The Israeli Ministry of Defense (MoD) announced on 20 August that it has chosen Elbit᾿s Iron First Light Decoupled (IFLD) active protection system (APS) for the Israel Defense Force᾿s (IDF) new Eitan wheeled armoured personnel carriers (APC) and D9 armoured bulldozers.
A computer-generated image of the IFLD fitted to an Eitan from Elbit. The MoD released a similar image showing it with dual-face radars and independently traversable electro-optical systems. (Elbit Systems)
Elbit will manufacture hundreds of systems under a programme worth hundreds of millions of shekels, the MoD said. Elbit said the contract has yet to be finalised.
The IFLD competed against Rafael᾿s Trophy for the contract. Industry sources told
that the Trophy version that was submitted was essentially the same as the one already in service on the IDF’s Merkava tanks and Namer tracked APCs but is 40% lighter. Defence sources said the Iron Fist was better adapted for wheeled APCs such as the Eitan.
“When considering the range of technical and technological parameters, the Iron First system won,” the MoD said in a statement. “The IDF᾿s operational requirements, which are at the basis of the tender for the Eitan APC – a part of the light armoured combat vehicle family – are different from those of the Trophy APS.”
Avi Dadon, head of the Acquisitions Administration, congratulated “both companies for the professional and honourable competition, which encourages blue and white development and manufacturing, and strengthens the Israeli economy and defence forces.”