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11 July 2010

IDF Merkava Main Battle Tank

The Merkava (מרכבה Chariot) MBT is the main battle tank of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). The "Merkava" name was derived from the IDF's initial development program name.




Design: The Merkava MBT is optimized for crew survival and rapid repair of battle damage. The Merkava MBT uses spaced-armor techniques and quick-replacement modular designs in which the design team was able to incorporate composite armor, a derivative of rolled homogeneous armor (RHA) and Chobham armor. The space between the inner and outer hulls of the Merkava MBT is filled with diesel which is an economical storage method and a means of defeating HEAT rounds.

Layout: Following the model of contemporary self-propelled howitzers, the turret assembly is located nearer the rear than in most main battle tanks. This gives the crew additional protection against a frontal attack by putting the engine between them and the attack. This arrangement also creates more space in the rear of the tank that allows increased storage capacity, as well as a rear entrance to the main crew compartment allowing easy access even under enemy fire. This allows the tank to be used as a platform for medical disembarkation, a forward command and control station, and an armored personnel carrier. The clamshell-style doors on the rear entrance provide overhead protection when loading and unloading cargo and personnel.

The IDF officially adopted the Merkava MBT in December 1978, when the first complete battalion of 30 tanks was delivered for initial unit training.

Specifications:
Weight 65 tons
Length 9.04 m (29.66 ft): rear to muzzle
7.60 m (24.93 ft): without cannon
Width 3.72 m (12.2 ft)—without skirts
Height 2.66 m (8.73 ft)—turret roof
Crew 4 (commander, driver, gunner, loader)
Armor design Classified composite matrix of laminated ceramic-steel-nickel alloy. Sloped modular
Primary armament 120 mm (4.7 in) MG253 smoothbore gun, capable of firing LAHAT ATGM
Secondary armament 1 × 12.7 mm (0.5 in) MG
2 × 7.62 mm (0.3 in) MG
1 × 60 mm (2.4 in) internal mortar
12 smoke grenades
Engine 1,500 hp (1,119 kW) turbocharged diesel engine
Power/weight 23 hp/ton
Payload capacity 48 rounds
Transmission Renk RK 325
Suspension Helical spring
Ground clearance 0.45 m (1.48 ft)
Fuel capacity 1400 litres
Operational Range 500 km (311 mi)
Speed 64 km/h (40 mph) on road 55 km/h (34 mph) off road


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2 comments:

PetrolClock said...

probably the best looking tank built

cap said...

today i read, that israel tal - the designer of the merkaver tank - died on september 8th 2010.

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