טנק מרכבה סימן 1
Merkava 1 near a Cromwell tank in 1978 in Jerusalem
Manned by a crew of four, its main armament is the 105mm M64 L71A tank gun, firing APDS, HEAT, HESH, Phosphorous and APFSDS ammunition.
Secondary armament is a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun inserted into a vertical armoured slit. A second LMG is mounted on the commander's turret and a third on the loader's hatch. These can be used for close-in combat as well as against low-flying aircraft.
The driver's compartment is located on the left side of the vehicle's power pack, this being isolated from the crew compartment by an armour-plated wall. The driver can move to the rear by lowering the backrest of his seat.
The fighting compartment extends the whole width of the hull and the turret turntable is located on the hull floor plate, supported by rollers so that they rotate together, carrying the turret crew 360º either with the aid of hydraulic power or manually. The hydraulic pack, Xenon searchlight and ammunition for machine guns, as well as grenades and other explosive devices, are located within the turret's spaced armour compartments, isolating them from the crew.
The commander is provided with an access hatch and protective cover, with his observation and aiming sights located close over the turret roof, allowing all-round, buttoned-down observation. The hatch may be raised manually to allow open observation while providing overhead armoured umbrella protection by the hatch cover.
An access hatch for the loader/operator is provided on the left-hand side of the turret roof.
The rear part of the vehicle forms the stowage compartment for the bulk of the main gun ammunition, which is stored in heat resistance containers, loaded by the rear access door into side bins, tied with fasteners. The rear door, opening up-and-downwards with a rapid control lever, enables easy entry and exit by the crew. CBR and battery compartments are housed to the left and right of the rear access door in spaced armour-walling boxes. Panniers, into which flexible fuel tanks are fitted, are mounted on each side of the hull over the tracks, adding anti-chemical penetrator protection.
Additional hull protection is by side plates consisting of detachable skirting plates. Clean air free of solid and liquid contaminants, is drawn into the vehicle's interior by an electric fan through two filters mounted at the rear of the hull. A scavenging system extracts fumes from the open cartridges of the main and coaxial guns.
The fire control system includes L\P sight for the gunner, commander's panoramic peritelescope, ballistic computer, ballistic drive, azimuth indicator, elevation quadrant and searchlight.
The turret control system includes hydraulic power pack, gunner's control assembly, commander's control assembly, turret traversing mechanism, elevating mechanism and supper-elevation actuator. The stabilization system is an add-on kit.
|Merkava mark 1 in Beirut 1982 Lebanon war|
| 1982 Merkava mark 1 during Lebanon war|