The Merkava Mk.IV has a new fire-control system, the El-Op Knight Mark 4. Removable modular armor, from the Merkava Mark IIID, is used on all sides, including the top and a V-shaped belly armor pack for the underside. This modular system is designed to allow for damaged tanks to be rapidly repaired and returned to the field.
Tank rounds are stored in individual fire-proof canisters, which reduce the chance of cookoffs in a fire inside the tank. The turret is "dry"; no active rounds are stored in it.
Some features, such as hull shaping, exterior non-reflective paints, and shielding for engine heat plumes mixing with air particles to confuse enemy thermal imagers, were carried over from the IAI Lavi program of the Israeli Air Force to make the tank harder to spot by heat sensors and radar.
The Mark IV includes the larger 120 mm main gun of the previous versions but can fire a wider variety of ammunition, including HEAT and sabot rounds like the APFSDS kinetic energy penetrator, using an electrical semi-automatic revolving magazine for 10 rounds. It also includes a much larger 12.7 mm machine gun for anti-vehicle operations.
Upgraded fire control system
The new fire-control system enables the Merkava to shoot down helicopters and find and destroy armored attack helicopters such as the French Gazelle and the ubiquitous Russian Mil Mi-24, both used by Israel's neighbors.
1:35 Academy Model built and painted by me.