Sho't Kal Alef
|This page is about the Israeli medium tank Sho't Kal Alef. For other versions, see Sho't (Family).|
The Sho't Kal Alef is a rank V Israeli medium tank with a battle rating of 8.0 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update "Wind of Change".
The Sho't Kal Alef is an upgraded version of Israel's Centurion fleet with an American 105 mm gun, powerplant, and new FCS. For players familiar to the British Centurion Mk 10 or Swedish Strv 101, the enhanced mobility will certainly help players to move around the battle. However, the Centurion Mk 5 chassis means the overall protection is inferior to competitors, where even APCBC can pose a lethal threat to the Alef's existence.
The name "Sho't Kal Alef" can be roughly translated as Centurion tank (Sho't; lit. "Whip") with Continental engine (Kal) Model A (Alef is the 1st letter of the Hebrew alphabet).
Survivability and armour
At longer ranges, the Alef looks exactly like a Centurion Mk 10 where its 105 mm gun gives it away; but upon closer inspection to the Alef, it is in fact a Centurion Mk 5 with additional headlights and no weld-on applique armour on its UFP, meaning the overall protection is exactly the same as the pre-Mk 10 series of Centurion tanks. Most shells at the battle rating are lethal to its survival as 76.2 mm of armour at 58° cannot really withstand Cold War or late WWII shells, and due to the fact that Centurions have a cramped interior space, penetrating shots are very likely to knock out most of the crew or in some cases detonate all ammunition on board.
- Rolled homogeneous armour (Hull, Turret roof)
- Cast homogeneous armour (Turret)
|Armour||Front (Slope angle)||Sides||Rear||Roof|
|Hull||76.2 mm (58°) Front glacis
76.2 mm (47-48°) Lower glacis
|50.8 (12°) + 6 mm||38 mm (8-12°)||29 mm|
8-14 mm Engine deck
|Turret||152 mm (6-27°) Turret front
152 mm Gun mantlet
|89 mm (5-12°)||89 mm (1-18°)||50.8 mm Border of turret|
29 mm Center of turret
|Cupola||152 mm||90 mm||29 mm|
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
The Sho't Kal has an upgraded powerplant to the Continental AVDS-1790-2A diesel engine and Allison CD-850-6A transmission, giving it vastly improved mobility over previous Centurion models and pushing it up to 48 km/h. While the engine pack doesn't give the Alef a better power-weight ratio than foes like Leopard 1 or T-54s, it will allow the Sho't Kal to keep up with most of its NATO contemporaries.
Modifications and economy
|105 mm M68||Turret rotation speed (°/s)||Reloading rate (seconds)|
The stock M728 APDS is more than enough to gun down late war tanks and early Cold War medium tanks. However, when facing late German or Soviet heavy tanks, the penetration of the M728 is in fact lower than British/German L28A1/DM13, so either hit the enemy from the sides or aim for weak spots to make sure they don't have the chance to send a shot at you.
The M393A2 HESH is identical to other 105 mm HESH rounds, having high explosive content to knock out vehicles right away with overpressure while the overall performance of the shell is mixed, not to mention its slow and high-arcing ballistics; so either take this shell for detonating lighter vehicles or sniping stationary targets that expose their vulnerable spots. A solid hit is very likely to send enemies straight back to the hanger.
The M456 HEATFS, while mostly sufficient to penetrate even heavy tanks of the era with relative ease, will have a hard time penetrating tanks with composite armour like T-55AMD-1 or ERA like T-69 II G. It is still sufficient to knock out lighter vehicles with overpressure damage.
|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) (kg)
|Smoke shell characteristics|
| Screen radius
| Screen deploy
| Screen hold
| Explosive mass|
(TNT equivalent) (g)
|72||68 (+4)||63 (+9)||33 (+39)||25 (+47)||12 (+60)||5 (+67)||1 (+71)||No|
Since the Sho't Kal can carry more shells than the original Sho't, this will further increase the risk of ammunition cook-off; so it is advised to only bring at most 25 shells to clear out most of the ammo racks.
|7.62 mm L3A1|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
This upgrade for the fleet of Centurions only changed the machine guns into the ones in NATO service, so only 2 L3A1 (M1919A3) are available which is harmless to armoured vehicles but not to exposed crews; they can also be used as last-ditch options to gun down strafing aircraft but the odds of success are minimal.
Usage in battles
Sho't Kal Alef feels like a Centurion Mk 10 or its Swedish cousin Strv 101 with its 105 mm gun; for the players who are already familiar to previous Centurions, they will find themselves at home very quickly as the handling of the Alef is very similar, if not better thanks to the new powerplants during the upgrade, making it feel like a hybrid of Magach 1 and Sho't. The overall playstyle is similar to other Centurions as well: providing volleys of fire with its accurate gun and sufficient speed to keep up with allies which might not have stabilizers. If players do not feel confident in its protection, staying behind heavy tanks and providing supporting fire is also viable as the enemies will likely be concentrated on the "breakthrough tank" instead of its supporting vehicles.
Players do have to keep in mind that, despite the upgraded gun, the armour itself is identical to earlier Centurions with only 3 inches (or 76.2 mm) of RHA protecting the vehicle. This means that players should be extra careful on where to go and try not to expose the hull to enemies, as it can be penetrated with ease with kinetic shells or HEATFS of the era. It also only has an L3A1 as its anti-aircraft machine gun mounted on the commander side of the turret, so be extra careful of aircraft as this machine gun poses little threat to them.
Pros and cons
- Higher mobility to Sho't thanks to the new powerplant
- Powerful 105 mm gun
- Night-battle capable thanks to NVD
- Fully-stabilized gun
- Retains the same protection of Sho't (or pre-Mk 9 Centurion tanks)
- Cramped interior space and ammunition placement
- Relatively slow in terms of a medium tank
- No HMGs for gunning down light vehicles or aircraft
The Sho't tank served in the Six-Day War in 1967 and the Yom Kippur war in 1973; one of them, belonging to the 188th Armored Brigade, was operated by Captain Zvika Greengold, an Israeli tank ace. However, as all tanks in the opening days of the 1973 Yom Kippur war, it proved exceedingly vulnerable to Soviet-made weapons such as the RPG-2, RPG-7, and briefcase Sagger guided missile, weapons which the Egyptians used in large numbers in the crossing of the Bar Lev line. It is estimated that the Israeli armed forces lost up to 40% of their southern armored groups during the first two days of the war, highlighting the necessity for infantry support to armoured groups, culminating in the Merkava main battle tanks being equipped with rear troop bays.
The Sho't was also used in the 1978 and 1982 invasions of Lebanon.
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|Israeli Ordnance Corps (חיל החימוש)|
|Medium Tanks||M-51 · M-51 (W)|
|Magach||Magach 1 · Magach 2 · Magach 3 · Magach 3 (ERA) · ▃Magach 3 (ERA) · Magach 5|
|Magach 6 · Magach 6A · Magach 6B · Magach 6C · Magach 6R · Magach 6M · Gal Batash|
|Sho't||Sho't · Sho't Kal Alef · Sho't Kal Gimel · Sho't Kal Dalet · ▄Sho't Kal Dalet|
|Tiran||Tiran 4 · Tiran 4S|
|Merkava||▃Merkava Mk.1 · Merkava Mk.1B · Merkava Mk.2B · ▃Merkava Mk.2B · Merkava Mk.2D|
|Merkava Mk.3B · Merkava Mk.3C · ▃Merkava Mk.3D · Merkava Mk.4B · Merkava Mk.4M|
|Tank destroyers||Zachlam Tager|
|See Also||Chrysler Defense · Department of Tank Design · Morozov Design Bureau|
|Israel medium tanks|
|M-51||M-51 · M-51 (W)|
|Magach||Magach 1 · Magach 2 · Magach 3 · Magach 3 (ERA) · Magach 5 · Magach 6|
|Magach 6A · Magach 6B · Magach 6B Gal · Gal Batash · Magach 6C · Magach 6M · Magach 6R · Magach Hydra · Magach 7C|
|Tiran||Tiran 4 · Tiran 4S|
|Sho't||Sho't · Sho't Kal Alef · Sho't Kal Gimel · Sho't Kal Dalet|
|Merkava||Merkava Mk.1B · Merkava Mk.2B · Merkava Mk.2D · Merkava Mk.3B · Merkava Mk.3C|
|Merkava Mk.4B · Merkava Mk.4M · Merkava Mk.4 LIC|