Merkava versus Abrams: Which tank wins?
The M1 Abrams was the best tank in the world for a long time – and its Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom combat record backed it up. But lately, Army officers are warning that other tanks are catching up, including Russia’s T-14 and T-90, the British Challenger 2, and the Israeli Merkava IV.
Yeah, the Israelis have designed their own tank. According to waronline.org, the Merkava came about after the Israelis were unable to buy the British Chieftain main battle tank due to concerns from diplomats. Lessons learned from the 1973 Yom Kippur War were also applied to the tank’s development. What emerged was something that protected its crew, had good firepower, and a lot of ammo storage. In fact, the crew protection aspect was heightened by a decision to put the engine at the front of the tank.
The latest version of the Merkava is the Merkava 4, with a 120m main gun and capacity for up to 48 rounds, according to Army-Technology.com. It also has a 60mm mortar – a unique weapon among tanks – as well as three 7.62mm machine guns. The tank, though, is slow, with a top speed of 29 miles per hour according to militaryfactory.com.
We’re familiar with the M1 Abrams. It has a 120mm main gun with 40 rounds, a .50-caliber machine gun, and two 7.62mm machine guns. It is very tough (recall that in Desert Storm, this tank deflected T-72 main guns rounds fired from 400 meters away), but it is also fast – with a top speed of 42 miles per hour.
Crew training in both of these tanks is really a wash. The American Abrams crews are probably among the best in the world. So are the Israelis (in fact, during the Yom Kippur War, vastly outnumbered Israeli tanks held the line against a much larger Syrian force in the Battle of the Valley of Tears).
So, which tank wins? Much will depend on which tank’s “game” is being played. If the Merkava is defending, it has the edge. This will be particularly true if the terrain forces a unit with Abrams tanks to come right at the Merkavas.
But if the fight is a mobile fight, then the Abrams’ speed will give it the edge.
Enlisted pilots could fly in combat for the first time since WWII
A number of reasons for pilot shortage include quality-of-life issues, recruitment by private airlines, and the strain of three decades of combat.
Everything you need to know about the Merchant Marine
The United States Merchant Marine is not a military service, but without it, the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Marine Corps couldn't go anywhere.
That time 'Fighting Dick' fought 'Fightin' Dick' at Antietam
Rarely will a moniker be used for two military leader at the same time. Even more rare is if the two meet on opposite ends of the battlefield.
6 ways you can tell a troop isn't an infantryman
Enter any base you may wonder which one of the troops fight in combat vs. those who ship off to support the war effort Well; we've got you covered.
British Paratroopers and Gurkhas got into a huge battle royale in Kenya
A force-on-force exercise is under investigation for "descending into chaos" as some of the UK's best troops fought each other with fists and clubs.
This insane anti-aircraft gun chased the Israelis out of the sky
With four radar-guided 23mm cannon, the ZSU-23-4 Shilka could hit an aircraft almost two miles away hard with up to 1,000 rounds a minute.
7 military nicknames that are definitely not compliments
If you've got a nickname, you're either high enough rank to have earned one, you're a pilot, or you did something dumb enough to earn one of these.
8 Things your civilian resume needs to have right now
Checklists make life easier. This checklist will help you avoid some common pitfalls veterans make when trying to land that first job when they get out.
Why so many in the military are getting STDs
Cases of sexually transmitted diseases areon the rise across the U.S., but it's three to six times more common among troops. Let's talk about why.