‘Tigers’ in the Golan Heights

The new Namer tanks in the Golan Heights this week. (Defense Ministry)
The new Namer tank in action on the Golan Heights this week. (Defense Ministry)

“Tigers” were observed in the Golan Heights this week. The excitement was great.

The IDF revealed Thursday that they let out the new tigers in the Golan Heights for the first time. Of course this does not refer to live tigers but to the most modern armored personnel carriers (APCs) developed in Israel, called Namer, “tiger,” in Hebrew (an acronym of nagmash merkavah. The Namer is an APC with a Merkavah tank as its base but without the long guns). These vehicles are capable of crossing trenches – and quickly breaking into Syria, if and when asked to do so.

The special configuration of the Namer by the engineering forces, developed by the Defense Ministry, allows troops to overcome obstacles in difficult terrain, with maximum protection of the personnel by the Windbreaker missile defense system.

The Namer this week participated for the first time in an exercise demonstrating the first-class engineering. The exercise, held as part of training in the Lightning Division (188) on the Golan Heights, is the first test of the departmental surface of the Namer APCs, a special configuration adapted to the unique needs of military engineering troops. During the exercise, hacking tools and professional practice of the engineering corps were tested, as well as the overcoming of obstacles.

The new Namer tanks in action in the Golan Heights. (Defense Ministry)
The new Namer tank in action in the Golan Heights. (Defense Ministry)

During the exercise, the Namer was seen crossing an antitank ditch without any preparation or need of assistance from engineering measures, and then it was able to travel across another ditch.

The Namer was built in three configurations: an APC for a platoon captain with a bulldozer head; an APC for a platoon commander with the ability of hacking; and an APC for the platoon sergeant with the capability to tow.

The unique platforms that were developed in the Namer – considered the most advanced APC in the world – were tested, and their abilities proven in combat operations during Operation Protective Edge, facing off many threats. During that operation, the Namer helped save, b’chasdei Shamayim, the lives of many soldiers, who were protected in these tanks. In accordance with the decision of the Defense Ministry, any new APCs will be equipped with the Windbreaker defense system engineering, an overall position decision that will provide significant protection for all APCs.