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FAS Military Affairs Network

Israeli Ground Forces

Merkava Mk3/Mk4 Tank
The Merkava is the innovative Israeli design of Major General Israel Tal. The primary design criteria was crew survivability. Every part of the overall design is expected to contribute to helping the crew survive. The engine is in the front to provide protection to the crew. There is a special protective umbrella for the tank commander to enable protection from indirect fire with the hatches open. Special "spaced armor" is in use along with protected fuel and ammo compartments. Rear ammunition stowage is combined with a rear entrance and exit. Since the rounds are stowed in containers that can be removed from the vehicle whenever necessary, this space can accommodate tank crewmen who have been forced to abandon their vehicles, or, if thought to be appropriate, even infantrymen. Rear ammunition stowage allows replenishment much more easily than if rounds have to be replaced in a carousel in the hull center, as in typical Russian vehicles. Tank soldiers have long admired Merkava's rear entrance and exit, recognizing that it would allow them to mount and dismount unobserved by the enemy and would provide an excellent alternative escape route. The Merkava can also carry a small Infantry squad internally under complete armored protection.

Weight (kg) Length Width Height Forward speed Reverse speed Engine 62,000 8.78 m 3.7 m 9'6" 55 kph 25 kph 1200 hp TCM AVDS 1790-9AR diesel

Vertical obstacle climb 1 m Maximum width ditch 3.5 m Fording Depth Main Gun Coaxial machinegun Anti-personnel machinegun Commander's machinegun Light Mortar 1.4 m 120mm cannon 7.62mm 2 x 7.62mm 12.7 mm 60 mm

Sabra Main Battle Tank
The Sabra Main Battle Tank is a modernised upgraded M60A3, orignally developed for a proposal to Turkey by Israel Military Industries. The Sabra upgrade package is now being marketed elsewhere internationally. The original 60s and 70s technology is replaced by new systems which will extend the life of the M60 into the next century as an effective weapon system capable of defeating modern tanks. The Sabra's main armament is a new 120mm Gun system which is interoperable with NATO weapon systems and ammunition. Similar to the gun developed for the Merkava Mark 3 main battle tank, it is mated with thermal imaging sights and the "Knight" fire control system and which provides a fire on the move capability. The 120mm gun was developed to fit the relatively small turret dimensions of older tanks. No machining or welding is necessary on the turret to match the 120mm with the M60. The characteristics, including dimensions, recoil force and range, are almost identical to those of the existing 105mm system. Within the turret, the only major changes are for ammunition racking and the fire control system. The enhanced turret and add-on ballistic protection improve survivability against shaped charge and kinetic projectiles.

Crew Four Weight, combat loaded 55 tons Overall length gun forward Overall width without skirts height Main armament Ammunition stowage Coaxial machine gun Externally mounted machine guns Mortar Gunner's sight Commander's sight Laser rangefinder Engine Maximum road speed 9.40 metres 3. 63 metres 3. 05 metres 120 mm smooth bore gun 42 rounds 7.62 mm/5.56 mm 2 x7.62 mm / 5.56 mm 60 mm periscopic day and night, stabilized in 2 axes day sight plus optical relay to gunner's sight ND:YAG eye-safe Teledyne Continental AVDS 1790-5A four stroke diesel 48 km/hour

Range on hard level ground

450 kilometres

M-68/-71 155mm M-839P/-845P 155mm
Soltam Ltd, of Haifa Israel, offers a full range of modern artillery pieces and associated equipment, including mortars and mortar ammunition and 155 mm gun/howitzers and ammunition, notably the M-68/-71 155mm and M-839P/-845P 155mm guns.

LAR - Light Artillery Rocket System
The LAR - Light Artillery Rocket System includes launchers for any rocket regardless of length, diameter, weight, range or payload designed to meet load-carrying capacity. It is flexible, supporting 8, 10, or 13 rockets in 1 or 2 sealed launch pod containers. The modular system operates with all launch platforms RSD's artillery rocket systems are based on the LPC (Launch Pod Container) concept which provide fast reloading and modularity with up to 13 factory-sealed rockets. It handles launch, storage, transportation and handling operations.

Contractor Maximum range warheads Rocket Systems Division of Israel Military Industries Ltd. 45 km Variety