Israel plans to sell for the first time its Mekava IV main battle tank to foreign army 0707142

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Defence & Security News - Israel

 
 
Monday, July 7, 2014 10:49 AM
 
Israel plans to sell for the first time its Mekava IV main battle tank to foreign army.
In a deal estimated at hundreds of millions of dollars, Israel plans to sell its Merkava Mark IV main battle tank to a foreign army for the first time since the first Merkava was manufactured in the late 1970s. It appears that the budget crisis in the defense establishment was a motivating factor behind the decision to export the tank.
     
In a deal estimated at hundreds of millions of dollars, Israel plans to sell its Merkava Mark IV main battle tank to a foreign army for the first time since the first Merkava was manufactured in the late 1970s. It appears that the budget crisis in the defense establishment was a motivating factor behind the decision to export the tank.
IDF (Israel Defense Forces) Merkava IV with Trophy Active Protection System
     
For many years, the security establishment opposed selling the Merkava to foreign countries so as not to expose the secrets of its advanced armor and other unique systems. The Armored Corps Rakia program is currently developing a new tank, but it is unclear what the project's fate will be in light of the army's ongoing financial problems.

Development of the Merkava Mk 4 has started in the early 1990s and its existence was first unveiled in 2002. First production Merkava Mk 4 MBTs have been delivered to the Israel Defence Force (IDF) and the first battalion was fully operational in 2004.

The Merkava IV represents the third evolution of the Merkava main battle tank family. The overall layout of the Merkava Mk 4 is similar to that of the earlier versions. Main armament is a 120 mm smoothbore gun developed by Israel Military Industries that is a further development of that installed in the Merkava Mk 3. Secondary armament consists of a 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun, 7.62 mm machine gun mounted on the right side of the turret roof and an internally mounted 60 mm breech-loaded mortar.

In the Merkava Mk 4 the ballistic protection is modular and is claimed to provide more effective protection against modern threats involving both protection efficiency and coverage area. The latest generation of Merkava IV in service with the Israeli Army are now equipped with the Trophy, an active protection system developed by the Israeli Company Rafael.

The Trophy active protection system creates a hemispheric protected zone around the vehicle where incoming threats are intercepted and defeated. The Trophy system is able to intercept any incoming HEAT threat, including RPG rockets at a range of 10 – 30 meters from the protected platform.

 

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