Debut: March 2016



.: Bob Williams' Israeli Merkava Tank - for the Rob McCallum Collection





Modelling Time:

~ hrs

PE/Resin Detail:





From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For the religious/mystical connotations of the word, see Merkabah.
Merkava Mk 4m Windbreaker, fitted with Trophy Active Protection, during Operation Protective Edge
Merkava Mk 4m Windbreaker, fitted with Trophy Active Protection System, during Operation Protective Edge2014.
Type Main battle tank
Place of origin Israel
Service history
In service 1978–present[1]
Used by Israel Defense Forces
Wars 1982 Lebanon WarSouth Lebanon conflictFirst Intifada,Second Intifada2006 Lebanon WarGaza WarOperation Pillar of DefenseOperation Protective Edge
Production history
Designer MANTAK
Manufacturer MANTAK/IDF Ordnance Corps(assembly)
Unit cost $4.5 million (Merkava IV) (2014 price for sales to other countries)[2]
Produced 1978—present
Number built
Mark I: 250
Mark II: 580
Mark III: 780
Mark IV: 360 (with an additional 300 on order)[3]
Weight 65 tonnes (143,000 pounds)
Length 9.04 m or 29.7 ft (incl. gun barrel)
7.60 m or 24.9 ft (excl. gun barrel)
Width 3.72 m or 12.2 ft (excl. skirts)
Height 2.66 m or 8.7 ft (to turret roof)
Crew 4 (commander, driver, gunner, and loader)
Passengers Maximum 6 passengers[4]

Armor Classified composite/sloped armour modular design.
120 mm (4.7 in) MG253smoothbore gun, capable of firing LAHAT ATGM
1 × 12.7 mm (0.50 in) MG
2 × 7.62 mm (0.300 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/tonne
Payload capacity 48 rounds
Transmission Renk RK 325
Suspension Helical spring
Ground clearance 0.45 m (1.5 ft)
Fuel capacity 1,400 litres
500 km (310 mi)
Speed 64 km/h (40 mph) on road
55 km/h (34 mph) off road

The Merkava (HebrewAbout this sound מרכבה (help·info), "chariot") is a main battle tank used by the Israel Defense Forces. The tank began development in 1973 and entered official service in 1978. Four main variants of the tank have been deployed. It was first used extensively in the 1982 Lebanon War. The name "Merkava" was derived from the IDF's initial development program name.

Design criteria include rapid repair of battle damage, survivability, cost-effectiveness and off-road performance. Following the model of contemporaryself-propelled howitzers, the turret assembly is located closer to the rear than in most main battle tanks. With the engine in front, this layout is intended to grant additional protection against a frontal attack, especially for the personnel in the main hull, such as the driver. It also creates more space in the rear of the tank that allows increased storage capacity and a rear entrance to the main crew compartment allowing easy access under enemy fire. This allows the tank to be used as a platform for medical disembarkation, a forward command and control station, and an infantry fighting vehicle. The rear entrance's clamshell-style doors provide overhead protection when off- and on-loading cargo and personnel.

It was reportedly decided shortly before the beginning of the 2006 Lebanon War that the Merkava line would be discontinued within four years.[5]However, on November 7, 2006, Haaretz reported that an Israeli General staff assessment had ruled of the Merkava Mark IV that "if properly deployed, the tank can provide its crew with better protection than in the past," and deferred the decision on discontinuing the line.[6] On August 16, 2013, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon announced the decision to resume production of the Merkava main battle tank for the IDF Armored Corps.[7][8]


In 1965, Israel's military establishment began research and development on a domestically produced tank, the "Sabra"[9] (not to be confused with the later model of the same name now in service). Initially, Britain and Israel collaborated to adapt the United Kingdom's Chieftain tank that had enteredBritish Army service in 1966.[10] However, in 1969, Britain decided not to sell the tank to Israel for political reasons.[11]

Israel Tal, who was serving as a brigade commander after the Suez Crisis, restarted plans to produce an Israeli-made tank, drawing on lessons from the 1973 Yom Kippur War, in which Israeli forces were outnumbered by those of the Middle East's Arab nations.[11]

By 1974, initial designs were completed and prototypes were built. After a brief set of trials, work began to retool the Tel HaShomer ordnance depot for full-time development and construction. After the new facilities were completed, the Merkava was announced to the public in the International Defense Review periodical. The first official images of the tank were then released to the American periodical Armed Forces Journal on May 4, 1977. The IDF officially adopted the tank in December 1978. The first Merkava Mk. 1 tanks were supplied to the IDF in April 1979, nearly nine years after the decision to produce the Merkava Mk. 1 tank was taken.

Primary contractors

The lead organization for system integration of the Merkava's main components is Israel Military Industries (IMI). The Israeli Ordnance Corps are responsible for final Merkava assembly. More than 90% of the Merkava 4 tank's components are produced locally in Israel by Israeli defense industries.[12] Contributors to the vehicle include:

General characteristics


The Merkava Mark I and II were armed with a 105 mm M68 gun. The Mark III, Mark III Dor Dalet BAZ kassag, and the Mark IV are armed with an IMI 120 mm smoothbore gun.

Each model of the Merkava has two 7.62 machine guns for anti-infantry defense and a 60 mm mortar.


The tank's 1,500 horsepower turbocharged diesel engine was designed by MTU and is manufactured under license by L-3 Communication Combat Propulsion Systems (formerly General Dynamics). The Mark IV's top road speed is 64 km/h.[citation needed]


Merkava Mark I

Merkava Mark I tank, in 2009
Merkava Mark I at Yad La-Shiryon.

The Mark I, operational since 1978, is the original design created as a result of Israel Tal's decision, and was fabricated and designed for mass production. The Mark I weighed 63 tonnes and had a 900 horsepower (670 kW) diesel engine, with a power-to-weight ratio of 14 hp/ton. It was armed with the 105 millimeter M68 main gun (a licensed copy of the British Royal Ordnance L7), two 7.62 mm machine guns for anti-infantry defense,[14] and a 60 mm mortar mounted externally, with its operator not completely protected by the tank's hull.

The general design borrows the tracks from the British Centurion tank, which had seen extensive use during the Yom Kippur war.

The Merkava was first used in combat during the 1982 Lebanon War, where Israel deployed 180 units. Although they were a success, the M113 APCs that accompanied them were found to have several defects and were withdrawn. Merkavas were converted into makeshift APCs or armored ambulances by taking out the palleted ammunition racks in storage. Ten soldiers or walking wounded could enter and exit through the rear door.

After the war, many adjustments and additions were noted and designed, the most important being that the 60 mm mortar needed to be installed within the hull and engineered for remote firing—a valuable feature that the Israelis had initially encountered on their Centurion Mk3s with their 2" Mk.III mortar.[15] A shot trap was found beneath the rear of the turret bustle, where a well-placed shot could jam the turret completely. The installation of chain netting to disperse and destroyrocket propelled grenades and anti-tank rockets before impacting the primary armor increased survivability.

Please go to Wikipedia, if you want any further information

Thanks Wikipedia!

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