The Israeli Aircraft Industries (IAI) developed the Machbet in the mid 1990's. It had undergone testing in the IDF in 1997 and entered operational service in 1998. Pending on budget issues, the IAF is planning to convert all its Hovet APC to the newer Machbet configuration.
The Machbet is an advanced MBT air defense product, in service in the Israeli Air Force. It adds an enhanced suit of TV and FLIR target auto-tracking capability to M113/Vulcan/Stinger launchers. A unit-level fire coordination and management capability is provided, as well as an interface to a sectorial air surveillance radar for the air targets picture. These all enable to acquire approaching targets at an early stage, making the weapons much more efficient.
- 500m minimum range; 6,000m maximum range against helicopters; 8,000m against aircraft
- Interfaces with the EL/M 2106 search radar
- Adaptable to Stinger, MISTRAL, SA-16, SA-18 and other short range missiles
It is almost identical to the Hovet, but atop the turret is a launching box with 4 Stinger launchers. This vehicle was a surprise to enemy pilots who felt they had spotted a standard PIVAD (Product Improved Vulcan Air Defense System) and thought they were out of range of it.