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The Achzarit heavy armoured personnel carrier was developed by NIMDA for the Israel Defence Forces. The vehicle provides protected mobility of infantrymen and can be operated along with a well-armoured modern main battle tank (MBT) force.
In May 2010, Diesel Engineering received a $20.8m firm-fixed price contract to supply engine upgrade kits for Achzarit.
The engine upgrade kits improve the performance of engine, transmission and cooling system.
Achzarit heavy APCs are currently being deployed in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza regions by the IDF.
Achzarit APC variation models
Achzarit Mk 2 is an upgraded variant developed to handle the present demands of the IDF.
It is powered by a more powerful Detroit Diesel turbocharged diesel engine replacing the underpowered engine fitted on the Achzarit Mk 1.
This new, heavy APC is fitted with a Rafael remotely controlled weapon station and 7.62mm machine guns. Achzarit Mk 2 is equipped with a bullet-proof glass turret too.
Several Achzarit vehicles were modified to serve as ambulances in 2005.
Achzarit heavy armoured personnel carrier features
Achzarit is based on the Soviet-built T-55 tank captured by the IDF during the Arab-Israeli wars.
The conversion resulted in a troop compartment with hydraulically operated clamshell in place of T-55’s turret.
The transversely mounted engine provides space for a narrow passageway alongside the engine, extending from the troop compartment to rear exit.
The rear exit placed over the transmission has a ramp with non-slip, ridged surfaces for allowing the rapid entry and exit of troops.
Driver, commander and gunner are seated in the front side of the vehicle. The troop compartment accommodates seven infantrymen on one bench seat and four individual folding seats. In the rear left of the compartment is a simple padded bench and in the rear of this bench is a single fordable seat. Three individual folding seats are provided on the right side of the troop section.
The driver and gunner are provided with vision blocks and periscopes for observation.
The commander has a hatch in a raised umbrella position. This raised cupola gives overhead protection while offering all-round vision. The vehicle is also provided with both day and night sights.
Armaments on the Achzarit heavy armoured personnel carrier
The vehicle is armed with a RAFAEL remote controlled weapon station mounting a 30mm cannon in place of four remote controlled weapon stations housing 7.62mm machine guns.
The 30mm gun can be aimed and fired from inside the vehicle. The vehicle has three 7.62mm remote-mounted machine guns, one fitted on the commander’s hatch and two over the rear part of the roof. Achzarit is also fitted with a smoke-grenade launcher produced by the IDF.
Self-protection and armour
Achzarit can survive the high explosive anti-tank (HEAT) and kinetic energy (KE) projectiles capable of destroying conventional infantry fighting vehicles.
The front arc of the vehicle can withstand repeated 125mm KE hits. The rear side of the vehicle is protected with armoured mesh plates.
Around 14t of the vehicle’s weight is made up of advanced add-on armour providing high levels of protection.
The vehicle is also fitted with nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) protection and automatic fire suppression systems.
The Achzarit Mk 2 is powered by a new Detroit Diesel 8V92TA engine coupled to the upgraded Allison XTG-411-5 transmission.
This new power pack can be installed without making any changes to the engine compartment or vehicle.
It provides an output power of approximately 720bhp.
It will provide more power to the APC to operate in the front line with modern Israeli MBT’s such as Merkava Mk3 and Mk4.
The engine can take air from the crew or engine compartment via a pre-cleaner equipped with a dust evacuation blower.
The vehicle is optionally fitted with a fully automated, electronically controlled XTG411-6-N transmission system.
Achzarit is equipped with modified tractions similar to the Merkava tracks. The upgraded traction and suspension systems provide better cross-country mobility to the vehicle. The vehicle can ford 1.4m water without preparation and 4m depth with a short preparation.
The Global Armoured Vehicles and Counter-IED Vehicles Market 2011-2021
This project forms part of our recent analysis and forecasts of the global armoured vehicles and counter-IED vehicles market available from our business information platform Strategic Defence Intelligence. For more information click here or contact us: EMEA: +44 20 7936 6783; Americas: +1 415 439 4914; Asia Pacific: +61 2 9947 9709 or via email.
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