A senior source from the IDF Artillery Corps discussed the origins, development, and modern usage of the vehicle in early August, saying the concept was developed in the wake of the 1973 war, when Israeli military planners realised the IDF needed additional firepower to stop massive Syrian tank formations pouring across the Golan Heights.
To this end, the IDF contracted Rafael Advanced Defense Systems to convert three battalions (about 40) of its by-then obsolescent M48 tanks so they could fire the company’s Tamuz missile. The first conversions were completed in 1982. This process involved the installation of a new turret with a launcher for 12 missiles, as well as an elevating antenna for communicating with the missiles during their flight.
Known as the Pere (‘Savage’), the resulting vehicle is comparatively well armoured and has the mobility to keep up with the IDF’s armoured divisions. It still has a crew of four: a commander, two gunners, and a driver. Once ordered to fire on certain co-ordinates, the crew launches a Tamuz towards the location, uses the live feed from the camera carried in its nose to identify a target as it approaches and then manually guides the missile towards it. […]