The first serial production of Eitan Armored Personnel Carriers (APCs) was delivered to the IDF's Nahal Brigade roughly seven years after a prototype of the IDF's first wheeled APC was revealed, the Defense Ministry and the IDF announced on Sunday.
“The Nahal Brigade is proud to be the first in the IDF to receive the Eitan APC – a tool that will transform the brigade and allow us to become more operational, independent and protected," Commander of the IDF Nahal Brigade, Col. Oren Simcha said. "We understand the weight of this responsibility and the professional challenge involved in adopting this tool and thank the hundreds of professionals who took part in the planning, development, production and implementation of the Eitan APC.”
The 750-horsepower Eitan can reach around 90 kilometers per hour on its eight wheels, which gives it high all-terrain maneuvering capabilities. It can stay in operational use for multiple days at a time and carries twelve soldiers.
"After several years of hard work in developing, testing, and manufacturing, the first serial production Eitan APCs have been delivered to the esteemed Nahal Infantry Brigade. The Eitan constitutes a groundbreaking leap forward in the field of wheeled combat vehicles and is the first of its kind in the IDF. It offers a unique set of capabilities, including superior mobility and survivability for our fighting forces. It has the capability to fight alongside the Merkava Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) and Namer Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs), Head of the IMoD Tank and APC Directorate, Brig.-Gen. Oren Giber said.
"We are humbled and immensely proud to operationalize the first Eitan company in the Nahal infantry brigade. We recognize that each Eitan delivered to the IDF will replace older M113 vehicles, ensuring that our combat soldiers are equipped with state-of-the-art, highly protected and capable weapon systems, assisting them in securing victory on the battlefield and ensuring their safe return home,” Giber added.
Incorporating Eitan APCs into training
Nahal Brigade infantry soldiers already incorporated the Eitan APCs while training various simulated combat scenarios in a first-of-its-kind exercise in northern Israel.
The APC was developed by IDF Tank and APC Directorate engineers who gave the Eitan state-of-the-art technologies such as peripheral cameras equipped with day and night vision to ensure security, front calculation and processing capabilities using computerized technology, and touch monitors and processors used for the system of systems.
The Eitan assembly process is carried out in the "Merkava" factory of the IDF's Technological and Logistics Directorate.
“The IDF Technological and Logistics Directorate’s maintenance center is proud to lead the production of the Eitan APC among other key IDF systems and technologies. Our unit’s dedicated and professional personnel will continue to work around the clock together with our partners in the Israeli defense establishment and defense industry to ensure the Eitan APC’s operationalization. This will increase the mobility of the IDF ground forces and protect infantry soldiers in various types of combat,” said the Commander of the IDF Maintenance Center in the Technological and Logistics Directorate, Col. Yaniv Avitan.