The latest generation of Israeli main battle tank (MBT), nicknamed Barak or Merkava V (sometimes written Mk 5), begins to undergo field capability tests with the Israeli army.
Currently, the Merkava V is operated by the 52nd Battalion of the 401st Iron Track Armored Brigade. The 401st Iron Track is an Armored Brigade in the 162nd Division of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), which is under the Southern Command and mainly operates Merkava IV tanks.
The Merkava V is an improved version of the Merkava IV by integrating the latest technologies and innovations in digital protection and combat capabilities. The design of the Merkava V is very similar to that of the Merkava IV, with the driver’s position being located on the left side of the hull, the turret behind the hull, and the engine in front.
This tank is manned by four personnel: a driver, commander, gunner, and ammunition loader. The Merkava V has the same armament as the Merkava IV, namely one 120 mm smoothbore gun, which has been developed by Israel Military Industries (IMI).
This gun is capable of firing high-penetration projectiles and can also fire anti-tank missiles with a range of up to 4,000 m. The second armament consisted of a coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun and a 7.62 mm machine gun mounted to the starboard side of the turret roof.
One of the most important improvements to the Merkava V is the integration of the Trophy APS ( Active Protection System ), designed to engage the most advanced anti-tank missiles (ATGM) and high-explosive rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs).
APS Trophy creates a neutralization bubble around the vehicle. It will quickly detect and classify all known chemical energy (CE) threats.
The Merkava V is also equipped with a day/night camera that provides a 360-degree view of the vehicle. The tank commander is equipped with a digital helmet that provides a 3D view of the battlefield and all the data for combat operations.
This advanced helmet provides all the information about the target, which ammunition to fire, and visual signals for damage inside the tank.
The Merkava V also includes new sensors that allow it to independently acquire targets, engage opponents quickly, and deploy advanced electronic warfare and processing systems capabilities.
For propulsion, the Merkava V is powered by a V-12 diesel engine that produces 1,500 hp. The maximum speed is 64 km/hour, with a cruising range of up to 500 km.