The Merkava, or Chariot, was the first tank entirely designed and built by the Israeli Army. The IDF had previously been using a variety of vehicles, acquired from various sources, including in particular the Sherman and Centurion. The Merkava was designed specifically for the type of warfare and opponents that Israel faced. The resulting tank was heavily armoured and packed a powerful 105mm main gun backed up with a digital fire control system and laser range-finder. This title examines the development and deployment of the Merkava, investigating the changing technical aspects of the various marks, creating a useful and comprehensive study of Israel's most formidable tank.
About the Author
Sam Katz was born in 1963, and joined the Israeli Defence Forces in 1981. He served in a dual capacity in the HEYL HAYAM during the conflict in Lebanon in 1982, his particular assignments allowing him to gather first-hand impressions of two different major aspects of IDF operations. He is the co-author of several books on the IDF and related Middle Eastern topics. His particular interest lies in the development of IDF elite and counter-terrorist units. He is married, and lives in New York.