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For other uses, see Namer (disambiguation).
Namer in a drill
Type heavy armoured personnel carrier
IFV upgrade planned.
Place of origin Israel
Service history
In service 2008–present
Used by Israel Defense Forces

Gaza War

Operation Protective Edge
Production history
Designer Israel Military Industries
Manufacturer IDF Ordnance (assembly)
Unit cost $3 million[1]
Produced 2008–present
Number built

120 built

A total of 531 ordered (including those already built)[2]
Weight 60 tonnes[3]
Crew 3 (commander, driver, RCWS operator) + up to 12 troops

Armor Classified composite matrix of laminated ceramic-steel-nickel alloy + underlaid reactive armour. Sloped modular design.
Samson RCWS equipped with either 12.7 mm (0.50 in) M2 machine gun, or Mk 19 grenade launcher, or smaller MG.
1 × 7.62 mm (0.300 in) FN MAG MG
1 × 60 mm (2.4 in) external mortar
12 smoke grenades
Engine 1,200 hp (895 kW) turbocharged diesel engine
Power/weight 20 hp/ton
Payload capacity 9 infantrymen[4]
Suspension Helical spring
500 km (310 mi)
Speed 60 km/h (40 mph) - top speed

Namer (Hebrew: נמ"ר‎, pronounced [nameʁ], means "leopard" and also a syllabic abbreviation of "Nagmash" (APC) and "Merkava" is an Israeli armored personnel carrier based on a Merkava tank chassis.[5] Namer was developed by and is being assembled by the Israeli Ordnance Corps. It has entered service in limited numbers with the Israel Defense Forces since summer 2008.


Namer prototype based on Merkava Mark I. Notice the straight side of the hull.
Operational Namer based on Merkava Mark IV. Notice the sloped side of the hull.


The experience of converting Centurion tanks into armored personnel carriers (Nagmashot, Nagmachon) and combat engineering vehicles (Puma, Nakpadon), followed by the successful conversion of many T-54 and T-55 tanks into Achzarit infantry fighting vehicles pushed the idea of converting Merkava tanks into heavily armored APCs / IFVs. The concept held great promise, because many of the 250 Merkava Mark I tanks were being gradually withdrawn from service and it was also made clear that the 105 mm armament of the Merkava Mark IIs could not be upgraded to the more modern IMI 120 mm gun.

The development did not progress much in the 1990s due to lack of funds, but following 2004 Israel–Gaza conflict, which exposed the vulnerability of the M113 armored personnel carrier to improvised explosive devices and rocket-propelled grenades, the IDF re-opened the development.[6] At that point domestic production of Namer was preferred over purchasing the Stryker armored personnel carrier.[7]


Eventually, IDF Ordnance developed infantry fighting vehicle prototypes based on the Merkava Mark I chassis, and also a handful of IFVs based on the Merkava Mark IV chassis.[8] The vehicle was initially called Nemmera (Hebrew: leopardess), but later renamed to Namer (Hebrew: leopard), while the name Nemmera refers to a Merkava-based ARV.

On 15 February 2005, Maariv reported that a running Namer prototype based on the Merkava Mark I was fielded by the Givati Brigade for trials and evaluation. It was equipped with a Rafael Overhead Weapon Station, which is remotely controlled and loaded from within the vehicle. This same unit was demonstrated at the Eurosatory 2005 military exhibition where prospective export customers showed interest.

Lessons learned in the battles of the 2006 Lebanon War also largely validated this program. Consequently, in 2007 it was reported[9] that the first fifteen Namers would be delivered in 2008, and over a hundred more would finally equip two combat brigades. However, conversion plans were abandoned in favor of newly built Merkava Mark IV chassis.

On 1 March 2008, an operational, started from scratch and fully developed Namer IFV based on Merkava Mark IV chassis was officially presented by the IDF.[10] Reportedly, the construction was expedited in May 2008 by importing parts from the US.[11] On 15 September 2008, the Namer was unveiled to the general public at an exhibition in Rishon LeZion.

To speed up the production of the Namers (which have been taking place domestically) on 25 October 2010, it was announced that General Dynamics Land Systems had been chosen to negotiate a contract to manufacture and integrate an unspecified number of vehicle hulls at the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima, Ohio.[12] A total of 531 Namer hulls will be manufactured.[2]

After cutting back orders for the Namer in 2014 due to budget constraints,[13] in 2015 the IDF ramped up orders for parts, in expectation for orders of complete systems. The move is in part a response to the death of 7 Golani Brigade soldiers who were killed by an RPG in Gaza while riding a Vietnam War-era M113.[14]


Operational Namer in Yad La-Shiryon, Latrun.


Namer has been designed for survivability and rapid repair, with modular armor, V-shaped belly armor pack, and NBC protection.

According to Brigadier general Yaron Livnat, they are more heavily armored than the Merkava IV: "The weight saved by eliminating the turret was 'reinvested' in beefing up the armor."[15]

From 2015 onwards, it is planned for them to begin to be equipped with a Trophy active protection system.[16]


Namer is armed with either a M2 Browning machine gun or a Mk 19 grenade launcher mounted on a Samson Remote Controlled Weapon Station, a 7.62 mm (FN MAG) machine gun, a 60 mm mortar. Smoke grenade launchers are also carried. Mounting an external remote controlled 30-mm autocannon[4] and Spike anti-tank guided missiles is also being considered.[17]


Back door entry

Namer is capable of maneuvering in difficult terrain, powered by the Teledyne Continental AVDS-1790-9AR 1,200 hp (895 kW) V12 air-cooled diesel engine of the Merkava Mark III. Namer is able to carry up to 12 troops (crewmen and fully equipped infantrymen) and one stretcher, or two stretchers and medical equipment on a Namerbulance MEDEVAC version.[18] The original Merkava Mark IV rear entrance was redesigned to be a wider door ramp with a sniper port. Two hatches are fitted on the roof, which is higher than Merkava's hull roof. Namer also shares a digital battlefield management system with Merkava Mark IV.

Combat History[edit]

Namers took part in Operation Protective Edge. During the fighting, Namers (which are currently not fitted with an Active Protection System) were hit multiple times by RPGs and ATGMs, including suffering direct hits by Kornet ATGMs, but the vehicles emerged undamaged and in no instances was the armor penetrated or injuries caused. As a result of its success on the battlefield, there were calls for the number of vehicles to be increased (beyond the 170 on order), and for them to begin to replace a number of the M113s currently fielded in combat units.[19]


The Golani Brigade was the first to acquire the Namer. According to IDF, the Namer IFV is set be distributed to infantry and combat engineering forces, with possible future plans for special models for intelligence and command purposes.[20] Two Namers took part in the Gaza War as part of the Golani Brigade.[21]
Azerbaijan and Israel have conducted negotiations over the Namer vehicle.[22]
Israel has offered procurement of Namer APCs to Colombia.[23]
Namer during operational assessment in U.S.
The US Army conducted non-developmental vehicle operational assessments of current combat vehicles in 2012 to evaluate capabilities against requirements for purchase of a new IFV for the Ground Combat Vehicle program. One of the vehicles validated was the Namer.[24] On 2 April 2013, the Congressional Budget Office released a report that advised purchasing current vehicles instead of developing a new vehicle for the GCV program. Buying the Namer would cost $9 billion less, and met the required nine-man carrying capacity.[25] The army responded by saying that although the Namer and other vehicles assessed in 2012 met some GCV requirements, no currently fielded vehicle met enough without needing significant redesign.[26]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Anshel Pfeffer (16 February 2014). צה"ל הכניס לשימוש נגמ"ש חדש מתוצרת ישראלית [IDF put to use new Israeli-made armored personnel carrier]. Haaretz (in Hebrew). Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  2. ^ a b,7340,L-4573814,00.html
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ a b "New Artillery Cannon for APC". IDF official site. 
  5. ^ Scott C. Farquhar (2009). "Namer"+"armored+personnel+carrier"&hl=en&ei=t69YTbKzMJDpgAfZjLX7DA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3 Back to Basics: A Study of the Second Lebanon War and Operation CAST LEAD. Government Printing Office. p. 86. ISBN 9780982328330. Retrieved 14 February 2011. 
  6. ^ Amnon Barzilai (10 June 2004). תוכנית "נמרה": טנק המרכבה 1 יוסב לנגמ"ש [Program "Nemmera": Tank will be altered APC]. Haaretz (in Hebrew). Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  7. ^ "Armored warfare: Israel Drops Stryker for Merkava APC". 11 January 2005. 
  8. ^ Gelbart, Marsh (2004). Modern Israeli Tanks and Infantry Carriers 1985–2004. Bryan, Anthony 'Tony' illus. Oxford, UK: Osprey. p. 7. ISBN 1-84176-579-1. 
  9. ^ "Armor: The Ultimate IFV". Strategy Page. 20 July 2007. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  10. ^ עין הנמ"ר (in Hebrew). IDF. 
  11. ^ צה"ל מאיץ את ייצור ה"נמר" בסיוע ארה"ב [IDF accelerates production of Namer with assistance of United States] (in Hebrew). Maariv. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  12. ^ "General Dynamics Selected for Merkava Armored Personnel Carriers for Israel" (Press release). PR Newswire. 25 October 2010. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  13. ^ "Israel halves Namer order with General Dynamics". Globes. 14 January 2014. 
  14. ^ "Defense Ministry doubles orders for tank, Namer APC parts". JPost. 3 March 2015. 
  15. ^ "Enter the Namer". Defense Update. June 2010. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  16. ^ נגמ"ש העתיד של צה"ל ימוגן ב"מעיל רוח" מאת: אמיר בוחבוט, מערכת וואלה! חדשות
  17. ^ "Namer Heavy armored personnel carrier". Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  18. ^ הגלגול הבא של הנמ"ר - אמבולנס משוריין (in Hebrew). Official IDF site. 
  19. ^ הסיפורים נחשפים: כך הנגמ"שים החדישים הצילו את חיי הלוחמים בעזה 13/08/14 16:21:38
  20. ^ "Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) - Namer". Official IDF site. IDF. [dead link]
  21. ^ מה עשו שני נמ"רים בלב רצועת עזה?. Official IDF site (in Hebrew). IDF. [dead link]
  22. ^ "Israel rearms Azerbaijani army". PanARMENIAN.Net. 30 June 2009. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  23. ^ "Israel offers Merkava tanks and Namers to Colombia". Army Recognition. 24 May 2014. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  24. ^ "US Army conducts NDV assessments for GCV programme". Army Technology. 23 May 2012. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  25. ^ Michael Hoffman (3 April 2013). "Report: GCV is worst choice to replace Bradley". Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  26. ^ Michael Hoffman (4 April 2013). "Army, industry slam CBO's scathing GCV report". Retrieved 18 August 2014. 

External links[edit]