Defense Ministry expedites procurement of Plasan SandCat armored vehicles

The Plasan SandCat is a modified Ford F-550 reinforced with lightweight composite materials.

Plasan SandCat (photo credit: PLASAN/DEFENSE MINISTRY SPOKESPERSON)
Plasan SandCat
(photo credit: PLASAN/DEFENSE MINISTRY SPOKESPERSON)

The Defense Ministry's Director of Procurement has expedited the purchase of 50 SandCat armored vehicles, due to "operational challenges facing the forces in the field," the Defense Ministry and IDF spokespersons announced in a joint statement on Thursday.

The SandCat, manufactured by Plasan, is a modified Ford F-550 reinforced with lightweight composite materials.

The Stormrider model has an independent suspension and a monocoque hull designed to protect passengers from mines and other explosives. With a weight below 12 tons and powered by a Ford V8 engine, it combines maneuverability with protection in order to provide what Plasan says is "the flexibility and robustness needed for every defense and security mission."

Applications for the vehicle include special forces, homeland security and border patrol. Additionally, the vehicles can be used as command-and-control centers and to transport troops and VIPs through conflict areas, the company said on its website, adding that there are over 15 variants of SandCats designed for specific field conditions.

Officials comment on acquisition of armored vehicles

“This is a significant and fast procurement process that brings important operational capability and immediate response to the needs of the protected mobility of IDF soldiers.”

Avi Dadon, Head of Production and Procurement and Deputy Director-General of the Defense Ministry

"This is a significant and fast procurement process that brings important operational capability and immediate response to the needs of the protected mobility of IDF soldiers," said Avi Dadon, Head of Production and Procurement and Deputy Director-General of the Defense Ministry.

"The agreement with the Plasan company will also include an end-to-end maintenance package, which will improve the availability of the vehicle fleet," he added. "We greatly appreciated the local industry for the quick mobilization in favor of responding to the IDF soldiers.

"Mobility is a fundamental component of the competence of the Land Forces," said Brig.-Gen. Aviram Sela, Chief of Staff of the IDF land forces.

"The deal to equip the Plasan vehicles expresses a combination of a full response to the operational need we have placed in the context of the protection and mobility of the fighters and relevance in time," he added. "The land arm, in cooperation with the technology and logistics division, is conducting a continuous situational assessment to ensure the competence of the land forces in regular and reserve for the border defense mission."

Defense Ministry orders hundreds of armored vehicles

In June, The Jerusalem Post reported that the Defense Ministry ordered hundreds of armored vehicles from Israel Aerospace Industries in order to augment the combat capabilities of IDF land forces.

As part of the contract, IAI, along with Ido Cohen and The Armored Group (TAG), was tapped to build Z-MAG and ZD combat vehicles for IDF special forces.

Plasan SandCat (credit: SEFER AZERI/CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)/VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)Plasan SandCat (credit: SEFER AZERI/CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)/VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)