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Merkava Mk.3

Main battle tank

Merkava Mk.3 MBT

The Merkava Mk.3 main battle tank can carry ten troops when ammunition is unloaded



Entered service 1990
Crew 4 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 60 t
Length (gun forward) 9.04 m
Hull length 7.97 m
Width 3.72 m
Height 2.66 m
Armament
Main gun 120-mm smoothbore
ATGW LAHAT ATGM
Machine guns 3 x 7.62-mm
Mortar 1 x 60-mm
Elevation range ?
Traverse range 360 degrees
Ammunition load
Main gun 50 rounds
ATGW ?
Machine guns 10 000 x 7.62-mm
Mobility
Engine Continental AVDS-1790-9AR diesel
Engine power 1 200 hp
Maximum road speed 60 km/h
Range 500 km
Maneuverability
Gradient 60%
Side slope 40%
Vertical step 1 m
Trench 3 m
Fording 1.4 m

 

   The Merkava Mk.3 main battle tank is a successor to the Mk.2. Production vehicles entered service with Israel Defense Forces in 1990. Production ceased in 2003 and a total of 780 of these tanks were built.

   The Merkava Mk.3 has the same layout as it's predecessors. It reflects the unique requirements of Israeli MoD. This tank has improved armor protection, firepower and mobility.

   Protection of this main battle tank was improved by adding passive modular armor. Damaged modules can be easily replaced in field conditions. Such armor can also be constantly upgraded when more advanced modules are available. This MBT can also be fitted with explosive reactive armor blocks. The Mk.3 is also fitted with a laser warning system. It is worth mentioning that this MBT unlike the others has a front-mounted engine for better crew protection. Vehicle can be fitted with Trophy active protection system.

   The Merkava Mk.3 is fitted with a fully-stabilized 120-mm smoothbore gun, locally developed by Israel Military Industries. This gun can fire all standard NATO 120-mm munitions. It can also fire gun-launched LAHAT anti-tank guided missiles in the same manner as ordinary projectiles. Vehicle carries 50 rounds for the main gun. Ammunition is stored in separate containers.

   Vehicle is fitted with a new fire control system, developed by Elbit. This fire control system has automatic target tracking.

   Secondary armament consists of three 7.62-mm machine guns. One of them is mounted coaxially with the main gun, while the rest are positioned on top of the roof. Sometimes the Mk.3 tanks can be seen fitted with ranging 12.7-mm machine guns. This MBT is also fitted with remotely controlled 60-mm mortar, which is used to fire illumination and fragmentation rounds.

   The Merkava Mk.3 has a crew of three, including commander, gunner, loader and driver. It is worth mentioning, that the Merkava Mk.3 has a unique feature and can carry up to ten troops, when ammunition is unloaded. Troops enter and leave the vehicle through the rear hatch.

   Vehicle is powered by Continental AVDS-1790-9AR diesel engine, developing 1 200 horsepower. Power-to-weight ratio of this tank is rather poor due to excessive weight which limits the tank's mobility.

   Variants of the Merkava Mk.3 include the Merkava Mk.3A, 3B, and 3D. Production of the Merkava Mk.3 ceased in 2003. It's successor became the Merkava Mk.4.

 

Video of the Merkava Mk.3 main battle tank

 

 
Merkava Mk.3 MBT

Merkava Mk.3 MBT

Merkava Mk.3 MBT

Merkava Mk.3 MBT

Merkava Mk.3 MBT

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