Israel’s Ministry of Defense has selected Oshkosh Defense to produce hundreds of hulls for the IDF’s new wheeled Armored Personnel Carriers (APC). The announcement follows a process led by the Ministry of Defense’s Procurement Mission in the US, in cooperation with the Tank and APC Directorate. The program is likely to produce 500 vehicles, with hundreds more deliveries expected in the future. Eitan will replace M113s in service with the IDF since the late 1960s.

This program will produce hundreds of hulls, Eitan APC hulls. The first batch will arrive in Israel in about a year and a half to be fitted with the unmanned turret and systems. The final assembly of the vehicles will be done in Israel. The first batch of Eitan APCs is being produced in Israel, with deliveries of the first operational APCs to the IDF’s “Nahal” Brigade expected before the year’s end.

The deal with Oshkosh is estimated to be over US$100 million, financed by US military aid program. “This agreement, like many others, is thanks to our ironclad alliance with our American partners.” Head of the IMoD Procurement Mission, Brig. Gen. (res.) Michel Ben Baruch said. According to the Head of the Tank and APC Directorate in the Israel Ministry of Defense, Brig. Gen. Oren Giber, “The contract […] allows us to expand the project’s production resources to provide advanced APCs to the IDF.” The agreement presents further opportunities for the IMOD and Israeli defense industries to export the ‘Eitan’ APC and its deployed systems.

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[wlm_ismember]IMoD’s Tank and APC Directorate has developed the “Eitan” APC since 2014. Eitan can be powered by either a Caterpillar C18 or the MTU 6V890 diesel engine, developing 950-750 horsepower. Eitan can travel at a speed of 90 Km/H (56 MPH), over roads and off-road. It is claimed to be the world’s most protected wheeled APC. In an emergency, it can travel on wheels on highways and roads, without using the heavy transporters used to move tracked vehicles on roads.

Eitan can carry 12 personnel at maximum-level protection, provided by the passive armor and Iron Fist active protection system. Some vehicles will be equipped with remotely operated weapon stations; others will get an unmanned turret that mounts a 30mm automatic cannon, two independent sights for the commander and gunner, and a launcher for Spike LR anti-tank guided missiles retractable under the armor. All versions use an advanced, artificial-intelligence-empowered situational awareness system monitoring the vehicle’s surroundings, automatically detecting, identifying, and tracking targets of interest in real time.

The Eitan manufacturing agreement follows an earlier production contract awarded to General Dynamics Land Systems that produced hundreds of Namer hulls for the IDF since 2011. Oshkosh Defense has entered several collaborative programs with Israeli industries, including sourcing the armor protection suit for the Army’s Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) to subsidiaries of Israeli defense companies Plasan and OSG, and rearming the US Army Stryker 8×8 vehicles with a turret developed by Rafael.

An internal view of the Eitan. (SOurce: Yoav Zeitun, Yediot Aharonot)


Photo and video credit: Tank and APC Directorate, Israel Ministry of Defense

Eitan 8×8 APC undergoing rough terrain.

Firing a Spike LR missile from a retractable launcher on the unmanned turret

Iron-Fist APS being tested on the Eitan