The Hovet (חובט, lit. batsman) represent the M163 VADS in IDF service. According to the records of the IDF, the vehicle joined the Israeli Air Defense Command in 1975 as a new air defense weapon, alongside the MIM-72 Chaparral which was introduced a year earlier. The Hovet, however, waited 7 years until it earned its first victory against an enemy target, in the 1982 Lebanese War, and further served in the IDF for more than 2 decades until the IADC was disbanded, leading to the decommission of the Hovet and its modernized variant, Machbet, which was upgraded with TVD and 4 FIM-92 Stingers.
Introduced in Update "Wind of Change" along with the initial Israeli tech tree, the Hovet performs identically to its US Army cousin. Although the lack of search radar and its M113 chassis with minimal protection due to the aluminium alloy armour plates could cause problems when duelling with targets, the six-barrel M168 Vulcan can still strike fear into enemy aerial targets or vehicles with its high rate-of-fire and iconic sound.
Survivability and armour
Armour is thin enough and can be destroyed by 12.7 mm machine gun fire from the sides and rear, and by any cannon calibre from the front. The turret is partially open, leaving the crew vulnerable to enemy small arms fire. If attacked, the best bet for taking a hit and surviving is to point the engine towards the enemy and hope it absorbs the shot.
- Rolled homogeneous armour
|Armour||Front (Slope angle)||Sides||Rear||Roof|
|Hull|| 38+6 mm (45°) Upper Glacis
38 mm (26°) Lower Glacis
29 mm (45°) Engine Maintenance Hatch
| 44+6 mm Top
32 mm Bottom
|38 mm||38 mm|
|Turret|| 17 mm Turret Front
150 mm Gun Mantlet
|17 mm||17 mm|
The Hovet suffers from a low power-to-weight ratio and low top speed. One of its upsides is the good acceleration
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
Modifications and economy
|20 mm M168||Turret rotation speed (°/s)||Reloading rate (seconds)|
|Mode||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal||Stabilizer||Stock||Upgraded||Full||Expert||Aced||Stock||Full||Expert||Aced|
- Default: · ·
- HEI: · · ·
- AP-I: · · ·
|Ammunition||Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)|
|10 m||100 m||500 m||1,000 m||1,500 m||2,000 m|
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
|2||__ (+__)||__ (+__)||__ (+__)||__ (+__)||__ (+__)||__ (+__)||__|
Usage in battles
The Hovet has an amazing rate of fire with the M168 gun, thus it has amazing damage output. In an anti-aircraft role, it is best used as a point-defence SPAA, defending a group of allies/cap zone from air attack. Its range isn't as good as the M247, so it's best to keep in mind the approximate 1 km targeting zone of the Hovet.
The Hovet wields about 60 mm of penetration, which is enough to mortally wound/destroy many lightly-armoured vehicles such as the Leopard, AUBL, and Centauro. The high rate of fire also allows the Hovet a sort of CIWS (Close-In Weapon System) type of role, as it can easily spray in the direction of an incoming bomb, thus destroying it and saving nearby allies. This is especially easy against the infamous FAB-5000 bomb from the Soviet Pe-8, as the bomb is large and easy to track.
Pros and cons
- Can be used as a last resort weapon to shoot down incoming bombs and rockets
- Cannot be easily killed by .50 cal MGs, meaning you are stronger against strafing aircraft
- High rate of fire
- Long reload time
- The 20 mm shells lose velocity quickly, making it very difficult to attack fast planes past 2 km or light tanks past 1 km
- No passive radar search
- The gun overheats over quickly
- Low penetration
According to the description from Israel Air Force, the M163 VADS (which consists of 2 batteries per unit) joined the Israeli Air Defense Command in 1975; these batteries would usually deployed near the northern border of Israel where the Purple Line (post-1967 ceasefire line between Israel-Syria by the Golan Heights) sit during peaceful times; but as soon as there was any need for armed conflicts, the vehicles would redeploy with the ground forces. After 7 years of service, the system achieve 3 victories including the first victory of M163 VADS against jet aircrafts in 1982. On 1982/6/10, an battery commanded by Lt. Dobi Amitai was having conflicts with insurgents during the 1982 Lebanese War (Operation Peace for Galilee) at Douha near Beirut, where Sgt. Yoav Weinkert spotted a Syrian MiG-21; the other battery commanded by Roni Kovertovsky spotted the same jet from the eyes of gun director Tamir Mor. Both batteries, now at 4 vehicles, fired upon the jet while covering each other as they were taking fire from insurgents at the same time; 15 seconds later, the jet was shot down by the batteries.
Some of the M163 were also converted into the Machbet (מחבט, lit. racquet) with upgrades including opto-electronic tracker, TVD and 4 FIM-92 Stingers mounted next to the turret. After the disbandment of the IADC in 2006, these vehicles were decommissioned.
Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:
- topic on the official game forum;
- other literature.
|Israel anti-aircraft vehicles|
|M163 derivatives||Hovet · Machbet · Imp.Chaparral|
|Captured||ZSU-57-2 · ZSU-23-4|