Merkava Mk.1 (USA)
8 km/h back45 km/h forward
7 km/h backSpeed
The Merkava Mk.1 is a gift rank VI American medium tank with a battle rating of 9.0 (AB) and 8.7 (RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.87 "Locked On" as a reward for the "Battlefield Engineer" event.
At a glance, one may mistake the vehicle's profile for the Centauro, which is already infamous on its own, because they share similar traits - an extremely long vehicle with a turret on its back, that sports a very long cannon. However, this vehicle has an even lower profile and drives on tracks instead of wheels. Due to this, it's significantly slower. The amount of damage it can cause, though, is similar.
Survivability and armour
This tank has an extremely low profile, sloped frontal armour that is extremely sloped everywhere and cannot be hull-broken.
Even if anything penetrates the front of the hull, the shell will then have to go through an assortment of modules and protection beyond the initial hull. The first in the way is a fuel tank, which shields the engine. Even if that is penetrated, there is still a list of rolled homogenous armour behind it. Even if that is penetrated, the engine will take the entirety of shrapnel with seemingly no failure. This will often result in the tank catching fire with a destroyed transmission and/or engine but with no other damage the tank. If one tries to fire straight at the driver, the shell will most likely just ricochet, bounce off the turret and away unless it was APDS or APFSDS. Even then, any shell that hit directly from the front will likely only take down the driver.
The hull is also quite proof against ATGM, as module placement absorbs as much damage as IPM1 and M1A1 Abrams NERA, so missiles should be fired at the turret instead unless one tries to just burn down the vehicle. In arcade mode, if ATGM tank operator wants to destroy the tank fast, they should consider hitting the upper part of the hull next to the turret, for if only the engine is hit by projectile, then HEAT can overpenetrate it and spall into mid-section of the tank, sometimes just barely reaching the ready ammo rack and detonating it. In Realistic battle mode, simply hitting turret with ATGM might actually destroy the vehicle in one hit due to the crew loss.
The turret is well-protected, with its well-angled armour structure and layers of homogenous armour. As such, anything short of APDS from specifically sniper tanks like Chieftain Mk 3 or APFSDS have a high chance of doing no damage. The only place with no protection is the turret ring, which is vulnerable to well-aimed APHE shots.
The side hull armour of the tank is considerably weaker though and can be penetrated by APDS-equipped SPAA and light tanks. Tracks still block some shots, but it's possible to destroy the entirety of turret compartment with a high enough rate-of-fire before tank turns around. AP-I belt would probably fail to penetrate it, though.
The sides of the base of the turret seem to be a viable target for HESH, unlike the rest of the tank. Though, even there vehicle has a little fuel tank, which has a tendency to derail spalling away from last turret crew member.
As such, Merkava should avoid exposing its sides, to protect its turret crew and ammunition.
In addition to the assortment of armour, the vehicle has smoke launchers and smoke shells to cover itself.
Ammunition is stored in the very back of the vehicle, at the very bottom and is covered with even more armour lists. Most of the attacks from front of the vehicle or from above will inevitably hit side skirts, turret, or other modules in way of the shell and achieve nothing. In case enemy tank attacks from behind, even tank's back is protected with layers of spaced armour, rolled homogenous armour and fuel tanks, completely neutralizing weak chemical shells (such as HESH), or derailing HEAT-FS spall away from critical components. Only firing HEAT-FS diagonally through the shield in the middle of Merkava's rear seems to consistently achieve hitting ammunition or crew. Using AP based ammunition instead is highly advised.
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
In Arcade battles, the Merkava Mk.1 (USA) has a top speed of about 51 km/h forward. However, either due to extreme recklessness of its drivers, or better than average acceleration, it often gets to position faster than expected. Its reverse speed is quite low though, being about -10 km/h at best.
In Realistic mode, its top speed is supposed to be about 46 km/h forward and about -8 km/h in reverse.
Merkava uses a 105 mm Sharir cannon with a two-plane stabilizer. The default reload rate is 8.71 seconds and with crew training it will go down to 6.7 seconds. First-stage ammo stowage on the turret floor has 14 shells and the 48 remaining shells are in the back.
Default ammo for this cannon is HEATFS M152, with 400 mm of penetration at 0° angle of attack (AOA).
Additionally, the gun can be loaded with:
- HESH M156, which can penetrate armour about 127-142 mm thick for 140 Silver Lions per shot.
- APFSDS M111, which can penetrate 337 mm at 0° AOA and 194 at 60° AOA at point blank for 220 Silver Lions per shot.
- Smoke M416, with 20 m coverage range for 30 SL.
|105 mm Sharir||Turret rotation speed (°/s)||Reloading rate (seconds)|
|Ammunition|| Type of
|Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)|
|10 m||100 m||500 m||1,000 m||1,500 m||2,000 m|
|Ammunition|| Type of
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive Mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
| Normalisation at 30°
|Smoke shell characteristics|
| Screen radius
| Screen deploy time
| Screen hold time
| Explosive Mass|
(TNT equivalent) (g)
|62||39 (+23)||15 (+47)||7 (+55)||1 (+61)||No|
Racks #3 and #4 are ready racks on the Merkava, taking up 16 rounds before rear hull racks #1 and #2 are filled with ammunition. Due to the unique layout of the Merkava and the ammo racks being away from the front, it would not harm the tank's survivability by a large margin to carry more ammunition.
|Merkava Mk.1 (USA) Optics|
|Default magnification||Maximum magnification|
|Main Gun optics||X7.2||X8.0|
As for machine gun armament, Merkava Mk.1 has one 12.7 mm M2HB and three 7.62 mm FN MAG 60-40 machine guns.
Their penetration statistics seem to be standard for their calibre.
|12.7 mm M2HB|
| Rate of fire
|7.62 mm FN MAG 60-40|
| Rate of fire
|Pintle (Commander)||1,750 (200)||600||-10°/+50°||±120°|
|Pintle (Loader)||1,750 (200)||600||-10°/+50°||±120°|
Usage in battles
Describe the tactics of playing in the vehicle, the features of using vehicles in the team and advice on tactics. Refrain from creating a "guide" - do not impose a single point of view but instead give the reader food for thought. Describe the most dangerous enemies and give recommendations on fighting them. If necessary, note the specifics of the game in different modes (AB, RB, SB).
|II||Suspension||Brake System||FPE||Adjustment of Fire||NVD|
|III||Filters||Crew Replenishment||Elevation Mechanism||M156||Smoke grenade|
|IV||Transmission||Engine||Artillery Support||M111||Laser rangefinder|
Pros and cons
- Armour is surprisingly effective, due to it being multi-layered
- Sometimes capable of just driving into the capture point, as if it doesn't care
- Has weapons and ammunition similar to SPG Centauro, which is enough for most encounters
- Different ammunition types are cheap to use
- ATGMs may have problems destroying this vehicle, as well as small rockets and HESH
- APFSDS does not care about module-based protection and will go straight through the entire vehicle
- Second layer of defence has a lot of openings, which can be exploited with side shots so the vehicle cannot be angled a lot
- Turret ring and middle rear weak spots compromise vehicle's defences and make it vulnerable to APHE at close ranges
- Side hull armour is weak, can be destroyed by light tanks with +30 mm cannons, obversely, default ammo usually fails to penetrate
- In up-tier, it's going to be slower than most of the adversaries
- Can be simply burned, if it cannot be destroyed normally
- Repair cost is higher, so need to be caution when you use it.
- Thermal signature is in the front of the tank, that make you easy to be seen by thermal sight.
During the mid-1960s, Israel began researching the possibility of developing and manufacturing a domestically designed tank. The need for such a vehicle became even more emphasized after failed negotiations with Great Britain around the same time led to Israel not being permitted to licence produce the Chieftain MBT. Thus, during the late 1960s official development on a domestic Israeli tank began.
The Israeli tank was primarily designed around combat experiences gained during the Yom Kippur War, resulting in heavy emphasis being put on crew survivability. By 1974, first prototypes of the new “Merkava” tank were constructed and put through initial testing. After nearly a decade of development, the Merkava Mk.1 was adopted for service by the IDF in December 1979 and modernized versions continue to serve with Israeli forces today.
- From Devblog
Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.
Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:
- reference to the series of the vehicles;
- links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.
|USA medium tanks|
|M3||M3 Lee · Grant I|
|M4||M4 · Calliope · M4A1 · M4A1 (76) W · M4A2 · M4A2 (76) W · M4A3 (76) W · M4A3 (105) · M4A5|
|M26||T20 · T25 · M26 · M26 T99 · M26E1|
|Post-war||M46 · M46 "Tiger" · M47 · M48A1 · T54E1 · T95E1|
|MBT||M60 · M60A1 (AOS) · M60A1 RISE (P) · M60A2 · M60A3 TTS · MBT-70 · XM-803|
|XM-1 (Chrysler) · XM-1 (GM) · M1 Abrams · IPM1 · M1A1 Abrams · M1A2 Abrams|
|Israeli||Magach 3 · Merkava Mk.1 · Merkava Mk.2B|