|Manufacturer:||I.M.I. Israel Military Industries Ltd|
|Product type:||Armoured Vehicles|
|Name:||Tracked armoured personnel carrier|
As a result of the ongoing troubles in the occupied territories and the rising number of casualties, the IDF is currently investigating replacing a part of the M113 based vehicles which were until very recently used in these parts.
As a spot-gap measure, vehicles like the Achzarit, Nagmachon and Puma have been transferred to these areas of operation.
Also, a new version of the M113 (Bardehlas), the L-VAS (Bazelet) is now on order. This involves adding three tons of passive armor, a new engine, new suspension, and a driver's seat with power steering. The cost will be $20 million for 50 vehicles. Although the APC is 35 years old, the IDF is considering gradually upgrading hundreds of the old APCs because of their availability and relatively low cost.
For a more permanent solution the team dealing with the Merkava tank plan in the Defense Ministry is currently building a prototype of a heavy APC based on Merkava Mk 1 tanks, the Nemera (Tigress).
Compared to the Achzarit APC the Nemera's most significant advantage is the high level of protection. It uses the basic hull of the Merkava, widely known for its very high survivability on the battle field. The basic hull will be heightened, much like the current Merkava based Namer recovery vehicle. It will have a roof hatch for the driver (which according to this image will retain his or her normal position) and commander, seated to the right of the driver. Behind these positions an Overhead Weapons Station will be fitted, probably with a larger caliber weapon than the currently used 7.62 mm FN MAG.
The use of an OWS has the advantage of a small footprint on the vehicle, freeing up space in the interior. It is estimated that a troop of around 8 men can be carried, not counting the crew of three (there will also be a gunner for the OWS).
By rearranging the rear of the hull a larger rear hatch can be accommodated, easing access and egress for the riding troops.
If based on the Merkava Mk 1, the vehicle will most probably retain its current drive train, probably allowing for a higher power-to-weight ratio.
A very large disadvantage of the Namera is the projected high price. It is estimated that the Namera will cost round $750,000 per unit.
The projected buy of the Namera is part of the total envisioned solution. The IDF also recently has ordered 110 Ze’ev vehicles and 100 4x4 (US manufactured German Unimog based and Krauss Maffei Wegmann develped) Dingo APC’s and is currently field testing the American M1126 based Stryker APC’s.