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Israel Struck at the State-of-the-(he)art

Date Written  :  Feb  16, 2002
Last modified :  Feb 16, 2003  Latest News Comments

Addendum dated Feb 16, 2003 :An improvised land mine gutted an Israeli tank guarding a Jewish settlement in the Gaza Strip and killed its four crewmen on 15 Feb 2003. Exactly after one year and one day after the first incident took place on 14 Feb 2003 in which three soldiers were killed!! Palestinian terrorists have once again struck at Israel's state-of-the-(he)art tank. Till now they have blown up three Merkava-3 tanks, a symbol of the Jewish state's military prowess, with homemade mines. First on 14 Feb 2002, Second on 14 Mar 2002 -- one month after first and Third on 15 Feb 2003 -- One year and one day after first.
We repeat what we had said a exactly a year back. The army needs to be now concerned and act fast on it. The image of Palestinians destroying a main battle tank is a blow to deterrence.

Addendum dated Apr 14, 2002 : Israel's Merkava Mk 4 main battle tank (MBT) programme could face setbacks amid unconfirmed  reports that the German government has 'delayed' licenses for German-produced components for its power pack and transmission.
Palestinians have struck at Israel's state-of-the-(he)art tank -- The Merkava 3
Need of fourth generation Merkava and change of  tactics
Series of Jail Break(downs) carried out by terrorists with the help of PA

Addendum dated Mar 17, 2002 : Three soldiers were killed and two wounded, when a Merkava Mk III tank drove over a powerful mine on the Karni-Netzarim road in the Gaza Strip on March 14, 2002. Islamic terrorists have struck once again at the state-of-the-art Merkava exactly after one month.  The last attack on Merkava was on 14 Feb 2002.  Israel needs a change of tactics to tackle the menace of Islamic terrorism.

Palestinians have struck at Israel's state-of-the-(he)art tank -- The Merkava 3

Palestinians have struck at Israel's state-of-the-art Merkava 3 in which three soldiers have been killed on 14 Feb 2002 when a large bomb was detonated under their tank.. The  army needs to be now concerned and act fast on it. The image of Palestinians destroying a main battle tank is a blow to deterrence. The tank's reputation of invincibility has now been shattered and makes the conflict appear even more like Lebanon.

The Merkava is the main battle tank in service with the Israeli armed forces. The first Merkava 1 tanks were supplied to the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) in 1979. Production of the Merkava 1 continued up to 1983, when the IDF began to receive the Merkava 2. The Merkava 2 had features like improved mobility, fire control system and armour, as well as the inclusion of an internal 60 mm mortar. Production of Merkava 2 continued until 1990 when it was superseded by the Merkava 3.

The Merkava 3 - the third generation in a line of tanks has been specifically designed to meet the operational demands of the IDF.  It is considered to be the most protected tank and the last time a crewmember was killed in a Merkava was in southern Lebanon about five-and-a-half years ago, when the tank was hit by an anti-tank missile. At that time the development team was asked to provide an answer and even now they may be asked for the answer.  But what about the action?

Israel Radio reported that in Thursday's attack, the tank's turret was blown off, landing several meters away, and that the blast gouged a 1.5-meter hole in the ground. The earlier generation of Merkava used the Hydraulic systems which were susceptible to impact damage and cause a fire hazard. So the electro-hydraulic turret control system installed on the Merkava Mark -1 and -2 was replaced by a totally electrical and electronic system in the Merkava Mark-3 for increased survivability and safety. Either the gunner or the commander operates the turret control system. Such a tank was blasted by the Palestinians.

The tank's protective shell is one of the most closely guarded secrets. In order to increase the tank's chance of survival against bombs or mines that detonate alongside or underneath it, or against hits by anti-tank missiles, an especially thick armor was developed to cover the Merkava. In some parts of the tank, that armor is almost one-meter thick. The Palestinians precisely detonated  the bombs below the tank to blow it off. Are the Palestinians so perfect to find some loopholes or soft spots in the tank.  Oh !!  then the we need Merkava - 4 to be inducted as soon as possible.

Need of fourth generation Merkava and change of  tactics

The Merkava  4 has begun series production and IDF has already begun to equip itself with the best tanks in the world.  It includes a new compressed gas recoil system and thermal sleeve for the 120mm gun. This is to enable the firing of enhanced kinetic energy ammunition, and new ballistic armour. Both the gun and armour are being supplied by Israeli Military Industries. A new fire control system has been developed by Electro Optics Industries (EL-OP).

Merkava 4  has more features than its three predecessors in the "Merkava" series and can be truly called as fourth generation tank.  Its advanced protective systems are capable of preventing the penetration of mortal shells and anti-tank missiles. Its sensors are capable of detecting the launch of such missiles in advance, including laser-guided missiles. The Merkava 4 is also capable of firing guided shells, meaning, shells capable of changing their course after they have been fired.

But with new arms and ammunition being added to Defence forces, the IDF doctrine of moving into Palestinian Authority areas with impunity based on its heavy armor has to be urgently reviewed. US had started  war on terrorism with rigorous bombing of Afghanistan and not by moving tanks and troops from the Afghan borders. Israel needs to now use the strategy of air-raiding the PA controlled area and not just making (deep) incursions as and when they get struck by terrorists. The armed "in and out" policy of IDF  needs to be reviewed. 

Series of Jail Break(downs) carried out by terrorists with the help of PA

Recently in the West Bank city of Hebron, 500 Palestinians stormed a jail and released 10 Islamic terrorists in the third such incident in past few days, raising the doubts that Palestanian Authority are on one hand arresting terrorists and releasing them using other hand(s).  Palestanian Police fired into the air to disperse about 200 people who thronged the gates of the compound and threw stones, shouting "Set them free". Israel now has to face more  attacks, since more Islamic terrorists are set free. 

Recently the use of  home-made "Qassam" rockets on Israeli targets have also increased. Israel should not be surprised if the terrorists use "Katyusha" rockets in future. Carrying out one Operation Noah's Ark and capturing one "Karine-A" does not mean that terrorist will not import them from other routes. Be warned Israel!!!  Palestanians want PIECE and NOT PEACE.  Hence the best strategy for Israelis is to strike with minimum casualty.

The incidences occurring in India, Israel  and many more incidences at an International level, gives us a clear story of how Islamic terrorists are spreading Jihad at a very rapid pace. World  needs to know that the common threat to human survival is to deal with the International Terrorism, Islamic Terrorism being the worst of all.  

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