IDF chief approves long-term budget hike for ground forces Haaretz Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff approved Monday the army's long-term budget, including a significant increase in expenditure on the ground forces -the first such hike in years. The program implements many decisions made in the light of conclusions from the Second Lebanon War. One of its key aims is to equip the army with hundreds of heavy Armored Personel Carriers (APCs). The absence of such vehicles severely hampered the IDF's ability to maneuver in southern Lebanon and re-supply troops. Heavy APCs of the 'Tiger' model are to be produced using the platform of Israel's Merkava tanks.