Merkava Mk.2B (USA)
|This page is about the American medium tank Merkava Mk.2B (USA). For other uses, see Merkava (Family).|
Survivability and armour
The frontal armour on the Merkava Mk.2B is great and is comparable or better than tanks of similar battle rating, the frontal turret especially. If somebody is hoping to have a shot penetrate through the turret when they are facing a Merkava frontally, there is a very good chance they are out of luck and it will not go through.
This does not mean that the Merkava is frontally invincible, however. The lower front plates are weak; even if they are stronger than the upper ones in pure armour thickness, the effective one is way lower. However, the lower front plate is the weakness of most tanks anyways, so this is to be expected. Also, there are some parts of the front armour that are weak, such as the turret gun mantlet and the area around it, as well as the uppermost part of the frontal upper plate, but being hit there, especially from long distance, is going to be all in the enemy's luck, so worrying about those spots is not necessary all the time.
Where this tank shines though is how it fixes the lower frontal plate issue. This vehicle's secret ace is its position of the engine. It is in front of the tank, covering most of the frontal lower plate and a decent part of the upper one as well. Thus, any hit there will certainly stop the shell coming at it, especially against HESH, HEAT, and sometimes HEAT-FS shells as well. It will also stop most of the shrapnel, protecting the crew even further. However, this also means increased risk of fires and being immobilized, so having the Parts and FPE module will be important to be able to quickly repair the tank and put out fires.
Stick to facing the front armour towards the enemies. The side and rear armour are thin to the point of non-existence, and the rear of the tank has all the ammunition, so anyone able to aim there will get a clean way of a one-shot. That, or they will knock out most, if not all, of the crew, which is still a one-shot.
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
|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)
|Smoke shell characteristics|
| Screen radius
| Screen deploy time
| Screen hold time
| Explosive Mass|
(TNT equivalent) (g)
|62||54 (+8)||48 (+14)||25 (+37)||1 (+61)||No|
|12.7 mm M2HB|
| Rate of fire
|7.62 mm FN MAG 60-40|
| Rate of fire
|Commander's cupola||1,750 (200)||600||-10°/+50°||±120°|
|Loader's cupola||1,750 (200)||600||-10°/+50°||±120°|
Usage in battles
The Merkava shines in two primary roles - as an urban fighter and a long to medium-range sniper, which is not different to its real-world counterparts. When sniping, its excellent stabilization provides a significant advantage when peaking out of the cover for quick shots, and a small turret gives enemy a very little time to spot and aim at the tank. Added laser rangefinder in Realistic modes further decreases exposure time needed to get the shot. In urban environments, the engine and well-dispersed crew allows the tank to survive most direct hits, while 8.1 s reload time (compared to an analogue average 8.7 s) allows it to take the second shot before most of its competitors, and thanks to the advanced stabilization - it will be an accurate shot. What should be avoided though, is getting flanked, as the side-protection is negligible, making mobile warfare on more open maps extremely risky.
|II||Suspension||Brake System||FPE||Adjustment of Fire||LWS/LR||NVD|
|III||Filters||Crew Replenishment||Elevation Mechanism||M416|
|IV||Transmission||Engine||Smoke grenade||Artillery Support||M111|
For Merkava it's even more important to research Parts and FPE, as the principle of its protection is to allow damage to happen, but without being lethal to the crew. Second important upgrade in tier II would be either NVD (if you play Realistic Battles) or Adjustment of Fire (for the Arcade Battles). Tier III requires you to research 3 modifications, necessary one is the Crew Replenishment. The other two depend very much on a play-style you prefer, but in either way M416 smoke shell can be freely ignored and researched as the final modification for the tank. For Tier IV the M111 shell is a good choice if you plan on playing in the BRs higher than 9.0. Laser Rangefinder would be an improvement for a more sniping play-style in the SB and RB. For more mobility-based gameplay Engine should be the first module researched at this tier, as it offers by far the best increase in horsepower per RP spent.
Pros and cons
- Multi-layered spaced armour provides a good protection against HESH, early HEAT and some ATGMs
- Has access to a thermal sight
- Good mobility once spaded. Can take the capture zones with lighter vehicles.
- Good gun with effective choices of ammo, with stock HEAT-FS round working very well overall and a potent APFSDS shell that is superior to the XM-1's M735 round
- Engine in the front gives some extra protection to the crew.
- Low silhouette, excellent for hull-down position
- Very good gun stabilization
- Three extra machine guns on the roof to deal with lightly armoured vehicles, helicopters and planes. (2 x 7.62 mm + 1 x 12.7 mm)
- Starts with stock smoke launcher, which improves when modifications are purchased
- Not premium (modules must be researched)
- Stock HEATFS round will have difficulties dealing with vehicle with opponents composite armour
- Selecting machine gun allows to use only one of the 7.62 mm guns at a time
- Is not protected by the composite armour, therefore prone to the advanced HEATFS rounds
- Almost no dedicated protection against kinetic rounds (primarily APFSDS) which are quite common at the battle rating
- Shot to the center mass by any kinetic round is potentially lethal
- Engine will protect the crew against certain munitions but will still often catch fire and burning out after exhausting FPE is a common thing
- Driver has less protection than other crew members
- All the modules being at the front means that there is no crew protection for flankers from the rear
- Inferior optics of only 8x zoom compared to its competitors
- Ammo rack in the rear, shot from the back are often lethal
Merkava Mk.2 (מרכבה סימן 2) was introduced in 1983 adding a number of improvements over Mk.1 from the lessons learned during the Operation Peace for Galilee (1982's war in Lebanon) where Israel has lost an undisclosed number of Mk.1 tanks. Some of the upgrades over the earlier generation included:
- added composite screens to the side of the turret,
- added hanging ball and chain protection at the rear of the turret (nicknamed Shulamit hairs (שערות שולמית), designed to counter RPGs)
- upgraded engine, fully automatic, 4-gear transmission and increased fuel storage (what resulted in improved mobility and increased operational range),
- left-side engine exhaust was removed, while the right-side exhaust was widened
- upgraded fire control systems (notably new ballistic computer that now adjusted for temperature, humidity, and atmospheric pressure, but also could calculate lead on mobile targets),
- location of the smoke grenade launchers was changed.
- baskets at the rear of the tank, where the infantry could store their backpacks
Upgrade Mk. 2B improved the fire control system, including the addition of the thermal sights.
Tanks took part in the number of Israeli conflicts during its career, notably 1985–2000 South Lebanon Conflict, 2006 Lebanon War and the 2008–09 Gaza War. Much like its predecessor, Mk.2 became famous for its crew protections. There's never been a crewmember killed inside of the tank and none of the wounded crewmembers ever suffered burns, comparing to 26% in the earlier Magach tanks.
In October 2014 IDF's 7th Armored Brigade was the last to retire Merkava Mk.2, switching to Mk.4 instead.
|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|
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|XM-1 (Chrysler) · XM-1 (GM) · M1 Abrams · IPM1 · M1A1 Abrams · M1A2 Abrams|
|Israeli||Magach 3 · Merkava Mk.1 · Merkava Mk.2B · Merkava Mk.3D|
|Pilot stars||Ro.57 Quadriarma · MiG-21PFM|
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