Dingos Approved for Israel – Will They Still Sell?
In “Another 149 Dingo Vehicles for the Bundeswehr,” DID noted in passing that the sale of KMW’s Dingo “All-Protected Vehicles” to Israel had been held up by the German government. Reader Richard North recently wrote in with a link to a July 12 story in the Israeli newspaper Arutz Sheva, noting that the sale of 100 Dingo vehicles had finally been approved for about $100 million. A second, billion-dollar deal between Germany and Israel for the sale of two Thyssen-HDW Dolphin-class submarines was said to still be is under review, with a decision expected soon. See DID’s coverage of the Dolphin submarine deal for more background.
As the proxy war continues in Lebanon, however, DID wonders how interested both parties will remain. In addition to the risk of further German second-thoughts, the approval delays have already resulted in a smaller Israeli rival called the Caracal [and see driving test report], whose manufacturer boasts of comparable performance and protection for far less money. Whether its protection and capabilities actually measure up is a matter of debate; Plasan Sasa did not respond to queries. The Israelis were reportedly considering their options re: Dingo substitutes, including the M1117 Guardian ASV. In March 2005, the Israelis also ordered 150 Ze’ev (“Wolf”) vehicles from RAFAEL & Force Protection, based on a heavily up-armored Ford F550 truck with a shaped hull. Meanwhile, the Caracal is also being tested by the US military, most notably the US Marine Corps whose MTVR trucks often use Plasan Sasa’s up-armoring kits.
UPDATE: In October 2006, RAFAEL and PVI introduced the Golan, a vehicle of comparable size and shape that’s pre-designed for Israeli systems and even reactive armoring tiles for improved protection. Golan is under evaluation by the IDF, and in March 2007 the US Marines ordered 60 for deployment to the front lines.