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47 minutes ago, VPZ said:

Too bad. He was the only insider in this thread, and one of the best on this forum.

   Zuk wasn't the only, (NLM is an actual insider when talking about Isrealy vehicle as he is in the industry) and looking at some of his threads/posts/suggestion were hardly called "best", showing lack of understanding of some of aspects of AFV design.

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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    

On 11/12/2020 at 8:46 PM, alanch90 said:

jo8MXBu.png

 

 

Note that in this image, there is a steel coverplate at the side of the module. If this is identical in size to the actual armor (or a bit larger) is hard to tell.

 

Subjectively the empty space seems to be quite a bit smaller compared to the image I posted where no coverplate is fitted.

 

IwnRlDM.jpg

 

18 hours ago, alanch90 said:

maintains a module LOS thickness of no less than around 480mm not accounting for the side turret wall (50mm RHA?). That by itself is very thick (for comparison M1A2 has around 350-400mm including the side turret backplate/wall).

 

The point is that the Merkava 4 has been described - by media and in articles written by IDF officers - as a new generation of tank with significantly higher level of all-round protection, basically matching what earlier generations achieved along the frontal arc only (stopping all sorts of shaped charge anti-tank missiles).

 

People pretended that only the Kornet ATGM could defeat the Merkava 4 and that the sole reason for the adoption of the Trophy APS was the fact, that one Merkava 4 tank's armor got penetrated by such a missile. However it seems more likely, that the side armor only protects against simple RPGs and very old ATGMs without tandem-charge warhead.

 

The Merkava 4 is specifically designed - unless the various sources including official accounts and literature are wrong - to survive hits from the side and based on the relatively low armor thickness, it seems extremely likely that it will have troubles with any sort of modern handheld anti-tank weapon. Also note that the lower ~25 cm of the turret side have reduced armor thickness as a result of the armor module's shape.

 

While the armor thickness is greater than on the M1 Abrams, Leopard 2 and other earlier MBTs, it is important to keep the desired protected arc in mind. The M1 Abrams' side armor at the crew compartment was never meant to stop RPGs hitting it perpendicularly, but rather to stop RPGs with 84 mm single-stage warhead up to an angle of 45°.

So the effective thickness to reach the desired level of protection is ~30% higher. Likewise the Leopard 2's side armor is not meant to stop ATGMs or RPGs hitting at 90°, but rather to stop them at 30° impact angle (and hence the effective thickness is ~640 mm). This obviously doesn't nullify the greater armor thickness of the Merkava 4 has compared to these tanks at perpendicular impact, but it provides an idea how the relative side protection might compare, assuming technology is similarly effective for a given thickness.

 

21 hours ago, alanch90 said:

Another matter entirely is estimating how that thickness translates into practical protection.

 

Yes, that is true. Physical thickness and effective armor protection can drastically differ, depending on the chosen protection solution. In case of the Merkava 4 tank, it also seems unlikely that much

 

Still the actual armor thickness isn't impressive; it will be below that of an existing tank with urban combat armor kit...

 

21 hours ago, alanch90 said:

In the 2008 Rafael patent on SLERA and NxRA (shared on this very forum) both types are described as having comparable volume/mass efficiency to ERA but also being capable of sustaining multiple shots (though not as many as NERA)

 

There is no indication that the armor is exactly following the layout as described in the patent. There are explosives in the side armor of the turret, but that's all we know. The claim "we have invented some type of reactive armor that performs as good as ERA, but has no drawbacks" is old marketing talk. That also was said when MEXAS was introduced in the 1990s...

 

If Rafael's SLERA would perform as good as ERA without any drawbacks, they would end up shutting down their ERA business. However instead they (Rafael and partners) keep making ERA, they are developing new types and ERA has even been integrated in newer AFVs of the IDF such as the Namer and the Eitan.

 

21 hours ago, alanch90 said:

Take that and slope it to 75 degrees, which is the angle of the front turret module, and you get around 920-930mm.

 

Assuming that your measurements are completely perfect and the armor thickness stays identical despite the slope changing. That is rather questionable, given the photographs posted by Wiedzmin.

 

21 hours ago, alanch90 said:

Add to that a probable empty triangular channel of 160mm and we get 1080mm of module LOS length which is surprisingly close to the 1079mm that i estimated yesterday and also virtually the same figure that others have estimated

 

You are using an old and faulty image to validate your own estimates. You should not use this kind of bias as argument.

 

9 hours ago, Militarysta said:

My point of wiev (in english)  about Merkava Mk.I Hope that without bigger mistakes :)

 

In the table with the protection levels, you are comparing values based on different criteria and arcs.

 

For example the RARDE report accessing the protection of the Leopard 2 (Type B) as equivalent to 350/700 mm steel is focused on the frontal 60° arc, which is also achieved on the turret sides and hull sides at this angle. Meanwhile the Merkava 1's turret side armor at the crew compartment consists of two thin steel plates. Earlier estimates/claims put them at 50-70 mm, but they seem to be both just ~40 mm thick.

K_aIBtGVOKg.jpg

 

The Merkava 1 and 2 are built more like the Leopard 1A3 - full armor protection is achieved on a very, very narrow arc (10-20°) only. So despite the huge combat weight of the Merkava 1, armor protection fell well short of all other contemporaries.

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2 hours ago, SH_MM said:

Subjectively the empty space seems to be quite a bit smaller compared to the image I posted where no coverplate is fitted.

That's because there is a big difference of angle in your image. I chose to make my estimation on that picture and that side specifically because of the angle of the channel in relation to the camera. 

 

2 hours ago, SH_MM said:

The point is that the Merkava 4 has been described - by media and in articles written by IDF officers - as a new generation of tank with significantly higher level of all-round protection, basically matching what earlier generations achieved along the frontal arc only (stopping all sorts of shaped charge anti-tank missiles).

...

The Merkava 4 is specifically designed - unless the various sources including official accounts and literature are wrong - to survive hits from the side and based on the relatively low armor thickness, it seems extremely likely that it will have troubles with any sort of modern handheld anti-tank weapon. 

And i find plausible that those were indeed the requirements in terms of CE protection. By the time Mk.4 was in development the IDF was experiencing asymmetric warfare in the first Lebanon War and plenty of attacks by ATGMs to the tanks weakspots. If this is achieved or not is something we can´t know but as you well say the only instance a Mk4 was penetrated was by a Kornet, and lets be fare there are no infantry ATGMs capable of penetrating more than that. In addition we don't know where that missile hit the tank could have been the turret sides or even the hull side which is much weaker but certainly not the front of the turret as an impact of a Kornet there left only superficial damage to the armor module (that specific instance was captured and is available in youtube). After all even if the turret armor both for the front and the sides is of the same exact nature (which, given the angles, the triangular channels, the placements pattern of exterior bolts, is highly likely) there is up to around 250mm of RHA of difference in the turret front and side walls which points that there is a difference in protection requirement between the frontal and side aspects and in addition since the sloping is more pronounced in the front, the reactive layers become more effective than the sides. Perhaps its related to the need to be defended against APFSDS (my guess is that the reference threat weapon are the KEW series fired from Egyptian M1) from the front.

 

My best guess is that in terms of CE protection the plausible effectiveness given the dates and types of expected threat weapons is as follows:

 

                     152mm tandem  (Kornet)      130mm tandem  (Metis-M)     105mm tandem  (RPG 29)      85mm tandem (RPG 7) 

Turret front               Likely                                      Likely                                      Definitely                              Definitely

Turret side                 ???                                        Probable                                 Probable                               Definitely

Hull front                    ???                                        Probable                                 Definitely                               Definitely       

Hull side                    Unlikely                                  Unlikely                                  Probable                                Definitely       

 

2 hours ago, SH_MM said:

There is no indication that the armor is exactly following the layout as described in the patent. There are explosives in the side armor of the turret, but that's all we know.

We should keep in mind that the israelis have been tinkering with ways to integrate NERA and ERA since the days of Mk.3 If we go by chinese sources (posted in page 9 of this thread), the israelis were embedding layers of ERA in between NERA. Years later when Mk.4 was unveiled, some of the first articles about it by people like David Eshel refer to its armor as a sort of a "hybrid" type. By 2008 the Rafael patent describes armor types which are indeed hybrids of NERA and ERA, that is NxRA and SLERA. In addition we have confirmation that at least the side turret modules do contain explosives but those modules aren´t segmented the way ERA bricks are, so it is explosive but is not ERA so we are running out of options other than SLERA. On the other hand, the damage to the front and side modules reveal that they use long non segmented reactive layers visually almost indiscernible between each other which further reinforces my impression that none of them are ERA and both are very likely of the same nature.  

 

2 hours ago, SH_MM said:

The claim "we have invented some type of reactive armor that performs as good as ERA, but has no drawbacks" is old marketing talk. That also was said when MEXAS was introduced in the 1990s...

 

If Rafael's SLERA would perform as good as ERA without any drawbacks, they would end up shutting down their ERA business. However instead they (Rafael and partners) keep making ERA, they are developing new types and ERA has even been integrated in newer AFVs of the IDF such as the Namer and the Eitan.

That's not what it's claimed. They claim that their SLERA and NxRA while not as volume/mass effective as ERA are closer to it than NERA while having some multi hit capability. So yes, it is a tradeoff after all which makes a lot of sense if you want to cover the entire 180 degrees arc with a very high protection level even if it is for a limited amount of hits. And yes ERA would still make sense when you are more weight restricted as in lighter AFVs.

 

2 hours ago, SH_MM said:

Assuming that your measurements are completely perfect and the armor thickness stays identical despite the slope changing. That is rather questionable, given the photographs posted by Wiedzmin.

 

 

You are using an old and faulty image to validate your own estimates. 

 

I'm not assuming (and no one should) that my estimates are perfect firstly because by definition an estimate is imperfect and secondly because i'm no professional nor i have professional tools for this kind of task. I use the best pictures i can get, all which have been posted as a response i already have them in my archive and were already considered. 

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12 hours ago, SH_MM said:

 

1 - In the table with the protection levels, you are comparing values based on different criteria and arcs.

 

2 - For example the RARDE report accessing the protection of the Leopard 2 (Type B) as equivalent to 350/700 mm steel is focused on the frontal 60° arc, which is also achieved on the turret sides and hull sides at this angle.

 

3 - Meanwhile the Merkava 1's turret side armor at the crew compartment consists of two thin steel plates. Earlier estimates/claims put them at 50-70 mm, but they seem to be both just ~40 mm thick.

 

4 - The Merkava 1 and 2 are built more like the Leopard 1A3 - full armor protection is achieved on a very, very narrow arc (10-20°) only. So despite the huge combat weight of the Merkava 1, armor protection fell well short of all other contemporaries.

 

1) In table are mixed values form estern and western block - but in fact the only one big diffrence is slighty overestimated soviet turrets vs KE due to using as referencial non-monoblock APFSDS-T in Soviet Union. Rest is showing just some general level of the frontal protection.  What is more important - those table data are based on RADE, CIA, and Soviets orginal data. Have You have something better? I don't.

 

2) and 4):  Indeed - "safe angle" in Mk.1 is smaller and in article it's mentioned very clearly: 

 

v0dWplU.jpg%5D

 

 

3) IMHO nope, those thickenss have fluent value :-) It's mucht bigger in lower past of the cast (ca 80mm) and the thinnest in upper part, again - it was noticed:

 

gSIysMR.jpg

 

 

IMHO it wil be easier if you just read whole article not only tables.

 

And those Mk.1 part:

NJDImti.jpg

 

 

O7jmsT5.jpeg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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15 hours ago, alanch90 said:

And i find plausible that those were indeed the requirements in terms of CE protection. By the time Mk.4 was in development the IDF was experiencing asymmetric warfare in the first Lebanon War and plenty of attacks by ATGMs to the tanks weakspots. If this is achieved or not is something we can´t know but as you well say the only instance a Mk4 was penetrated was by a Kornet, and lets be fare there are no infantry ATGMs capable of penetrating more than that. In addition we don't know where that missile hit the tank could have been the turret sides or even the hull side which is much weaker but certainly not the front of the turret as an impact of a Kornet there left only superficial damage to the armor module (that specific instance was captured and is available in youtube). After all even if the turret armor both for the front and the sides is of the same exact nature (which, given the angles, the triangular channels, the placements pattern of exterior bolts, is highly likely) there is up to around 250mm of RHA of difference in the turret front and side walls which points that there is a difference in protection requirement between the frontal and side aspects and in addition since the sloping is more pronounced in the front, the reactive layers become more effective than the sides. Perhaps its related to the need to be defended against APFSDS (my guess is that the reference threat weapon are the KEW series fired from Egyptian M1) from the front.

 

My best guess is that in terms of CE protection the plausible effectiveness given the dates and types of expected threat weapons is as follows:

 

                     152mm tandem  (Kornet)      130mm tandem  (Metis-M)     105mm tandem  (RPG 29)      85mm tandem (RPG 7) 

Turret front               Likely                                      Likely                                      Definitely                              Definitely

Turret side                 ???                                        Probable                                 Probable                               Definitely

Hull front                    ???                                        Probable                                 Definitely                               Definitely       

Hull side                    Unlikely                                  Unlikely                                  Probable                                Definitely      

 

It's easy to think what was the reference threat for Mk4.

 

Which ATGMs had Syria around 1995 - 1999?

If you answer that you'll know which protection levels the fourth Merk represents for sure.

 

Quote

By 2008 the Rafael patent describes armor types which are indeed hybrids of NERA and ERA, that is NxRA and SLERA.

 

Which patent?

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15 minutes ago, alanch90 said:

Metis-M level for sure. Kornet likely. Nonetheless, there is one instance of a confirmed Kornet impact on the turret front and didn´t penetrate.

   Would be interesting to know more about that event.

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2 hours ago, LoooSeR said:

   Would be interesting to know more about that event.

Its this one


And some years ago in youtube there was the footage recorded by Hezbollah from the same incident were the rotation of the missle (characteristic of beam riders like Kornet) was clearly visible, so far i couldn't find it again. 

 

Same tank after the hit

tHbyjFqPURw.jpg
 

The whole incident was covered here https://defense-update.com/20060801_lebanon-merkava.html

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2 hours ago, heretic88 said:

Btw, wasnt there a case when a Metis-M penetrated the turret side? I may be wrong but I remember reading it somewhere...

Officially there was only one penetration (by Kornet) which led to total destruction of the tank which makes me think about a hit to the rear of the hull side were  most of the ammo is stored.

 

 

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On 11/14/2020 at 9:08 AM, Militarysta said:

 

1) In table are mixed values form estern and western block - but in fact the only one big diffrence is slighty overestimated soviet turrets vs KE due to using as referencial non-monoblock APFSDS-T in Soviet Union. Rest is showing just some general level of the frontal protection.  What is more important - those table data are based on RADE, CIA, and Soviets orginal data. Have You have something better? I don't.

 

2) and 4):  Indeed - "safe angle" in Mk.1 is smaller and in article it's mentioned very clearly: 

 

v0dWplU.jpg%5D

 

 

3) IMHO nope, those thickenss have fluent value :-) It's mucht bigger in lower past of the cast (ca 80mm) and the thinnest in upper part, again - it was noticed:

 

gSIysMR.jpg

 

 

IMHO it wil be easier if you just read whole article not only tables.

 

And those Mk.1 part:

NJDImti.jpg

 

 

O7jmsT5.jpeg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So if I understand correctly, the side turret is rather like b) rather then a) and the front turret is like d) rather then c)?

unknown.png?width=744&height=667

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What ever mk4 turret armour is,  my philosphy given such a good performance of slera,nera,nxra etc etc relative to structual armour, is that every kg devoted to structual armour is a kg that is not available for replacable slera.   Obviously the base armour needs to support reaction forces from a 120mm tank gun, so part of it will be chunky,  but in general,  Merk 4 appears to have a lot of armour all around and over the turret - something pay for that weight wise.

 

for instance, other western tanks have an outer burster plate holding their NERA but Merk 4 turret outerplate is sandwich n?ra instead. 

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On 11/14/2020 at 6:51 AM, SH_MM said:

 

Note that in this image, there is a steel coverplate at the side of the module. If this is identical in size to the actual armor (or a bit larger) is hard to tell.

 

 

 

IwnRlDM.jpg

 

 

approx the slots represent the gaps between sandwich layers,   4 gaps would be 5 n?ra layers (roof) 

so for the side there is  4 gaps would be 5 n?ra layers + spacing or

5 gaps would be 6 n?ra layers but no after space

so they are tuning the performance as they want

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On 11/14/2020 at 12:43 AM, alanch90 said:

That's because there is a big difference of angle in your image. I chose to make my estimation on that picture and that side specifically because of the angle of the channel in relation to the camera. 

 

I don't think the camera angle can explain the difference. In the photograph I posted, the hollow space occupies about 30% of the total thickness along the line of sight...  that is despite the fact that most of the armor is closer to the camera and hence perspective distortion enlarges it a bit. In your image, the hollow space accounts for 22% of the total line of sight.

 

On 11/14/2020 at 12:43 AM, alanch90 said:

And i find plausible that those were indeed the requirements in terms of CE protection. By the time Mk.4 was in development the IDF was experiencing asymmetric warfare in the first Lebanon War and plenty of attacks by ATGMs to the tanks weakspots. If this is achieved or not is something we can´t know but as you well say the only instance a Mk4 was penetrated was by a Kornet, and lets be fare there are no infantry ATGMs capable of penetrating more than that. In addition we don't know where that missile hit the tank could have been the turret sides or even the hull side which is much weaker but certainly not the front of the turret as an impact of a Kornet there left only superficial damage to the armor module (that specific instance was captured and is available in youtube)

 

Your protection "ideas" are way to optimistic and not based on any real life incidents. They read like the old and massively over-exaggerated protection estimates of the past.

 

Based on the Chinese data referenced earlier in this topic (which includes photos of the test set-up of side armor modules against ATGMs and RPGs), it seems likely that Merkava 3's side armor modules (that already featured integrated explosive layer(s)) could stop the PG-7V/VM warhead (capable of defeating 300 mm steel armor) only at 45° impact angle and the HOT-1 ATGM warhead (~700-750 mm penetration) at 30° impact angle. That is an level of armor protection comparable to the Leopard 2A4 from 1988 with Type C armor (stopping HOT-1 along a 60° frontal arc) and the M1 Abrams against the RPG (armor along the crew compartment designed to stop a 84 mm shaped charge warhead capable of defeating 380 mm steel armor at 45° impact angle). So it is on par with existing tanks, not higher - despite the use of explosive layers in the armor.

 

Armor technology probably has improved quite a bit between 1989 and 2003, but you expecting the side armor to stop METIS-M at 90° impact angle would not only require a doubling of effective protection - but also much improved performance, as Metis-M had a tandem warhead. NERA, NxRA, SLERA and ERA are more vulnerable to tandem warheads; how much depends on the exact armor array, but it is always worse than against a single stage warhead.

 

There are multiple reported incidents where Kornet and Metis-M managed to defeat the armor of the Merkava 4 and up-armored Merkava 3 tanks. According to the coverage of the 2006 Lebanon war by Israeli newspapers/websites, the administration of the Merkava tank program released figures in August of 2006, showing that 22 Merkava tanks were penetrated by ATGMs - 18 (!) of which were the Merkava 4 model. In the battle of Wadi Sulaki alone 11 Merkava 4 tanks were hit by ATGMs.

 

Russian sources put the figure of penetrated Merkava tanks a lot higher, claiming that Kornet alone was used to penetrated 24 Merkava tanks (not explicitly stated which variants, but they also claim that Hizbollah used Metis-M and Kornet to target the Merkava 4, and Konkurs and Fagot to target the Merkava 3).

 

 

Based on thickness and combat performance, it is a lot more reasonable to assume that Metis-M - and potentially also the RPG-29 - can defeat the turret side armor, unless hitting it at an angle. The side hull has been defeated by RPG-29. The frontal (hull) armor of a Merkava 4 being penetrated by a Kornet ATGM was the main drive for adopting Trophy.

 

On 11/14/2020 at 12:43 AM, alanch90 said:

We should keep in mind that the israelis have been tinkering with ways to integrate NERA and ERA since the days of Mk.3 If we go by chinese sources (posted in page 9 of this thread), the israelis were embedding layers of ERA in between NERA. Years later when Mk.4 was unveiled, some of the first articles about it by people like David Eshel refer to its armor as a sort of a "hybrid" type. By 2008 the Rafael patent describes armor types which are indeed hybrids of NERA and ERA, that is NxRA and SLERA. In addition we have confirmation that at least the side turret modules do contain explosives but those modules aren´t segmented the way ERA bricks are, so it is explosive but is not ERA so we are running out of options other than SLERA. On the other hand, the damage to the front and side modules reveal that they use long non segmented reactive layers visually almost indiscernible between each other which further reinforces my impression that none of them are ERA and both are very likely of the same nature.  

 

It is still marketing talk. They basically improved the performance of their reactive armor and then claimed "its better than older NERA". That's what basically what everyone says. Åkers Krutbruk announced that MEXAS would be as good as ERA already in the 1990s (and this statement is just like any claims about the NxRA/SLERA performance massively exaggerated).

 

Aside of that, patents are neither verified on claims nor does the existence of a patent mean that this exact solution is used.

 

If you look at research papers for SLERA, tests with different configurations (GAP, Dottikon, RDX as explosives) to even simple ERA (4S20 from the 1980s...) is still massive - and that is in laboratory tests where only one layer is tested, so there are no issues with preventing sympathetic reactions ("chain reactions"). The more explosives are used (or the more powerful explosives are used), the better the performance - but also the armor becomes more vulnerable to tandem warheads/multiple hits and harder to integrate into complex armor arrays. This has to be counter-acted by using other design aspects (greater thickness, inter-layers acting as dampener) that tend to limit efficiency - space and/or weight efficiency.

 

The difference between SLERA and highly improved NERA/NxRA isn't really relevant, specifically if thickness is the limiting factor - because then optimal armor layouts and high explosive content cannot be used.

 

On 11/14/2020 at 12:43 AM, alanch90 said:

That's not what it's claimed. They claim that their SLERA and NxRA while not as volume/mass effective as ERA are closer to it than NERA while having some multi hit capability.

 

Marketing talk. The performance of NERA can vary drastically - mass efficiency ranges from just 1.3 to up to 10 depending on layout and material. ERA optimized for anti-KE roles doesn't reach much higher mass efficiency. Thickness efficiency of ERA cannot be reached at all.

 

On 11/14/2020 at 10:08 AM, Militarysta said:

IMHO it wil be easier if you just read whole article not only tables.

 

Maybe I misread the article. For example you wrote on page 8: "A solution as such tunred out to be suprisingly effective, with the main armor surfaces being meticulously designed (with an assumption that primary protection would be provided at an angle of +/- 30° in relation to the longitudinal axis of the MBT)." My understanding of this sentence was that you said, that the Merkava was designed for "primary" protection along a 60° arc (+/- 30° from centerline). Is my understanding wrong?

 

You later wrote on page in the article that the Merkava's armor protection on the sides is limited: "The side protection level, with angles of around 20 degress, was lower - relative 200 mm and less, but still decent, given the materials and technologies applied." That is good and I have to admitt, I didn't properly read it. I understood this as the armor being angled by 20° from the vertical plane rather than a protection up to an impact angle of 20°.

 

However in your table is still rather misleading, you do not show that other tank have a larger protected arc and the values are also very comparable. The Abrams for example is protected over a 50° arc (+/- 25°) against APFSDS and ATGMs and over a 90° (+/- 45° against RPGs).  So the Abrams has a much higher protection level than the Merkava 1 despite being a lot lighter. Without reading another article about the T-64, T-72, M1 Abrams or Leopard 2, your article might create the illusion about the Merkava 1 (nearly) matching protection levels of other tanks just by being heavier and using simple spaced armor. But in reality the difference is much bigger.

 

You also use the RARDE value for minimum protection against a sheated/monobloc penetrated over a 60° frontal arc for the Leopard 2 tank. Meanwhile RARDE also stated that the Leopard 2 with original composite armor was believed to stop a 125 mm steel APFSDS at unspecified range (the round in question had an estimated penetration of up to 420 mm).

 

The CIA values for the Abrams turret are interesting, but unfortunately very, very unspecific. Is this protection achieved against monobloc penetrators, sheated APFSDS rounds like the M735, DM13 and BM-42 or against steel rounds with WC slug like Zakolka? Is this the protection level achieved over a 60° frontal arc or directly head-on? And why does the CIA document talk about "one version of the turret" achieving this? What is the other version, the prototype - or this talking about the short M1 and the long M1IP turrets?

British data from XM1 FSED phase (and the last FSED prototype was used for final ballistic acceptance tests in the USA) suggest protection was only 320-340 mm agianst sheated tungsten-cored APFSDS rounds over a 50° frontal arc (+/- 25°).

 
How does Israeli steel compare to Soviet, US or German steel? The early Leopard 2 prototype turret with spaced armor for example had similar frontal armor on the cheeks (in terms of total thickness 288.6 mm steel with a 300 mm air-gap when seen from the front) when compared to the Merkava 1, but was only designed for protection against 105 mm APDS rounds... and it used very high grade steel (with the outer plate made of HHS). So can the Merkava 1's turret armor actually stop a 105 mm APFSDS as the values suggest? Or is the cast steel on the 1960s US levels of quality?

 

 

Personally I dislike expressing protection as "RHA". It is a very approachable method, but also very flawed. For example the US stated that the NATO heavy triple target provided protection equivalent to 466 mm RHA against the old 105 mm M392 APDS round. Yet the British 120 mm L15 APDS could defeat the NATO heavy triple target at 500 metes - at this range, its penetration would be equvialent to just ~320 mm RHA. The XM735E2 APFSDS round (entered production as M735) could defeat the NATO heavy triple target at 2,000 meters. 1980's 105 mm APFSDS rounds such as M833, M426/DM63 and NP105A2 could defeat the same target at 6,000+ meters, where their theoretical armor penetration should be below M735 at 2,000 meters.

 

So one target has four different "RHA values".

 

Merkava 1 made compromises and protection was focused on stopping the ammunition available to enemies at the time. That would suggest that APDS and steel APFSDS with tungsten-slug were the main issues, while NATO was looking at more potent threats. M1 Abrams and Leopard 2 were tested against sheated steel APFSDS with (early) WHA core (XM578E4, 38mm KE for 105 mm SB, 120 mm DM13). Brits wanted protected against early monobloc APFSDS with WHA and DU core (requirement for MBT 80 and in reduced form for Challenger 1).

 

On 11/14/2020 at 6:31 PM, alanch90 said:

Metis-M level for sure. Kornet likely. Nonetheless, there is one instance of a confirmed Kornet impact on the turret front and didn´t penetrate.

 

According to KPB Tula, Kornet-E was in development until 1998. Very unlikely that Kornet was available in the Middle East during 1995-1999.

Metis-M was in development until 1992. So it is possible, but not very likely to be a reference threat. In 2006 the IDF was surprised by the high amount of Metis-M and Kornet ATGMs in the hands of Hizbollah. Makes it appear very unlikely that they used these missiles as projected threats during the Merkava 4's development.

 

On 11/14/2020 at 7:05 PM, alanch90 said:

And some years ago in youtube there was the footage recorded by Hezbollah from the same incident were the rotation of the missle (characteristic of beam riders like Kornet) was clearly visible, so far i couldn't find it again. 

 

Spiraling flight pattern is common on all types of SACLOS missiles, even wire-guided systems like Milan and HOT. It really depends on the exact pattern, shape and size of missile to identify Kornet by the pattern alone.

 

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20 hours ago, SH_MM said:

How does Israeli steel compare to Soviet, US or German steel?

 

All Merkava models are made of rolled armor plates produced by Creusot-Loire Industrie (now Industeel).

 

 

Quote

The XM735E2 APFSDS round (entered production as M735) could defeat the NATO heavy triple target at 2,000 meters.

 

What about the M735 versus the NATO Heavy Single target ?

 

Quote

Spiraling flight pattern is common on all types of SACLOS missiles, even wire-guided systems like Milan and HOT. It really depends on the exact pattern, shape and size of missile to identify Kornet by the pattern alone.

 

The Kornet can also be recognized by its lack of visible tail flare and its rather smooth in-flight trajectory.

 

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All Merkava models are made of rolled armor plates produced by Creusot-Loire Industrie (now Industeel).

 

One thing I know, with absolute certainty, is that this is not correct. 

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