The latest design of the Namer AIFV based on the Merkava
Mk 4 depicting sloped hybrid armor protecting the fighting compartment,
remotely operated weapon station, multiple smoke canisters embedded
into the armor and Trophy active protection modules covering
both sides, with threat warning radar modules protecting the
vehicle's four quadrants.
IDF plans to equip its elite infantry brigades with the new
Namer. Furthermore, procurement of wheeled armored vehicles
such as the Stryker is considered for the lighter (paratroop)
brigades. The currently operational Achzarit AIFVs will also
be upgraded, receiving a more powerful engine and weapon station.
Some of the M-113s are expected to be retrofitted with improved
armor and redeployed to lower intensity missions, particularly
for counter-terror operations in urban warfare, where the relatively
lightweight and small vehicle could prove quite effective. The
IDF also plans to deploy more armored wheeled vehicles, including
the Golan Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle which
was already selected for a similar program in the USA.
Several versions of the Namer are envisioned; two versions,
configured as an armored infantry fighting vehicle (AIFV), Repair
and Medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) will replace M-113 vehicles
currently in service. A weapons carrier armed with 30mm automatic
cannon and missiles will provide a support base, utilizing new
capabilities such as the 30mm automatic cannon. Such vehicles
are expected to replace the anti-tank vehicles such as the M-113s
and HMMWV currently employed with the anti-tank (TOW) units.
The IDF also plans to field a Namer as designed as an Armored
Recovery Vehicle (ARV), supporting Merkava tank formations.
The Merkava based ARV
will be able to tow a fully loaded Merkava tanks, augmenting
or replacing the M88 ARVs and trucks.
Currently being finalized, the design of the new troop carrier
will be based on a turretless Merkava
Mk4 tank chassis. Unlike previous suggestions to use obsolete
Merkava Mk1 chassis for the new vehicle, the IDF opted for a
more practical, cost effective production of new vehicles. However,
the initial vehicles will utilize modernized and uprated AVDS
1790 engines taken from old Merkava Mk1 tank to support accelerate
fielding. A final decision on the future powerplant will be
made next year. The IDF is evaluating two engine makers - Continental
Motors, the producer of the AVDS system or MTU, producer of
833 type engine, powering the Merkava Mk4 tank. Decision on
other powertrain elements will determine which transmission
will be procured from Allison and the type of final drive ordered
from Renk. The selection will be followed with production orders
sustaining future production lots. The cost of a fully equipped
Namer is expected to be around $1.5 million.
The final design will include an ergonomically designed driver's
compartment, similar to that of the Merkava tank, fitted with
large vision blocks and electro-optical driver's viewing devices
enabling effective performance under all visibility conditions.
At least four remotely controlled video cameras are used to
provide the crew, driver and commander with unobstructed peripheral
view. The Namer will become a fully networked armored fighting
vehicle. Part of its C4 equipment will be the new Battle Management
System/Infantry, designed by Elbit Systems to support the dismounted
'Integrated Advanced Soldier' (IAS) system.
Namer will be equipped with the same protection level available
for the latest Merkava Mk4. Its armor will include, for the
first time, an active protection system as an integral element.
The IDF hasn't decided yet which APS will be installed on the
vehicle. Both RAFAEL's Trophy
and IMI's 'Iron Fist'
are being evaluated and, in fact, the development of the Iron
Fist was accelerated to have it ready for comparative testing
around the year's end, in time for a future decision for the
Namer. IMI is also developing and will produce the advanced
armor suite for the Namer. The advanced armor will provide maximum
protection to the front, sides and roof. IMI is also providing
the advanced armor protecting the Merkava Mk 4 tank. Internally,
the seating arrangement enables good protection from blast effect,
utilizing highly protected belly and 'floating' seats (not rigged
to the floor).
The vehicle is armed with RAFAEL's Mini-Samson
Remotely Controlled Weapon Station with multi-sensor target
acquisition systems. The system mounts a 12.7mm M2HB heavy machine
gun, 7.62mm M246 machine gun or M19 40mm automatic grenade launcher.
The IDF considers developing future multi-purpose support versions
of the Namer, armed with the Samson weapon station, mounting
much heavier 30mm automatic cannons as well as the Spike guided
weapons. The current design of the Namer is already prepared
for such installations, offering protected storage for weapons
separated from the fighting compartment and strengthened roof
able to carry the extra loads.
The vehicle accommodates 11 soldiers, including commander and
driver. It also has attachments for carrying stretchers. The
Namer uses a slightly redesigned door/ramp, enabling more efficient
offload of soldiers and equipment and handling of stretchers.