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December 8, 2016 / 8 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Merkava’

Report: 3 MKs, IDF General Were KGB Agents

Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

Three Knesset members, senior IDF officers (including one member of the IDF General Staff), engineers who worked on classified projects such as the Lavi supersonic warplane and the Merkava tank, as well as intelligence officers in sensitive positions, have been exposed as KGB agents by documents to be revealed by the daily Yediot Aharonot this Friday.

The secret documents have been copied over a period of 20 years by Vasili Mitrokhin, a former senior KGB agent, who hid his work in milk jugs under his vacation home in a suburb of Moscow. In the early 1990s, Mitrokin contacted the West and he, his family and his milk jugs were transported to the UK. The revelations in these documents were a harsh blow to the Soviet spy network, exposing an estimated one thousand KGB agents around the world. Those documents included revelations about KGB activity inside Israel, and Yediot has now received some of them from a secret archive at Cambridge.

One of those KGB spies in Israel’s highest echelons was MK Elazar Granot, a socialist leader who served on the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and was privy to Israel’s military secrets. The KGB also employed a senior engineer in Israel’s national water project in the 1950s and 60s, and even a senior agent in the GSS counter intelligence dept.

According to Yediot, the KGB’s highest prize was the recruitment of an IDF general who was member of the General Staff. When he was exposed, in 1993, the high ranking was already terminally ill and the powers that be decided not to prosecute. They likely did not relish the exposure either. He died shortly afterwards.

David Israel

Revealed: IDF Operating World’s Most Advanced and Protected Wheeled Combat Vehicle

Monday, August 1st, 2016

The Merkava Tank Administration at Israel’s Ministry of Defense has completed the development of its first wheeled armored personnel carrier (APC), the Eitan, which it says is the world’s most advanced and protected wheeled combat vehicle.

Over the past few days, the Defense Ministry, in collaboration with the IDF Ground Forces, have begun conducting initial trials of the Eitan. It is an advanced, multi-purpose APC equipped with a plethora of capabilities and prepared for combat mobility in varied and difficult terrain.

The Eitan / Courtesy

The Eitan / Courtesy

Brig. Gen. Baruch Matzliah, Head of the Merkava Tank Administration said in a statement, “The decision to develop the Eitan was made in light of lessons learned during [the 2014 Gaza] Operation Protective Edge, and the increased need to replace thousands of the IDF’s veteran M113 APCs with modern tools with maximum protection, tailored to the existing threats in the arena.”

Matzliah said that “alongside the decision to accelerate the production of the Namer (Heb: tiger, pronounced Nah-mehr) APC, it was decided to develop an additional tool, to compliment it, enabling fast, strategic mobility and maximum protection for ground forces. The series of exercises we have recently begun is allowing the IDF to test the tool in a variety of sites, ahead of decisions regarding the volume of the purchase.”

The Eitan / Courtesy

The Eitan / Courtesy

According to Matzliah, the Eitan was designed as a multi-purpose tool with varied abilities, whose low development and production costs would be roughly half that of the Namer APC, and/or any other wheeled APC in the world. This low-cost allows for the Eitan to be equipped with more tools, at a higher rate, like the Namer.

The Eitan will be the world’s most advanced and protected wheeled combat vehicle. It will be equipped with an active defense system, similar to the Namer APC and Merkava Mark 4 tank, and with additional protection systems. The most significant advantage of the Eitan is its excellent mobility capabilities across varied terrains and at speeds of 55 mph. The Eitan was designed for a multitude of tasks, from mobility for twelve soldiers (like the Namer) to advanced firepower.

The Eitan / Courtesy

The Eitan / Courtesy

The Eitan’s Technical Statistics:

Weight: 30-35 Tons

Engine Power: 750 Horsepower

Propulsion: 8 Wheels, 8X8 Drive

Maximum Road Speed: over 90 Kilometers per Hour

Capacity: 12 Soldiers: driver, commander, gunner and an additional nine soldiers

Combat Systems: from small arms positions to medium range with 30-40 mm cannons, and an active defense system

JNi.Media

IDF Decides ‘ No Women in the Tank Corps’

Monday, May 18th, 2015

Two classes of a new light infantry brigade, the “Lions of Jordan” has been recruited in recent months and is being assigned to guard the eastern border of the Jordan Rift Valley.

Similar to the Caracal Brigade that guards the Egyptian border, the “Lions of Jordan” are not expected to mobilize for war.

These units are comprised of female soldiers. Ten more such soldiers have joined the “Sky Riders” who operate unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) in the artillery corps, and even as kashrut supervisors under the aegis of the IDF Rabbinate.

Statistically, 90 percent of IDF positions are open to women, including combat roles in the Navy, Home Front Command, Military Police in Judea and Samaria, and the Artillery Corps.

But in active combat roles – the “front line troops” – only five percent are comprise of females. And there have been protests about that, which forced the IDF to examine ways to broaden the field.

It’s taken a while for the army to make its decision but once made, the ruling is final: no women in the armored corps.

GOC Army Headquarters has been conducting a series of field tests over the past several months to determine whether, in fact, it would be useful or damaging to have women serve in tanks. The tests were conducted as part of the general IDF initiative to allow more women into combat units.

The trials, carried out in coordination with the Medical Corps, concluded with the decision that “integrating female soldiers into tanks was harmful,” a senior IDF officer told the Hebrew-language Ynet news site.

Among the difficulties identified in the tests were two major physical discrepancies between the women and men in tasks necessary within the combat compartment of the Merkava tank.

In addition, evaluators examined the level of intimacy required among soldiers who are forced to spend days at a time locked into a small cabin while on operational duty. The privacy of a female combat soldier could at times be severely compromised under such conditions, the IDF found.

Instead, the Army is reconsidering a past plan in which female combatants would be integrated into units which operate heavy equipment. Such combat engineers operate the armored D9 bulldozers while in enemy territory and during ground operations led by the Armored Corps and Infantry Divisions.

However, heavy equipment operators also are required to work for long periods, two at a time in cramped quarters, so this too is being scrutinized.

Hana Levi Julian

Lebanese Media Report Two IDF Tanks Crossed Border

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Two Israeli Merkava tanks crossed the electronic fence on the northern border and entered Lebanese territory Tuesday, the Lebanese-run National News Agency reported.

The IDF refused to confirm or deny the report, and military spokeswoman explained to The Jewish Press, “We do not comment on reports from foreign media.”

The Lebanese news agency claimed that the two tanks remained in Lebanese territory for approximately two hours before leaving.

It added, “At the same time, Israeli warplanes violated the Lebanese airspace over the central sector, while a reconnaissance aircraft flew over (the southern regions of) Bint Jbeil and Marjeyoun,” according to the same source.

Israeli helicopters reportedly flew over southern Lebanon near the border and fired flares.

The activity could be related to Israeli military drills in the area but also may be a reaction to Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah’s boast on Monday when he took responsibility for a bomb explosion aimed at an IDF patrol last month.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Israel’s ‘Trophy’ Defense for APCs Passes Tough US Army Test

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

Israel’s “Trophy” defense system for General Dynamic’s LAV-III armored personnel has passed tough tests, including live fire under harsh terrain conditions in Canada, Israel Defense reported Tuesday.

The system withstood advanced anti-tank rocket fire, recoilless guns, short range fire and fire from different weapons simultaneously to verify the system’s functionality.

The Trophy system’s success in Israel has been proven on the IDF’s Merkava Mark IV tanks, which were deployed in Gaza during last year’s Pillar of Cloud counter-terrorist operation.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israels-trophy-defense-for-apcs-passes-tough-us-army-test/2013/10/22/

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