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The Merkava was build in the 1970s and first seeing service in 1978, the Merkava the realization of an Israeli project to produce their own main battle tank, rather than import tanks from friendly nations. The Merkava saw action in the 1982 Lebanon War and other conflicts involving Isreal since then. The latest version of the Merkava, the Mark IV, was introduced in 1999 and is armed with a 120mm main gun and is equipped with composite armour, as well as the Trophy Active Protection System.

The IMI 120mm gun is a smoothbore 120mm gun capable of firing a variety of projectiles including armor-piercing discarding sabot and high explosive anti-tank rounds. The gun is similar to the Rheinmetall gun mounted on the American Abrams and German Leopard tanks and may use the same ammunition if required. It can also fire the LAHAT anti-tank missile.

The Laser Homing Anti-Tank missile or LAHAT is an Israeli anti-tank missile designed to be fired from 105 and 120mm tank guns, though it can also be fired from other platforms, such as helicopters. The missile has a velocity 285-300 meters per second and a range of 8 kilometres. The missile can penetrate 800mm of steel armour, and a has a tandem charge warhead that can counter explosive reactive armour.

The Merkava's armour consists of a composite of steel-nickel alloys and ceramics, the exact nature of which is classified. The Merkava's most innovative feature, however, is the Trophy active protection system. The Trophy system uses a radar to detect incoming anti-tank missile and RPGs and fires a shotgun-like blast of metal projectiles to shoot down the missile.

Battle vs. Al-Khalid (by SPARTAN 119)[]

Merkava: 5

Al Khalid: 5

Northern Israeli borders, near future

A unit of five Al Khalid tanks given to the Lebanese Army by the Pakistanis, who also trained their crews, rolled across the Israeli border. Five Israeli Merkava tanks stood in their way. The lead Al Khalid fired first, launching a Refleks ATGW, only for the missile to the shot down by a Merkava's Trophy Active Protection System.

The Israeli tanks retaliated, firing a LAHAT missile. The missile impacted one of the Al Khalid tanks, sending it up in a ball of fire as its ammunition and fuel detonated, blowing the turret off the hull of the tank (Merkava: 5, Al Khalid: 4)

An Al Khalid tank retaliated, firing an APFSDS round from its main gun, taking out one of the Merkavas. The Isreali tanks fired back with its own 120mm, knocking out a Lebanese Al Khalid. (Merkava: 4, Al Khalid: 3)

The Remaining Al Khalids split up, moving the either side. The lone Al Khalid flanked the Isrealis from the left and managed to score a hit with a Refleks ATGW, the Trophy system not activation in time, sealing its fate. (Merkava: 3, Al Khalid: 3).

The first of the two Al Khalid tanks rolling towards the right flank of the Isreali's was picked off by a LAHAT missile. The second Al Khalid, however, managed to knock out a Merkava with its gun. Meanwhile, on the left flank, another Al Khalid was destroyed by another 120mm shell. (Merkava: 2, Al Khalid: 1)

The last Al Khalid was simultaneously struck by two shells from both of the two remaining Merkava's blowing the vehicle to pieces. {Merkava: 2, Al Khalid: 0)

WINNER: Merkava Mark IV

Expert's Opinion[]

While the Al-Khalid was faster, it lacked an adequate defense. The Merkava had good armor and a defensive system capable of taking down the Al-Khalid's 9M199M Refleks with the ASPRO-A.

To see the original battle, weapons, and votes, click here.