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Machbet

Short-range air defense gun/missile system

Machbet

The Machbet is an Israeli short-range air defense system

 
 
Entered service 1998
Crew 4 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 12.5 t
Length 4.86 m
Width 2.86 m
Height ~ 3 m
Gun armament
Guns 2 x 20-mm
Projectile weight 0.1 kg
Maximum slant range 1.2 - 2 km
Maximum firing range 5 km
Rate of fire 3 000 rpm
Elevation range - 5 to + 80 degrees
Traverse range 360 degrees
Missile armament
Number of launchers 4
Missiles carried 8
Missile length 1.5 m
Missile diameter 0.07 m
Missile weight 10 kg
Warhead weight 3 kg
Warhead type HE-FRAG
Range of fire 4.5 km
Guidance Infrared homing
Mobility
Engine General Motors 6V53 diesel
Engine power 215 hp
Maximum road speed 68 km/h
Amphibious speed on water ~ 5 km/h
Range 480 km
Maneuverability
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step 0.6 m
Trench 1.7 m
Fording Amphibious

 

   The Machbet (Hebrew for "Racquet") is an Israeli self-propelled air defense system based on the M163 PIVADS. Developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) as a means to extend the effective range and firepower of the IDF's M163A2 PIVADS, the Machbet was first publically unveiled in 1997, and the IDF took their first deliveries in the following year.

   The Machbet share's the same unusual system of operation as the M163 PIVADS, in that it has active radar to target and engage aircraft, but no on-board search radar. As such, contact must be made either visually, or with the assistance of a radar vehicle or site. To improve on that ability, the information systems in the Machbet were modified to interface with the EL/M 2106 search radar system. Moreover, the optics of the Machbet have been improved over the PIVADS system, with the introduction of a more modern electro-optical sight system with a FLIR capability.

   The performance of the VADS turret remains unchanged from the M163. It traverses through 360 degrees at up to 75 degrees/second, and elevates from -5 degrees to +80 degrees, at a rate of 60 degrees/second. The 20-mm cannon is stabilized in 2 planes, allowing the Machbet to fire on the move, though it is most accurate when the vehicle is stationary.

   The M168 Vulcan 20-mm cannon fires the same ammunition as its more familiar aircraft-mounted counterpart, the M61 Vulcan. It is able to fire cyclically at 3 000 rpm or 1 000 rpm, and can fire set bursts of 10, 30, 60, or 100 rounds. The M168 is able to fire the same API and HEI ammunition as the M61, as well as SAPHEI and APDS ammunition for use against light armor.

   The launcher on the Machbet employs the Raytheon FIM-92 Stinger, an infrared-guided SAM with a 3 kg HE-FRAG warhead capable of attacking aircraft at a distance of up to 4.5 km, and an altitude of up to 8 km. There are 4 missile tubes in the launcher, which appears to be the same launcher employed in the General Dynamics Blazer turret mounted on the US LAV-AD air defense vehicle. The elevation and depression of the launcher appear to be identical to the gun.

   A total of 1 800 20-mm rounds (less than the standard M163, at 2 100 rounds) and 8 FIM-92 Stinger missiles are carried, although it is not clear if this includes the 4 missiles that are pre-loaded into the launcher. In addition to the Stinger, the launcher can also be adapted to launch other missiles in the same class, such as the Mistral and Igla.

   All other technical data on the Machbet are the same as with the M163 VADS.

   To date, most of the M163s employed by the IDF have been upgraded into the Machbet configuration. As a suitable replacement for the M113 FOV has yet to be indentified by the IDF, it is likely that the Machbet will remain in Israeli service well into the foreseeable future.

   The unit cost of the Machbet is approximately $4 million. It has been marketed for export, but without success, and as of late 2015 the sole operator of the Machbet is Israel.

 

Related weapon systems

 

   M163 VADS: Design basis of the Machbet.

   LAV-AD: LAV I with a Blazer air defense turret, armed with a GAU-12 Equalizer 25-mm cannon, and a 4-tube launcher for the FIM-92 Stinger missile. The launcher used in this vehicle appears to be the same as employed on the Machbet.

 

 

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