Country of origin
Dimensions and weight
~ 3 m
4 x 7.62-mm (4 000 rounds)
Continental AVDS-1790-2A diesel
Maximum road speed
The Nagmashot or
Nagmasho't is the
first modern heavy Armored Personnel Carrier (APC). It was converted
from retired Sho't Kal (upgraded Centurion) main battle tank hulls, in response to the
shortcomings of conventional APCs in combat. The name is a
combination of the Hebrew term for an APC ("Nagma"), and the Hebrew
word for "Whip" ("Sho't", which was the Israel Defense Forces (IDF)
name for their upgraded Centurion tank, from which the Nagmasho't
The concept that led to the creation of the Nagmasho't
emerged from the fires of the 1982 Lebanon War, in which IDF
unexpectedly encountered heavy RPG and ATGM fire, and suffered very
heavy losses as a result. While the long-term solution to this
dilemma was a comprehensive upgrade to the M113 (which soon resulted
in what the US Army would designate the
the IDF also wanted an even more heavily-armored vehicle for
assaulting heavily-defended strongpoints, and one which could also
be developed quickly as an interim until the new M113 variant
It was soon realized that such a vehicle could be quickly
developed by simply converting the hulls of retired main battle
tanks already in the IDF inventory, in a manner not unlike the
"Kangaroo" APCs of World War 2 (which were converted from such tanks
as the M4 Sherman). The resulting design would be the first
Kangaroo-type APC developed since the 1940s. Also the IDF had a
number of intact hulls of Sho't tanks without turrets in the armor
graveyards. The development of the Nagmasho't was surprisingly brief, and the first operational
examples were in service by 1984.
Replacing the familiar Centurion turret is a pyramidal
casemate with a rectangular roof. There are two circular hatches at
the front of the casemate roof which are hinged in the rear, and two
rectangular hatches at the aft which are hinged in front, allowing
four soldiers to stand in the hatches to observe all four quarters
around them. The sides of the casemate have a distinctive flanging,
probably for structural reinforcement, or to allow additional add-on
armor to be fitted. Weapon skate mounts are fitted in front of each
hatch, allowing personnel in the vehicle cover all four quarters
around them with fire as well, if required.
The skate mounts accept a variety of weapons, but were
usually fitted with
7.62-mm general purpose machine guns,
40-mm automatic grenade launchers and
12.7-mm heavy machine guns are sometimes fitted as well. At least 4
000 7.62mm rounds were stowed inside the vehicle.
Up to 8 passengers were carried, who ride in the passenger
compartment under the casemate. The driver's position is unchanged
from the Centurion series, with the obvious exception of not having
a turret basket to interfere with entry to the main compartment. The
vehicle commander usually rides in front, where provisions are made
for carrying radio equipment, but there is no specially designated
position for the vehicle commander. Entry into and exit from the
passenger compartment in operational conditions was only possible
through the roof hatches; not only was this a slow and awkward
process, but also quite dangerous in combat, as personnel on top of
the vehicle were highly visible and exposed. However, the
Centurion's belly hatch was retained, allowing the crew and
passengers to exit safely from underneath the vehicle (or, should it
roll-over, from "on top").
The powerpack was the same system as the Sho't Kal, though
its placement was rearranged, in order to make additional room for
passengers and equipment. It consists of a Continental AVDS-1790-2A
diesel V12 engine with 750 hp at 2400 rpm, and an Allison CD850-6
transmission, with 2 forward and 1 reverse speeds.
The running gear was unchanged from the Sho't Kal. There are
six roadwheels on each side, with a prominent gap between the 2nd
and 3rd wheels. The idler is forward and the drive sprocket is aft.
There are four return rollers, but these are usually covered by
track skirts. Like all Centurion variants, the Nagmasho't rides atop
a Horstmann suspension, rather than more familiar torsion bars.
The armor of the Nagmasho't is essentially the same as that
of the Sho't Kal hull, with the obvious exception of the casemate.
The exact thickness of the casemate's armor has never been
published, for security reasons, but it is presumably strong enough
to defeat any small arms fire, shrapnel, and shell splinters. Spall
liners are standard equipment on the Nagmasho't, and the track
skirts provide additional side protection. The Nagmasho't may also
be fitted with explosive reactive armor and additional belly armor
for increased protection against mines, but both of these have
rarely been seen in service. Also, as the Centurion series boast a
V-shaped hull, the Nagmasho't has some residual protection from
large-capacity landmines and IEDs as well. An automatic fire
suppression system was fitted, but it is not likely that the
Nagmasho't had an NBC protection system.
Originally operated by the infantry branch of the IDF, the
remaining Nagmasho't fleet was later diverted to the engineering
branch, as the vehicle's lack of a rear door was considered a
liability to mechanized infantry operations (soldiers entering or
leaving the vehicle had to clamber on top of it, where they were
skylined and vulnerable to sweeping fire and shrapnel). In the early
1990s most Nagmasho'ts were converted into the more heavily-protected Nagmachon and
Nakpadon heavy APCs. At the same time Nagmashot's used by combat
were converted into
minefield breaching vehicles. However few original examples of the Nagmasho't reportedly remain in service.
the only operator of the Nagmasho't. This vehicle not been offered
for export, and as it was succeeded in development by more powerful
heavy APCs, and designed around armored warfare philosophies largely
unique to the IDF, it is doubtful that many potential buyers would
want it anyway.
The most likely fate of the remaining examples of the
Nagmasho't is conversion any of into its various evolutions, which
are described briefly below, and in greater detail on their own
Original production model. Identifiable by its low, sparse,
pyramidal casemate in the center of the roof.
Nagmachon: Significantly improved Nagmasho't, with increased
armored protection and an expanded casemate.
Nakpadon: Radically improved Nagmasho't, with even further
increased armor, a pillbox-like addition to the superstructure, a
much more powerful 900 hp engine, and many other new additions. This
heavy APC entered service with the IDF in the early
Nagmapop: Surveillance vehicle based on the Nagmachon.
Identifiable by its large superstructure (similar to the one on the
Nakpadon), and its towering collapsible antennae (when raised).
Minefield breaching vehicle based on the Nagmasho't. It entered
service with the IDF in 1991 and replaced the Nagmashot. Often seen
fitted in front with a mine plow, mine roller, or dozer blade, and
sometimes fitted aft with a very large and boxy line charge
launcher. Also identifiable by its broad casemate.
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