Elbit Systems’ Iron Fist Light Decoupled APS chosen for the Eitan AFV

System provides 360-degree protection coverage for close-range scenarios in both open terrain and urban environments.

Iron Fist Light Decoupled (IFLD) (photo credit: ELBIT SYSTEMS)
Iron Fist Light Decoupled (IFLD)
(photo credit: ELBIT SYSTEMS)
The Defense Ministry has selected Elbit System’s Iron Fist Light Decoupled (IFLD) Active Protection System for the IDF’s new Eitan Armored Fighting Vehicle and D-9 Bulldozer, the defense company announced on Tuesday.
“Its low size and weight, versatile high-performance, negligible residual penetration and ease of integration position IFLD as an optimal active protection solution for any fighting vehicle,” Elbit said.
The IFLD systems uses independent optical sensors, tracking radar, launchers and countermeasure munitions to defeat threats at a safe distance from the defended combat vehicles. The system provides 360-degree protection coverage for close-range scenarios in both open terrain and urban environments.
“The selection of the IFLD for the IDF’s Eitan AFV comes on the heels of the decision by the US Army to proceed with the IFLD for the Bradley AFV,” the company said in a statement, adding that “The award of the contract for the program is subject to completion of negotiations between the parties.”
Based on lessons learned from fighting Hamas in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge in 2014, the Eitan, which is intended to give troops better security as well as greater speed and mobility, is part of the IDF’s drive to modernize its armored vehicles.
First revealed in 2016, the Eitan has undergone a comprehensive series of tests by the Defense Ministry’s Merkava and AFV Administration in collaboration with the GOC Army Headquarters and the Nahal Brigade, which will be the first to use the vehicle.
As a wheeled APC, the Eitan will not need to be moved on heavy transporters like the Namer and other APCs in use by the military, and will be more maneuverable in dense urban areas like the Gaza Strip.
At eight meters long and three meters wide, the Eitan weighs in at 30-35 tons and is operated by three crew members – a commander, gunner and driver. It can carry nine fighters in an air-conditioned environment. Its body and suspension system have been improved to maximize crew protection and survivability. Improvements were also made to the steering,  electric and control systems.
Equipped with a 750 horsepower engine, the Eitan will be able to reach speeds of up to 90 km/hr on paved roads while being able to maneuver off-road with independent suspension and an off-the-shelf drive train.
The Eitan will also be equipped with an FN MAG, .50 caliber heavy machine gun and a 30mm. cannon with a range of 2,500 meters and a missile launcher that can be operated without the crews leaving the vehicle and exposing themselves to the enemy.
The vehicle has a peripheral observation system, a high-resolution touch-screen system offering a 360-degree view of the battlefield and a variety of advanced weapons systems, which can intercept threats such as missiles and RPGs – weapons which proved deadly for older vehicles.
Yehuda “Udi” Vered, general manager of Elbit Systems Land Division, said that the company is “proud to have been selected by the IMOD to provide the IDF with such an important operational capability. The decision of the IMOD to prefer IFLD adds to the growing interest in this APS by many modern armed forces who seek to enhance protection capabilities for their AFVs.”