Photo Credit: IDF Photo of the Day on May 20, 2012.
IDF Infantry soldiers pray at the Kotel with their assault rifles.

Starting in the Johnson administration, in 1964, Israel has relied on its military and economic ties with the United States for the supply of personal weapons. A high point in this support was the “air train” that transferred military equipment from the US to Israel in the 1973 Yom Kippur War, and the 2023 Iron Swords War. Israel purchases from the US most of its small arms: the M16 and M4 rifles, and sniper rifles.

Even before the October 7 war, Israel’s security apparatus decided to rely more heavily on local manufacturers to supply the IDF with personal arms, as well as artillery shells. The red flag that changed the brass’ thinking was the US decision in late 2022 and early 2023 to empty its storehouses in Israel and ship the American arms and ammunition to Ukraine.


According to a Ynet report, the IDF intends to return to unified Israeli-made assault rifles, mainly for the infantry. To this end, the defense ministry’s procurement administration is launching a huge tender for tens of thousands of rifles. The bids will come from Silver Shadow, which produces the Gilboa rifle; Emtan Karmiel, maker of pistols and rifles; and Israel Weapon Industries, maker of the Jericho pistol and the Arad assault rifle.

Two of these companies will win a huge contract to end the IDF’s reliance on US-made weapons. The blue and white personal arms will rely on the M16 and M4 designs, with various adapters for better projectile sights and range-increasing optical sights for snipers.

The IDF is also planning to replace the Israeli-made Tavor rifles, which were designed 20 years ago to replace US-made weapons but were limited to three infantry brigades: Givati, Golani, and Nahal. The Tavor will be distributed to non-combatant IDF units.

Until the Israeli arms makers start manufacturing replacements for the American-made weapons, due to the wear and tear of the existing weapons during the war, the defense ministry has ordered 20,000 US-made M4s and 3,000 Tavors.

Israeli-made assault weapons – the Galil and the Tavor – have not been particularly impressive, because they were competing with the much bigger shipments of US-made rifles which were uniform and therefore easier to maintain. By giving Israeli-made rifles the numeric edge this time, the IDF is hoping to rely on the local market for parts and maintenance, making them cheaper in the end.

According to Ynet, citing an IDF official, the new Israeli Ars will replace the American competition by 2025.

In recent months, the DM Procurement Administration has bought thousands of night vision devices for IDF soldiers, some of which have already been provided to the forces in the field, alongside the opening of emergency production lines of projectile ammunition from the Israeli industry, amounting to about a million rounds per day for assault rifles and machine guns.

The blue-and-white revolution may also come to the Air Force’s heavy armaments, with the establishment of the first production lines for Israeli-made one-ton bombs, after years in which the Air Force relied on purchasing large American-made bombs.


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David writes news at