May 24, 2003
The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) are planning extensive cuts in their ground units, apparently the deepest one in the past 15 years. About 20 percent of its ground forces will be effected, primarily the reserve armored units. Most of the cuts will be aimed getting rid of the main battle tanks (MBTs). They intend to remove all M-60s from service and keep only the Merkava tanks. While the IDF has decided not to halt the Merkava MK 4 MBT program, they will lower the procurement rate over the coming years.
One question this move raises is 'what will happen to those M-60s'. Since they were given to Israel as U.S. military aid, Israel is not free to simply sell them as surplus unless the U.S. government approves of the third party purchaser. - Adam Geibel