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Forum LockedBEST TANK IN THE WORLD

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote xristar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Feb-2009 at 15:11
Leopard 2 models untill Leopard 2A4 had the same gun (L44) with M1 (all vesions).
Leopard 2A5 and on have a longer gun (L55), which combined with proper ammunition gives the Leopard longer effective range than M1, or any tank.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cryptic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Feb-2009 at 20:24
Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

30+ of which was distroyed in the July 2006 war by crude IED's.  
Al-Jassas
The Merkava is still a very good, world class tank. The IEDS just prove that anything can be destroyed or damaged by stacking enough explosive power against it. 
 
The tank destroying IEDS are usually not crude at all. Though some use brute force (massive amounts of plastic explosives), most have well designed and well crafted shaped charges and penetrating cores designed into them. My guess is that the 30 Merkavas listed as destroyed include those Merkavas that were truly destroyed as well as others that were damaged and later recovered and repaired.  


Edited by Cryptic - 24-Feb-2009 at 20:29
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote IDonT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Feb-2009 at 20:40
Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

30+ of which was distroyed in the July 2006 war by crude IED's.
 
Al-Jassas
 
A tank being destroyed in combat does not necessarily preclude it from being the best tank.  The Merkava is a beast of a tank to destroy.  You need to invest in significant combat assets to destroy one. 
 
Put any tank near an IED large enough and it will be destroyed.  It doesn't matter if the tank is American, German, or Russian.  Tanks are never meant to be indestructible.  They were meant to be really hard to kill.  Imagine how much assets were invested on creating that one IED.  How many IED's would have been created if the target were a Humvee?
 
Same is true if the kill vehicle is an anti-tank missile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Feb-2009 at 21:08
The Merkava is undoubtedly the most armoured tank in the world. However it has many vulnerabilities that the war in Lebanon showed. Plus other tanks didn't suffer as much as it did. I mean the IED's used against the Merkava were nothing compared to the massive 60Kg IED's used against the Abrams tanks in Iraq and many of those failed. Plus the tank is too big. In a very rough and narrow region like Southern Lebanon big tanks are actually a hazard. Their value in close quarter combat deminishes quickly. It may be ideal on open ground but in the hills of Southern Lebanon it failed.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote IDonT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Feb-2009 at 22:00
Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

The Merkava is undoubtedly the most armoured tank in the world. However it has many vulnerabilities that the war in Lebanon showed. Plus other tanks didn't suffer as much as it did. I mean the IED's used against the Merkava were nothing compared to the massive 60Kg IED's used against the Abrams tanks in Iraq and many of those failed. Plus the tank is too big. In a very rough and narrow region like Southern Lebanon big tanks are actually a hazard. Their value in close quarter combat deminishes quickly. It may be ideal on open ground but in the hills of Southern Lebanon it failed.
 
Al-Jassas
 
Israel deployed 4 versions of the Merkava on the Lebanon war:  Merkava Mk4, the Merkava Mk 2D, the standard Mk2 and Merkava Mk3Baz.
 
400 tanks were deployed, 52 tanks were damage on 5 were written off as destroyed.
These are:
MK II: 2 (one destroyed by roadside bomb.)
Mk III: 1
MK IV: 2 (one destroyed by roadside bomb.)
 
 
 
Defense establishment favors Rafael tank protection system
Rafael’s system is less advanced than IMI’s Iron Fist, but it is at a more advanced stage of development.

Amnon Barzilai 29 Aug 06 17:29

52 IDF Merkava tanks were damaged during the war against Hizbullah in Lebanon. 50 tanks were hit by anti-tank missiles and two were damaged by roadside bombs, according to the Ministry of Defense Merkava tank program administration.

One lesson from the war is need to quickly provide Merkava tanks with active protection systems able to destroy incoming missiles. The Merkava tank program administration and IDF Ground Forces Command, which is responsible for weapons procurement, are monitoring two active protection systems for armored fighting vehicles: Israel Military Industries Ltd.’s (IMI) Iron Fist, and Rafael Armament Development Authority Ltd.’s Trophy.

A senior defense establishment source told “Globes”, “Although development of Iron First has made very good progress over the last two years, it is far less developed than Rafael’s Trophy system. On the other hand, the potential of IMI’s system is much greater than that of Rafael’s system.”

The Merkava tank program administration believes that, were it not for the risk of a new war, it might be better to wait for testing of Iron Fist to be completed, because it is considered more advanced. In order to create a critical mass of tanks able to deal with the threat of anti-tank missiles, one to two brigades (200 tanks) need to be equipped with active protection systems, at a cost of at least $100 million.

According to Merkava tank program administration figures, missiles penetrated 22 tanks, killing 23 crewmen. The missiles in these cases were heavy Russian-made RPG 29, Kornet E, Metis-M, and Concourse missiles, used by Hizbullah. These are tandem missiles, with a double warhead that can penetrate the Merkava’s reactive armor and steel plates 70-90 cm thick.

Tests conducted on the damaged tanks indicated that Hizbullah had full information needed to identify the Merkava’s weak spots.

18 of the damaged tanks were the most modern Merkava Mark IV. Eight of the tanks were still serviceable, despite being hit.

The Merkava tank program administration said five of the damaged tanks cannot be returned to service, including two Merkava Mark II and one Mark III. The two tanks damaged by roadside bombs were a Mark II and Mark IV, which will not be returned to operational use. The Mark IV tank was equipped with underside armor, which prevented a large number of casualties among its seven-man crew; only the one soldier was killed.

18 of the 23 crewmen killed were in five tanks hit, half of them in clashes in Wadi Salouki. The Merkava tank program administration noted that when counting the tank casualties, it should be taken into account that some of the tanks hit were carrying additional troops in addition to their four-man crews, which increased the potential casualties.
The tanks protected 90% of the soldiers they were carrying.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes.co.il - on August 30, 2006
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote xristar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Feb-2009 at 22:51
The Merkava is designed for a very specific type of warfare. It's excellent for that, but not much good for conventional warfare. That's after all why it hasn't been forwarded to foreign markets.
Think of Merkava: slow moving, carrying 4 infantrymen (!), average attack capabilities, excellent armour =an infantry killer. That may be what is needed for Gaza and Lebanon, but not for european theaters.
Compare to Leopard 2 (and Abrams): Fast and agile, good protection, excellent attack capabilities = a tank hunter.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cataln Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Mar-2009 at 18:34
Originally posted by xristar xristar wrote:

The Merkava is designed for a very specific type of warfare. It's excellent for that, but not much good for conventional warfare.


The Merkava was originally designed to fight in "conventional" warfare, not asymmetric warfare.  The Merkava and most modern Israeli armored fighting vehicles (including heavy APCs) were designed to fight Arab armies armed with Soviet/Russian medium armor (such as the T-72).  The Merkava Mk. I was also designed under the possibility of fighting Egyptian M1A1 Abrams.  So, the idea that the Merkava was designed for a "specific type of warfare" is just a myth.  It was designed for tank-on-tank warfare.

Quote That's after all why it hasn't been forwarded to foreign markets.


The Merkava hasn't been sold to foreign countries because Israel has always had a strict policy on the sale of its tank technology, to protect it.  This is also why there are no reliable numbers for how many Merkavas have been produced, in general.  There were rumors that Israel was open to selling older versions of the Merkava, but why would anybody  be interested when they can buy second-hand Leopard 2A4s for a fraction of the price?  Or Russian T-90s, for half the price.

What Israel has had more success selling is technology spiraled off the Merkava series (including the Sabra tank modernization for Turkish M60s).

Quote slow moving,


The Merkava has slower acceleration, but not necessarilly slower top speed than other contemporary tanks.  The Merkava excels in cross-country mobility.  In cross-country mobility suspension and ride are more relevant than total engine power output.  The Merkava's top speed cross-country was further improved with the Merkava mk. III and the introduction of the all-steel suspension system.  To give you an idea, here are some figures for vertical deflection range on a number of Western tanks (provided by Richard Simpkin's Tank Warfare):

M60A1 - 320mm
Leopard 1 - 378mm
Leopard 2 - 430mm

The Merkava's vertical deflection range is 604mm (Gelbart, Marsh, Modern Israeli Tanks and Infantry Carriers 1985-2004, p. 37.

The trade-off is height. 

It should also be noted that the M1 Abrams' transmission converts roughly 1,000hp of the 1,500hp produced at the engine.  The Merkava has a more efficient transmission, allowing for a conversion at the sprocket that gives it an effective horsepower of 980hp, and so the two tanks are not that different in terms of actual horsepower output (this was for the Merkava Mk. III, with a 1,200hp engine; the Merkava Mk. IV has a larger engine).  The M1 and the Merkava actually did comparitive tests, with American tankers in the Merkava, and the Merkava proved superior in cross-country mobility and provided parity in on-road mobility.

Quote carrying 4 infantrymen (!),


This is a by-product, and not the original intention.  Originally, the rear compartment was for ammunition storage.  It was found during the Yom Kippur War that Israeli tanks would quickly run out of ammunition, and so the rear compartment was kept to store more ammunition.  The tankers could pull out of combat and reload their ready-round storage boxes inside the turret ring and turret.  This is an idea that has been adopted by German and U.S. design teams for "future tanks".

Quote average attack capabilities,


Average when compared to what, exactly?  I don't see how the Merkava Mk. IV has "average" offensive capabilities.  The MG.253 is one of the best 120mm guns on the market, and Israeli APFSDS' are supposedly superior to their German counterparts.  Spain did comparitive testing with Israeli 120mm APFSDS and the German DM63 for Spain's Leopard 2Es, and Spain opted for the Israeli ammunition due to superior results.  In any case, the choosing of the main gun is one of the main reasons you can tell that the Merkava is designed to fight other tanks (another main reason is the shape of the turret, which maximizes armor protection by increasing the depth of the armor through the shape of the turret - it's a concept used on the Leopard 2A5's wedge armor).

Quote excellent armour =an infantry killer.


I don't follow your logic.  Excellent frontal armor is something that all tanks designers have strived for, because it's been found that the clear majority of hits are on the glacis and turret mantlet.  The Merkava's armor is obviously designed to offer maximum protection against tank threats, especially given that the engine is in the front (to protect the driver) and the shape of the turret (as explained above). 

The Israelis have developed a LIC package for the Merkava Mk. III for urban fighting.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cataln Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Mar-2009 at 18:36
Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

I mean the IED's used against the Merkava were nothing compared to the massive 60Kg IED's used against the Abrams tanks in Iraq and many of those failed.


The IEDs that knocked out the Merkava tanks were about 100kg.

Quote Plus the tank is too big. In a very rough and narrow region like Southern Lebanon big tanks are actually a hazard. Their value in close quarter combat deminishes quickly. It may be ideal on open ground but in the hills of Southern Lebanon it failed.


According to Israeli tankers the Merkava was instrumental during the urban fighting in Tyre during the 1982 Lebanon War.  I'm guessing that the situation was not much different in 2006.  5 combat kills does not mean that the tank is deficient. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Mar-2009 at 19:24
The Merkava is the kind of a tank that when it is damaged it is a useless as it is distroyed. So 5 kills indeed but 52 tanks were decommission, that says a lot.
 
Also the tank didn't see fighting in the Lebanon invasion (it was an test version that was used), Israel used Pattons mostly in that war and their record was not perfect either.
 
By the way The 2006 war was not a guerilla war fought in an asymmetric way, it was a real conventional war with clear cut defensive lines and regular uniformed units fighting each other to achieve clear objectives (Israeli analysts not my words). In this sense one can judge that the Merkava actually came short of what was expected from it since despite their lack of armour penetrating rockets and armour in general the Hizb soldiers managed to display the weakness of the tank.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cataln Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Mar-2009 at 21:24
Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

The Merkava is the kind of a tank that when it is damaged it is a useless as it is distroyed. So 5 kills indeed but 52 tanks were decommission, that says a lot.


You misread the article.  5 of the 52 tanks damaged could not be returned to service.  The other 47 returned to service; they were not "decommissioned".  

Quote
Also the tank didn't see fighting in the Lebanon invasion (it was an test version that was used), Israel used Pattons mostly in that war and their record was not perfect either.


In 1982 Israel used the Merkava I in Lebanon (there are images of the Merkava operating in Lebanon published in books). 
 
Quote In this sense one can judge that the Merkava actually came short of what was expected from it since despite their lack of armour penetrating rockets and armour in general the Hizb soldiers managed to display the weakness of the tank.


How?  Their ability to knock-out only 5 tanks, two of which were knocked out using IEDs?  What weakness did this display that not everyone already knew about?  The Merkava survived several direct hits from Kornet-E missiles, and continued to operate.  I don't see where you are coming up with these conclusions.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote IDonT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Mar-2009 at 04:16
Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:


The Merkava is the kind of a tank that when it is damaged it is a useless as it is distroyed. So 5 kills indeed but 52 tanks were decommission, that says a lot.


Clearly you have no comprehension about the Merkava with statements like these.  5 tanks were completely destroyed, 52 tanks were damage but remained operational.  You are right though, this says alot about the Merkava tank.

Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

In this sense one can judge that the Merkava actually came short of what was expected from it since despite their lack of armour penetrating rockets and armour in general the Hizb soldiers managed to display the weakness of the tank.


Now your just making groundless claims. 
RPG 29, Kornet E, Metis-M, and Concourse are some of the best anti tank missiles money can buy.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suren Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Mar-2009 at 04:57
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Mar-2009 at 05:16
Hello to you all
 
The distroyed Merkavas did return to service, after the war ended. In a large scale combat operation you don't have the luxury of time.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote xristar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Mar-2009 at 17:38
Originally posted by Catal�n Catal�n wrote:

Originally posted by xristar xristar wrote:

The Merkava is designed for a very specific type of warfare. It's excellent for that, but not much good for conventional warfare.


The Merkava was originally designed to fight in "conventional" warfare, not asymmetric warfare.  The Merkava and most modern Israeli armored fighting vehicles (including heavy APCs) were designed to fight Arab armies armed with Soviet/Russian medium armor (such as the T-72).  The Merkava Mk. I was also designed under the possibility of fighting Egyptian M1A1 Abrams.  So, the idea that the Merkava was designed for a "specific type of warfare" is just a myth.  It was designed for tank-on-tank warfare.

Quote That's after all why it hasn't been forwarded to foreign markets.


The Merkava hasn't been sold to foreign countries because Israel has always had a strict policy on the sale of its tank technology, to protect it.  This is also why there are no reliable numbers for how many Merkavas have been produced, in general.  There were rumors that Israel was open to selling older versions of the Merkava, but why would anybody  be interested when they can buy second-hand Leopard 2A4s for a fraction of the price?  Or Russian T-90s, for half the price.

What Israel has had more success selling is technology spiraled off the Merkava series (including the Sabra tank modernization for Turkish M60s).

Quote slow moving,


The Merkava has slower acceleration, but not necessarilly slower top speed than other contemporary tanks.  The Merkava excels in cross-country mobility.  In cross-country mobility suspension and ride are more relevant than total engine power output.  The Merkava's top speed cross-country was further improved with the Merkava mk. III and the introduction of the all-steel suspension system.  To give you an idea, here are some figures for vertical deflection range on a number of Western tanks (provided by Richard Simpkin's Tank Warfare):

M60A1 - 320mm
Leopard 1 - 378mm
Leopard 2 - 430mm

The Merkava's vertical deflection range is 604mm (Gelbart, Marsh, Modern Israeli Tanks and Infantry Carriers 1985-2004, p. 37.

The trade-off is height. 

It should also be noted that the M1 Abrams' transmission converts roughly 1,000hp of the 1,500hp produced at the engine.  The Merkava has a more efficient transmission, allowing for a conversion at the sprocket that gives it an effective horsepower of 980hp, and so the two tanks are not that different in terms of actual horsepower output (this was for the Merkava Mk. III, with a 1,200hp engine; the Merkava Mk. IV has a larger engine).  The M1 and the Merkava actually did comparitive tests, with American tankers in the Merkava, and the Merkava proved superior in cross-country mobility and provided parity in on-road mobility.

Quote carrying 4 infantrymen (!),


This is a by-product, and not the original intention.  Originally, the rear compartment was for ammunition storage.  It was found during the Yom Kippur War that Israeli tanks would quickly run out of ammunition, and so the rear compartment was kept to store more ammunition.  The tankers could pull out of combat and reload their ready-round storage boxes inside the turret ring and turret.  This is an idea that has been adopted by German and U.S. design teams for "future tanks".

Quote average attack capabilities,


Average when compared to what, exactly?  I don't see how the Merkava Mk. IV has "average" offensive capabilities.  The MG.253 is one of the best 120mm guns on the market, and Israeli APFSDS' are supposedly superior to their German counterparts.  Spain did comparitive testing with Israeli 120mm APFSDS and the German DM63 for Spain's Leopard 2Es, and Spain opted for the Israeli ammunition due to superior results.  In any case, the choosing of the main gun is one of the main reasons you can tell that the Merkava is designed to fight other tanks (another main reason is the shape of the turret, which maximizes armor protection by increasing the depth of the armor through the shape of the turret - it's a concept used on the Leopard 2A5's wedge armor).

Quote excellent armour =an infantry killer.


I don't follow your logic.  Excellent frontal armor is something that all tanks designers have strived for, because it's been found that the clear majority of hits are on the glacis and turret mantlet.  The Merkava's armor is obviously designed to offer maximum protection against tank threats, especially given that the engine is in the front (to protect the driver) and the shape of the turret (as explained above). 

The Israelis have developed a LIC package for the Merkava Mk. III for urban fighting.

Catalan, I rely on your words, I'm no expert on tanks.
However, I find your statement that israeli ammunition is better than german very interesting. I'm aware that Spain chose isareli ammunition, but my perception (and of many others in Greece) was that israeli ammunition is inferior, and that because when the greek Leopard 2HEL's protection was tested, the germans (who were responsible for chosing the ammo), chose IMI's rounds ratehr than german. Since the tank is german, it seemed to most that the germans chose the ammo with the least penetration.
There is a chance however this all has to do with DU and restrictions. Israel uses DU but Germany (and Greece) don't. That's just a guess of me however...

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