Israeli tank "Merkava-4": characteristics, photo
The Merkava-4 tank, the photo of which is presented below, was first shown to the general public on June 24, 2002. A year later, began mass production of this model. As of today, according to the authoritative American military analysis agency Forecast International, it is one of the best battle tanks on the planet and surpasses the main characteristics of the German Leopard and the Russian T-90. The word "Merkava" in our language means a war chariot.
The Merkava-4, like its three previous modifications, was born thanks to the legendary Israeli tanker general Israel Tal. Throughout his career, he fought in various units and led officer courses. Analyzing the battles during the Six Day War and the Sinai campaign, in which he was directly involved, he realized that not a single tank in service with his country complied with the requirements of the Israeli tank doctrine.In this regard, Tal came to the conclusion about the need to build a fundamentally new combat vehicle. The main requirement for it was to fully comply with the wishes and military experience of the Israeli tank crews, as well as the theater of military operations. As a result, he later managed to translate his plan into reality. In addition, he became the founder of the IDF - armored troops, who, under the leadership of this man, achieved the most significant victories in all the wars in which Israel took part. It is not surprising that the portrait of General Tal was posted in the Center of the American Tank Troops (Hall of the Great Tank Commanders) in Fort Knox (USA).
The history of the tank "Merkava-4" began with a modification of the "Merkava-1". Initially, only 35 specialists took part in the creation of the project. Thanks to his great authority, General Tal was able to minimize all kinds of bureaucratic nuances. When developing the car, special attention was paid not so much to maneuverability and firepower, but to ensuring the most possible protection of the crew. According to the idea, the life of the soldiers was to be maintained even with the complete destruction of the tank.Since, according to statistics, the main reason for the death of personnel was the detonation of ammunition, the crew members and ammunition had to be securely covered. In August 1970, the final design of the Merakva-1 tank was approved, after which the mass production of the model began.
In each new generation of the Merkava, Israeli engineers embody the latest ideas of world tank design. In particular, over time, the hull was manufactured by a single casting, and armor was mounted on bolted connections specially designed for this. The latest version of the machine is equipped with a fully computerized control system. It was developed by Israeli designers and has no analogues in the whole world. It should be noted that the principle of active armor for the first time on the planet was embodied on this model. Already four of its generations have left the conveyors. Tank "Merkava-4", the characteristics of which are described in more detail below, was adopted by the Israeli army after a series of tests in 2004.
Layout: a fundamental difference from analogs
The layout of the machine is fundamentally different from all, built on the classical scheme of American and European counterparts.In front of its part is the administrative department, in the center - the combat compartment, and behind - the engine-transmission section. The engine model "Merkava-4" is in front, thereby playing the role of additional protection for the crew members, because the frontal part assumes most of the shells.
The car received an updated turret, which is equipped with brand new armored modules from all sides (forehead, sides and roof). In this regard, the designers had to make the commander's hatch more massive and provide it with an electronic mechanism for opening and closing. Loader loader generally removed. In connection with this design, the tower is characterized by stepped contours. A machine gun is mounted on its right side, from which the commander of the crew can fire at a full 360 degrees. On top are the cassettes of smoke grenade launchers.
The Israeli Merkava-4 tank is equipped with a 120-mm smooth-bore cannon. Thanks to a number of improvements, it is now able to withstand increased pressure, which makes it possible to use powerful high-explosive projectiles here. Their peculiarity lies in the fact that already in the charging gun of the barrel the programming takes place depending on the required task.The effectiveness of shooting significantly increases the integral insulating casing, which, among other things, reduces the barrel wear. A machine gun is paired with a cannon (7.62 millimeters). The standard is a 60-mm mortar of a new design.
Behind the armored partition a semiautomatic device for loading a gun with an electric drum for ten shots is installed, which it automatically automatically transfers to a charging tanker. The remaining 38 shells are packed in a protective container, which helps prevent an explosion inside the hull or turret of the Merkava-4 tank.
The fire control system boasts the ability to auto-follow a target. These include advanced television as well as thermal imaging channels. Independent stabilization sights have a crew commander and a gunner.
Engine and transmission
Now a few words about the engine installed on the Israeli tank "Merkava-4". The characteristics of the power plant, which is used here, are significantly different from the motors of other such machines. Engine power is 1500 horsepower. Designers have improved the mass and overall performance of the unit, power parameters, as well as fuel efficiency.Developers improved the turbocharging system, increased the intensity of oil and liquid cooling of the pistons. In the power supply system used fuel individual pumps with adjustable fuel supply. The motor smoothly functions in conditions of any banks. This was achieved largely due to the use in the car of the oil pan of a new design and an additional flat oil tank. The engine is controlled by a computer, which provides the driver with all the necessary information through the monitor. It should be noted, and the five-speed automatic, hydromechanical transmission model with a hydraulic volume swivel mechanism. It is supplied by the German company Renk.
Israeli engineers believe that their real pride is the active protection system of the Merkava-4 tank, the characteristics of which many world experts called the revolution in the protection of armored vehicles after the appearance of the model. This is not surprising, because the machine is able to detect, track and destroy the majority of modern anti-tank missiles at a considerable distance without causing itself any damage. This system is made by two Israeli companies and is called "Trophy".In fairness it should be noted that something similar in the eighties of the last century was used in Soviet tanks. Some sources claim that Trophy is an improved version of those systems.
Other features and systems
The mass of the model "Merkava-4" is 65 tons. The dimensions of the machine in length, width and height, respectively, equal to 7970h3720h2660 mm. The crew consists of four people. The tank is able to reach a speed of 65 km / h, and a full tank will be enough for him for about 500 kilometers.
In order to prevent the defeat of the commander of the crew during the hostilities, the developers have provided inside a special turret for him. On the body there are four video cameras, which display the image on the driver's screen, thereby helping him to manage. Excellent visibility in this case is provided both in daylight and in the dark. The tank "Merkava-4", among other things, is equipped with an automatic fire extinguishing system. The tower is equipped with chains with balls that serve as protection for its lower part from RPG grenades. In order to facilitate the driver maneuvering process in narrow places, dimensional pins are mounted on the body.
Models from the “Merkava” series have excellently recommended themselves during the Israeli military operation in Lebanon. Then only five tanks were irretrievably lost, and almost all the damaged cars after repair were returned to service. This is more than proof of their high efficiency. The latest generation of the model is able to perfectly cope with the missile threat. In conclusion, it is impossible not to emphasize that the concept of around-the-clock use of a tank is embodied here, for which there is a place to accommodate two crews, one of whom can rest while the other is working.