On October 19, 2023, Israel announced the arrival of the first shipment of US-manufactured David light armored vehicles, part of a Foreign Military Sale (FMS) awarded to American company MDT Armor on April 6, 2023, with a total value of $21,913,585. This marks the first time in decades that the United States has delivered armored vehicles to Israel during an ongoing conflict. The purpose of these armored vehicles is to replace those within the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) that were damaged in the war against Hamas militants that commenced on October 7, 2023.
This vehicle delivery is the result of a significant procurement effort led jointly by the Israel Ministry of Defense’s Directorate of Production and Procurement (DOPP) and the US Procurement Mission. The Defense Ministry stated that the procurement directorate and the procurement mission in New York are managing an extensive procurement initiative aimed at augmenting the IDF’s vehicle fleet to meet various wartime scenarios.
Since the outbreak of the recent conflict, the Israeli Director General of the Ministry of Defense, Maj. Gen. (res.) Eyal Zamir, has authorized procurement orders from both domestic and international sources, with an estimated total value exceeding 400 million NIS, approximately $98.7 million. The delivery and deployment of hundreds of these vehicles are expected to provide crucial support to the IDF’s mission. The Israel Ministry of Defense has already supplied hundreds of vehicles to the IDF, with more vehicles currently en route to Israel, further enhancing the IDF’s operational capabilities.
The David is a light armored vehicle with a decade of service in combat conditions. It is constructed using components from either Toyota or Land Rover and offers a maximum gross vehicle weight (GVW) of up to 4.5 tons, along with up to STANAG II protection. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have utilized it extensively in various combat scenarios, where it has encountered threats ranging from rocks and stones to assault weapons and improvised explosive devices.
The David is based on the Toyota Hilux platform, providing adaptability and versatility. It can be configured with either right-hand drive (RHD) or left-hand drive (LHD) options and is available with 3, 4, or 5 doors for crew access. With a maximum GVW of 4,200 kg, it is suitable for various mission profiles. The vehicle is equipped with a 148 HP engine generating 408 Nm of torque and offers both automatic and manual transmission options.
Regarding passenger capacity, the David can accommodate up to 8 crew members, making it suitable for various operational requirements. Its dimensions include an overall length of 5.05 m, width of 1.99 m, height of 2.23 m, wheelbase of 3.09 m, ground clearance of 279 mm, and approach/departure angles of 35°/30°. It features air conditioning in both the front and rear compartments to ensure crew comfort.