Israel Defence Industries is hard at work developing two new infantry fighting vehicles to be supplied to the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) and designed to replace several aging systems that have outlived their usefulness. The first is a fully-tracked vehicle, dubbed the Namer (“Leopard”), and also a syllabic abbreviation of “Nagmash” (APC) and “Merkava” is an Israeli armored personnel carrier based on a Merkava tank chassis. Namer was developed by and is being assembled by the Israeli Ordnance Corps. It has already entered service in limited numbers with the Israel Defense Forces since the end of 2008. According to the IDF, it is the most heavily armored vehicle in the world.
Also in development is the Eitan (“Jew”), which is an 8×8 wheeled vehicle that will accompany and weigh just half as much as Namer APCs. “Sources here said it will weigh no more than 35 tons and will incorporate a new generation of active protection, an advanced turret and a full complement of munitions and sensors,” Defense News reported. The choice of name seems a bit peculiar, given its potential for export in the foreign market, even if its design is cutting edge.