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Merkava Upgrade

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The Israel Defense Force is aiming to launch an upgraded version of its combat-proven Merkava Main Battle Tank by 2020. The Merkava Mk.4 has been in service with the IDF since 2004. The tank is capable of carrying eight infantry soldiers, a command group or three litter patients in addition to the tank crew of commander, loader, gunner and driver. The tank is capable of firing on the move at moving targets and has demonstrated high hit probability in firing against attack helicopters using conventional anti-tank munitions. The upgraded Barak version will be equipped with a Battle Computer and Smart Helmets and is the Army’s way of putting it on par with the Air Force and Navy. The tanks will be optimized for facing asymmetric threats, such as guerrilla ambushes. The tank will include a battle computer that will process data received from sensors mounted on it, give the soldiers a real-time picture of the situation and even propose a plan of action for dealing with it. The computer will also identify enemy forces and aim the tank gun automatically. Tank commanders will have a special helmet that will enable them to see what’s happening throughout the tank and also receive all the data processed by the tank’s computer. The networked tank will be able to coordinate and communicate with naval and airborne forces.

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