Israelis to test Strykers

Israel Receives U.S. Strykers for Prototype Testing

This could potentially be big for the future of the Stryker program. If it’s not too late, that is.

Tomorrow Israel will receive three Stryker prototypes to test. If pleased with the results, they may purchase hundreds of the 8-wheeled light armored vehicles.

Toward the middle of 2005, the U.S.-built vehicles will be outfitted with locally developed armor and weapon stations geared toward possible Israeli-specific Stryker missions. Prototype testing of the locally enhanced Strykers is expected to continue through the end of 2005, and could include up to eight different variants of the Stryker, including a version for paratrooper insertion and special operations; an engineering version to detect mines and explosive devices; an anti-tank combat variant; and a version for medical and search-and-rescue operations.

Amos Yaron, director-general of Israel’s Ministry of Defense, said the Stryker technology demonstration program will allow Israeli decision-makers to determine how the U.S.-built Stryker can best meet Israeli military requirements. “We anticipate tremendous benefits from this system, especially once it is equipped with Israeli systems and technologies,” Yaron told

If anyone can answer today the questions concerning the Strykers applicability to the Global War On Terror (World War 4), the Israelis should be able to. My question is why are they testing them now, after two American brigades have already transitioned and a third is getting ready to follow suit. Why didn’t this happen in 2000 or 2001, before the final commitment was made?

And as for local Israeli-produced components, we should watch carefully. I imagine that lot of the reasons for using locally-built parts are based on supporting local manufacturers, but I’ll bet the Israelis choose a stabilized weapons mount so the Strykers can fire accurately while on the move. I hope we’re watching carefully what they change and consider it for our use, as well.

Wasn’t Israel’s criticism of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle a major reason why the corruption of our original plans for that vehicle was uncovered? If I recall correctly, they were unhappy with the armor especially, and we eventually changed our plans when our design was proven to be inadequate. Or am I just putting too much stock into the Pentagon Wars legend?

In any event, I hope the IDF’s plans to buy Strykers, if it goes through, doesn’t end up being another give-away on our part.


  1. IDF does have plenty of experience in their halo-style gun nest on their armor vehicle (complete unobstructed view while full enclosed). I wonder if they want to use that on Stryker (don’t see how).

  2. The IDF has lots of challenges to deal with, but funding is probably the biggest. Heavy armour like the MERKAVA tank and ACHZARIT APC is amazingly expensive to produce and maintain. Lighter and cheaper machines like the Stryker will provide capabilities the IDF needs without breaking the bank. If the money was available, I’m sure the IDF would have jumped on the program a long time ago. The model they may choose could even be the Canadian ‘LAV III’, which mates a Delco turret mounting a 25 mm chain gun to the Stryker body. A small bit of preening is in order, the Canadian Army developed this model before the US adopted the Stryker. (Alas, our Government refuses to actually buy enough of the things, or use the ones they have, but that is a different story.)

  3. The Stryker is a good vehicle for it’s intended purpose. If there are deficiencies the IDF is the group to find them. The IDF has more modern warfare experience, and a better record than almost anyone. (although we’re not far behind) I mean come on, they dismantled the cream of three armies in 6 days. I think if they decide to modify the stryker, we better check it out and see if it’ll work for us. As far as that 25 mm chain gun goes, we’ve proven that w/ DU penetrator rounds it’ll punch holes THROUGH a T-72. (not just into, all the way through) Sounds like a good combo to me, I just wish we’d beat the canucks and IDF and everybody to the punch, and start paying attention to what works.