Thursday, August 02, 2012

Israel's Heavy Armoured Personell Carriers As Tough as Tanks

One the first things that a military geek will tell somebody that calls an M113 a "tank" is that's an armoured personall carrier, it's doesn't have a big gun and isn't as heavily armoured as a tank. Except if it's one of these Israeli jobs which have to deal with palestinean nationalists and occasionally neighboring Arab states .

found this

and pulled out these bits. Visit link for the whole thing. Seems they converted every tank they had except the Sherman and M-60

Israel’s Heavy Armored Personnel Carriers

Heavy metal

IDF heavy APCs
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A column of IDF AFVs. The nearest vehicles are Puma combat engineering vehicles, the distant ones are Achzarit heavy APCs. Photo by merdi
IDF's Zelda
The IDF’s Combat Engineering Corps training aboard M113 “Zeldas.” The shortcomings of the M113 were one spur to the development of heavy armored personnel carriers. Israel Defense Forces photo

HALFTRACKS: The first APCs were “half-tracks,” basically trucks with rear axles replaced by caterpillar tracks. Their thin armor and lack of overhead protection led American GIs to call them “Purple Heart boxes.”Israel acquired 3,500 surplus half-tracks, using them in the 1956 and 1967 wars after most armies had upgraded to fully-enclosed boxes such as 

M113 GAVIN TRACKED BOX: the M113. Made of welded aluminum, the M113 could “swim” in water, propelled by its tracks. Aluminum armor kept out bullets and shell fragments, but was easily penetrated by rocket-propelled grenades (RPG) and anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM). The U.S. sent Israel over 6,000 M113s. They were nicknamed “Zelda,” Hebrew slang for an American Jewish girl. In the 1973 war, they suffered painful losses.
 REBUILT T-55 Achzarit
The first of the IDF’s heavy armored personnel carriers, Achzarits were built from the captured hulls of Soviet-made T-54/55 tanks. Photo by gkirok
I...Beginning in 1987, some 276 T-55s were rebuilt by removing the turret and constructing a compartment for 10 troops. The bulky Russian diesel engine was replaced by a compact power pack, leaving space for a passageway to a rear exit door. The exterior was covered with reactive armor that defeats RPGs and early ATGMs. Named Achzarit (“Cruel One”) the 48.5 ton vehicle carries four roof-mounted 7.62 mm machine guns.


Nagmash’ot, Nagmachon, Nakpadon and Puma

Nagmachon heavy APC at the LIC 2004 exhibition. Derived from the British Centurion tank, this example has the distinctive “doghouse” replacing the turret. Photo by Fresh Military & Security Forum, Israel via MathKnight
Similar rebuilds gave new life to hundreds of obsolete IDF Centurion tanks. ...
By the 1980s, as Centurions were replaced by new Israeli-designed Merkava tanks, they were rebuilt as infantry carriers. ... Some Nagmachons are fitted with a distinctive non-rotating “doghouse” studded with vision blocks for a forward observer.

Namer (Merkava)

Namer in US
Soldiers from A Company, 1st Battalion, 29th Infantry Regiment, maneuver around an Israeli Namer during the Maneuver Battle Lab’s Ground Combat Vehicle assessment at Fort Bliss, Texas. The Namer was originally rebuilt from early Merkava tank chassis, but today they are being constructed by General Dynamics Land Systems in the United States. DoD photo by 1st Lt. Tyler N. Ginter
Namer means “tiger” or “leopard” in Hebrew.  Weighing 66 tons, this big cat is the most heavily armored APC ever built. About 130 are currently in service.  Early versions were converted surplus Merkava Mk. I tanks, but new production vehicles are assembled by General Dynamics in Lima, Ohio, and then shipped to Israel for installation of weapons and the secret composite and reactive armor.
Namer carries a crew of 11: commander, driver, gunner and eight troops. The gunner’s remote-controlled weapon station can be fitted with a 7.62 mm or 12.7 mm machine gun, or 40 mm grenade launcher.  Four external video cameras provide 360-degree vision.
Future versions will carry a 30 mm automatic cannon and the Rafael Trophy active protection system.  Namer is under evaluation for the U.S. Army’s Ground Combat Vehicleprogram.

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