TEL AVIV (Dec. 10)
The Soviet Union has become a substantial if unwitting supplier of modern military hardware to Israel. Russian made weapons and equipment–and some made in Czechoslovakia–including hundred of tanks and artillery pieces, millions of rounds of ammunition, anti-tank missiles, amphibious vehicles and bridge-building equipment were captured from Egypt and Syria during the Yom Kippur War and assimilated into Israel’s arsenal.
Some of the weapons, taken intact, were used immediately against the enemy, Other items in need of repair saw action against their former owners in later stages of the fighting. The army today disclosed the nature of some of the war booty won by Israel. It was pointed out that Israeli soldiers had little trouble operating the Soviet equipment since they were familiar with Russian weaponry from the large quantities captured in the Six-Day War.
Some of the materiel, however, is quite new and sophisticated. Israel’s Corps of Engineers has been enriched since the Yom Kippur War by advanced types of bridge-building equipment. This includes a Russian tank ferry and mechanized bridges which consist of bridge components mounted on trucks.
The Russian artillery seized from Egypt and Syria was highly diversified. It includes 122 mm. long and short barreled guns with ranges from 11,800 meters to over 20 kilometers; 85 mm. and 100 mm. anti-tank guns with 1000-1500 meter ranges; and a 3000 meter range anti-aircraft gun. Israel also captured guns of various caliber with ranges of 6000-13,700 meters equipped with computerized radar controlled sighting and firing devices.
The booty also includes large quantities of Czech-made “Topaz” armored personnel carriers with speeds of 60 mph and Soviet BTR-50 and 60 and BRD-M2 vehicles .capable of fording almost any water obstacle. Large quantities of small arms were also captured and are presently in use by Israeli forces on both the Syrian and Egyptian fronts.