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5 hours ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

Now, one reason why the upper sections are generally thicker in the Merkava series is because anything coming from an angle that is above the horizontal, will be able to substantially decrease the effect that the armor's angle gives, so to negate that the armor itself must have a certain thickness. And if the lower sections of the armor are pierced in this manner, only the engine will be hit. If the upper section will be hit, the engine will not be in the way and the crew compartment will be breached, and there will be casualties. The same appears on the Mark 3 where the hull composite armor module shown below in green is of the same thickness as the yellow and red modules (when they're combined with the base armor), which was calculated earlier to be 140mm.

 

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ec87a810.jpg

 

You can have thickness to have vacuum for air intake to cool the plate avoiding problems with the thermal sight and improving thermal signature. 

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13 hours ago, Serge said:

 

You can have thickness to have vacuum for air intake to cool the plate avoiding problems with the thermal sight and improving thermal signature. 

The air intake on the Mark 3 is not in the same position as it is on the Mark 4. It's beside the UFP and above the tracks. Only on the Mark 4 it's behind the UFP's main composite armor plate (section C).

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41 minutes ago, Laviduce said:

Is there any validity left in those Chinese protection values for the early Merkava III ?

There may be some validity if they only refer to certain areas of the tank. The sketch of the Mark 3's armor thickness values, however, was proven to be wrong.

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2 minutes ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

I am leaning towards thinking they might be wrong.

:wacko::unsure::(<_< that sucks!  Are they any viable estimates on the protection level of the early Merkava I , II and III ?

 

I am getting the impression that a lot of the general  estimates of many MBTs out there are overestimates.  The  Leopard 2A5 turret cheeks having a KE resistance of 1300 mm RHAem is a good example of these overly "optimistic" estimates.

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I don't think they are wrong. Mr. Zhang probably didn't invent the values, he has seen armor testbeds. Maybe he used the performance of these testbeds to estimate the protection (i.e. he has provided photos of Merkava's armor being tested against ATGMs and RPGs - so it doesn't seem to be very unlikely that he also saw tests of the armor against KE rounds) or he was told against which respective rounds the armor was designed and used this to estimate the protection level.

 

___

 

How heavy is the Namer IFV with remote turret? According to the DTR Magazine, the LAND 400 Phase 3 competition for an IFV demands sealift capability using a LHD class landing craft from Navantia. Given that these have problems lifting a Leopardo 2E (63-64 metric tons), this might eliminate the Namer IFV from having any chances of being chosen.

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Laviduce said:

:wacko::unsure::(<_< that sucks!  Are they any viable estimates on the protection level of the early Merkava I , II and III ?

 

I am getting the impression that a lot of the general  estimates of many MBTs out there are overestimates.  The  Leopard 2A5 turret cheeks having a KE resistance of 1300 mm RHAem is a good example of these overly "optimistic" estimates.

I can try to calculate the armor thickness and armor LoS but the results would probably be disappointing. The Merkava 1 and 2 just did not have any form of good hull front protection against KE, until the Mark 2D maybe, which even then only covered the driver's section.

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4 minutes ago, SH_MM said:

I don't think they are wrong. Mr. Zhang probably didn't invent the values, he has seen armor testbeds. Maybe he used the performance of these testbeds to estimate the protection (i.e. he has provided photos of Merkava's armor being tested against ATGMs and RPGs - so it doesn't seem to be very unlikely that he also saw tests of the armor against KE rounds) or he was told against which respective rounds the armor was designed and used this to estimate the protection level.

 

___

 

How heavy is the Namer IFV with remote turret? According to the DTR Magazine, the LAND 400 Phase 3 competition for an IFV demands sealift capability using a LHD class landing craft from Navantia. Given that these have problems lifting a Leopardo 2E (63-64 metric tons), this might eliminate the Namer IFV from having any chances of being chosen.

 

 

You are correct in your assumption that he had at least a good enough access to make educated guesses at the least, if not fully being aware of certain tests results other than just those of the armor modules vs HOT and RPG-7. But we also see some very theoretical implementations of armor protection there. 

Other than the mere protection estimates, we see a sketch of what is supposed to be a Merkava 3 hull but with the flat UFP of a Merkava, probably relating to a test bed of the Merkava 3 that would simulate the Mark 4. And we also see a sketch of what is identical to the Merkava 3 by shape (rear section), but with thickness values that would much more likely resemble the Mark 1-2 tanks, not the Mark 3. I'll try to see what I can find on the Mark 1 and 2 so I could measure their UFP thickness via scale, and check if that picture refers to them. And that composite armor on the LFP? Only if they chose to put a thin composite armor block between the structural steel and the fuel tanks, or after the fuel tanks (of which there is no evidence).

 

The Namer CEV version weighs 63.5 tons. The reason I'm telling you about the CEV is because on the 'normal' Namer the specs are rounded up/down so they're of no use (things like about 9 meters, about 60 tons etc). CEV version comes with Trophy and a 0.5" cal RCWS. The IFV version will replace the 0.5" cal with a 30mm gun and relocate the APS to the turret. I can infer from this that the turret designed for the Namer is a derivative of RAFAEL's improved and yet unnamed variant of the Samson. The Samson has a weight of 1.5 tons if we account for all the kit (not adding Trophy's weight because the platform's weight accounted for it) but exclude the armor. So even without an armor kit, this would make the Namer a 65-ton IFV. Not good.

But, unless they plan on putting these ashore and rush straight to the battlefield, there's a lot of very heavy equipment that can be removed and shipped separately like the side skirts, belly armor, and other pieces of armor.

IMI (although now it would probably be Elbit) could offer the Namer with different armor packages, but the likelihood of that isn't very high, and that would beat the purpose of this vehicle.

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The Eitan has finished a comprehensive series of mobility trials conducted by MANTAK in pair with the Nahal infantry brigade. The trials have included driving in all types of terrain that exist in Israel, from the northernmost Golan heights with its boulders and deep mud, to the open deserts and dunes of the southern Negev desert. Road tests were also made. This means the baseline version is now almost ready, and the next milestones include testing of the turret, helmet systems, and operational trials. I assume that since the Nahal brigade has been involved for quite a long time now, at least several milestones in the operational trials were also met already, which just shows the merits of concurrency. 

 

Just a reminder, the Eitan is due to enter service in its finalized version with a turret, APS, and HMDs in the year 2020, and the government has recently approved a program to acquire several hundred vehicles of this type.

 

Youtube has a higher quality footage now:

Spoiler

 

 

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On 3.4.2018 at 2:31 PM, Marsh said:

Hi,

I don't understand what you mean by the Merkava 3 was not fitted with additional, heavy applique armour kits in the same manner as the Merkava 2D. A major portion of the Merkava 3 production run were fitted with just such armour modules as the Merkava Siman 3 Daled (Mk. 3D). As well as those produced as new with the modules from the beginning, Merkava 3 Baz models were retro-fitted with the applique modules. Only a minority of the Merkava 3 fleet are left without the additional armour.

 

If you are talking about only hull and side-skirt armour, then that would make more sense. However, there are different styles and weights of side-skirts available, some with better protection than the ones you see routinely fitted. There is also the matter of cost. Only a small portion of the Merkava 2 fleet were up-armoured to the Merkava 2 D Batash standard. Even then, the armour configuration  and other changes used for the 2D Batash was not as extensive as the projected Merkava 2 "Tafnookim " which would have been too expensive.

 

I could be mistaken, but I think the Merkava 3 in the bottom photo, was a developmental one used for the Merkava 4 programme, where new systems, armour modules, etc. were experimented with.

 

I was talking about the frontal hull section, which was more or less neglected other than the driver's section.

The Merkava 2 'Tafnookim' was not as extensive as the Mark 2D was. It only had the turret armor of it, as well as the Mark 3's driver section UFP module, which is thinner than the larger armor module eventually fitted on the Mark 2D, and only a portion of the eventual side armor. Also, the turret roof armor on the Tafnookim remained the same as the Mark 2C, while Mark 2D got a new one. Mark 2D was definitely more comprehensive if it was merely an armor upgrade.

 

123.jpg

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A tragic accident happened today. A Merkava 3D tank veered off course and fell into a ditch, which caused one round (unknown from where) to come escape its stowage and eventually catch fire. The fire was immediately extinguished by automatic systems, but nonetheless the driver was killed.

It is yet undetermined whether it happened because of inhalation of the gas, or because of the intense burning of the round.

The rest of the crew received burning injuries of varying degrees. One was lightly injured, and another two are hospitalized in a serious condition.

 

84682430990100640360no.jpg

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This is not exactly a tank or a heavy APC or IFV, but it was said the IDF is looking for multiple types of vehicles for multiple weight classes below the Eitan, and it's possible the Plasan Yagu will find its place there:

imgl0982.jpg?itok=bZaI49ZK

 

imgl1104.jpg?itok=1m2zvBgb

 

It provides a STANAG 4569 level 2 protection, but comes with a weight of 1.48 tons, which is extremely light for that protection class.

 

Sporting an RCWS and an observation drone (tethered?) as well, it could be very suitable for a multitude of roles - from border patrols and peacekeeping operations to special forces who require very high mobility and minimal protection.

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More about that Merkava 4 - Inside of Isreal Navy Merkava

7807148_original.jpg

 

Spoiler

7807237_original.jpg

IDF taking back their tank from hands of Navy forces

Israel should stick to turning AFVs upside down, because driving tanks into big puddles of water and dirt is our thing!

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