Israeli 8x8 APC Eitan scheduled for series production in 2021

Israel’s new Eitan armored personnel carrier is in final field testing with the Nahal infantry brigade. Its series production is scheduled to start in 2021. Once the Israeli army has received enough Eitans to replace the last of their old M113s, the vehicle will be made available for export.

Israeli 8x8 APC Eitan scheduled for series production in 2021
The Eitan APC will first equip the IDF units before being proposed for export (Picture source: Wikimedia Commons)

The Eitan is an Israeli-made 8x8 armoured vehicle personnel carrier which was unveiled in August 2016 by the Israeli Ministry of Defense. The vehicle is designed to replace the old fleet of M113 tracked armoured personnel carrier in service with the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) for several decades. The Eitan is being developed by the Ministry of Defense Tank Administration in cooperation with the IDF Ground Forces. The vehicle was developed following of the lessons learned during the Gaza war Operation Protective Edge in 2014. It's a new vehicle based on scratch offering a new configurable multirole platform.

The Eitan is a new generation of wheeled combat vehicle which offers high mobility and firepower. While it was developed by the Israeli government for Israeli needs, 60 percent of the vehicle will be manufactured in the US, Paglin told Breaking Defense in an interview. In 2024, he said, when the US no longer allows Israel to convert Foreign Military Financing (FMF) grants to local currency, the US-made portion may rise to 70 percent — part of a wider move by Israeli arms makers to use American subcontractors and subsidiaries.

Israeli Merkava 4 main battle tanks and Namer armored personnel carriers played a major role in Operation Protective Edge in Gaza in 2014. But while the Namer, built on the Merkava tank chassis, is heavier and better protected than almost any other troop carrier, the Israeli Defense Force has relatively few of them. That meant many troops had to ride in the IDF’s aging M113s, a US design dating back to 1962 that troops consider dangerously underarmored as far back as Vietnam, often riding on the top because a landmine would kill everyone inside. To improve the protection of the M113s in Protective Edge, the Israelis covered the floor with sandbags. (The US replaced its M113s in frontline roles with M2 Bradleys back in the 1980s.

The Eitan 8x8 armoured personnel carrier can be fitted with a wide range of weapon stations. The APC (Armoured Personnel Carrier) version is fitted with a remote weapon station armed with a 12.7mm heavy machine gun. The IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle) version can be fitted with remotely operated turrets armed with 30/40mm automatic cannon. This turret can be also armed with anti-tank guided missile launchers.


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