6 April 2019

Merkava Mk.1: Chariot of Fire

The Merkava Mk.1 is the first MBT developed and built by Israel for use by its own armed forces. You will be able to get this long awaited famous MBT as one of the main prizes for the American tech tree in the upcoming ”Battlefield Engineer” event!

Briefly: A well protected and mobile Israeli MBT, armed with the powerful 105mm M68 cannon

History

During the mid 1960s, Israel began researching the possibility of developing and manufacturing a domestically designed tank. The need for such a vehicle became even more emphasized after failed negotiations with Great Britain around the same time led to Israel not being permitted to licence produce the Chieftain MBT. Thus, during the late 1960s official development on a domestic Israeli tank began.

The Israeli tank was primarily designed around combat experiences gained during the Yom Kippur War, resulting in heavy emphasis being put on crew survivability. By 1974, first prototypes of the new “Merkava” tank were constructed and put through initial testing. After nearly a decade of development, the Merkava Mk.1 was adopted for service by the IDF in December 1979 and modernized versions continue to serve with Israeli forces today.

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Unlike most other contemporary MBTs, the Merkava Mk.1 features a rather unique design and puts great emphasis on increased crew survivability and firepower, while somewhat lacking in mobility.

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Armed with a familiar 105mm rifled cannon, firing the usual selection of NATO ammunition, the Merkava Mk.1 is able to comfortably punch through the armor of most enemies it may face. Designed with crew survivability in mind, the Merkava Mk.1 features a specific armor layout, which, combined with spaces between the armor elements, a spacious interior and specially located ammunition racks, gives the Merkava Mk.1 very good survivability. However, the Merkava Mk.1 weighs an impressive 60 tons and is powered by a 963 hp engine, resulting in rather average mobility with a top speed of 46 km/h forwards and 8 km/h in reverse.

The event Merkava Mk.1 of VI rank represents not only an interesting vehicle, but also a highly effective one as well, the Merkava Mk.1 is a valuable addition to any tanker’s collection, so be sure to get your hands on it and not to miss the ”Battlefield Engineer” event!


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