The Merkava Tank: How Israel Plans to Crush Any Army, Anytime

The Merkava is protected by the Trophy active-protection system, which uses a combination of turret-mounted sensors and explosively formed projectiles to shoot down enemy tank gun rounds, rockets and antitank guided missiles. Trophy is combat proven, having saved several Merkava IV tanks (and their crews) from antitank weapons fielded by Hamas in 2014s Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip. Israeli tankers are also set this year to experiment with Iron Vision, an augmented reality system designed to allow crews to see outside of their tank with a combination of VR goggles and distributed aperture system.

In the past forty years, just a handful of countries have proved themselves capable of building their own main battle tanks. One of these tank powers is actually one of the smallest countries in the world: Israel. Israels main battle tank, the Merkava series, is one of the best-designed tanks ever produced.

Israels independence in 1948 saw the formation of the Israeli Defense Forces, and the IDF cobbled together a modest, ramshackle tank force to repel attacks from neighboring Arab countries. By the 1956 war the situation had improved considerably, and by 1967 Israels Armored Corps basically won the Six-Day War with a blitz across the Sinai Peninsula and into the Golan Heights. The tanks, American M48 and British Centurion tanks, crushed the opposition and brought a quick end to the war.

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