximum GVW is 4,200 kg, making it suitable for various mission profiles. The vehicle is powered by a 148 HP engine with 408 Nm of torque and offers both automatic and manual transmission options.

Regarding passenger capacity, the David can accommodate up to 8 crew members, making it suitable for various operational requirements. Its dimensions include an overall length of 5.05 m, width of 1.99 m, height of 2.23 m, wheelbase of 3.09 m, ground clearance of 279 mm, and approach/departure angles of 35°/30°. Air conditioning is available for both the front and rear compartments, ensuring crew comfort.