Perhaps this for your Puma question? There is no mention of what variant it is, the caption is “and a Puma armoured combat engineering vehicle, November 2023.”
And another (right) with the box like structure oriented a different direction?
the yellow areas what are they?
Answer, thanks to gtdeath13
Appears to be a later addition to the AEV version of the mine clearing vehicle. These vehicle pictured don’t have the large box on the rear which stores the mine clearing charges. There are many photos in gtdeath13’s extensive thread that shows the AEV with the larger rear box without this yellow high lighted apparatus as well. The Hobby Boss AEV kit does not have the yellow highlighted apparatus either.
It is still quite possible that the association of the mine clearing box and the yellow high lighted gear aren’t related as well so we will wait for one of the experts to let us know if they can, OPSEC being what it is and all.
I couldn’t read through the full history of posts on Merkavas yet, but I was wondering if there is a comprehensive visual guide on all the subvariants of Merkava II, III and IVs somewhere on the interwebs?
Don’t know about the webs, but Desert Eagle Publishing released a series of books focusing on a large number of IDF vehicles, including the Merkavas and their evolution.
There is also a book on Mk1 and Mk2 wrecks title “THeir Last Path” which is a must in any IDF Modeler’s book collection.
Full disclosure: these books are on the expensive side, so get ready to shell out some shekels for them, but they’re worth the price IMO.
Yes, I would love to complete the Desert Eagle Merkava series one day, but at this point, some of the books are as difficult to find as the Holy Grail or you need a second mortgage to afford them
With all the new photos unfortunately coming out right now, I just wanted a quick online reference to confirm my identification guesses…
Thanks for the links Bill ! Many pics to browse through…
Larger version of a picture recently posted…
Israeli infantry soldiers from the 55th Brigade of paratroopers with light weapons as they train in a live fire exercise outside the Tze’elim base in southern Israel near the Gaza Strip border on November 20, 2023 along with Merkava tanks from the armor corps, which spews a white smoke to provide cover for the ground troops. October 7, 2023
Denizp, I hear you. I have been searching for the same information. What I found useful was to type in Merkava in the search feature on Armorama and you will get enough information about the specific Merkava tanks as you’d ever want, but it will take you time. I did find (and apologize that I cannot re-find) these beautiful builds in one of my searches that helped me to ID at east three of the garden variety Merkava’s. There are so many versions and sub versions but I just wanted to see which marks were being used in the many photos of te Iron Sword thread. If you find a guide on how to ID Merkava tanks I’d like to see it, then Puma’s, Namers etc etc.
On Merkava types (I will not post photos so as not to spam this thread):
Does it have a 105mm gun? Merkava 1 or 2
Can you see a mortar on the right side of the turret? Merkava 1. Merkava 1 also has a small auxiliary exhaust of the the left side of the hull, above the third road wheel
- Does it have smoke launchers on the turret? Merkava 1 Hybrid.
Does it have the mortar in front of the loader’s hatch on the turret roof? Merkava 2
- Does it have extra armor on the turret and engine deck? Merkava 2 Dalet.
Does it have a 120mm gun? Merkava 3 or 4
There are three types of Merkava 3.
- Merkava 3 Ramak. First production run, the easiest way to tell is that the gunner’s sight housing is not much taller than the turret roof and that the loader’s hatch is not round but half round. There is also a different sight in front of the commander’s hatch, similar to the Merkava 2. Turret has vertical sides.
- Merkava 3 Baz. Round loader’s hatch, the gunner’s sight is taller than the turret roof, the sight in front of the commander has a round housing. Turret has vertical sides.
- Merkava 3 Dor Dalet. Extra armor on the turret. Two styles of armor, the early one is stepped and the later one is not. The step is in the middle of the armor module on each side along the length of the turret.
Merkava 4. Easiest way to tell is the turret smoke launchers that are fitted on the turret armor and not on square housings like earlier variants.
Early variant that does not have the loader’s hatch. It was installed later.
Merkava 4M has the Trophy system.
Latest variant of the 4 is the Barak but I do not know much details yet.
Of course there are designations such A,B,C etc amongst the variants but I have very little understanding of what distinguishes them and the differences could only be internal.
A great place to post this thread would be in the Reference by Subject Forum, with lots and lots of pics.
I will make a bit post with photos later.
To be clear, the early Merkava Mk.1 have two exhaust ports. One on each side of the tank, and narrow side grille- this is only an outlet of hot air from engine compartment. Later one called sometimes “hybrid” have a large side grille like Mk.2 and now it is used not only as hot air outlet but also as an engine exhaust. Both small exhaust holes are now welded.
Thanks so much for these details! I am even perplexed with what “official” sub-variant names of the Merkavas are vs. modeller or reference-book assigned names. What I am calling official variants are (and I don’t know if Israeli tanks have data plates), but does any plate or warning exist on some of these sub-variants that distinguished them for, at least, the maintenance people? Otherwise, it sounds like someone is just adding letters until they exhaust the alphabet, then they move to two-word acronyms.
SOme action screen grabs from FOX News of Merkava Mk.4M tanks engaging Hamas positions inside Gaza.
Looks like a Mk4-4 LIC.
Caterpillar D9R Armored Bulldozer and Namer HAPC.
From MSNBC News:
This one is a Merkava Mk.4-4 LIC.
Nikos’s thanks for both your Puma efforts and your excellent tutorial on how to determine which Merkava is which, they seem to be using a few types in the Gaza battles. I will need to keep your list of points handy while I’m hunting for photos of the conflict. If you do make a post on the Reference by Subject Forum as Gino suggests please be sure to make a good obvious link for it here so we can navigate back and forth which is what will inevitably happen.
Another use for rifle cleaning flanelette.