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Merkava 3

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Merkava Mk 3 MBT

Main Battle Tank - Israel

Merkava 3 MBT Main Battle Tank Israel 925 001


Design work on the Merkava Mk 3 Main Battle Tank (MBT) started in August 1983 shortly after the first production of Merkava Mk 2 was handed over. The tank was introduced in December 1989 and had many major upgrades to the drivetrain, powertrain, armament, and safety systems. The first production Mk 3 was delivered to the 188th Armoured Brigade in the spring of 1989. The most prominent addition was the incorporation of the Rheinmetall 120mm Gun developed in Germany. This gun and a larger 1,200-horsepower diesel motor increased the total weight of the tank to 65 tonnes, but the larger motor increased the maximum cruising speed to 60 km/h. The turret was re-engineered for movement independent of the tank chassis, allowing it to track a target regardless of the tank's movement.

Merkava mk 3 MBT variants:

- Merkava IIIB: with improved armor
- Merkava IIID: with new modular composite armor on the chassis and turret.
- Merkava III BAZ: Upgraded fire-control system components, from Electro-Optics Industries (EL-OP) and Elbit Ltd, provide the tank with the ability to engage moving targets while on the move (an automatic target tracker).
- Merkava III LIC: with improvements for urban warfare

Technical Data

The Merkava Mark 3 is armed with the main gun 120mm smoothbore gun developed by Israeli Military Industries. The gun has a Vidco Industries thermal sleeve, which increases accuracy by preventing distortion through the effects of weather, heat, and shock. The tank carries an ammunition store of 50 rounds of 120mm ammunition. The tank is also equipped with three 7.62mm machine guns, two roof mounted and one co-axial with the main gun. The tank carries a store of 10,000 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition. The Merkava III is also equipped with a 60mm mortar system, capable of firing high explosive rounds and illumination bombs. The crew can load, aim and fire the mortar system from within the turret. The mortar system is developed by Soltam Limited of Haifa.
Design and protection
The Merkava Mk 3 is equipped with new armor. The Merkava Mk 3 was the first MBT to be protected by a modular layered armored suite. The armor modules are fitted with special attachment gear that enables the entire system to be replaced in the field, as well as to withstand the high dynamic loads occurring from high speeds or ballistic shock. The Merkava 3 uses a new turret, she has been lengthened by 230 mm and the complete turret armor array around the crew redesigned to a modular configuration. Turret controls are now all-electric with controls for both gunner and commander. The commander's panoramic sight has a magnification of ×4.8 and ×12, with an optical relay to the gunner's sight which is a two-axis stabilized day/night sight with a magnification of ×5 (thermal) and ×12 (day). The gunner's sight incorporates an Nd: YAG laser range-finder and automatic target tracker. The advanced fire-control system has been developed by ELOP and Elbit. The fire-control system is integrated with the turret- and gun-control equipment and allows line-of-sight stabilization for the tank commander and gunner. It allows the Merkava Mk 3 to engage moving targets with a high first-round hit probability while it is also moving.
The Merkava 3 is motorized with General Dynamics Land Systems AVDS-1790-9AR V-12 air-cooled diesel developing 1,200 hp and this is coupled to a new Ashot transmission. The suspension is new consisting of 12 roadwheels, six either side, independently mounted on trailing arms and sprung by pairs of concentric coil springs. The first two and last two roadwheel stations on either side have a hydraulic rotary damper developed by SHL. Ashot Ashkelon provides the final drives and suspension system for the Merkava Mk 3. Total roadwheel travel is 604 mm, 300 mm bump, and 304 mm rebound.
Combat Equipment
Standard combat equipment of the Merkava Mk 3 includes an NBC overpressure type NBC protection system but fitted with a central filter and air conditioning capability. The crew of the Merkava Mk 3 is protected against NBC threats and can fight without NBC protective clothing and harness gear. The system operates on the principle of a pressure chamber inside the fighting compartment and as an option, filtered air can be directed to flow into the protective masks and personal gear when worn by the crew when operating with open hatches. The vehicle also incorporates a modern air conditioning system that inserts fresh filtered air into the tank and crew clothing.


Armament Armor
One120 mm rifled gun, three 7,62 mm machine guns, one mortar 60 mm, and 12 smoke dischargers. Modular special armor
Country users Weight
Israel 65,000 kg
Designer Country Speed
Israel 60 km/h
Combat Equipment Range
Firing gun computer control system, NBC protection, thermal night vision. 500 km
Crew Dimensions
4 Length: 7.60 m; Width: 3.70 m; Height: 2.65 m

Details View

Merkava 2 II main battle tank Israeli army Israel pictures technical data sheet description identification Merkava 2 II main battle tank Israeli army Israel pictures technical data sheet description identification
Merkava 2 II main battle tank Israeli army Israel pictures technical data sheet description identification Merkava 2 II main battle tank Israeli army Israel pictures technical data sheet description identification

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