Frag Out! Magazine

Frag Out! Magazine #34

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Page 29 of 223

MERKAVA MK IV Story by Jarosław Wolski Photos: Soeren Sunkler (K-ISOM) The general design layout for the MBT remains unchanged. However, the differences between Mk 4 and Mk 3 are even greater than the ones one could spot between Mk 3 and Mk 2B. A particular emphasis has been placed on heightening protection levels. There was good rea- soning behind that. First, surrounding Arab nations have all acquired modern MBTs. Egypt has procured more than 1,000 Abrams MBTs, UAE now uses 400 Leclercs, Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, took delivery of more than 370 Abrams. And these numbers might have started to worry the IDF planners. Furthermore, they also acquired modern, ex- port sabot rounds. KE-W and KEW-A2 rounds were able to penetrate more than 600-640 mm steel plates, at 60 degrees, and a distance of 2 kilometers. The availability of modern, portable anti-tank weapons, in the Middle East, could also be considered a factor of growing concern. Iran, which sponsors Hezbollah, has procured major quantities of the RPG-29 launchers, and 9M133 Kornet ATGMs. Similar acquisitions were made by Syria. The Syrians also acquired the 9K115-2 Metis-M, developed against NATO MBTs. RPG-29 was capable of penetrating just 600 mm of steel. But it had the so-called non-initiating precursor, that was tasked with piercing the ERA layers without detonating the reactive component. Then, the shaped-charge energy goes through the hole in the ERA. The available OSINT has shown results of research present- ing the capacity to penetrate two ERA layers covered with a 14 mm armor plate, without actual initiation of the ERA. The effect against

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