Merkava 1 Main battle tank
 
 
Merkava 1 main battle tank Israeli Army Israel military equipment defense industry 640 001
 
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Description
The legacy of the Merkava1 of tanks dates back to the 1960s. Plans were drawn up to isolate Israel's military-industrial complex from foreign reliance. Israel's economy and national reserves, backed by U.S. military grant aid, allowed it to purchase nearly any land, sea, or air platform and weapon from friendly nations, but Israel's infrastructure was not capable of producing those items domestically. The first Merkava Mk. 1 tanks were supplied to the IDF in April 1979, nearly nine years after the decision to produce the Merkava Mk. 1 tank was taken. The Merkava Mk. 1 tank has been designed in accordance with experience gained from IDF armored battles in all Israel's wars since the Sinai Campaign (1956). The Merkava Mk. 1 is unique in its basic concept, common to all generations of the Merkava Mk. 1, according to which armor and survivability of the tank are its basic features. Production of Merkava Mk. 1 continued up to 1983, when the IDF Armor Corps began to receive the Merkava Mk. 2 tanks. The Merkava Mk. 1 tank participated with a high degree of success in Lebanon War (1982) when the war started Israel had 200-300 Merkava Mk. 1 tanks. The Merkava Mk. 1 proved superior to the Syrian T-72 MBT (then the Soviet's newest tank).
Variants :
Merkava 1: basic version
Merkava 1B: New fire control system, new sides armor for the suspension, and chains with balls on the rear of the turret are added.
 
Technical data
 
Armament
Main armament on the Mk 1 was the 105mm M68 rifled gun (based on the British L7 gun) with 62 rounds of ammunition which all comes in special containers. A 7.62mm machine gun is mounted coaxially (with 2,000 rounds) and another is fitted to both the commander's and loader's stations. They are 7.62mm MAG machine guns, built under license from FN Herstal. Some Merkava's have been fitted with a 0.5in M2HB machine gun. A 60mm Soltam Commando mortar is carried as well (with 30 bombs).
Turret
The turret itself was designed with rounded facings and gave the entire tank an extremely low profile making the tank harder to spot or engage at distance. The turret control system includes hydraulic power pack, gunner's control assembly, commander's control assembly, turret traversing mechanism, elevating mechanism and supper-elevation actuator. The stabilization system is an add-on kit. The fire control system includes L\P sight for the gunner, commander's panoramic peritelescope, ballistic computer, ballistic drive, azimuth indicator, elevation quadrant and searchlight.
Protection
The Merkava Mk. 1 is unique in its basic concept, common to all generations of the Merkava Mk. 1, according to which armor and survivability of the tank are its basic features. The tank's protection is based on all-round spaced ballistic armor, and deployment of the tank systems around the crew, thus utilizing basic elements and systems of the tank to protect the crew and ammunition, in addition to their specific functions. The most striking example of this concept is placement of the power pack (engine and transmission) at the front of the tank. The fighting compartment extends the whole width of the hull and the turret turntable is located on the hull floor plate, supported by rollers so that they rotate together, carrying the turret crew 360º either with the aid of hydraulic power or manually. The hydraulic pack, Xenon searchlight and ammunition for machine guns, as well as grenades and other explosive devices, are located within the turret's spaced armour compartments, isolating them from the crew.
Propulsion
One of the most distinct design features of the Merkava main battle tank was the decision to plant the engine in the front of the hull. The Merkava 1 is motorized with a Taleidan Continental AVDS-1790-6A 908-horse powers engine, hydro mechanical semi-automatic "Allison" CD850-6BX transmission. Power in the Mk 1 model was derived from a General Dynamics Land Systems engine - the AVDS-1790-6A - a V-12 diesel performer that generated about 900 horsepower. This powerplant allowed the Merkava speeds of up to 28 miles per hour and a range of nearly 250 miles. At just over 66 tons, the Merkava was hardly a speedster and mobility was questionable, but the entire system was designed to Israeli standards based on eclusive experience and thusly could not be wholly compared to its European counterparts. The Merkava has six rubber-tyred road wheels on each side, drive sprocket at the front, idler at the rear and four track return rollers.
Accessories
There are three hatch covers at the back of the vehicle. The left one gives access to the batteries while the right one gives access to the NBC system. The centre one is a two-piece door through which ammunition, supplies or people can move. A sixty-litre water tank is provided above the rear hatch. The rear compartment can be used to store ammunition, spares, act as a command post or troops. The Merkava has an NBC system and a Spectronix explosion suppression system (which was not originally fitted but is now on all new production vehicles and is being backfitted).
 
Specifications
 
Armament
M68 105 mm rifled gun, one 7,62 mm machine gun, one 12,7 mm machine gun, one mortar 60 mm, 12 smoke discharger.
Country users
Israel
Crew
4
Accessories
Firing gun control system, NBC protection,
Armor
Ballistic
a
a
Weight
43,000 kg
Speed
65 km/h
Range
600 km
 
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Merkava 1 main battle tank Israeli army Israel pictures technical data sheet description identification
 
Merkava 1 main battle tank Israeli Army Israel military equipment defense industry front view 001
Merkava 1 main battle tank Israeli Army Israel military equipment defense industry rear view 001
   
Merkava 1 main battle tank Israeli Army Israel military equipment defense industry left side view 001 Merkava 1 main battle tank Israeli Army Israel military equipment defense industry right side view 001
 
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