Israel Drops Stryker for Merkava APC (1/12/05 entry)
I noted last September that Israel was getting a Stryker proto-type to test. they’ve decided against going with it, and instead are planning to rebuild existing Merkava I and II tanks into armored personnel carriers.
These tanks are being retired, and one such Merkava I is being turned into a prototype of the new “Nemerah” (“Tigress”) vehicle. This APC has the thick armor of the Merkava, but the turret is removed and a remotely controlled (from inside the vehicle) heavy machine-gun would be added. The Merkava lends itself to this kind of modification, because the engine is mounted in the front and there is already a door in the back of the vehicle. The Israelis liked the speed of the Stryker, but they apparently feel they will still be fighting in urban areas, against Palestinian terrorists, in the next ten years. There, the Nemerah has an edge, because of its thicker armor.
I had been looking forward to seeing Israeli-developed modifications to the Stryker, since they have more than enough experience fighting the sort of enemies that we find ourselves facing most often these days. But it’s not to be.