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Land Platforms

Israel unveils Namer turret upgrade

31 July 2017
The prototype of the Namer unmanned turret upgrade that was unveiled on 31 July. Source: Israeli Ministry of Defense

The Israeli Ministry of Defense (MoD) has unveiled a prototype of an upgraded version of its Namer heavy armoured personnel carrier (APC) fitted with a turret that is armed with a 30 mm gun.

In a statement released on 31 July, the MoD said the prototype was developed by its Merkava Tank Administration together with the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) Ground Forces and will begin a series of trials in the coming days.

Brigadier General Baruch Matzliach, head of the MoD’s Tank Administration, said the turret is unmanned and does not penetrate the vehicle’s hull, so does not impact its ability to transport soldiers. He said it will be integrated with an active protection system: a reference to the Rafael Trophy that is already being fitted to the IDF’s Namers.

The MoD released a video showing the turret with Trophy radars fitted to either side of the gun and countermeasures dispensers on both sides. It also had two sets of electro-optics: one mounted coaxially to the left of the gun and a second that appears to be able to rotate independently of the turret. The gun appeared to be an Orbital ATK Mk44 Bushmaster.

Brig Gen Matzliach said the upgrade is “a better answer to combat in an urban setting”, with the 30 mm gun providing “significant firepower to infantry units, allowing the soldiers to be more independent on the battlefield, and to reduce the dependency on support from other units”.

The IDF's Namers are currently only armed with a single 0.50-calibre machine gun in a Rafael Samson Mini remotely operated weapon station.

The turret upgrade is at an early development stage and not all the IDF’s existing Namers will be fitted with the new turret, a defence source told Jane’s .

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