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Machbet: Desert “Vulcan”

The Machbet is an advanced Israeli anti-aircraft vehicle, developed by upgrading the IDF’s existing M163 VADS with Stinger missiles. Soon, the Machbet will become available to tankers as the top SPAA unit of the upcoming Israeli ground forces tree, arriving in the game as part of the next major War Thunder update!

Briefly: An further development of the M163 VADS in service with the IDF, upgraded to carry Stinger missiles.

Machbet, SPAA, Israel, rank VI


  • Deadly 20mm ‘Vulcan” cannon
  • Stinger missiles
  • Thermal imager
  • Lightly armored
  • Mediocre mobility

After the M163 VADS began being decommissioned from American service, the vehicle was heavily exported to foreign operators. Israel was one of several states which adopted the M163 VADS into its own military under the name ‘Hovet’ in the early 1980s. By the early 1990s however, it was realized that the system required modernization. As such, the IAI company was tasked with developing an upgrade package.

Together with General Dynamics, IAI upgraded the Hovet’s fire control system and equipped the vehicle with a Stinger missile launcher, in an effort to increase the vehicle’s effectiveness against low-flying jet aircraft. Following successful testing of the prototype in 1997, the vehicle was formally accepted into service with the IDF under the name ‘Machbet’ in 1998. In the upcoming years, several of the older Hovets were modernized to the Machbet standard. However, the Machbet only saw a short service life with the IDF. Because of changing tasks and requirements, the Machbet was officially withdrawn from active service in 2006.


In War Thunder, the Machbet will be the top SPAA vehicle awaiting tankers in the new and upcoming Israeli ground forces tree, arriving to the game as part of the next major update. Based on the fearsome M163 VADS, the Machbet further improves the Vulcan’s capabilities by augmenting its weapons arsenal with a Stinger missile launcher, thus more than doubling the vehicle’s effective range against aircraft.

As previously mentioned, the Machbet is based on the M163 VADS, already familiar to some more seasoned War Thunder tankers. As such, the Machbet inherited its relative’s primary armament - the M168 ‘Vulcan’ 20mm rotary cannon - which is both highly regarded by tankers and feared by pilots for its impressive rate of fire and excellent ballistic properties.

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However, as the Vulcan’s range is rather limited to just over 2 km and this being further compounded by the speed at which jet aircraft can enter and exit this effective range, Israeli engineers choose to upgrade the vehicle with a quadruple SAM launcher, firing the FIM-92 Stinger missiles. As a result, the Machbet is not only capable of engaging hostile aircraft within the range of its 20mm cannon, but it can further extend its protective sphere to around 5.5 km thanks to the addition of the missiles. Another advantage of the Stinger missiles is that tankers don’t need to manually guide the missile to the target, as their IR-guidance automates this process. Instead, tankers just need to acquire the target, lock in on it and fire! Simple as that.

While the Machbet features a handy upgrade to its firepower, the remaining characteristics of the vehicle remain virtually identical to the familiar M163. As a result, the Machbet matches the M163’s mobility by being able to attain a top speed of around 68 km/h on paved roads, while its overall mobility remains somewhat lackluster in more demanding terrain types. Furthermore, by relying on the same M113 chassis as the M163, the Machbet is rather susceptible to hostile fire due to its only light armor. In effect, this means that the Machbet is only resistant to rifle-caliber fire and shrapnel while anything heavier than that is capable of seriously damaging or even outright destroying the vehicle. Therefore, aspiring commanders of this machine are well advised to stay away from the frontline and take up a defensive position in the second line while keeping the skies clear of hostile birds of prey.

The Machbet will be available to all tankers as the top SPAA unit of the upcoming Israeli ground forces tree, arriving to War Thunder as part of the next major update. In the meantime, be sure to stay tuned to the news in order to keep up with the latest developments surrounding the upcoming update. Until then, happy hunting tankers!

Israeli Ground Forces CBT Early Access Packs!

M-51 Pack
M-51 Pack
The Kit Includes:
  • M-51 (Rank 4, Israel);
  • 1000 Golden Eagles;
  • Access to the CBT of the Israeli Ground Tech Tree
  • Premium account for 7 days.
Merkava Mk.2D Pack
Merkava Mk.2D Pack
The Kit Includes:
  • Merkava Mk.2D (Rank 6, Israel);
  • 2000 Golden Eagles;
  • Access to the CBT of the Israeli Ground Tech Tree
  • Premium account for 15 days.

Since the Israeli army was formed after the end of World War II, research for Israeli ground vehicles will begin immediately from rank IV. All owners of early access packs will be able to take part in closed testing of the Israeli ground forces immediately after the “Wind of Change” update is live. Terms of access for all other players will be published later. 

After the end of closed testing, to start researching the Israeli ground forces, the player will need at least one purchased ground vehicle of rank IV (or higher) in any of the following playable nations: USA, USSR, Great Britain, France or Israel.

In the “Wind of Change” major update we will begin the closed beta testing of the Israeli ground forces! Each Early Access Pack guarantees early access to beta testing, and until it starts you will be able to master your crews in all vehicle slots. Early Access Pack vehicles will have 3 free respawns in Arcade and Realistic battles in War Thunder before the “Wind of Change” update is released. 


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