Merkava Mk 2 Tank Description
Merkava Mk 2 Tank was the successor to the earlier Merkava Mk 1. It entered Israeli Defence Force service in 1983. Its production numbers totalled 580 from 1982 to 1989 with improvements to its protection following lessons learnt in the 1982 Lebanon War. As of 2015 It remains in service with reserve units. It has been upgraded a number times and re-designated.
The Mk2 Fire Control System was improved with new meteorological sensors and crosswind analyser to make adjustments to the main gun when firing to increase accuracy.
The sights were up-graded with new thermal and passive night equipment. The 60mm mortar was modified so that it could be fired safely from within the tank.
The transmission was up-graded to the Ashot Ashkelon hydro mechanical automatic transmission, which had 4 gears and increased the operational range to 500km. Other improvements were made to the tanks overall protection.
Merkava Mk 2 Protection
The Mk2 relied on the vehicles shape and layout to aid in the protection of the vehicle:
1. The turret had sweeping edges becoming narrower towards the main gun, giving an almost arrow-head shape and working as angled surfaces (as pictured above)
2. The front of the hull was sloped.
3. The engine was located in the front of the hull as depicted in the image by the raised engine deck marked out and acted as a barrier to be penetrated.
4. Armored plate was added to some sloping parts.
5. It had thick side skirts.
6. Storage boxes for tools etc were mounted along the hull sides to act as a form of spaced armor.
7. Fuel tanks were also used as a form of spaced armor.
8. Armored plate (noticeable by the bolts) were added to sloping surfaces.
9. Chains were added to the turret basket to protect the weak points against RPG attack.
Merkava Mk 2 Firepower
The Merkava Mk2 and all its sub marks use the same rifled 105mm main gun as the Merkava Mk1. It is a copy/licence build of the American M68 as used on the M60 series and M1 Abrams Tanks, which is a license built version of the British L7 105mm rifled main gun.
It is fitted with a thermal sleeve hence the straps along the barrel. It Should use as ammo upgrades the same ammo as American 105mm Main Gun already in game.
Merkava Mk 2 Image Gallery
Merkava Mk 2B
This sub-mark was fitted with improved thermal optics and unspecified updates to the fire control system.
Merkava Mk 2C
The Mk2C introduced a new Appliqué modular armor mounted across the top of the slopping turret from top attack, possibly due to RPG attacks from elevated positions in urban areas or aircraft. In the above image the original Mk2 bolted on side armor is marked in blue. The new Appliqué
modular armor is marked out in red.
Merkava Mk 2D
The Merkava Mk2D saw the addition of new applique modular armor mounted along the sides of the turret, which now covered up the Mk2 original armored plate with the big bolts (Red) containing some basic laminate or composite.
1. On comparing images it would also appear that the Mk2C appliqué modular armor on the turret top was replaced with a new version during the Mk2D upgrade (Dark Blue).
2. New armored plates extend the length pf the top of the hull over what was/is the storage boxes (Green).
3. New appliqué modular armor has been added to the left side of the front of the hull in front of the driver’s position (Light Blue).
Merkava Mk2D LIC
Israel has developed a small package for the Mk3 and Mk4, which was also applied to the Mk2D called “Low intensity conflict” aka LIC. It has bull whip mounts that look like aerials with LED lights on the tip (marked as 1. on image) mounted on all 4 corners of the tank and a rear camera to aid the drive whilst driving in-built up urban areas. Grills have been added (marked as 2. on the image) to prevent objects being shoved in to the exhaust and other vents and sights.
Merkava Mk2 Specifications
|Main Gun||105mm Rifled|
|Secondary Weapons||x1 coaxial 7.62mm MG, x2 7.62mm MG, x1 60mm Mortar|
|Ammunition Storage||x62 105mm, x10,000 7.62mm|
|Engine||900hp Teledyne Continental AVDS-1790-6A V12 air-cooled diesel|
|Transmission||Ashot Ashkelon hydromechanical automatic|
|Top Road Speed||46 km/h|
|Road Range||500 km|
|Fuel Capacity||1,400 Litres|
|Water Capability||1.38m (2m with preparation)|
|Length Gun Forward||8.63m|
|Height||2.64m (cupola 2.75m)|
|Weight||60,000kg aka 60 tonne (combat)|
|Armor Type||Spaced / Steel / Laminate / Modular later sub marks|
|Active Protection Systems||No|
|Troops Carried||6 Max|
- Photos of Merkava Mk2 without side armor turret plates http://www.primeportal.net/apc/merkava_mk2_walk.htm
- Photos of Merkava Mk2 walk around http://www.primeportal.net/tanks/andre_patschke/merkava_mk2_walk.htm
- Photos of the Merkava Family & Marks https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Merkava_tank