IDF unveils new all-terrain vehicle: The Sufa 3

Credit: Yarden Man, Ground Forces

IDF (Zahal) will acquire 500 Sufa 3 jeeps over next two years

Date: 23/08/2011, 7:06 PM     Author: Daniella Bokor

156 horsepower, diesel engine, room for five passengers, a load capacity of 1,053 kilograms, and speed up to 130 kilometers per hour – meet the Sufa 3 jeep, the IDF (Zahal)’s new all-terrain vehicle.

The vehicle, which was jointly developed by the IDF (Zahal), the American Chrysler corporation and the Nazareth vehicle industrial plant, will in the next two years replace the Sufa 1 and Sufa 2 all-terrain vehicles currently used by the IDF (Zahal).

According to the IDF (Zahal)’s procurement plan, 500 of the new jeeps will be acquired.

At a ceremony at the Nazareth plant on Tuesday (August 23), the first jeep was delivered to the head of the Ground Forces Technological Brigade, Brig. Gen. Haim Rubin, who received the keys to the sparkling new vehicle.

The Sufa 2 is one of the vehicles most commonly seen during training drills and exercises. Since the Sufa 2 was integrated into the IDF (Zahal) in 2005, the vehicle has displayed great capabilities to move through difficult terrain conditions. However, the IDF (Zahal) strived to continue for perfection and in 2008 began the Sufa 3 project.

Chrysler sent three prototypes and they were subjected to a long series of tests by the IDF (Zahal). Over the past two years, the vehicles were driven tens of thousands of kilometers and have undergone changes to meet the IDF (Zahal)’s operational needs. For example, a special snorkel has been attached to the vehicle to absorb air and allow the vehicle to move through sandy ground and water obstacles.

“This is a completely different vehicle from the Sufa 2,” said Lt. Col. Nissim Einat, the IDF (Zahal)’s head of tactical vehicles. “The Sufa 3 is much more comfortable for the user. Inside, it is very similar to a private vehicle. There is an integrated and reliable radio system – much more reliable than the Sufa 2. There are much fewer glitches and problems. Also, it is an automatic vehicle that is driven by a diesel engine.”

Additional features that the IDF (Zahal) requested be put in the Sufa 3 include: quality air conditioning, special tires, a communication system, a strong night lighting system and front and rear towing hooks that will give the vehicle the ability to be rescued if stuck, which could prove critical in emergency situations.

The Sufa 3 will start to become part of the military landscape this month.

The Sufa 3 “is an excellent tool that meets the IDF (Zahal)’s needs, particularly the ground forces,” Brig. Gen. Rubin said.