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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 6/25/2002 2:47:57 AM EST
[size=4]IDF unveils next generation Merkava tank[/size=4] By ARIEH O'SULLIVAN The IDF yesterday unveiled what it called the safest tank in the world: its next generation, Israeli-built Merkava IV, which has been nine years in development. IDF generals said the improved, larger tank will digitalize the modern battlefield, and Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said it will boost deterrence. The first of the 65-ton tanks is expected to be deployed next year, with the first full battalion planned for 2004. It will replace the aging, US-made M-60 "Patton" tanks. It was a special day for the IDF yesterday, as three of the new tanks were rolled out in a ceremony at the army's logistics and technology base at Tel Hashomer. "This is a strategic event," said OC Armored Corps Brig.-Gen. Avigdor Klein. "This tank has significant improvements [over the Merkava III] in its armored protection and its battle management systems." According to specifications released by the IDF, the new Merkava has a smooth-bore 120mm cannon capable of firing a variety of shells and rockets. The tank is slightly larger than its predecessor. A significant change is that there is only one hatch on the turret, used by the commander. The rest of the crew uses a rear door. Designers said it was built specifically with the rocky Golan Heights in mind. The Merkava IV, like its predecessor the Merkava III, has the ability to shoot down helicopters. Its 1,500-horsepower diesel engine is an improvement over the previous version's 1,300 HP. It also has a newly designed transmission, and a number of electronic improvements, such as a camera mounted in the back to help the crew drive backward. It has improved laser range finders and thermal night-vision capabilities, and is capable of detecting a target, locking on to it, and destroying it while in motion, day or night. Klein said the tank was not only designed to fight in conventional battles, but is also built to take part in low-intensity conflicts such as the one being fought now with the Palestinians. After hesitating to do so for the first year of the current conflict with the Palestinians, the IDF has since more liberally deployed tanks in the territories. Palestinians have managed to destroy two Merkava III tanks, using huge mines, in recent months. Regarding the new model's protective measures, Maj.-Gen. Yiftach Ron-Tal said the tank's vulnerable underbelly has been given increased protection, and it was also given improved protection from overhead attacks. The tank's modular protection is purportedly the best in the world. Defense Ministry Director-General Amos Yaron declined to divulge the cost per tank, saying the figures have not yet been worked out. But the Merkava III costs about $3 million each, and Yaron said the new tank is "economically competitive." He said several tanks will be produced each year. Yaron dismissed problems caused by embargoes such as the recent engine parts delay from Germany saying such problems will be worked out and alternative suppliers found. Some 200 companies participate in producing the Merkava IV. - continued -
Link Posted: 6/25/2002 2:48:31 AM EST
The rollout of the Merkava IV attracted intense interest from local and foreign defense officials. Attending the ceremony yesterday were most military attaches posted to Israel, and a who's-who of Israel's past and present Armored Corps officers. Among the dignitaries present was US Secretary of the Navy Gordon England. The ceremony was to have taken place two months ago, but was postponed due to Operation Defensive Shield. "This tank strengthens our will and our deterrence; it will make our enemies think twice before moving against us," Ben-Eliezer said. The army went all-out in the gala rollout ceremony, including flag and standard bearers, singers, and a military band. "Just as the there is no land a Jew can call home other than Israel, there is no tank that the nation of Israel can appreciate other than the Merkava," said Brig.-Gen. David Engel, head of the Merkava project. Special praise and a standing ovation were given to Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yisrael Tal, the father of the Merkava tank project. [b]Israel embarked on its own tank production in 1970, after the entire world refused to sell Israel new tanks.[/b] The first Merkava became operational in time to participate in the 1982 Lebanon War, and improved designs followed. "We have faced embargoes time and again," said Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Ben-Hanan, head of the Defense Ministry's Export and Foreign Assistance Branch. "Our requirements were that we would not pay more for a tank than for one we could buy abroad, and secondly that it should have superior capabilities, and we met these two criteria," Ben-Hanan said. [b]"This will only be the last Merkava if the Messiah comes soon.[/b] But it will never be the last one, because victory on the battlefield requires a ground operation based on mobile platforms. Maybe they will look different, but there will always be platforms that will give people the ability to move on the battlefield," he said. See article at:[url]http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/A/JPArticle/Full&cid=1023716548459[/url] Sorry, but there's no photo of the Merkava IV in this article. I'll be looking for one and post it as soon as I can. Eric The(Happy)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 6/25/2002 2:58:38 AM EST
Here's one of the Merkava IV [img]http://www.defense-update.com/news/merkava4.jpg[/img] And here's the web page I took it from: [url]http://www.defense-update.com/news/62302merkava.html[/url] Eric The(AtYourService)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 6/25/2002 3:47:34 AM EST
Link Posted: 6/25/2002 3:49:54 AM EST
Look like our own Sheridan light tank.
Link Posted: 6/25/2002 4:07:11 AM EST
In response to Israel's introduction of the Merkava IV, the Palestinian Authority yesterday unveiled what it called the safest suicide bomb in the world: its next generation, Saudi-funded Yasser Mk XI, which was wired together earlier this morning. PA terrorists said the improved, larger bomb will avoid the modern battlefield, and Terror Minister Osama Yo-Mama said it will boost instability. "We cannot win in a real battle, so we must kill women and children instead. We're hoping to cause enough random bloodshed to convince the UN to intervene and give us everything we want." At the heart of the new bomb is a teenage girl, brainwashed to replace the aging twenty-something men who have carried out previous attacks. Palestinian officials expressed confidence that there would be no shortage of martyrs to carry the Mk XI into action.
Link Posted: 6/25/2002 4:17:34 AM EST
Link Posted: 6/25/2002 4:32:49 AM EST
No doubt we will sell Saudi Arabia JSOW and Javelin to "maintain a balance" in the Middle East... Both will do the new Mark 4 just fine. [url]http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/smart/agm-154.htm[/url] [url]http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/javelin.htm[/url]
Link Posted: 6/25/2002 5:00:30 AM EST
Originally Posted By EricTheHun: Here's one of the Merkava IV [img]http://www.defense-update.com/news/merkava4.jpg[/img]
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Funny, looks like a Russian T 85 knock-off to me. [img]http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/row/T-85-2m-6.jpg[/img]
Link Posted: 6/25/2002 6:15:15 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/25/2002 6:21:03 AM EST by EricE]
I wonder how it would stack up against our updated M1A2 tanks? [:D] [img]http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/M1A2-side-view.jpg[/img]
Link Posted: 6/25/2002 6:20:58 AM EST
Link Posted: 6/25/2002 6:23:51 AM EST
Im glad to hear that its Israeli built. Maybe they will stop buying armor all together from China!
Link Posted: 6/25/2002 6:27:40 AM EST
[HomerSimpson]Mmmmmm..... modular protection.. mmmmmm[/HomerSimpson]
Link Posted: 6/25/2002 6:40:10 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/25/2002 6:41:29 AM EST by s0ulzer0]
Any pictures of these rolling thru Pali camps? I need a new desktop background. Bodies crushed under the tracks would be a most preferable background. Edited to add: It has the "Chieftain" look to it.
Link Posted: 6/25/2002 6:54:01 AM EST
Looks like a bit of a shot trap under the turret, albeit a narrow one. I wonder if a hit there on the turret ring would disable the turret? I wonder what the breakdown is in the IDF between the numbers of Merkava I,II and IIIs and the old M-60 modifications (Mag'achs)?
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