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Welcome to Mighty Zuk's place of mental rest and peace of mind. This is my realm. 

I've decided it would be best to ditch the old Merkava thread for 2 reasons:

1)It does not feature any bunched up information in its main post, and valuable information is scattered across different posts on different pages. 

2)Many AFVs that are not related to the Merkava, or related but are not it, appear in that thread with improper representation. There are other AFVs than the Merkava, and it would be better to refer to them in a general way.

 

As time will go by, I will arrange this thread into a sort of information center. 

 

I will take up a few first comment spaces to make sure proper amount of information can be stacked up on the front page and for easier access for everyone.

 

[Reserved for future posts - Merkava]

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A new article from "Ynet News" adds new info on the Barak and other programs. Just a reminder, Barak is an upgraded Merkava 4M.    https://www.yediot.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-5043863,00.

Something interesting about Merkava III's armor protection(in Chinese): Some of these images are come from Chinese course book《装甲防护技术基础》(The basic technology of armor protection), and others are

Couple more of the Mk.3-based Ofek    

Namer IFV w/ 30mm Turret

 
In January this year, with great excitement I reported on the planned testing of a turret on the Namer, and today, July 31st. it finally arrived.
The turret is not an off-the-shelf design, but dedicated for the needs of the Israeli ground army.


 11.JPG

Background

For years, a "war" has been raging on whether the Namer should have a turret. Both in defense related forums and defense analysis companies, and within the IDF's multiple branches related to the topic. The "Turret" camp has won, and rightfully so.

This turret is designed not just for the Namer, but for the Eitan wheeled combat vehicle as well. It was also said that in the future, the Carmel tracked vehicle will be armed with a similar 30/40mm cannon in its Combat Support Vehicle variant.
 
 
 
 
 
321.jpg
Namer with Samson 30 Mk 1 turret by RAFAEL
 

Features

It's very clear that this turret is not like anything I've seen before, because it has a very distinct feature of having a turret-mounted APS, not as applique but integrated into it.
Work was not finalized on it, and it may see some additions in the future in the form of an RWS and IronVision system.

At the moment, we're seeing a wide but low profile turret with a 30mm cannon. In an unconventional setup, the missile launchers are set at the rear, folded down, rather than the sides. The ammo capacity itself is also rather large, with 400 rounds, although it is unknown how many are ready to fire, and how many are in storage.
 
123.jpg
 
1)It is equipped with a powerful array of optics. Elbit has a long record of supplying top of the line FCS (Fire Control System) and optics to the IDF through its subsidiary El-Op, who won its first Israel Defense Prize in 1997 for creating the Baz FCS for the Merkava 3 tank.
12.JPG
Elbit's COAPS sight, same as the one used on Singapore's Leopard 2 EVO tanks. It appears the gunner's sight is a static version of the COAPS.
 2)Geared with Trophy HV Active Protection System, similar to the one fielded on Merkava 4M tanks and Namer CEV. The difference between this one and the CEV which already rolls with a Trophy system, is that this one is turret-mounted, and does it as an integrated system rather than applique.
Certain applications of APS on existing vehicles require mounting the APS on the hull, as it would otherwise be impossible on the turret without reaching tremendous costs, or breaching the upper limit of capabilities of the turret systems.

An APS is an immensely valuable asset on every vehicle, and is currently revolutionizing ground combat vehicles in multiple countries such as the US's MAPS effort which currently seeks an off-the-shelf system before going into a self-developed one, and Russia's Afghanit.
15.jpg
Training Trophy munitions in ready position.
3)Unfortunately it currently does not possess an Iron Vision system. It was hinted very vaguely that it might get it, but at the moment I'll just list it as a possibility. What indicates this is the lack of external sighting systems dedicated for that system. The COAPS cannot be used for that purpose as it is a rotating system, and the Iron Vision's application (at least 2 users per vehicle) requires a special static panoramic sight, to feed different footage to two recipients via one sight system.
 
However, the Eitan was said to eventually have this system by its production (in 2020, or earlier), and it is now also said that the Namer's new turret was designed for the Eitan as well, not just for the Namer.

14.JPG
Note the "clean" turret top

4)Something rather unexpected that caught my eye was the mortar. Yep, the iconic Merkava's feature of having a 60mm light mortar in its roof was copied into the new turret. That definitely testifies on what its operators and MANTAK as a whole think of the mortar's contributions throughout its very long service. It lays smoke at day, illuminates at night, marks targets with colored smoke, or fires HE on concealed targets to avoid exposing the vehicle. What is there not to love?

I believe it's not just a lovely gesture, but some original thinking. And although not new, it adds a new level of support the Namer can provide to its infantry. It could lay smoke for them, serve as artillery pocket for them, or the commander could even mark specific targets for them if they're not currently watching the BMS or have difficulty with precision spotting.
 
16.jpg
Mortar visible on the left side. This is reminiscent of the Merkava which houses a 60mm mortar on every variant.
5)Spike LR II missiles. They are located at the rear section in the center below a hatch and in a dual launcher.
The Spike is known for its ability to conduct precision strikes in manual guidance. This capability is further enhanced in the Spike LR II missile. It is not yet known whether it is indeed the Spike LR II missile, but judging by its schedule for production in 2018, and the Israeli Army's wish to equip its units with it, it would only make sense to use the new one.
Retracting on my previous claim, the missiles could be a great addition to the vehicle. Not because of its ability to defeat tanks, even advanced ones equipped with APS, but because of its precision strike and supportive capabilities for the infantry around the Namer.
It will be nay useless against Hamas in the Gaza strip, where the Namer will be positioned very close to the infantry, but it will shine in a hybrid warfare scenario against Hezbollah, where infantry will deploy a certain distance from the targets, and allow the Namer to use its array of weaponry from a distance while the infantry are advancing at their own pace.
 
Inked13_LI.jpg
Hatch for elevating dual missile launcher


Conclusion

This is an amazing improvement. Ad-hoc formations using infantry and armor from various brigades to create new "brigades" (or battalion-sized formations) were common practice, to provide battle taxis with strong firepower. Now, Namer formations can be independent in terms of firepower, and can also act as mechanized infantry thus attached to armored units. In the era of information and big data, data management is important and having to improvise on a regular basis is bad. 
 
The infantry will be less reliant on artillery and air power, and won't have to wait for armor whenever they have to deal with heavily fortified enemies that are out of reach for MATADOR rockets, or too numerous.

As for the turret itself, its rather unorthodox conceptual design brings about several improvements that are not entirely abundant.
Other than providing the infantry with active protection, it can support them with an exceptional and diverse array of weapons, that do anything from direct engagement, precision engagement, to artillery work, all within immediate reach for the squad commander via direct comms to the vehicle commander.
 

Bonus - Eitan

12.png
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Troop compartment of the Eitan. Quite spacious. Judging by the dirt marks, this prototype has been tested extensively.

78918950990100640360no.jpg

 

Driver's touch-screen.

78918490990100640360no.jpg

 

The Eitan (credit: ANNA AHRONHEIM)

 

EDIT: New info - Eitan will supposedly enter initial service this year, instead of the envisioned 2020. It is however difficult to see how that can be done when not a single prototype was yet fitted with either the Trophy system, or the turret.

 

 

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The gun was identified as the new Mk 44 Bushmaster by ATK, in the 30mm caliber. 

 

Spike, as it seems, is not an option. However I do not entirely advocate it. While it will have no disadvantages other than training expenses, it won't have too many benefits to begin with. The vehicle will be too close for precision strikes and will use its gun, and against tanks it will likely rely on the specialized AT infantry units (dismounts).

 

I believe I've read somewhere that a typical Spike launcher can be easily placed on the hull roof. 

 

Either way, not too many uses.

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Hi Zuk,

Normaly I would agree with you. I am not a fan of either IFVs or mounting ATGMs on an infantry carrier.

 

It depends how the vehicle is to be utillised though. If it is going to be used in the same manner as a the Russian BMPT-72 (unlikely) as a tank support vehicle, or as an infantry support vehicle (likely). If the former, then ATGMs would make sense. 

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Yes. But Namer is nothing more than a H-APC, not a fire support armored vehicle. They have tanks for this. 

 

I think two points :

1- the key point is to continu to deploy Trophy ADS ;

2- when considering the whole net of Israël fire power (tanks+artillery+air cav), the Mk-44 is the right choice. It will complet the whole organisation at the right cost.

 

The interest in ATGM on Tsahal IFVs is not founded. They are no more facing huge well organised armored armys. They are facing man portable AT roquette/missile proliferation.

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Hi Serge,

 

I am well aware that the Namer is a heavy APC. Yet the intent for the Namer was originally for a family of vehicles, including a "Fire Support Variant". How do I know this? I was invited to attend a presentation and discussion of the Namer project, by the then head of Mantak, at the time the first Namer  prototype was undergoing its firepower trials. 

 

Lack of funds and differences of doctrine withinj the IDF  scuppered these plans. I do suspect that only a proportion of Namers will carry the new turret and envisage them acting as a Fire Support Vehicle, albeit, without ATGMs.

 

I do understand that the nature of the enemy has changed, assuming things do not go pear shaped with Egypt or Turkey.  As I stated, I do not expect ATGMs to be mounted on the vehicle.

 

Incidentally I do not believe the IDF has "Air Cav" at least not in the way the US invisages it.

 

Cheers

Marsh

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8 hours ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

New turret for the Namer with an integrated APS. Will provide updates as soon as I get home. This is Zuk time!

capture6-jpg.62377

 

capture54-jpg.62378

 

capture34-jpg.62379

 

capture432-jpg.62380

 

1%20(1)_0.jpg?itok=W6QNv48V

 

I like everything about what they're doing here!

 

Even the lack of Spike totally makes sense to me in a sort of "you eat elephants one bite at a time" way.

 

What i mean by this is attempting to integrate spike on top of the APS all in the same relatively small volume and possibly power consumption limitations would have likely added 6-18 months and at least one or two extra zeros to development time and prices.

 

Meanwhile, Moore's law might be rapidly reaching the wall in consumer stuff but properly hardened and certified military computing etc options still seem to have a bit more wiggle room before they hit their wall. 

 

What this means to me in this instance is that we're probably very likely to see something spike like show up at worst as a midlife upgrade. At which point, everything about the necessary electronics etc will be cheaper, more robust, and more capable for any given budget.

 

Also, namer looks really F***ing MEAN with that turret, which is AWESOME!

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Breech loading mortars in turret roofs are not new, they date back to WW2 at least. What is very novel is an autoloaded breech loaded (?*) mortar in a turret roof, I don't think that's been done before

 

*Potentially there could be an arm that comes out of one of the hatches, but I think breech loading would be simpler

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