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RBY MK I at the Yad la-Shiryon Museum, Israel.
Type Reconnaissance vehicle
Place of origin  Israel
Service history
In service 1975-present
Used by Current
Honduran Army
Guatemalan Army
Lesotho Army
Israel Defense Forces
Wars Guatemalan Civil War
Production history
Designer IAI RAMTA
Designed 1975
Produced 1975
Weight 3600 kg
Length 5.023 m (16.48 ft)
Width 2.030 m (6.66 ft)
Height 1.660 m (5.45 ft)
Crew 2 (+6 passengers)

Armour 8 mm (0.31 in) steel (hull sides)
10 mm (0.39 in) steel (floor)
Up to 5 machine guns
(pintle mounts)
Engine Chrysler 225-2 6-cylinder petrol or
6.8 litre V-8 diesel (Guatemalan RBY Mk 1 only)
120 hp or 145 hp depending on variant
Power/weight Depends on Variant
Speed 100 km/h (62 mph)

The RBY Mk 1 is a light armoured reconnaissance vehicle that was produced by the RAMTA Division of Israel Aircraft Industries. RBY is and anglicized acronym for "Rechev Ben-Yaacov". "Rechev" is Hebrew for "vehicle" and "Ben-Yaacov" is the last name of the creator of the vehicle, Yitzchak Ben-Yaacov (1919-2011). In Israel the vehicle is known as the "Rabi", a pronunciation of the acronym. It was replaced in Israeli service by the RAMTA RAM 2000 family of vehicles, though it continues to be used and upgraded by foreign users.[1] The RBY Mk 1 is no longer marketed to new customers.


The RBY Mk 1 with a variety of potential applications in mind, including reconnaissance, commando operations, internal security, and long range patrols.

Considerable design effort was put into making the vehicle mine resistant - the wheels and axles were placed as far forward and backward as possible to maximize the distance of any detonation away from the crew and passengers, the bumpers were made of fiberglass so they would disintegrate in an explosion and minimize hazardous debris, and the thickest armour was incorporated into the floor, and the floor and hull were shaped to channel explosions away from the vehicle. Outside of the modified Guatemalan versions, the RBY Mk 1 had no doors (crew entered through the open-topped passenger compartment) to ensure that the hull had no weak points.[1]

The weight of the vehicle was kept light enough to make it transportable by heavy lift helicopters, such as the CH-53 Sea Stallion.[1]

While the RBY Mk 1 featured no integral armament, provisions were made for up to five machine guns by placing pintle mounts at various points around the vehicle.

Passenger seating was provided with two, back-to-back rows of three outward-facing seats. This allowed the passengers maintain a full 360 degree field of view, and operate any mounted machine guns.

Guatemalan Upgrades[edit]

In the mid to late 1990s, the Guatemalan Army began testing an upgraded and modified RBY MK 1. The new RBY MK 1 featured a new, more powerful diesel engine, and a kevlar roof for what had been the open cargo/passenger box, and access doors on either side of the vehicle for the now enclosed rear compartment. The roof incorporated a ring mount for a machine gun.[2]


RBY Mk 1 Anti-tank - A modified version of the RBY Mk 1 was produced which featured a 106mm recoilless rifle, 16 rounds of ammunition and crew positions in place of the normal passenger seating.


See also[edit]

External links[edit]