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Merkava Mk 2 Tank
Israel

Merkava Mk 2 Tank

Merkava Mk 2 tank with mine rollers
Unveiled / Entered Service
1983
Merkava-Mk2-Picture-27
Status
Retired
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Table of Contents

Steel Aces Play for free
the highly anticipated MMO tactical tank shooter for 2024.

Introduction

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. It has been upgraded a number times and re-designated since entering service. As of 2023, its upgraded version, the Mk2D is operated by training units.

Background

The Merkava Mk 2 Tank 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.

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.

Merkava-Mk2-Main-Gun-Overview
Merkava-Mk2-Main-Gun-Overview

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.

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.

Mobility

The Merkava Mk 2 retained the same engine as the Mk 1, but featured a new transmission. The main improvement of the Mk 1 was an increased operating range of 100 km’s thanks to an increased fuel capacity.

Variants and Marks

Merkava Mk 2B

This sub-mark was fitted with improved thermal optics and unspecified updates to the fire control system.

Merkava Mk 2C

Merkava Mk2C Armor Description
Merkava Mk2C Armor Description

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

Merkava Mk 2DArmour Description
Merkava Mk 2D
Armour Description

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

Merkava Mk2D LIC
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.

Specifications

characteristic
Result
Main Gun
105mm Rifled
Secondary Weapons
Coaxial 7.62mm Machine Gun, Loaders 7.62.mm Machine Gun
Ammunition Storage
x62 105mm, x10,000 7.62mm
Engine
900hp Teledyne Continental AVDS-1790-6A V12 air-cooled dies
Transmission
Ashot Ashkelon hydromechanical automatic
Top Road Speed
46 km/h
Road Range
500 km
Fuel Capacity
1,400 Litres
Vertical Obstacle
0.95m
Water Capability
1.38m (2m with preparation)
Trench Crossing
3m
Gradient
70%
Side Slope
0.47m
Length Gun Forward
8.63m
Length Hull
7.45m
Width
3.7m
Height
2.64m (cupola 2.75m)
Ground Clearance
38%
Weight
60 tonne (combat)
NBC Protected
yes
Standard Armor(s) Type
Steel, Spaced
Optional Add-on Armor(s) Type
Composite, Modular
Active Protection Systems
no
Crew
Commander, Gunner, Loader, Driver, Infantry Capacity

References