via Jerusalem Post.
IDF Chief of Staff LtGen Gadi Eisenkot rode in the military’s newest armored personnel carrier in recent days, marking a milestone in the wheeled platform’s journey to becoming fully operational.This all but confirms it for me. The Israelis are gonna fast track this vehicle. Additionally it looks like they might be expanding its possible roles in their armored formations. Could we be looking at a mixed fleet of Namers and Eitans with the 8x8's forming the backbone of infantry transport?
During a war drill held by the 7th Armored Brigade on the Golan Heights, held together with infantry and the air force, Eisenkot boarded the Eitan APC, which the Defense Ministry unveiled on August 1, following years of research and development.
We need better numbers on the true cost of the Namer (not only procurement but maintenance etc...) but I'm beginning to think that we're seeing the economics of the Israeli defense budget driving procurement.
Consider this. The Eitan from my chair looks to be the most heavily armored 8x8 entering service anytime soon. Does that sound like a vehicle that is simply a M113 replacement? The concept that the Israelis have laid out would indicate that any of the current 8x8 would suffice. They're going much heavier instead. We'll know for sure soon enough.