Why is Israel's Merkava tank worthy of being one of the best in the world?

The constant wars in Israel gave the country a seasoned army of combat experience, along with new Merkava models that were getting stronger and stronger.

Over the past 40 years, only a few countries have proven themselves capable of producing truly effective battle tanks. One of the formidable forces in the rising realm is actually one of the smallest countries in the world: Israel . Their main battle tank - the Merkava - is one of the best designed tanks ever made.

After independence in 1948, Israel established the Israel Defense Force (abbreviated as IDF), with an old, modest army, to combat attacks from Arab countries. - neighboring. By the 1956 war, the situation had greatly improved, and by 1967, the Israeli Armored Army had won the Six-Day War with a surprise attack on the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights. . Tanks like the American M48 and British Centurion crushed their opponents and brought a swift end to the war.

Picture 1 of Why is Israel's Merkava tank worthy of being one of the best in the world?

Photo Why is Israel's Merkava tank worthy of being one of the best in the world?


The Merkava is one of the best designed tanks ever made.

Israel's preemptive strike strategy on the armies of its neighbors is not known by some of its allies in Europe. The United Kingdom once canceled an increased development cooperation project with Israel. France enacted an embargo, preventing Israel from buying more Mirage fighter jets and more missile-firing battleships. That's when Israel learned a bloody lesson: to reduce its dependence on weapons from foreign powers, and in 1970, IDF started developing its own tanks.

The responsibility of building Israeli tanks was placed on the role of Major General Tal, former commander of the IDF Armored Corps and who led the 84th Armored Division to victory at Sinai. Tal's project was a big challenge, because Israel's military industry was still in its infancy, and the country had never built a large armored vehicle. Starting from scratch, Tal developed a complete tank with features drawn from the Israeli army's tank experience.

There are three characteristics that define a modern tank: firepower (main gun), mobility (speed and cross-country operability), and level of protection (armor). Some countries specializing in tank manufacturing focus on one or two properties compared to the other. For Israel, Tal prioritizes the third characteristic: protection. Israel is a small country with a small population, so during the war, every death is a great loss, and focusing on protection will help limit human damage.

In addition, the high level of protection means that tanks are more likely to survive to continue fighting - tank troops will take full advantage of what they have been trained and apply the experience gained. from previous battles into the future. The second priority of Israeli tanks is firepower , because besides surviving, the only way to win a war is to destroy enemy tanks. Mobility comes last - as a small nation, Israel is less likely to fight in long-running campaigns, on large battlefields.

Picture 2 of Why is Israel's Merkava tank worthy of being one of the best in the world?

Photo 2 Why is Israel's Merkava tank worthy of being one of the best in the world?


Israeli tanks have thick multi-layer armor.

The priority given to the level of protection of Israeli tanks can be seen in many ways. Their tanks had thick multi-layer armor, their hulls and turrets were designed with sharp angles, creating tilt angles to increase armor thickness. This design gives the tank a smooth, bold future look. Contrary to the traditional tank design, the vehicle's engine and transmission were positioned at the front, creating an additional layer of protection for the inner soldiers in case the tank destroyer penetrated the front armor. The hydraulic turret control system, which used a flammable liquid that caused many Israeli tankers badly burned in the 1973 war, has been replaced with an electronic control system, and ammunition Store in fire-proof compartments until removed and used to minimize the risk of fire.

The main barrel of the tank is the M68 105mm, which is the gun equipped with IDF Centurion, Patton, and M60 tanks. Israeli tankswas able to carry 62 rounds of ammunition for the main gun, slightly higher than average, to ensure it could continue fighting in the event of a shortage of ammunition. It also has three machine guns, including a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun attached to the main gun barrel, and two 12.7mm and 7.62mm auxiliary machine guns mounted on the top of the tower, for commanders and soldiers to reload ammunition. . This gun system is extremely useful in the case of facing infantry, light armor, and anti-tank missile teams. A series of machine gun bullets aimed at the missile control force can neutralize an anti-tank missile system controlled by the operator, protecting the tank itself and the soldiers inside.

Mobility is the lowest of the three characteristics of Israeli tanks, and Israeli tanks with a mass of up to 63 tons use only a 900 hp diesel engine - imposing horsepower to weight ratio. is 14.5: 1. As a result, it has a relatively sluggish top speed of just 28 mph (while the American M1 Abrams tank has a top speed of up to 45 mph, the horsepower to weight ratio is 25). :first). Considering the breadth of Israel at its widest point is just over 423km, it is understandable that mobility is the last in the priority list.

The new tank, Merkava (Chariot in English), was announced in May 1979, unlike any tanks that were ever sent to the battlefield by the armies of other nations, especially the United States and the Soviet Union. . The Merkava first appeared on the battlefield in 1982, when it was confronted by a Syrian T-72 (Soviet-made) tank in the Bekaa Valley. Merkava tanks destroyed eight T-72 tanks from a distance of up to 4,000 meters, and were not shot down by any T-72.

Picture 3 of Why is Israel's Merkava tank worthy of being one of the best in the world? Photo 3 Why is Israel's Merkava tank worthy of being one of the best in the world?
Merkava tanks are unlike any other tanks that were ever brought to the battlefield by the armies of other nations.

The constant wars in Israel gave the country a seasoned army of combat experience, along with new Merkava models that were getting stronger and stronger. The current tank, the Merkava IV, retains the design priorities of Merkava I, and is equipped with a new turret, explosive reactive armor and modular passive armor to help repair. After the battle gets faster. It also has a larger main gun, 120mm, with 58 rounds of ammunition, including LAHAT anti-tank guided missiles, which is 18 more rounds than the M1A2 Abrams tank, which is equipped with the same gun. Merkava IV's engine is larger, 1,500 horsepower, the ratio of horsepower to weight reaches 23.8: 1, giving it faster speed than before.

Merkava tanks are protected by the Trophy active protection system , which uses a set of sensors mounted on turret and explosive morphs (EFP) to suppress bullets from enemy tanks, missiles, and anti-tank guided missiles. Trophy proved effective through battles, saving many Merkava IV tanks (and the soldiers inside) from Hamas anti-tank weapons during the Protective Edge Campaign in Gaza Strip in 2014. This year, Israeli tanks will also test Iron Vision, an augmented reality system designed so soldiers can see the outside of their tanks through VR goggles and aperture systems. scatter.

A symbolic heavy armored model all over the world, Merkava was also a champion on the battlefield. Although not a tank suitable for all armies, it is the perfect combat vehicle for the Israel Defense Forces. Now the country has embarked on developing descendants of Merkava IV. And there is one thing that every Israeli enemy knows: Merkava is always a very hard-to-beat up pattern.

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