Israeli Ministry of Defense (IMOD) has unveiled a new 8-wheeled home-grown Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) variant ‘Eitan’. The Eitan can be equipped with a 30 mm gun and has a pintle-mounted 7.62 mm machine gun. The Infantry Fighting Vehicle is fitted with the Iron Fist Light Decoupled (IF-LD) Active Protection System (APS). The Iron Fist system uses optical sensors, tracking radar, launchers and countermeasure munitions to defeat threats at a safe distance. The Iron Fist system provides 360-degree protection coverage for close-range scenarios in both open terrain and urban environment. The first batch of vehicles will enter the IDF operational service by the end of 2021. Eitan is the first wheeled 8×8 IFV developed in Israel.
The Eitan IFV is eight meters long and three meters wide and weighs 30-35 tons. It is powered by a 750-hp (559 kW) diesel engine and has a top speed of 90 km/h on paved roads. The Eitan has run-flat tires and central tire inflation system, and is designed with a protected, relatively high floor to protect from mine and IED blast effects. Weighing less than 35 tons, Eitan is much lighter than the Namer tracked APC which based on the Merkava main battle tank (MBT) chassis. Eitan will complement the Namer Heavy Infantry Fighting Vehicle in Israel Defense Forces (IDF) service. Eitan (Hebrew for “steadfast”) is an 8×8 wheeled vehicle and is being developed by the Merkava and Armored Vehicles Directorate in the IMOD to replace the aging M113 armored personnel carrier in use by the IDF.