Procurement: September 25, 2004

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The Israel Defense Force is going to evaluate the Stryker medium armored vehicle  and has acquired three of them for testing this Fall. The vehicles will be outfitted with Israeli weapons systems and run through a series of tests, with the results to be presented in early 2005. 

Earlier in the year the Israel Army had submitted a proposal to acquire an initial batch of 200 Strykers to replace its older M113 armored personnel carriers, but the Israel General Staff overruled the request. Advocates saw Stryker as a way to transition the Israeli army out of tracked to wheeled vehicles and thought they would meet the IDF's requirements for protection and strategic mobility -- so long as they got additional armor. The General Staff said the Stryker was "unsuitable" for IDF needs because it didnt provide enough protection and adding more armor would make it heavier and less effective. They also cited problems with Stryker's performance in Iraq and the $400 million price tag for the initial buy didn't help matters.

Israel will be buying more wheeled vehicles regardless of how the Stryker does in testing. An initial order of 30 Ze'ev (Wolf) armored vehicles has been placed. The Ze'ev is based on a Ford F550 4 x 4 commercial truck chassis and will be protected with an Israeli-manufactured light armor package along with a 7.62mm machine gun mount. Israel has is also looking to purchase buy 103 Dingo 2 vehicles. The Dingo 2 is an armored version of the classic Mercedes-Benz UNIMOG truck series and will capable of carrying up to eight personnel. Weighing in at nearly 12 tons, the 4 wheeled off-road vehicle, can travel at speeds up to 90 kilometers per hour, and has seen service in Kosovo. The Dingo's armor package is designed to protect against small arms fire, anti-tank, and anti-personnel mines. Doug Mohney


 


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