Ramta IDF Caterpillar D-9R

     Notes: The D-9 was first acquired by the IDF in the 1950s; the IDF began modifying them almost immediately, primarily increasing their survivability, until we reached the present standard, the D-9R.  It has not been exported, though the US has expressed an interest in applying similar modifications to the M-9 ACE or acquiring the D-9R.  The D-9R has been given the strange nickname of Doobi (Teddy Bear).  The D-9R version brings to the D-9 the ability to be used in a military combat engineering role.  (It is said that the two vehicles that Hamas is most afraid of are the AH-64 Apache and the D-9R Doobi.)  Most D-9Rs are not new-build vehicles; they are modified versions of earlier D-9s.

     The base of the D-9R is recognizably the D-9's chassis; however, the rest of the vehicle, including the plow, has been heavily armored to make viable in combat and in destroying fortifications and digging up mines and IEDs. The upper part of the D-9R is dominated by a superstructure that is armored, has large armored windows, and is further protected by slat armor.  The working parts in front of the superstructure, as well as the plow attachments, are armored.  At the rear is another blade, used to brace the D-9R when pushing against constructions with the front blade.  The front dozer plow is larger and heavier than the standard D-9 blade  It has an AV of 25Sp against mines, explosives, gunfire, and antiarmor weapons. At the top of the blade is a hedge of slat armor.  In addition to removing obstacles, the D-9R can also build fighting positions, both with the front blade and with a rear deep ripper.  A tertiary role for the D-9R is vehicle recovery; though it has no cables, it can, by means of a tow bar, tow up 35 tons (though slowly). It can also push up to 71.6 tons (again, slowly).

     The D-9R can have a light, medium, or heavy machinegun on its roof on a pintle by the commander's position.  Studies have been undertaken to mount a OWS-type installation, but none have been operationally mounted as of yet.  There are also four firing ports for small arms in the superstructure. Atop each main dozer arm is a double set of high-intensity spotlights, each facing slightly away (and in opposition) to the center of the housing.  The large, armored dozer blade can be detached and replaced with a dedicated mine plow which also has some utility at destroying fortifications and has ripper extensions along the bottom of the blade.  The armor is greatly strengthened and the entire vehicle much more protected than a stock D-9.  The floor is especially strengthened; one D-9R ran over an IED with 500 kilograms of explosives, losing only the suspension.  Even the tracks have armored shoes.

     The D-9L is still in service with the IDF; it is essentially the D-9 with an armored superstructure of thin steel (though the armor was equal to any small arms or rocks that the Palestinians has at the time) and a high-powered (some say overpowered) engine, but with less torque.  This engine is also fuel-hungry and much larger than later engines. Revealed weaknesses to the RPG and some grenades and IEDs led to the D-9N, similar to the D-9R except for less armor protection and a lighter plow, and stronger engine.  The D-9T is a version of the D-9R which can be remote-operated, used in high-hazard areas; any D-9R can be configured to the D-9T specifications by means of a kit and an engine change. Engines are variants of the 3408 HEUI, except for the D-9T, which uses a CAT C18 ACERT engine.  The D-9L also uses a different engine, more akin to a civilian bulldozer.

     Due to their low combat speed, high-torque engines and high weight and fuel consumption, D-9s are usually carried to and from the battle area on tank transporters.

     Armored D-9s have also proved exceptional at fighting forest and brush fires, most notably the 2010 Mount Carmel Forest Fire. One controversial use of the D-9 series is to topple buildings or walls on top of suspected terrorists' heads; this can also topple them onto civilians' heads as well.

Vehicle

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Shielded

D-9L

$473,954

D, A

600 kg

56 tons

2

27

WL Spotlights (4)

Enclosed

D-9N

$399,550

D, A

600 kg

59 tons

2

34

WL Spotlights (4)

Enclosed

D-9R

$385,508

D, A

600 kg

61 tons

2

32

WL Spotlights (4)

Enclosed

D-9T

$456,110

D, A

600 kg

62 tons

2

35

WL Spotlights (4)

Enclosed

D-9T (Tier 4)

$456,304

D, A

600 kg

63 tons

2

35

WL Spotlights (4)

Enclosed

 

Vehicle

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Config*

Susp

Armor

D-9L

74/52

21/14

821

158

Trtd

T4

TF14  TS10  TR6  HF12  HS12  HR8**

D-9N

64/45

18/12

821

131

Trtd

T4

TF15Sp  TS11Sp  TR9Sp  HF13  HS13  HR8***

D-9R

66/46

18/13

821

143

Trtd

T5

TF18Sp  TS12Sp  TR10Sp  HF15  HS15  HR9****

D-9T

64/45

18/12

821

140

Trtd

T5

TF20Sp  TS14Sp  TR8Sp  HF17 HS17  HF10****

D-9T (Tier 4)

66/46

18/13

821

147

Trtd

T5

TF20Sp  TS14Sp  TR8Sp  HF17 HS17  HF10****

 

Vehicle

Fire Control

Stabilization

Armament

Ammunition

D-9

None

None

Negev or MAG or M-2HB

7000x5.56mm or 5000x7.62mm or 3000x.50

*The "Turret" is actually the tall superstructure on top of the rear of the vehicle.

**TD and Belly armor are AV 6.

***TD armor is 6; Belly armor is 8.

****TD armor is 7Sp; Belly armor is 8Sp.

 

Puma Armored Engineer Carrier

     Notes:  This is an armored personnel carrier based on the Sho't (a version of the Centurion) chassis.  It is used by Israel, and is designed to operate with Merkava tanks.  The Puma saw early controversy when it was used against Palestinian fighters; the British government at first objected because the Puma has a high degree of Centurion (and therefore British-made) components; citing a breach of agreement.  They have since dropped their official objections.

     The turret has been removed and replaced with hatches, a commander’s position with machinegun, and three other machineguns, one to each side of the crew compartment and one forward of the crew compartment.  A new power pack, with an AVDS-1790-6A engine developing 900 horsepower has been added.  The suspension is a Modified Horstman suspension, and the transmission is automatic. The Puma also carries a winch with a capacity of 25 tons (50 tons with block and tackle) and 100 meters of cable. The Puma carries excavating and pioneer tools.

     The gunner's armament is a MAG machinegun in a Rafael OWS; the gunner can aim, fire, and reload the gun while under armor.  The other three machineguns are on simple pintle mounts.  In addition, the Puma is armed with a Soltam C-08 60mm mortar firing over the rear; this is meant primarily for firing covering smoke or HE rounds into minefields, but can be used offensively as well.  The Puma also is armed with two obliquely forward-firing TAAS 80mm IS-6 Smoke Grenade Launchers.  There 10 rockets for these dischargers. The crew are also armed with standard small arms, and all but the driver can deploy if necessary. Additional mine/IED protection comes in the form of an electromagnetic mine/IED neutralization system that jams radio frequency detonators, cell phones, and wired devices.  The Puma should roll a d20 when encountering a mine or IED within 10 meters; a roll of 12 or greater jams the mine or IED permanently. An engineer demolitions chest and 40 kilograms of C4 are also carried, as well as 10 thermite grenades. It is equipped with an Israeli BMS.

     The Puma can be equipped with the Carpet MICLIC system.  This consists of 20 FAE rockets mounted on the rear deck of the Puma, firing forward (it may also be on a trailer towed by the Puma or other vehicle).  When the fuel-air explosive bursts, it creates overpressure that destroys most mines under it.  Between one and the full complement of 20 rockets may be fired at once.

     The Puma has air conditioning, and a vehicular NBC pack. Appliqué armor has been added, and ERA lugs are provided on the HF and HS, and the Puma has essentially a new armor suite. The armor is modular and damaged armor can be easily replaced, or even replaced with more advanced armor if it comes available.  The normal crew consists of a driver, gunner, and commander, and a 5-man sapper team. The commander has a manually-rotating cupola with all-around vision blocks; one has a night vision channel, and cameras on the RWS allow the commander to monitor the exterior situation using an LCD screen.  There is a 90-liter drinking water tank inside the Puma.

     The Puma often uses mine plows or rollers or tows mine-planting equipment, and has a winch. A mine plow is in fact ubiquitous, equipping nearly all Pumas.  Mine rollers, rakes, or flails can be mounted instead of the plow.

     An urban warfare variant of the Puma has a large superstructure ringed with firing ports for small arms and machineguns, and hatches atop the superstructure.  The gunner's position remains, with its MAG-armed OWS. as on the standard Puma.  The three other machineguns are removed from the sides and rear, as the hatchway is no longer there, replaced by nine firing ports with large windows of bullet-resistant glass/vinyl/Plexiglas mix, which is as strong as the rest of the superstructure's armor.  Nine troops can be jammed in there, though six is a more common complement. The roof cupolas may be armed with pintle-mounted machineguns; this is reflected in the stats below. This version has a beefed-up suspension to drive over rubble.

Vehicle

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Shielded

Puma AEC

$2,115,140

D, A

2 tons

51 tons

3+5

25

Passive IR (D), Image Intensification (C. G), Thermal Imaging (G)

Shielded

Puma w/Superstructure

$2,791,985

D, A

1.5 tons

53 tons

3+9

25

Passive IR (D), Image Intensification (C. G), Thermal Imaging (G)

Shielded

 

Vehicle

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Config

Susp

Armor

Puma AEC

125/88

35/24

1037

321

Stnd

T6

HF100Cp  HS24Sp  HR20

Puma w/Superstructure

120/84

35/24

1037

334

Trtd

T6

TF40  TS40  TR40  HF100Cp  HS24Sp  HR20

 

Vehicle

Fire Control

Stabilization

Armament

Ammunition

Puma AEC

+2

Fair

MAG (x3), MAG (G), 60mm C-08 Mortar, 2x80mm IS-6 Smoke Grenade Launchers

6000x7.62mm, 60x60mm, 10x80mm

Puma w/Superstructure

+2

Fair

MAG (x2), MAG (G), 60mm C-08 Mortar, 2x80mm IS-6 Smoke Grenade Launchers

10000x7.62mm, 60x60mm, 10x80mm

 

Puma RAM

     Notes: One of the few vehicles of its kind in the world, the Puma RAM is based on the Puma AEC and is a heavy armored recovery vehicle.  It's primary job is to service and recover vehicles like the Puma AEC and the Nagmasho't HIFV, though it is capable of working with even Merkava tanks. The Puma RAM is a basic vehicle designed to have the protection to make it up to the front lines and rescue damaged vehicles.

     The heavy crane arches over the vehicle, able to turn nearly 300 degrees and take a powerpack off of it's roof and putting it into a vehicle, or vice versa. Powerpacks are carried on the rear deck of the vehicle shaped like a huge basket.  The crane can lift 25 tons, and the main winch can pull 50 tons, or 90 tons with block and tackle.  An auxiliary winch, normally used as a lead winch, can pull 13 tons, or 26 tons with block and tackle. Numerous boxes and stowage bins carry basic, tracked vehicle, wheeled vehicle, power, and excavating tools, and welding and pneumatic tools. They also carry a large amount of spare parts, ropes, and cables.  The RAM has one machinegun at the commander's hatch on a pintle mount, and 10 smoke grenade dischargers.

     The commander is in the front right, and the driver on the front left. One other hatch is on the center left deck and is used by the crane operator, as the crane is on the left rear corner. Stabilizers in the rear corners and a dozer blade are used to brace the vehicle when using the crane. The commander has a night channel on the front vision block of his manually-rotating cupola, and the driver has a night channel on his front block.  The vehicle has air conditioning, a 30-liter drinking water tank, and a laptop computer to help the crew out with technical information. Engine and suspension are the same as on the parent Puma AEC. It is equipped with a BMS.

     Normally, the vehicle carries four mechanics (including the commander and driver, and has seats for the crew of a rescued tank.

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Shielded

$1,616,327

D, A

5 tons

44 tons

2+6

25

Passive IR (D), Image Intensification (C)

Shielded

 

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Config

Susp

Armor

129/91

36/25

1037

329

Stnd

T6

HF100Cp  HS24Sp  HR20

 

Fire Control

Stabilization

Armament

Ammunition

None

None

MAG (C)

2000x7.62mm

 

Trail Blazer ACERV

     Notes:  The Trail Blazer is an Israeli combat engineer vehicle that doubles as a recovery vehicle.  The Trail Blazer is the English name; the Israeli name is Gordon. These vehicles are converted largely from M-4A1 Shermans, with a new engine and transmission. It is an elderly design still relevant when recovering lighter vehicles and performing some less-demanding combat engineer tasks.

     In this role, the turret is replaced with a raised superstructure; to the right of this superstructure is a crane of the same type mounted on the AMX-30D ARV.  This crane may swivel 240 degrees, and may lift 12 tons through 240 degrees, of 15 tons when positioned straight out to the side and if it does not have to turn.  At the front of the vehicle is a winch that has a capacity of 35 tons, or 70 tons with block and tackle, with 100 meters of cable; at the rear of the vehicle is an auxiliary winch with a capacity of 3.5 tons, or 7 tons with block and tackle, and 120 meters of cable.  At the front of the vehicle is a large blade used to clear obstacles, while at the rear is a smaller one normally used to brace the Trail Blazer while it uses its winches or crane.  There are also stabilizers at the rear of the vehicle, and they can also be used to lift loads up to the roof. Power is provided by a diesel designed for the vehicle developing 460 horsepower, but with a manual transmission.

     As a combination recovery and combat engineer vehicle, it carries a wide variety of tools depending on its role; for combat engineer mode, it normally carries basic, excavating, construction, and power tools, welding and cutting gear, an engineer demolitions chest, and an air compressor; in the recovery vehicle role, it normally carries basic, wheeled vehicle, tracked vehicle, small arms, and heavy ordinance tools, an air compressor, and excavating tools, as well as a tow bar.  In both roles, the Trail Blazer normally carries several lengths of rope, cable, and chains. It also carries wire and shackle/rebar cutters of various sizes, a welding set, two mine detectors, an engineer demo chest, and 20 kilograms of C4.  Other equipment includes an optical chemical sniffer and 40 flags for marking contaminated area. The vehicle is festooned with external boxes, bins, and lockers for equipment, both engineer and repair and personal gear. A small laptop contains technical information about engineer tasks as well as repair tasks.

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

$636,984

G, A

1 ton

33.2 tons

4

17

WL Spotlight (C)

Enclosed

 

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Config

Susp

Armor*

81/57

22/16

636

256

Stnd

T5

HF27  HS8  HR4

 

Fire Control

Stabilization

Armament

Ammunition

None

None

M-2HB (C)

2000x.50

*The dozer blades of the Trail Blazer can help protect the front and rear of the vehicle.  How much depends on where the shot hits and how high the blades are raised.  The front dozer blade has an AV of 6Sp, while the rear blade has an AV or 4Sp.

 

TAAS Tagesh

     Notes: This AVLB is based on the chassis of the M-60A1 tank.  The name TAGESH is an acronym for the words in Hebrew that literally means “tank bridge.”

     The Tagesh is capable of mounting two types of folding bridges.  Both are made of steel-reinforced aluminum alloy.  The first type weighs 14.4 tons and it’s single span can span an 11-meter gap, with a total bridge length of 11.7 meters.  It takes 3-4 minutes to deploy or recover.  It is an MLC 60 bridge. The Tzmed bridge allows for the traversing of gaps where one side is much higher or lower than the other, and can be laid at an angle of to 40 degrees (though driving must be careful at that angle).  The weight of the Tzmed bridge is 27 tons and is a double span; the length of the area spanned is 19 meters, with a total bridge length of 19.7 meters.  It is also an MLC 60 bridge. The deployment mechanism and carrying equipment are identical for the two bridge types, and can also be carried and deployed from older M-60-based AVLBs.  The two bridge types can also be interleaved with each other to form larger spans that go straight out, then climb of descend a hill. Both use horizontal-deployment systems, like those of the German Biber.  This not only does not provide such a flag to enemy forces, but is mechanically less complex.

     The commander/bridge operator is in the center of the vehicle in a manually-operated cupola; he can just barely open his hatch and stick his head and shoulders out when the bridge is mounted, so he does most of the deployment and recovering through a battery of day/night CCTV cameras. He also has a night channel for his frontal vision block. The commander has a low-mounted light machinegun, but practically, he cannot fire directly ahead of him because of the bridging mechanism. The driver is in the front left and has three vision blocks to his front and one to the right, including a wide-angle block to the front with a night channel. 

     Though based on an M-60A1, the chassis has been upgraded with the Merkava’s suspension and tracks, as well as an AVDS-1790-2D turbocharged diesel developing 750 horsepower.  This version is further modified with a power take off that allows all the hydraulic and engine power to be devoted to the deployment and recovery of its bridge. The crew has an air conditioner, heater, and an NBC Overpressure system.

Vehicle

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

Tagesh w/One-Span Bridge

$552,631

D, A

300 kg

39.4 tons

2

45

Image Intensification (D, C), 4xCCTV Cameras (C)

Shielded

Tagesh w/Tzmed Bridge

$854,359

D, A

300 kg

50 tons

2

45

Image Intensification (D, C), 4xCCTV Cameras (C)

Shielded

 

Vehicle

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Config*

Susp

Armor*

Tagesh w/One-Span Bridge

136/95

38/27

1457

277

CiH

T6

TF4  TS4  TR4  HF56  HS15  HR8

Tagesh w/Tzmed Bridge

111/77

31/22

1457

352

CiH

T6

TF4  TS4  TR4  HF56  HS15  HR8

 

Vehicle

Fire Control

Stabilization

Armament

Ammunition

Tagesh

None

None

Negev (C)

2285x5.56mm

*The CiH rating refers to when the bridge is carried on top of the vehicle.  When the bridge is deployed, Config is Stnd.