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Israel Defense Ministry to purchase tens of thousands of Israeli-made rifles to overcome arms shortage

The Defense Ministry announced on Monday that a tender will soon be published for the purchase of tens of thousands of Israeli-made Tavor assault rifles to be used by various infantry brigades and first response units.

The tender, estimated at tens of millions of shekels, is the largest the ministry has ever conducted for the procurement of Israeli-made weapons. The decision was made in cooperation and coordination with the IDF’s Planning Directorate and the ground forces.

The firearms to be purchased under the tender are Tavor assault rifles from the AR15 family, which are similar to the M4.

Today, there are two main Israeli manufacturers expected to participate in the tender: IWI and Emtan Karmiel Ltd. Both companies have firearm models that are compatible with the tender requirements, with IWI having the Arad and Emtan Karmiel having the MZ series.

Another Israeli firearms manufacturer that may participate in the tender is Silver Shadow. The ministry does not intend for one manufacturer to “win the whole jackpot,” and plans for several winners to produce the next generation of IDF assault rifles.

Although several different manufacturers will produce the firearms, the weapons produced will be almost identical, with the aspiration that the soldier will not notice the differences among the various firearms.

  • Most of the M4 rifles currently in use by the IDF were not produced by a single manufacturer, and some of them were even converted to M4s from older M16 rifles.

The IDF plans to continue using Tavor rifles, but these will gradually be phased out by infantry brigades and transferred to other units.

The ministry had ordered around 2,800 Tavor rifles before the outbreak of the war and intends to continue acquiring American-made firearms in the coming months due to an immediate shortage of firearms needed for the upcoming enlistments.

  • Unwilling to disclose a specific number, the ministry stated it has purchased “several thousands” of Tavor rifles since the outbreak of the war.

The current shortage of firearms and the following tender are related to the security establishment’s intention to increase the number of Israel’s combat soldiers. The move aligns with a broader policy seeking to reduce Israeli dependence on imported weapons and ammunition.

The tender is expected to have a significant impact on Israeli weapon exports, due to the IDF’s purchase of tens of thousands of firearms from a specific manufacturer will serve as a quality guarantee that will later translate into a sales promotion.

Source: Ynet News