The Directorate of Production and Procurement (DOPP) in the Israel Ministry of Defense will purchase hundreds of combat vehicles from Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) for the use of Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Special Forces units.
The Z-MAG line of products was developed by the offroad vehicle designer and manufacturer Ido Cohen. In 2020 IAI’s Elta Systems acquired the manufacturing rights to further adapt the platform to military applications, fulfilling the ground forces’ operational needs for defense, assault, and intelligence gathering.
According to Avi Dadon, Deputy Director General and Head of the DOPP in the Ministry of Defense, “The commando combat vehicle project being launched today is the best possible reflection of the Ministry of Defense’s work. This agreement will enhance the export potential for these unique tools and technologies.”
IAI Elta will produce the vehicles at its new ground forces facility in Beer Sheba. This facility is currently under construction, at an investment of tens of millions of NIS in innovative technological and R&D infrastructure. ELTA Beer Sheba will perform the vehicle development and upgrade to provide an integrated, systemic response that includes mobility, defense, and assault for the forces in the field. The vehicles will be manufactured at the IAI’s Land Division production line in Beer Sheba, which, with the encouragement and the investment of tens of millions of NIS by the Ministry of Defense. The Armored Group (TAG), an international vehicle manufacturer based in the USA, is also part of the program, TAG, providing some of the components.
The new commando vehicles have exceptional all-terrain capabilities, such as carrying payloads of 1.5 – 2.5 tons (fully equipped soldiers and equipment, depending on the type of vehicle). The vehicles will be adapted to various missions, including carrying equipment, delivering supplies, and medical evacuation (MEDEVAC). The vehicle design is based on commercial components, ensuring the reliability and availability of spare parts at an affordable cost. The Z family includes the Zibar, Z-mag – a light version, an ultra-light platform designated ZD, and a heavier one offering armored off-road capabilities. The vehicles are designed for air mobility in helicopters and transport planes.