JERUSALEM ($1=3.32 Israeli Shekels) — Israel begins production of the latest version of its Merkava main battle tank. Merkava 5, also known as Barak, is expected to enter the inventory of the Israeli army in 2023. The first operator of Merkava 5 will be the first company of the Armored Brigade. The information has been officially confirmed by the Ministry of Defense of Israel.
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The tank design is created. The production line was recently established. In Israel, they call the Merkava 5 “a revolution in the armored corps.” In the new main battle tank, engineers have foreseen many innovations that are expected to improve the combat effectiveness of the armored vehicle.
First of all – a modernized anti-tank defense system against the most advanced anti-tank missiles in the world. New cameras that will be the “eyes” of the tank during the day and night are also planned. They will provide a 360-degree view – something not yet integrated into the Merkava 4. The tank commander also gets a new helmet, which experts say is very similar to the F-35 pilots. The new commander’s helmet will have a data screen. On this screen, in addition to having basic information about the target, a recommendation for the used projectile according to the target, as well as visual signals for damage in the tank.
Merkava 5 will have new advanced sensors. With their help, the tank will gain the independence to “capture targets in the environment” on its own. These sensors will help the tank crew quickly launch an attack or activate electronic warfare systems. The sensors and the commander’s helmet will be connected to a new, more modern, and advanced computer. He will quickly process the information and make calculations to help the crew. This computer will analyze the collected information and process it as intelligence and other devices and weapon systems will have access to it, which will autonomously operate in concert during a mission.
Last two years
According to the Israeli media Walla, the reason for starting the serial production of Merkava 5 is the Russian invasion and war in Ukraine. Such an analysis can be taken as authentic since the Merkava 5 project has been repeatedly delayed over the past two years. Budgetary issues and experiments with tank design and performance were the main reason.
During these two years, until serial production started, several changes were made. The armored hull was changed, and a new command and control system was integrated. It was necessary because it is of the latest generation and leads Israel to the main goal – a digital army.
All of this led to improved methods of attack, new strategies, new exposure and attack capacity, and new means of combat, as well as dealing with attack drones and new anti-tank missiles.
After the first company of the Armored Brigade receives its Merkava 5 tanks, Israel will begin deliveries to other army units and tank divisions.
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