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The Merkava, Israel's Chieftain?

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The guy who took these gave the ok to share them. A couple might be from elsewhere because my folders are not organized.  

Both the Israelis and Egyptians had a handful of vehicle mounted ATGMs in 1967.  Cobras and S11s as far as I remember for the IDF. I do not know of any actually being fired. There was neither the doct

Hi LoooSeR, In post 293, the black and white photo of the Nagmachon and Nakpadon next to each other, is one of mine. The correct name is Nakpadon. The Base where the machines were photographed w

  • 2 weeks later...

Almost forgot to mention over the AW forums - most such info is never OPSEC. It's just that the IDF doesn't really feel the need to release technical documents of its equipment unless specifically asked for. Same goes for the defense industries. I guess it's a mentality kind of thing. Don't boast about it if it doesn't interest the wide public.

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Just copying a post I made in AW forums:


Marsh Gelbart gave me this link, which shortly describes the US's analysis of foreign military technologies with a focus on Israel (in 1987). The document categorizes the technologies into 3 different categories. 
Category 1 being described as: "Unique, innovative and different, technologically sound, something not being pursued elsewhere".

Category 2: "On par with state-of-the-art, good sound technology". 

Category 3A: "Sound technology but behind state-of-the-art".

The report talks about multiple companies/institutions and their multiple fields of work, but I will only highlight those relevant here. 

Also, all highlighted pieces are of Category 1, with the exception of a single Category 2 piece.


Electrothermal acceleration - simple retro of existing platforms to provide hypervelocity kinetic energy rounds. Velocities up to 4km/sec are considered feasible.(refer to pages III-10 and III-11 and attachment III-1 far below after Tadiran's section).


Ballistics technology to develop explosively formed armor penetration warheads and
hollow shaped charges with improved jets. Explosive reactive armor is included in
this area of technology.

(Note RAFAEL collaborated with Germany's MBB in the research and development of "active" armor which may refer to ERA, and shaped charges. Israel's collaboration with West Germany in defense matters was especially high).


Material for kinetic energy penetrators -- tungsten based heavy metal· and other
alloys using cold isostatic pressing and centering techniques. Research yielding
improved alloys through plastic deformation and heat treatment that provides 17.15
GICC, tensile strength 225,000 PSI, tensile yield of 220,000 PSI (0.2% offset),
elongation of 8% in 1 inch.

Development of spaced armor; working on reactive armor programs with small explosive charges jointly with Rafael to stop armor penetrators and hollow shaped charges. 
The U.S. urgently needs this technology.
Spaced reactive explosive ceramic armor developed in cooperation with Rafael. The technology can turn a penetrator rod sideways and halt its penetration

(Note Ceramics used in ERA, and anti-KE ERA design that yaws rod).

hypervelocity medium caliber rounds, anti-tank systems and ramjet powered
kinetic energy penetrators.
Research on a kg-class projectile that will travel at 2 kmlsecond using ramjet power. Limited data exchanged with U.S. companies. Ability to accelerate large
masses exceeds any known U.S. effort..
(Heavily implies a project similar to LOSAT/CKEM, perhaps IMI participated in the LOSAT project).

Cannon launched anti-armor maneuvering projectile (CLAMP), a semi-active laser homing 155 mm anti-armor projectile, hardened to 10,000 plus GS, ballistic and glide modes to 20 km range, hollow charge warhead to penetrate 800 plus mm.(Related to the Sholef, giving it superb long range anti-tank capabilities, cheaper than Spike).

And here's one minister of defense dwarfed by a Namer as a fun bonus for the lads smile.png


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Big news guys. Zuk is here you insert his daily knowledge into you.

1)The IDF just announced a new tank development called Merkava 4 Barak, which although not a Mark 5, and not related to the Rakiyah program, is a substantial upgrade to the Merkava 4. So I think we'll go back to calling it Mark 4B. The tank is said to be completed within just 3 years from now. 
The upgrades said to include a new system that would prevent the need for the crews to stick out their heads to see more clearly. This is most likely the Elbit's IronVision, based on the JHMCS 2 helmet and its See-Through-Armor technologies. 
New and larger touchscreens, and a capability to operate UGVs from within the tank (resembles this). 

2)The Trophy system was said to be vastly improved "shortly", and will equip Merkava 3 tanks of the 188th active Brigade soon. A contract has already been signed. 

3)Rakiyah program was heavily hinted at being the IDF's next gen MBT that will gain operational capability in 2027. Previously it was hinted as a specialized combat vehicle that will not replace Merkava tanks.
It's said to be around 30-40 tons, armed with a non-conventional tank cannon of possibly collapsible design, and with a crew of 2 men in an armored capsule.

On another note, IDF Spokesperson Unit releases video that shows a November 2016 tank strike on an ISIS position in the Golan, in response to ISIS's attack attempt on an IDF patrol unit. The attacked position is a long abandoned UN facility (personnel moved to Israel when the Syrian war started). 

Unfortunately the video isn't yet available on Youtube but you can see it here: http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-4933156,00.html

When it will become available, I will upload it here.





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  • 2 weeks later...
1 hour ago, LoooSeR said:


Nice photo LoooSeR. It really shows the sheer size and bulk of the Namer. My avatar shows me standing in front of one of the first pre-production vehicles and it absolutely dwarves me.( I am short mind! :) )

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Marsh, do you have any info to provide me on this?



What I know is it uses a torsion bar suspension, front mounted engine (but not based on the Merkava), a 120mm gun (MG251?). That's about it.


I still don't know the date of the program inception and its ending, the motives behind it, and overall envisioned capabilities on the tactical level.

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1 hour ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

Marsh, do you have any info to provide me on this?



What I know is it uses a torsion bar suspension, front mounted engine (but not based on the Merkava), a 120mm gun (MG251?). That's about it.


I still don't know the date of the program inception and its ending, the motives behind it, and overall envisioned capabilities on the tactical level.

Not a thing! Great find. For some reason, the hull reminds me of something. Can't place it. I wonder if it is a Frankenstein conversion of an existing AFV in IDF service, rather than a new build.

The IDF were always opposed to light tanks, which makes this beast all the more interesting.  

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When making proof of concept vehicles, an intentionally low quality production is permitted to avoid unnecessarily increasing testing and production costs of the mid development stages. Hence the rusty plate on the turret, and perhaps recycled components to the point of using a modified existing hull.


Marsh, I guess if you have no info on it, I cannot expect it to be too old, even though the project was probably scrapped years ago.


What we do know is that light tanks are out of the scope of conception for the IDF at the moment, as the trend goes towards heavier. But this is not some sketch on the drawing board. This is a project with allocated resources and manpower. If it was something very recent, I could think it was related to the Rakiya project, as part of the study process in the initial-most development stages. But the way others over at an Israeli forum (Fresh.co.il) speak about it, it is not recent.

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