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Unmanned turret to be fitted to new Israeli armoured vehicles from 2024

The Eitans currently being produced have a remotely operated weapon station rather than the unmanned turret. (Israel Ministry of Defense)

The Israel Defense Forces' (IDF's) new Namer tracked and Eitan 8×8 wheeled armoured vehicles will be fitted with a new 30 mm turret in 2024, Brigadier General Oren Giber, the head of the Israeli Ministry of Defense's (MoD's) Merkava and Armored Vehicles Directorate, told Janes on 31 July.

The directorate is in charge of both current and future armoured vehicle production, which takes place at the IDF Technological and Logistics Directorate's Renovation and Maintenance Center at Tel HaShomer in central Israel.

“We are in the process of developing the 30 mm turrets and we expect them to be fully operational on vehicles coming off production lines around a year from today,” he said. “The same turret is being built in a modular manner for both the Namers and the Eitans, so the military can decide where to place its production focus going forward.” Brig Gen Giber said the turret will have a dual launch for Rafael Spike missiles.

In July 2017 the MoD unveiled a prototype of an unmanned turret with a 30 mm gun that could be fitted to both the Namer and the Eitan, which was then under development. The selection of an unmanned weapon station means the commander and gunner cannot open hatches in the turret to get a better view, but this reflects the IDF's focus on ‘closed-hatch combat' where the crew remains protected inside the vehicle and uses sensors to improve situational awareness.

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