Armor: Namer Issued To The Troops


July 14, 2009: The Israel Defense Force's elite Golani Brigade is upgrading their armored vehicles and undergoing advanced training to learn how to use them in combat. The Brigade recently adopted the domestically-made Namer armored personnel carrier (APC) as their standard vehicle. The brigades battalions are currently undergoing a course at the IDF's School for Infantry Corps Professions and Squad Commanders to learn how to utilize the vehicle effectively on the battlefield. 

The Israelis have set up a more efficient method of introducing the new vehicle to the unit and replacing the old ones. Companies contained within an entire battalion are being trained on the Namer APC directly (meaning all of their vehicles are being replaced) while independent (and often veteran) companies have been transitioning from the older vehicles, the Achzarit, to the new ones more slowly. The IDF is planning to give every squad its own Namer and is trying to get the vehicle into service as quickly as possible in order to ensure a continued technological edge over potential enemies. Once one battalion is finished with training on the new APC, another battalion will take its place. The training is compressed, but thorough and organized, and the system prevents the disorder of having to train every battalion in the brigade on the new equipment all at once. Despite the adoption of the vehicle, the IDF still maintains the older APCs as their standard infantry fighting vehicle and plans to continue using them for many years to come. 

The Namer is based on the Merkava tank design. Using  the running gear of a Merkava 4 tank, its primary advantage is an enhanced ability to negotiate difficult desert-like terrain and comes equipped with the usual day/night sights as well as machine guns and anti-tank missiles to support their infantry squads in the attack. Like the US Army's Stryker program, the IDF is planning to expand the Namer beyond simply infantry support. Plans are in place to develop ambulance, armored vehicle recovery, and command center versions of the APC. 





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