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14 minutes ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

@Marsh Mind posting that photo from 2000 of the Merkava 3 with prototype APS here?

Hi I tried, but it wouldn't load. If you PM me your email address  I will send you it and you can try.



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6 minutes ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

Nevermind @Marsh I managed to do it. Nice find!



I can't claim credit. It was a friend,  a Finnish soldier who served with UNIFIL. 

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7 hours ago, Adraste said:


I thought the IDF wasn't going to invest any shekel on M113. Interesting.

Israel and the US are currently taking the leadership in the development of cutting edge ground combat technologies, and most importantly concepts of operation. 

This includes but is not limited to projects like mobile laser based air defenses, the OMFV/Carmel, and the Robotic Wingman/Robotic BtCT (in the US and Israel respectively).


The Robotic Wingman/BtCT (Battalion Combat Team) concepts are visualized very similarly in the US and Israel. They talk about sensory, firepower, and decoys for the individual AFV up to battalion level capabilities.


Some of the tasks may require only the small, 4x4 or 6x6 utility bots that are basically glorified shopping carts, like the IAI Robattle, and some tasks will require larger vehicles with larger capacity, getting somewhat closer to the capacity of a proper AFV. The cheapest and most dispensable vehicle that fits the description is the M113.


The IDF wants to get rid of the M113 because it provides poor protection for the troops inside. But as a UGV it's no longer a factor. And instead of buying thousands of brand new, purpose-built vehicles, they can tap into this abundant resource of vehicles that would otherwise be scrapped, and are absolutely free.

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4 hours ago, Belesarius said:

Whats with the blue plastic?



Seems to be covering machine gun mounts, so I assume it's there to protect brushless mechanical parts from dust.


3 hours ago, VPZ said:



There are several competitors (I mean UGV)...

The Robattle and M113 shouldn't really be competitors in most roles. The M113 simply has a lot more payload capacity. If it's just about carrying a machine gun and a squad's gear, then take a Robattle. Want to pack ATGMs or APS or something? Gavin.

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13 hours ago, Belesarius said:

Whats with the blue plastic?


Those are garbage bags.

MGs do not like being exposed to the elements for any length of time, they get all wet and therefore rusty and all the oil runs off and shit. Wrap them in a garbage bag and duct tape it shut and you have a fairly effective quick and disposable environmental shield.

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The latest issue of the armor magazine in Israel, reveals that the 401st Armored Brigade is the first to accept the Barak into service, and the assimilation process has begun several months ago. 

An assimilation process includes first a study of the tank's systems and development of a doctrine prior to the production phase that will begin in 2020, and the final induction phase of operational capability starting in 2021 and ending in 2023 for that brigade. 

This confirms that the 188th brigade will retain its Merkava 3 tanks that will be upgraded with Trophy systems, and the first Trophy-equipped Merkava 4M tanks will start being delivered to the reserve forces. This is the current status of the armored corps:


Armored Corps Brigades
Active Brigades
Storm from Golan
Merkava 4M
Merkava 3D Baz
תג יחידה 401.svg
Iron Tracks
Merkava 4M
תג חטיבה 460.svg
Bnei Or
Merkava 4M and 3D Baz (also instructional)
Reserve Brigades
Merkava 4
Logo hativa 8.png
Merkava 3A
Merkava 2
Brigade 14 sign.svg
Merkava 3
Merkava 3D Baz
Logo hativa 514.png
Iron Fist
Merkava 3D Baz
Merkava 3D Baz
Steel Chariots
Merkava 2
Transitioning to Merkava 4




By 2021 the reserve forces will have only 1 brigade of Merkava 2 tanks. By 2023 it should be entirely phased out, with the exception of converted vehicles such as the Ofek.

The state of the armored corps will be:

  • 5 brigades of purely Merkava 4 tanks, of which 2 are Merkava 4A/B, and 3 are Merkava 4M.
  • 6 brigades of Merkava 3 tanks, of which 3 are Merkava 3D, one is Merkava 3M, and 2 are Merkava 3A.
  • An instructional brigade will remain with a mixed force of Merkava 3D and 4M, in a ratio of 1/2 respectively.

In the year 2026 the Merkava 4 in all variants will become the most dominant tank in the IDF ground forces.



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