In the 1970s, the Israeli military leadership began to think about creating its own main tank in the country. This is how the Merkava project appeared, which was destined to give the world one of the most specific tanks. Serial production of a new unit of weapons began in the mid-1980s. The tank turned out to be extremely successful. Having gone through several upgrades, the Merkava continues to be in service with the Israeli ground forces. What makes it so unique?
Tank "Merkava" from the very beginning of its history uses a modular booking system. The standard protection of the Israeli tank is rather weak. However, on top of the hull and turret, you can attach additional modules with armor, which take on the main portion of the damage entering the tank. The advantage of this design is that tanks can be armored according to the situation. In addition, the modular design makes repairs very easy.
Most tanks have a motor in the stern. The "Merkava" has an engine installed in the bow, just like the armored infantry vehicles. This is done, among other things, to increase the survival rate of the crew. True, this design also has disadvantages. Because of the engine in front, the tank sways much more when fired. In addition, the engine compartment needs exceptional thermal insulation so that hot air from the motor does not interfere with the shooter's use of the thermal imager.
3. Airborne compartment
"Merkava" is today one of the few tanks in the world, which is equipped with an amphibious compartment. It is not very comfortable and spacious. Still, it can fit up to 4 people. Also, the troop compartment can be used to evacuate 2 wounded.
The dimensions of the "Merkava" are 7.45x3.72x2.66 meters, which makes it the largest combat vehicle in its class. A dubious "achievement" for a tank, but the fact remains. It is noteworthy that the Israeli tank is almost twice the size of the American Abrams and almost two and a half times larger than the Soviet-Russian tanks.
Finally, one cannot fail to mention that today this particular Israeli tank is considered the vehicle with the highest survival rate. In many respects, this indicator was achieved thanks to the use of the active protection system, which was introduced in the early 2000s. It is noteworthy that even Americans with multibillion-dollar military budgets could not afford such a luxury.
If you want to know even more interesting things, then there is this "Ten" tanks, which are reputed to be the most formidable war machines on the planet.