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Merkava: Top of the tank line?

Discussion in 'Post-World War 2 Armour' started by Blaster, Jul 24, 2006.

  1. Blaster

    Blaster New Member

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    I heard that the Merkava's the best MBT. Can anyone give me some stats on it (e.g gun, armor thickness, speed, technology, etc.)?
     
  2. DanskPanser

    DanskPanser New Member

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    You can find more information about Merkava here: http://www.army-technology.com/projects/merkava4/

    Key Data
    Crew 4, driver, commander, gunner, loader
    Dimensions
    Length with gun forward 9.04m
    Width without skirts 3.72m
    Height to turret roof 2.66m
    Weight 65t
    Weapons
    Main gun 120mm
    Ammunition on board 48 rounds
    Ready to fire rounds 10
    Machine gun 7.62mm
    Mortar 60mm
    Mortar range 2,700m
    Engines
    V-12 diesel engine 1,500hp
    Performance
    Maximum speed over 60km/h
    Cross country speed up to 55km/h
    Range 500km

    [​IMG]
    _________________
    www.danskpanser.dk
    "We march in our might to complete victory" - General Patton 1944
     
  3. Blaster

    Blaster New Member

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    Ammo capacity

    Hey guys, I visited the web site that Dansk Panzer suggested, and found out that Mighty Merkava had only 48 rounds for it's 120mm main gun. And yet in a book I read that the M3 Grant medium tank, the one with a hull-mounted 75mm gun, had 178 rounds. Wait. That was for it's 37mm gun. Could somebody please tell me what is a good ammo capacity for an 88mm and 120mm gun?
     
  4. FNG phpbb3

    FNG phpbb3 New Member

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    modern mbt carry far less rounds than ww2 tanks as they are not expected to blast away at each hoping for hits and kills.

    A modern MBT would hope to hit with around 75% of it's first shots and kill all but an equivalent target with the single hit.

    Basically an abrams (or equiv challenger 2, Leopard 2, Mercova, Poss T-80)at a range of 1500 yards should be able to hit a T-72 with it's first shot and would hope that it would be the only shot it needed.

    Also a modern MBT has a 105mm plus gun, anything upto possably 125mm? These rounds are going to be considerable bigger than the WW2 50/75/88mm rounds that they threw at each other so you just get less per square foot.

    FNG
     
  5. Man

    Man New Member

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    The Merkava can also carry an infantry squad - doubling as a limited APC, which no other tank can. Morale will be good for the crew, knowing that they are in the best protected tank of the world.
     
  6. TISO

    TISO New Member

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    Merkava was specificaly designed for operations in populated areas where enemy would use a lot of RPG's. Just check basic shape and layout. It is not a tank i would like to be in open terrain cobat in. It's rear end is almost unprotected.
     
  7. Blaster

    Blaster New Member

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    Thanks for the info, TISO. Now I know the Merk's weakness. All another tank, such as an Abrams would need to do to win a fight with the Merk is to put the boot to the glute, and the Merk goes BOOM!
     
  8. Man

    Man New Member

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    That is a bit of a contradiction - if it was designed to be fight in populated areas and cities, why would they leave the rear unprotected? The TUSK (Tank Urban Survival Kit) upgrade for the Abrams targets vulnerable areas like these specifically. Why would they leave the rear unarmored IF they could be expecting the enemy to attack there? I think you are underestimating the Israelis.


    Furthermore, I do not understand why the rear armor protection of a tank would deterime if you wanted to use it in open combat, where the side and front are the most vulnerable areas. The fact is, it still the best protected tank in the world.

    It was also designed to be used on the Golan Heights, which I would not define as a heavily populated area.

    Check out the slope on the front armor. :cool:

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Blaster

    Blaster New Member

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    I'm not underestimating anyone, I'm just saying, an unarmored rear end could prove fatal. Could. I mean, if an enemy just managed to hit the rear end, that would be disastrous. It may be unlikely, but who knows?
     
  10. Man

    Man New Member

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    The rear is not unarmored.
     
  11. Ossian phpbb3

    Ossian phpbb3 New Member

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    Of course, the enemy has to get to the less well armoured rear in the first place!
     
  12. Man

    Man New Member

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    Yes. It is not like the Merkava is the "only" tank that has more vulnerable rear armor than front, I think that applies to pretty much any tank out there. Armor layout and strength is not something to criticize the Merkava for, because it is the leading tank in the world in that department.
     
  13. smeghead phpbb3

    smeghead phpbb3 New Member

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    Does the Merkava actually have more armor than most tanks? I always thought that it was simply designed so that the crew could operate (or at least survive) in the event of one, maybe two penetrations.
     
  14. Man

    Man New Member

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    It's seen as the "best armored" and "safest" tank... both in terms of thickness and layout. Israel cannot afford the loss of crew, and thus design the tank to maximize crew protection. Even if the glacis is penetrated, the projectile must travel through quite a bit of mass before reaching the crew, seeing as each component is designed to give backup crew protection.
     
  15. Blaster

    Blaster New Member

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    Good thing the Israelis are on America's side. 'Cause if they were on Iraq's side, the General Motors guys had better get off their butts, get on their feet and start designing the M1A3. Or the Air Force should start mass-producing A10s.
     
  16. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

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    Out of interest, what armour does the Merkava use? Is the Chobnam-type, or conventional steel, or what?

    I agree that the layout is optimised for crew safety (and the front-mounted engine is a marvellous help there), but if the armour is itself weak than the armour on a Challenger II (for example) then the Merkava will technically be an easier tank to 'kill'.
     
  17. Gryle

    Gryle New Member

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    Probably Chobham/Dorchester(whatever you want to call it). The Americans have apparently given a great deal of information to Israel of the years, apparently there still is a bit of bad blood between Rheinmetall and the US, Rheinmetall licensed their 120mm smoothbore to the Americans and a little while later the Israelis announced a breakthrough on their own 120mm smoothbore. Rheinmetall weren't impressed to say the least. If the US did in fact hand over the design of the gun I see no reason why they would hold back on the armour. Mind you Israel has come up with armour tech on their own, so who knows isn't telling.
     
  18. jeaguer

    jeaguer New Member

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    Of some interest to this topic , the present fighting in southern lebanon
    has seen a number of merkavas hit by hezbollah , apparently using
    something called RPG 29 " vampires " it would be a reusable shoulder
    borne RPG of late soviet design concieved to overcome composite
    armor with a two stage munition one of them thermal ,

    I'm looking for the specs of this puppy !

    apparently the IDF doctrine for use of the tanks is to have helicopters flying
    overhead on constant and reliable radio contact, for scouting and protection
    the great demand on the choppers present led to the tanks being
    send over urban rubble on their own , like blind moles
    hezbollah proved itself much more sophisticated , well equiped and gutsy
    than was foreseen !!! :roll:
     
  19. Gunter_Viezenz

    Gunter_Viezenz New Member

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    Yup I seen seen a Merkeova being towed back to Isreal a couple weeks back, also seen another Merkova with part of its armoured skirt missing. For some reason there was no IDF around it.
     
  20. Man

    Man New Member

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    jeaguer, I hardly think that the Israelis would make such a stupid mistake as letting tanks advance one their own. It seems unlikely that the art of combined arms warfare has escaped them completely.. and I doubt infantry support is nonexistant.

    Show me a tank that is not vulnerable to shoulder launched missiles.. there are none.
     

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