An IDF-Chrysler venture has unveiled the improved version of the “Sufa’ (Storm” all-terrain jeep that can maneuver in sand and water and reach a speed of 135 kilometers (approximately 90 miles) an hour.
The 56-horsepower jeep can carry five soldiers and will replace the Sufa 1 and 2, one of the vehicles most commonly seen during training drills and exercises. It has special snorkel to absorb air and allow the vehicle to move through sandy ground and water obstacles.
The vehicle is being built at the Nazareth Automotive Industries' plant in the Lower Galilee, and the IDF said it plans to buy 500 jeeps. Chrysler also is expected to order a large number of jeeps.
"This is a completely different vehicle from the Sufa 2," said Lt. Col. Nissim Einat, the IDF'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."
Production may reach 3,000 vehicles a year based on anticipated orders from around the world.
The joint IDF-Chrysler venture marks the first time that a foreign car manufacturer will sell a vehicle made in Israel. Chrysler is supplying components for the Sufa 3.