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       Mk I, Mk II, Mk III & Mark IV
Reviewed by Senior Lecturer London's Imperial War College R. M. Ogorkiewicz

To fully appreciate the Israeli Main Battle Tank 'Chariot' which is more popularly known by it's Hebrew name
MERKAVA, it is necessary to reviewing it's roots, history and military origins. It's production basically stemmed
from the common practice of denying the Jewish State before, during and after it's 1948 war of independence 
any current armament especially a supply of main battle tank armor. During the 1940's it would be out casts of
WWI battlefield refuse. In the 1950's it was leftovers from WWII. In the 1960's it would be out dated Korean
War battle scarred equipment. However her neighbors had no such problems and both Jordan and Egypt during
this period got the latest in British army material. The Soviet entrance on the scene during the Egyptian take
over the SUEZ canal from the French owners and the British builders & operators brought an end to the West
supplying unlimited weaponry only to be replaced by state-of-the-art Warsaw Pact MBT's among other items.

Israel got it's first chance at modern battlefield weaponry Thanks to the French and a plot to retake the Suez
canal. Under the brilliant leadership of John Foster Dulles and his State Department we joined with Soviets
and the wonderful Chinese and forced the Brits and French to retreat. The Israelis balked but in the end Dulles 
slammed them as well. Maybe now we can understand why the French turn their backs on everything USA.
The Brits, we just turn the other cheek as usual. But some did NOT forget. What a disaster and we are all
paying for this American stupidity to this very day... Like OIL, 9-11 and the whole Arab World anti USA.









Israel’s MoD-administered Merkava Tank Production Authority is running its own remote-weapons competition,
which will include Rafael’s Katlanit, Elbit’s Overhead Remote Control Weapon System and an offering by Israel
Military Industries.  In an early 2007 interview, Brig. Gen. Amir Nir, Merkava program manager, said the remote-
control turret and other urban warfare modifications are transforming the main battle tank into a true multipurpose
combat vehicle for low-intensity conflicts. Nir said the new Merkava Mk4 BAZ and earlier models will have  a new
underbelly protection, added armor and new rubberized tracks. It will be able to fire 50mm machine guns & 40mm
grenade launchers safely from within the Chariot's hull. Bezhalel Machlis, Elbit corporate vice president & general
manager for land systems / C4I, said his firm’s remote-control system has been tested and now certified for the
Merkava Mark IV BAZ series and will be made available to the IDF for other platforms. Elbit is offering 2 systems:
a lightweight version capable of firing 690 7.62mm rounds for integration on armored personnel Namer carriers, MBT
tanks, tactical vehicles and new unmanned ground vehicles (UBV) and a larger caliber system for 25 or 30mm rounds.

According to Machlis, the larger system converts armored personnel carriers into armored fighting vehicles, without
having to penetrate the vehicle deck and sacrifice crew space. Moreover, the 25-30mm system can be now folded
down to fit in C-130 cargo aircraft or to reduce MBT visibility in a LIC environment. As for the remote-control
weapon offered by Israel Military Industries, company President Udi Ganani said final development would be all
completed by August 2008, after which he intends to compete for several programs in Israel, USA and abroad.
Ganani said the system is designed to precisely target and strike moving targets from platforms on the move.

“Our edge will be in our unique ability to identify and lock onto targets while in motion. The system will provide
visual warning on a computer screen or audible warning when it identifies moving targets,” Ganani said. “The
whole system can be operated from the inside without exposing crews to danger.” In response to IDF requirements
for standoff, precision strike capabilities, Ganani noted that Israel Military Industries and Israel Aircraft Industries
have been jointly developing the Extended Range Artillery, or

El Tanque Merkava Siman Arba BAZ

Shalom L'hitra'ot  שלום להתראות

Merkava Mk IV BAZ Extreme