The new armored vehicle was first put to the test in a division-wide exercise that was held in the spring in the Jordan River valley.Here.
The vehicle is based on a Merkava Mk.2, many of which have been phased out within the framework of the IDF's transition to the advanced Merkava Mk.4 tanks, which are now equipped with the "Trophy" active protection system. Rather than sending the tanks to junk yards, scrapping, or selling them to foreign militaries, the tanks were sent back to the military's repair yards at Tel Hashomer.
The tanks later underwent a thorough facelift; their cannons and turrets were removed, along with spaces used to store tank shells inside the hull. The result is a heavy armored personnel carrier, which outperforms the lighter M113 APC, which is currently in widespread use throughout the military.
Getting a lot of mixed signals from the IDF when it comes to armored vehicle development. Just a couple of days ago I read a story about a new wheeled, heavy APC that they were developing, now this.
Of course this is a common thing in the IDF when it comes to repurposing old tank hulls. They did the same with Centurions and other MBTs so this doesn't come as much of a surprise. The sad but necessary news? They're finally making solid moves to take the M113 out of service. It's just too lightly armored to serve anywhere on the battlefield...to include support roles.
Sidenote. What do the Israelis and Russians know that we don't. They're both making moves to heavy IFV/APCs. Either they're wrong or the rest of the world will be very sorry.