- Add it permanently to the Machbet with no option to remove it
- Add it as a mod that can be researched and installed via the modifications tab
- Add it as a part of a completely separate vehicle (Machbet Vayzata)
- I voted no
This topic isn’t necessarily for a new vehicle, but rather for the application of the Rafael “Vayzata” armor add-on, also known as Toga armor, for the IAI Machbet in any form. While this armor kit has some drawbacks it also has some very serious advantages for a game like War Thunder and could present a nice option to have for this vehicle.
The Vayzata (Toga) kit
Vayzata is an armor add-on kit developed originally by Rafael, finishing development in 1977. It was reportedly developed as an answer to the the original M113’s tendency to get penetrated very easily by high caliber machinegun fire and RPGs, which the IDF started to face regularly since the 70’s and presented a major concern for crew survivability. The armor kit was designed in such a way that both threats could be dealt with:
- To deal with the threat of shaped charges such as RPGs, the kit was made to be installed on an outer frame positioning the armor panels 250mm away from the original vehicle frame. This effectively gave it the characteristics of spaced armor, causing the enemy projectile to detonate further from the vehicle which could sometimes outright prevent penetration.
- To deal with high caliber machinegun fire the armor was made out of carbon-steel. This meant that even though it was very thin (data on exact thickness isn’t available to me but from pictures it looks to be around 5mm at most) the armor was actually capable of withstanding up to 14.5mm APDS bullets, allowing it to withstand most of the threats it would face regularly. The use of Carbon-steel also meant that the kit weighed only roughly 800kg, which did noticeably decrease mobility but still made the vehicle functional for it’s intended purpose.
The armor was also made to be user friendly to the crew. It was made up of several plates hung on hinges with a door installation at the front, which made the armor easy to install and allowed the crew to still have access to the parts of the vehicle covered by the armor.
The Vayzata armor was reportedly applied to some IDF M113s as soon as the 1982 Lebanon war and was battle proven under those circumstances and many low intensity conflicts that followed. Crews that operated M113s with this armor would usually stuff the spaced part of the armor with sandbags and personal belongings in an attempt to further increase the vehicle’s survivability.
Installation on the Machbet
Unfortunately there is nearly no data on the application of this armor add-on on the Machbet, however there is sufficient proof that this was an option for the vehicle and there are claims that several of them sported the add-on at some point. In fact during Operation Defensive Shield in 2002 several Machbets were used with their stinger pod removed and some of them were photographed equipped with Vayzata armor. This should come as no surprise since the Vayzata armor was made to be installed on the M113 chassis which is the same chassis used by the Machbet. As such there should be no issue to be able to have this capability in War Thunder.
- A Machbet with Vayzata armor in Operation Defensive Shield in 2002. The Stinger pod was removed since the Machbet wasn’t used for AA purposes in the operation but rather as a sort of IFV for urban fighting.
Potential for War Thunder
As previously stated this armor kit acts both as spaced armor with 250mm of separation from the main frame and a shield from up to 14.5mm APDS rounds. Having this armor will allow the Machbet to withstand pretty much all of the machinegun caliber fire found in it’s BR ranges, meaning that enemies would have to aim below or above the hull to do damage. It would also be able to provide protection from some HE based rounds which can also be often found in it’s tier. It should be noted however that with an added weight of 800kg choosing to install it will decrease mobility noticeably, so players will have to consider the consequences of using it.
Additional photos of Machbet with Vayzata (source:Israel M163 Machbet | Deadly Military Weapons):
For Vaizata/Toga armor in general:
https://elbitsystems.com/media/Catalog-Survivability_7.pdf (A brochure from Elbit systems, which seems to also manufacture the Toga armor kit nowadays, including the kit)
For Vaizata/Toga on the Machbet:
Machbet | Weaponsystems.net (Shown here with the relevant picture and mention of it being Toga armor)
Кто в лавке остался ? - Пещера злобного Буквоеда — LiveJournal (Same picture of the Machbet with Vayzata is found here)
https://www.bloges.wiki/wiki/ja/M163対空自走砲 (This source also mentions Vayzata armor being installed on the Machbet)