Monday, August 1, 2016

Israel presents new Eitan APC

The Eitan armored personnel carrier (APC) is a future addition to the inventory of the Israeli Defence Force (IDF). The Eitan is a wheeled 8x8 vehicle designed to replace the old US-made M113 APC as the main armored transport vehicle of the infantry. The development of the Eitan was announced in 2015.

The first prototype that was revealed is armed with two machine guns: a 12.7 mm M2 heavy machine gun (HMG) in a remote weapon station (RWS) behind the driver's hatch aswell a pinte-mounted FN MAG machine gun at the commander's hatch. It is powered by a 750 horsepower engine and can reach speeds up to 90 kilometres per hour, which is quite a bit less than average (Patria AMV, Boxer, VBCI, Terrex etc. usually reach above 100 kmph). Two banks of six smoke grenade dischargers each allow the Eitan to hide in dangerous situations. The Eitan will be fitted with the Trophy active protection system (APS) to defeat anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) and RPGs - however the current prototype is not fittet with an APS yet. The Eitan carries up to twelve soldiers, including the commander, driver and the gunner. It can be fitted with different weapon stations and medium calibre turrets with armament up to 30-40 mm autocannons.

According to sources from the Eitan's announcement in 2015, the vehicle will be weighing less than 35 metric tons when fitted with an "advanced turret" of unknown nature. Current video interviews suggest a weight in the 30 to 35 tons range. This implies a lower weight and probably also lower protection level than the current Terrex 3/Sentinel II prototype or the latest version of the Boxer; it appears possible that it reaches ballistic protection in accordance with STANAG 4569 level 4 or 5. STANAG level 4 requires full armor protection against 14.5 mm API ammunition from close ranges, while level 5 requires additional protection against 25 mm APDS along the frontal arc.
The side of the Eitan's hull is protected by rather thin applique plates, which appear to be some sort of metal fitted with thin bolts. Ceramic armor is usually thicker and held by fewer, but larger bolts. This armor design is very reminiscient of the VBCI's armor, which consists of steel or titanium plates fitted with thin bolts onto the vehicle's aluminium hull. This again might imply a protection level comparable to STANAG 4569 level 4. The Eitan is expected to have a high level of mine and IED protection.

(Eitan video from SNAFU Solomon's blog)

The Eitan is meant to supplement the Namer, Merkava and the future Carmel vehicle. It is designed for lower costs than a Namer, and thus sacrifies some performance for being affordable. Supposedly it will cost only half as much as a Namer APC, although this is not fully confirmed. Series production is expected to start by 2020.
The Carmel is Israel's next generation tank still in development. It is being developed instead of a heavier Merkava Mark 5 tank and is meant to rely on active protection systems rather than passive armor. The expected weight of the Carmel is about 32 tons according to an earlier interview. The Merkava 4 tank will remain in production until at least 2020, when the Carmel and Eitan might be ready.


  1. what is the carmel vehicle????

    1. Israel's next generation "tank" currently in development.

  2. The top speed of Eitan is actually not below average, considering its weight class is above the vehicles you mentioned.
    The Patria AMV was upgraded for a higher weight (LAND 400 Phase 2) but there are no sources to indicate is maintains the same top speed with the increased weight.
    Boxer's top speed is 103km/h, but it comes in various versions ranging from 25 tons to 38 tons, so I highly doubt it can maintain the 103km/h top speed at 35 tons when it has a weaker engine than Eitan.

    The front has an unknown level of protection. Could be level 5, could be level 6. But the sides definitely have superior protection due to double layered ERA that comes after a passive plate which provides level 4 protection.

    1. On this prototype there is no double-layered ERA, unless they decreased internal volume massively. The Eitan has the same width (judging by the wheels, hatches and rear ramp) as the average wheeled APC.

      As for the top-speed, the weight is a minor factor when it comes to speed. The Leopard 2 Improved got an additional 7 metric tons over the original version, while retaining the same suspension and engine. In the Greek tank trials in 2000 the Leopard 2 Improved still managed to beat the paper specs for top speed and was on-par with the nearly 8-tons-lighter Leclerc MBT.

      The running gear, engine and transmission are more important factors for speed than the overall weight. The original Boxer had a GVM of 33 tons and was able to go 103 kmph. How much does the actual Eitan weigh?

  3. Well it could be a single layer but the separating line does make it look wide enough for dual layer.
    Though a single layer would be plenty enough to handle common RPGs.

    The Eitan weighs 35 tons. Could go a bit higher if a CRV version is made. So only 2 tons heavier than Boxer, but compensates with a stronger 750hp engine.
    The MANTAK CEO said that its top speed is over 90km/h, though I doubt it's much over. Imagining something like 93-97.
    Odd indeed, considering the Eitan uses newer components.

    Come to think of it, I don't really see a reason an APC would even go beyond 70km/h so...

    1. According to the Israeli author of Defense-Update, the Eitan has a gross vehicle weight of up to 35 tons, it is not 35 tons heavy. Thrity-five tons is the maximum the vehicle can currently handle!

      There is no ERA on this vehicle, it might get ERA in the future.

    2. Dimensions of the Eitan, as measured earlier:
      Length - 8.35m
      Height - 2.62m
      Width - 3.29m

      I retract from my previous claim it has double layered ERA. What I meant is within each block it could utilize multiple layers of explosives as Rafael did in previous designs.
      Eitan is said to be developed as part of lessons learned in the military operation in Gaza in 2014 (we know it's not entirely true), in response to the destruction of an M113 by an RPG-29.

      If this is true, it means Eitan will have to handle tandem warheads.
      Given its increased width over other APCs, it's definitely possible.

  4. Very great post with excellent and insightful information. Thanks for sharing.

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  5. A 32 ton MBT, that's bold. Can't wait to see it.

  6. Will the Eitan have the full scale Trophy system like the Namer or will it have a lighter model?

    1. The Eitan might be fitted with the full scale Trophy system - this was tested on the Stryker ICV without problems. However I have heard rumors about the Eitan receiving the next generation APS from Rafael and IMI, which supposedly will combine some features of Trophy and Iron Fist.