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is the main battle tank of the Israel Defense Forces. Since the early 1980s, four main versions have been deployed. The 'Merkava' name was derived from the IDF's development program name.
This platform is optimized for crew survival and rapid battle damage repair.
The Mark II was first introduced into general service in April 1983 and incorporated several upgrades as a result of the previous incursion into Lebanon. The new tank was optimized for urban warfare and low intensity conflicts, with a weight and engine no greater than the Mark.
The Mark II used the same 105 millimeter main gun and 7.62 millimeter machine guns as the Mark I, but the 60 millimeter mortar was redesigned during construction to be located within the hull and configured for remote firing to remove the operator from enemy small-arms fire. An Israeli-designed automatic transmission and increased fuel storage for increased range was installed on all further Mark IIs. Anti-rocket netting was fitted for increased survivability against infantry equipped with anti-tank rockets.