View Full Version : Saracen APC's ever used in Israel?
08-30-2006, 04:50 AM
As a collector of Armored Fighting Vehicles, primarily British(U.S. units are never released to the public), I am wondering if any British armor was ever sold to Israel other than Centurion MBT's?
Was the Saracen APC ever used by Israel? The Mk6 Saracen is a very capable vehicle, with the exception of it's antiquated 1 man small turret and small caliber main armament.
Also, I noted that the new "heavy" APC's fielded by Israel in the recent war seem to be built on T54/55 chassis, as is evidenced by the gap between the first and second road wheels.
08-31-2006, 04:09 AM
Israel took captured tanks from the Arabs and instead of using them as tanks they turned them into armored personnel carriers, called Achzarit which can carry up to 10 people. They've been very effective and the Russian's even took note of it and has been buying kits from Israel to turn thier old tanks into APCS.
08-31-2006, 05:44 AM
I have not found any reference to the use of Saracen or Saladin vehicles by the IDF. In fact the only wheeled APC's used by the IDF were BTR152's and BTR60's captured to Syrians and Egyptians. A local Israel company called Nimbda developed a modification of the BTR152 called Shoet but it did not enter in service in significant quantities.
The closer reference to the use of Saladin and Saracens are 18 vehicles of each type which were supplied to the Lebanese army in '78. During the Civil War they ended up in the hands of the Amal militia. I wonder if Saladins and Saracens were also used by Jordan or Iran, seems likely but I do not know at all.
The IDF used other smaller scout armoured cars like the Egyptian Whalid, the AIL RBY, AML 90, BDRM and others but in small quantities.
At present they are evaluating the Stryker but it is not clear if they will really buy it. They have three units that have been tested even in actual operational conditions, one of them was equipped with the Trophy system for trials. There is a lot of debate on their use.
The IDF has a special interest on very heavy armored APC. They have never really been happy with the M113's (or Zeldas as they call them) due to their vulnerability to RPG or ATGM fire. This was first found in the Yom Kippur war but became very critical during the Lebanon war. Due to this they developed two lines of heavy APC's based on the hulls of obsolete tanks.
One was based on the Centurion (or Sh'ot=whip) the first versions were used in Lebanon in the 80's and they were called Nagmashot(=Sh'ot APC). They have evolved into combat engineer vehicles like the Puma, a heavy APC called the Nakpadon and the mobile LIC command/observation post (Monster, I do not recall the IDF designation)
The other line of vehicles was based on T54/55 hulls and they are called Achzarit (=old evil woman). They were developed by the Nimbda company and were fist used in the mid 90's. There is a newest version with Merkava road wheels and tracks called Achzarit 2.
The IDF insists on the advantages of these vehicles as they can move an infantry squad in the middle of heavy fire (like a tank battle) well protected from tank and antitank fire. This is why there is a lot of dispute on the purchase of Strykers as they do not believe in the operational use of light armored vehicles or IFV's.
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