The design concept of the Merkava Mk 4 version was also based on combat experience, including high-risk close combat in urban environment, which, in contrast to desert warfare in open terrain, is extremely hazardous to tank crews observing targets from open hatches, which was traditional in the IDF’s armor corps doctrine.
The Vectop Tank Sight System (TSS) integrates an array of video cameras installed in different positions around the tank to enable the crew to cover “dead zones” in the tank’s surroundings. An array of four cameras provides complete peripheral coverage (360 degrees), and the top of the tank, including re
Merkava 4 Propulsion and Mobility
The Merkava Mk 4 is powered by a new 1500 hp diesel engine, which improves its mobility substantially, compared to the former models, which were powered by 900 and 1200 hp respectively (Mk 1/2 and Mk 3).
The General Dynamics GD833, co-produced in the United States by GDLS and MTU (which also powers the French GIAT Leclerc), is a liquid-cooled, direct injection engine, and paired with the Renk RK325 automatic transmission, comprises the Merkava Mk 4 power pack.
It offers the best power-toweight ratio at such weight levels (65 tons). A computer connected to the driver’s panel and to the transmission system controls the engine. Field tests covered over 10,000 km in rough terrain
successfully. An auxiliary engine provides power when the tank is on “silent watch” for battery recharging and night observation, with full systems operating while the main engine is shut down.
This is typified by a powerful spring and rotary coil-spring design, differing from the double spring system used in previous Merkava Mk 1 and Mk 2 models. The Merkava Mk 3 Baz suspension is optimized for fast ride over extremely difficult terrain, like the basalt rock strewn Golan Heights.
With vertical road wheel travel of up to 600mm in diameter, the crew is given a softer ride, which reduces fatigue. The suspension meets the stringent requirements of 60 km-per-hour in rough country and reduces the impact on its crew thanks to the excellent absorption capability of the suspension system.
which never surpasses g-1. In comparison tests with other vehicles undergoing the same criteria, when speed
approached g-9, crewmembers suffered injuries and system malfunctions. In the Merkava Mk 3, at twice that speed, on the same test bed conditions, the g-force never exceeded g-1!
Although details are still classified, the Merkava Mk 4 suspension system also underwent additional improvement, which, combined with the new powerto- weight ratio, could even surpass the data of the Mk 3.