Tank and APC Administration


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In 1970, Israel elected to eliminate its reliance on foreign tank suppliers and achieve independence in design and production. This decision led to the establishment of Israel's Tank and APC Administration under the Ministry of Defense, and subsequently, its first tank project.

Nearly nine years following the establishment of the Tank and APC Administration, Israel issued its first tank, the Merkava Mark I. Each new generation of the Merkava is more sophisticated and better protected, incorporating lessons learned and adapting to changing battlefields and combat scenarios. Today, the most updated Merkava model- Merkava Mark IV- is considered one of the most advanced tanks in the world.


Development of the Tank and APC Administration:

The Tank and APC Administration bears the overall responsibility for the design, development and production of Israel's tanks as well as the establishment and expansion of related industries. The program was first led by two-time winner of Israel's Security Prize, Maj. Gen. Israel Tal, also considered the "father of the Merkava".

At the early stages of the program, Tal and his team sought to develop a tank based primarily on existing systems. With this idea as a starting point, the team changed course and began developing an original, innovative tank. Existing infrastructure was used to limit costs and resources, with the IDF's tank rehabilitation and maintenance center used as the program's assembly line.  There, 200 employees would produce the thousands of parts and systems that make up the Merkava.

The facility, which had once focused solely on rebuilding and repairing Israel's old tanks was  transformed into the assembly line for the country's first independent tank line, and eventually led to the creation of the Merkava factory.

The development of the Merkava Mark I represents the start of a true industrial revolution in Israel. It transformed the country into a global leader with a positive reputation in the industry and the ability to produce complex, modern tank systems with inter-industrial integration.  


Since its inception, the Merkava model has undergone a series of enhancements and improvements. Today, the Merkava Mark IV is considered to be one of the best tanks in the world. Owing to the Trophy Active Protection System, it is also considered one of the world's most armored tanks, providing maximum protection against a wide range of threats.


Merkava- Namer APC:


In 2004 it was decided to build Israel's first APC based on the successful Merkava Mark I model in order to satisfy the growing need to mobilize IDF infantry. Lessons from the Second Lebanon War led to the design and development of the Namer APC to protect IDF ground troops.

The Namer APC, equipped with the Trophy active protection system (APS), is considered among the world's most protected armored vehicles. It proved its combat capabilities during Operation Protective Edge by protecting the lives of Israeli soldiers against a multitude of threats.

The Namer can carry eleven troops, as well as two additional stretchers. It is armed with a grenade launcher, command and control systems and combat management systems operated via three screens and eight cameras. It is air conditioned and can hold cold drinking water.

In August, 2017, the  Tank Program Management together with the IDF Ground Forces, launched the first series of tests on the Namer APC equipped with a 30mm turret. The turret was developed to be installed on two of the IDF's APCs - the Namer, and the wheeled Eitan APC, which is currently undergoing tests as part of the development program. The turret is designed to turn the Namer platform into a more complete tool, responding to a wide range of threats on the ground, and ensuring the continued tactical superiority of the IDF. It increases the APC's versatility and improves its abilities in urban areas.

Engineering Namer APC:

An engineering version of the Namer APC was developed in three different configurations: APC for a company commander, APC for a platoon commander, and one for a class commander. Based on the infantry moel, the engineering versions include firing systems, Trophy APS, perimeter observation and additional capabilities.


Merkava- Eitan:

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In August 2016, the Tank and APC Administration, in collaboration with the  IDF Ground Forces, revealed the Eitan, the IDF's first wheeled APC. The Eitan is an advanced, multi-purpose APC, equipped with a multitude of abilities, and is prepared for combat mobility in various terrains.

The Eitan was designed as a versatile tool, with relatively low development and production costs. The Eitan will serve as an advanced and protected wheeled combat vehicle. It will be equipped with an active defense system. The most significant advantages of the Eitan are its excellent mobility and advanced firepower.

Technical Data:

Weight: 30-35 Tons

Engine Power: 750 Horsepower

Propulsion: 8 wheeles, 8x8 Drive

Capacity: over 90km/hour


Trophy Active Protection System:

The Trophy  APS is the product of years of research and development, starting in the 1980s. In 2007, following the Second Lebanon War, it was decided to develop and integrate an active protection system - Trophy- to defend the  Merkava Mark IVs against anti-tank missiles and rocket fire.

The system uses sensors to detect threats approaching the vehicles, and sends countermeasures to neutralize them. The system then locates the origin of the threat, allowing troops to target the launcher. Trophy  is able to handle a wide variety of hostile challenges.

Trophy is a breakthrough system, not only in the operational sense, but also as a technological achievement. During Operation Protective Edge in 2014, Trophy intercepted numerous anti-tank missile attacks on IDF tanks and APCs. As a result, Trophy changed the image of the battlefield and saved the lives of countless Israeli troops. As such, in November 2016 it was announced that every new Merkava IV and Namer APC will be equipped with the Trophy APS.

Trophy, the winner of the Israel Defense Award in 2014, is considered among the world's most effective active protection systems. It was developed by a joint team including, the MoD Tank and APC Directorate, the MoD Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D), IDF Ground Forces, and Israel's Rafael and ELTA industries.