Just weeks after Russia deployed street fighting Terminator  tanks to Syria, now Israel has unveiled its own urban warfare tank.
Israel’s Namer  isn’t exactly a tank: it’s a 66 ton armored personnel carrier derived from the chassis of the Merkava IV tank, but minus the turret. It can carry a crew of three plus nine infantrymen, and carry them under tank-like protection instead of the weaker armor of most troop carriers. But armed with only a couple of machine guns, it lacked firepower.
Now Israel is testing beefed-up weaponry on the Namer. The upgrade is a 30-millimeter cannon in an unmanned turret. Thus the upgraded vehicle will have the armor protection of a tank, but the firepower of an infantry fighting vehicle more like the Bradley, BMP or Puma.
Why the extra firepower? The same reason that Russia is testing T-72 tanks converted into Terminator 2 support vehicles armed with cannon and anti-tank missiles. Chastened by losing numerous armored vehicles in urban combat during the early conflict in Chechnya, Russia wants a tank-like vehicle that can support and protect regular tanks in city streets. For its part, facing combat in the alleys of Gaza and the villages of southern Lebanon, Israel wants a troop carrier with sufficient armor and armament to survive a street fight.
“An APC equipped with a turret and cannon gives it an advantage during urban warfare,” said Brig.-Gen. Baruch Matzliach, head of the Tank Program Administration, according to the Jerusalem Post . “The shortened cannon makes it more maneuverable, and [gives it] the ability to provide firepower to infantry soldiers. It also lets infantry soldiers be more independent on the battlefield, with less dependence on…