In the early 1970’s the RAMTA Division of Israel Aircraft Industries developed a new light 4×4 reconnaissance vehicle for the Israeli Defence Force and export market called RBY MK 1. It focused on remaining light but offering a high level of protection against land mines by the vehicles lay out.
The wheels and axles were placed as far forward and backward as possible to maximize the distance of any detonation away from the fighting compartment, the bumpers were made of fibreglass so they would disintegrate in an explosion and minimize hazardous debris, and the thickest armour was incorporated into the floor, which was shaped to channel explosions away from the vehicle, with the engine compartment in the rear reducing the vehicles overall height.
The fighting compartment accommodated x2 crew up front and x6 passengers who sat on 2 benches facing outwards.
In 1979 RAMTA swapped production from the RBY MK 1 to the improved RAM. The improvements included the replacement of the original petrol with a new diesel (increasing operational range) new tyres (which increased ground clearance) and an automatic transmission.
The RAM was built in two versions, RAM V-1 had an open top to the fighting compartment and RAM V-2 had a roof.
Other than reconnaissance, the vehicle grew into a family of variants:
RAM V-1 Armoured Personnel Carrier – Has 3 pintle mounted Machine Guns which can be operated by the embarked troops.
Command and Control – Map boards and communications equipment carried.
Infantry Combat Vehicle – Carries a 52mm mortar
TCM-20 AA – One man turret mounting x2 30mm cannons
Anti-Tank (Close range) – M40 106mm recoilless rifle
Anti-Tank (Long range) – Raytheon TOW launcher, is a Wire Guided Anti-Tank Missile, 16 spare missiles carried in vehicle
RAM V-2 Armoured Personnel Carrier – Fully enclosed APC can carry up to 8 troops with various roof mounted weapons such as MG’s and 40mm Grenade Launcher
Operators (RAM & RBY MK 1)
Botswana, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Guatemala, Israel, Lesotho and Morocco.
Spec’s (RAM V-1)
Armour: 8mm (steel)
Crew: 2 and 7 troops
Dimensions: Length 5.52m, Width 2.03m, Height 1.72m
Weight: 5.75 tonne (combat)
Engine: 132bhp Deutz air-cooled 6-cylinder diesel
Top Road Speed: 96km/h
Operational Range: 800km’s