JERUSALEM ($1=3.50 Israeli Shekels) — The Israeli Ministry of Defense announced the production of the first serial Eitan heavy-wheeled armored personnel carrier. This vehicle is intended to replace some of the aging M113 armored personnel carriers used by the Israeli army.
Israel is gradually seeking to introduce newer, more resilient vehicles into its armed forces to replace vehicles that often date from the 1970s and do not provide adequate protection, such as the M113 known in different variants like Zelda. An example of the new generation of vehicles introduced is the heavy-tracked Namer armored personnel carriers and the wheeled Etans.
The latter version of the armored personnel carrier will have a remote-controlled weapon module equipped with a 12.7 mm heavy machine gun. The infantry fighting vehicle variant will be equipped with unmanned turrets with 30 or 40 mm autocannons, possibly with anti-tank guided missile launchers. The first production heavy APC was produced in mid-June.
The vehicle is protected by a system that includes both classic passive combined armored modules and electronic passive-active systems. It is calculated that the minimum level of protection of the front area of the vehicle corresponds to V + according to STANAG 4569 and to the remaining areas IV [resistance of the entire vehicle to fire from 14.5 x 114 mm guns, as well as some rapid-fire guns front].
The modular design allows, depending on the requirements of the future recipient, to mount various weapons, including artillery [with a caliber of up to 120 mm, both for a high-pressure gun and a mortar] or rockets. The version of the BMP received by the Israeli army will be equipped with a remotely controlled turret system [ZSSW] with a 30 or 40 mm autocannon, a coupled MG, and an ATGM launcher. The crew consists of 3 soldiers plus 8-9 in the form of paratroopers.
The power unit is a 6-cylinder MTU 890 Series turbodiesel engine with a maximum power of 750 hp, which develops a maximum torque of 1235 Nm at 4250 rpm. The gearbox is an Allison 4800 SP, which is part of the powertrains installed at Eitan, the integration of which is the responsibility of Rolls Royce Solutions America [formerly MTU America].