Will Ukraine buy Merkava tanks from Israel?

هل ستشتري أوكرانيا دبابات ميركافا من إسرائيل؟

The Israeli government is reportedly in talks with two undisclosed countries about a possible international sale of the Israeli Merkava tank.

According to the information circulating, one of the countries that will buy Merkava from Israel is from the European region. This raised speculation about the possibility that Ukraine would buy the advanced tank.

Apart from Ukraine, other European countries that reportedly could buy Merkava tanks are Turkey and Croatia.

Yair Kulas, head of SIBAT (Directorate for International Defense Cooperation in the Israeli Ministry of Defense) recently told the media about the possible international sale of the Merkava tank.

SIBAT handles sales of weapon systems and other military equipment from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

Kolas said they are in advanced negotiations with the two countries over a Merkava tank, as reported by The Times of Israel.

Colas did not name the country or list the Merkava models available for sale. It could be an older Mk 4 or Mk 3, or perhaps a recently retired Mk 2.

The Merkava tank was created by Israel after the 1967 Six Day War due to the need for a better main battle tank (MBT).

The development of this Israeli tank began in the early 1970s, taking lessons from the Yom Kippur War in 1973. Merkava means chariot.

Merkava 4

One of the versions of the Merkava tanks, the Merkava IV (Merkava 4), is one of the most advanced versions after the Merkava 5, which will only be operational in 2023.

The 65-tonne Merkava 4 entered full production in 2001 and entered service with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in July 2003.

The first battalion of Merkava 4 tanks entered service with the Israeli army in 2004.

The Israeli Ministry of Defense plans to produce between 50 and 70 Merkava 4 tanks annually with a total of 400 tanks to be produced.

The Merkava 4 has been extensively upgraded including new armor protection, weapon systems and electronics.

The Merkava 4 is slightly larger than the Merkava 3 Paz (meaning the Falcon), which has been in service with the IDF since 1990. The Merkava 3 is the version to be issued by the Israeli SIBAT, according to other sources.

Merkava 4 is not available for export but systems and components can be exported. In July 2018, the IDF launched the Merkava 4 Barak, which is an upgraded version of the Merkava 4 tank.

The new tank is claimed to be a smart tank with advanced features such as artificial intelligence, enhanced sensors, and virtual reality (VR) capabilities.

Known as Iron View, the new helmet allows soldiers to see outside the battle tank, while the intelligent mission computer inside the tank manages their activity.

The Merkava 4 is capable of carrying eight infantrymen, consisting of a commando group or three casualties (stretchers survivors) plus the tank’s crew, the commander, loader, gunner and driver.

The tank can fire on the move at moving targets and has demonstrated a high hit probability against attack helicopters using conventional anti-tank ammunition.

Merkava 4 features an all-new electric tower developed by Elbit and its subsidiary, El-Op. Only one hatch was installed in the turret, the commander’s hatch.

Israel Military Industries has developed an improved 120 mm smoothbore gun.

What do you think?

Written by rfrfx

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