Skip to comments.Israel Puts Merkava 4 Tanks Up for Sale
Posted on 11/02/2010 4:59:32 PM PDT by Nachum
For the first time, Israel will offer the Merkava Mark 4 tank and the Tiger APC for sale. Both will be sold only to friendly countries, and under strict supervision.
In addition, all sales will be coordinated with the United States. The U.S. funds some components of the tank, as well as other Israeli defense projects.
Ministry of Defense Director-General Udi Shani said the decision to offer the tanks for sale to allies was a strategic decision driven by the need for income to cover military costs. Experts believe sales could bring in $400 million annually.
(Excerpt) Read more at israelnationalnews.com ...
Won’t fit in my garage, unfortunately;)
What’s the price tag?
I would like to buy one and take my son hunting with it.
This thread is useless without pics...
For the first time, Israel will offer the Merkava Mark 4 tank and the Tiger APC for sale. Both will be sold only to friendly countries, and under strict supervision. In addition, all sales will be coordinated with the United States.
Let me guess. They are all moving back to Poland and the Poles really don't wanna see any more Tiger tanks rolling thru the streets.
I don’t know a lot about the Merkava. I recall reading that it was extremely heavily armored at the expense of agility. I was really disappointed when the Iranian backed Hezbollah knocked several of them out apparently using RPGs during the last incursion into Lebanon.
Maybe Israel learned from the experience and corrected any problems.
;’) Helen Thomas will be waving them in.
The Merkava is a great tank ...definitely in the top 5 list of MBTs (with the Challenger 2 and M1A2 Abrams sharing the top-spot, and the Leopard 2 just beneath those two). The issue is that when it comes to anti-tank weapons, particularly modern top-attack tandem-warhead missiles, the tank has been facing more and more capable weapons. It is the usual tit-tat between armor and weapon that goes all the way to knights in armor facing men with crossbows. For some time the cutting edge tanks (such as the Challenger 2 and the M1A1) had the advantage, with developments like the first generation of Chobham armor really making HEAT, HESH and kinetic energy anti-tank weapons of the time insufficient. Add to that the superior tactics and training of American and British tank crews, as well as general combined arms tactics, and anyone facing an Abrams or a Chally 2 was in a really bad place.
However, anti-tank weapons started to catch up, and what is simply happening now is that they are now moving into hands lower down the food chain. The most effective tandem-warhead top-attack ATGMs can be trusted to more often than not be able to kill or take out any tank. Even those with ERA packs. Thus the weapon has surpassed the armor.
However, developments continue ...for instance Chombham is now in its third-generation, soft-kill (jamming type) self defense has been getting more sophisticated, and there has been work from Israel and Russia on hard-kill self defense that fires a projectile to defeat/detonate the incoming ATGM. Thus, it does seem that armor will - in a couple years based on the very successful tests - rise above the weapon using a mixture of advanced composite armors, ERA packs, and soft kill/hard kill systems that would be able to defeat any current ATGM.
However the interesting thing is that it has ALWAYS been more expensive to field the armor than to field the weapon. The quarrel bolt and the crossbow were MUCH MUCH MUCH MUCH cheaper than the medieval suit of armor (some estimates say that some of the better suits cost the equivalent of a modern 5 bedroom house). In the same way, a Javelin or a Spike or a Kornet is much much much cheaper than an Abrams or a Merkava or a T-90. Thus, even when armor defeats the weapon, it is at a very disparate cost-comparative ratio. Like you using a Ferrari to beat a bicycle. Hence, the future tank will either be a heavier machine with more advanced armor, or it will be a much lighter machine that has new-generation technological armor (e.g. the hard and soft kill systems). However, either scenario means a more expensive tank (either in the cost it takes for it to defeat any missile, or the cost in dead crew if 'cost cutting measures' are taken). Sadly, all it will take for the next-generation of ATGM to defeat even the hard-kill systems coming out now is just maybe a couple million Dollars of R&D (or maybe much less). In the same way tandem warheads came out to defeat ERA packs (where two warheads - a small one to detonate the ERA, and the main one to punch through the tank), probably there will be ATGMs that fire a small mini-rocket to destroy the defensive hard-kill projectile? There is an interesting (I believe Swedish or British) anti-aircraft missile thattakes off as one missile, then when it is near the aircraft fires three mini-missiles that can each independently maneuver. Just checked ...it is a British missile called the StarStreak. Maybe you'll see an ATGM that flies towards the tank, and has good ECCM so that soft-kill systems do not work, within a certain range fires off one or two/three darts to engage any possible hard-kill system (and if there is no hard kill system to defeat any ERA), and then the main body of the missile impacts the tank. That would be a considerably more expensive missile, but MUCH cheaper than ANY tank in a modern battlefield.
I do not think tanks are becoming obsolete ...there will always be tanks, and in a combined arms stratagem they are very effective. However, I feel that the war between armor and weapon has tilted towards weapon, and that this will be seen the first time a modern army faces off against another modern army. For the last several decades it has always been a far superior army facing off against a far inferior army (e.g. the Allied Forces, led by the US, and having several leading NATO nations among others like Saudi Arabia) facing off against the Iraqi armed forces during the first Gulf War! The conclusion to that was a given. The only real peer-to-peer engagements that I can think of have to be the Ethiopian-Eritrean war (and even that was skewed towards the favor of Ethiopia), and incidents between Greece and Turkey (where a Mirage 2000 shot down a F-16). Otherwise, most engagements have been one-way engagements.
The first surprise the world gets as to the state of armor vs weapon (with the armor being anything from a tank to anti-cruise missile defense systems on a ship; and the weapon being anything from an ATGM to a supersonic cruise missile) is when what happened to the Israelis when they lost several HUNDRED (I believe 800+) tanks to Egyptians using Soviet Sagger ATGMs happens to the modern American/European/Russian/Chinese force against a modern American/European/Russian/Chinese force. When a near-peer war breaks out, one thing you will not here AFTER is that weapons like the F-22 Raptor or (name the latest 'too expensive' system) are too expensive. Sadly, that lesson will cost blood to make people realize that the F-15/SU-30/Tornado (to use legacy fighters used by the US/Russia/UK) are simply not good enough against modern advanced IADS systems as the Raptor/PakFa/Typhoon. Then the cost argument will disappear ...but until the day when the US/Russia/Europe encounter a 'Sagger experience' (most probably in the hands of China), then you will here a lot on how every Dollar/Ruble/Euro needs to be spent towards 'better' reasons. After the 'Sagger experience' you will realize a lot of changes.
That is the future. You can change the equipment from tanks to Aegis destroyers to planes to submarines to anti-missile defense etc.
An interesting post.
I didn’t understand all the technical jargon but do understand there is always an offense vs. defense struggle.
Sort of reminds me of football. For a while the triple option seemed to have defenses on the, well defense. Eventually they figured out how to stop it.
When Alexander’s men faced Persian chariots which had some technological innovations, they figured out how to deal with them, tho not how to ignore them. Same with the elephants in India, or the wagons filled with rocks and rolled down on them in Afghanistan.
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