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The Merkava, Israel's Chieftain?

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I don't see any ERA boxes. I see very thin armor plates bolted on the main armor of the hull (a very, very, very, very, very common armor design). The sponsons look average, comparable to Boxer, AMV, VBCI etc. Only the fact that the outer section is used as storage box is new.
 
The side armor of the Eitan doesn't seem to be any thicker as the armor of the aforementioned vehicles. The distance from driver's hatch to hull side (as one can see in this video) is virtually identical to the Patria AMV. I don't see any ERA box neither do I see any double layers. I'd would be interesting though to hear about the source of this claims.

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"Wheeled death traps" is a joke/meme. I don't see any ERA on the Eitan.

 

Oh trust me, this is practically the Mike Sparks/BlackTailDefense "joke/meme" forum.

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As far as I am aware,no ERA. The Eitan was designed to be more survivable than other wheeled APC available for purchase. In combat configuration it will be heavier than any other current wheeled APC. I believe it is somewhat smaller than the Boxer, yet heavier. We can speculate as to what constitutes it's passive armour, but we don't know.

I find its mini-Namer configuration interesting. The rear sponsons, presumably containing NBC and air-conditioning plant, does mean that the rear access door is narrower than most APCs. This was a deliberate design choice. Remember though, this is a pre-production prototype and things can change.

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Huh, it does really look like that the side consists of ERA modules, but the top and bottom of the sponsons aren't that clear to see.

Probably those are replacable modules of NERA armor.

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1)Another video shows an officer (I assume general) who, according to my hebrew speaking friends, said the armor is passive and explosive reactive, and also it'll feature an APS. 

The authority on designing this vehicle is MANTAK, so I assume he's the CEO. It's as credible as it gets.

 

2)as pointed out earlier, the narrow door and sponsons (which DO contain NBC and AC like in the Namer) is a deliberate design feature copied from the Namer. When dismounting, the soldiers are temporarily highly vulnerable to enemy fire because they're occupied with exiting the vehicle. The sponsons come to protect them from sniper fire during that time. Only their legs are exposed but if hit, those will be non fatal hits. 

 

3)automotive components are COTS and/or MOTS as someone explained in a game's forum and it's not yet clear whether this is just for the prototype phase or this'll remain during production. Either way, it's a great way to further cut costs.

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Alright everyone; keep your eyes open for seven headed headed dragons with ten crowns, and watch for the ocean turning to absinthe.  Because I just found a well-written and informative post about the troop carrying capability of the Merkava on the Nationstates forum, of all things.

 

It's probably nothing the Merkava fanatics around here didn't know already, but it's complete with good pictures and complete explanations of what the author is talking about.

 

So go read it.

As for me, I'm going to get right with my God*, because I'm scared.

 

 

*This may involve absinthe

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Hi Collimatrix,

 

The author of your quoted piece is correct in that the Merkava is not intended to carry infantry and ill-suited to carry any passengers except in a dire emergency. Obviously, it is not an APC. Some of the information though is either a misunderstanding or deliberate disinformation. For instance, to the best of my knowledge, no ammunition is normally carried above the turret ring.

 

If passengers have to be carried, then much of the ammo has to be dumped. The passengers do not sit crouched in that cramped space. They sit on the floor with their backs to the tank hull facing inwards, their feet facing the opposite outer wall. It is hardly comfortable and is impractical for any long term carry. The soldier crouched painfully in the restricted space is taking the piss, that is not how they would travel. it would break and dislocate joints.

 

As stated by the author of the quoted piece, the rear hatch is useful for bailing out from a tank that has been hit, relatively safely. It does make the resupply of tank shells much quicker and the space at the rear can be used to evacuate surviving crewmen from other tanks.

 

A friend of mine was a Merkava battalion commander. In 2006 during the clumsy IDF fight against Hezbollah. He ensured that a small number of his tanks had most ammo stripped from them. Some operated as armoured ambulances and casualty evacuation vehicles others were stripped of their war load to act as logistic carriers. The rational was that the battle space was so fire swept and dangerous that the M113 ambulances and logistic/supply vehicles simply could not survive.  

 

Nowadays I believe that there are both Achzarit and Namers equipped as ambulances and even the standard Namer, has been designed so that it can be rapidly configured as a casualty evacuation vehicle. In addition, there is a wheeled trailer that Merks can tow filled with supplies if needs be.

 

cheers

Marsh

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Hi Collimatrix,

 

The author of your quoted piece is correct in that the Merkava is not intended to carry infantry and ill-suited to carry any passengers except in a dire emergency. Obviously, it is not an APC. Some of the information though is either a misunderstanding or deliberate disinformation. For instance, to the best of my knowledge, no ammunition is normally carried above the turret ring.

 

 

 

You mean, aside from the ready-rack, right?

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Sorry lads, my bad. I was being imprecise. 

 

I meant that the Merkava 4 has no unprotected ammunition stored above the turret ring.

 

SH_MM, sorry but you are mistaken re both the Merkava 3 having rounds stored in the turret and not having a semi-automatic ready rack. The Merkava 3 does in fact have a semi-automatic armoured drum magazine housing 5 ready rounds. The drum is mounted on the base of the turret basket. It is triggered by a foot switch and lifts the chosen round toward the loader so that he can complete his task more quickly.

 

As far as I am aware, doctrine is not to have any unprotected rounds above the turret ring. Certainly all Merkavas were designed so that all ammunition should be protected and within the hull.

 

cheers

Marsh

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Does anyone have good pictures of the inside of a Merk IV turret?

The two supposed ready rounds would be tricky to spot in any case; the IDF keeps their 120mm ammo in spall-proof tubes until it's ready to go AIUI.  You would be looking for some pretty generic looking cylinders.

In any case, the piece was far better than anything on Nationstates has any right to be.

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Sorry lads, my bad. I was being imprecise. 

 

I meant that the Merkava 4 has no unprotected ammunition stored above the turret ring.

 

SH_MM, sorry but you are mistaken re both the Merkava 3 having rounds stored in the turret and not having a semi-automatic ready rack. The Merkava 3 does in fact have a semi-automatic armoured drum magazine housing 5 ready rounds. The drum is mounted on the base of the turret basket. It is triggered by a foot switch and lifts the chosen round toward the loader so that he can complete his task more quickly.

 

As far as I am aware, doctrine is not to have any unprotected rounds above the turret ring. Certainly all Merkavas were designed so that all ammunition should be protected and within the hull.

 

cheers

Marsh

 

Why do they store ammunition outside the semi-automatic rack in the Merkava 3 then?

 

merkava3_wa.jpg

 

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Made some size estimates for the Eitan.

Those are rough estimates with room for error, but here goes:
Length - 8.35m
Height - 2.62m
Width - 3.29m

 

The Boxer in contrast:
Length - 7.93m
Height - 2.37m
Width - 2.99m

 

Turrets, optics, weapon stations excluded. Only hull roof.

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