Where is the mortar on the Merkava IV? (Repost from general)

(Repost/update this from general, as I was advised this was a better place to ask the question.)

I am in the process (the long, long, looong process…*) of CAD modelling the Merkava IV. I am struggling to locate all the stated weapons in my various photo sources (which is mostly, admittedly, two walkarounds of the one from the Latrun Armor Museum.)

The main gun/50-cal and the commander’s MG are obvious; I surmise the slot to the left of the main gun is the coax MG.

The purported second MG pintle on the left side i’m unsure about - on several of my photos, there’s no gunner hatch (as appears on a couple of sources, though not on any I have actual photos of) , just another slab of modular armour.

http://svsm.org/gallery/merkava4/P1710710

I hazard a guess, then, that the second MG might not be used on later IVs (especially as it might seem to be in a place the couple of pictures of the Trophy system would seem to go).

I have no CLUE where the mortar hatch is. The closest clue I have was a diagram of the Merkava II, where the port was located on the right hand side of the main gun - but I can’t see an kind of apparture on the IV. Nor has my google searches turned up anything like a video or image of one firing the mortar or something, yet all the information I’ve found insists the IV does have one.

The only thing I can hazard at the moment is that is is maybe this little vaguely oval hatch smoke dischargers and the sensor pod on the left of this image…?

http://svsm.org/gallery/merkava4/P1710703

Can anyone shed any light on this for me?

*With the HIGHLY complex turret geometry, it might be the single most difficult model I’ve ever worked on, and that includes the IMR-2.

That is a walkaround of a very early/prototype Merkava IV.

Eearly MkIV did not have the loaders hatch nor did they equip an MG on the mantlet.

After some experience the IDF decided to install the MG on the mantlet and the loadr’s hatch (provision had been made during construction that if needed the hatch can be installed).

This version can also be seen with the LIC elements

In all Merkavas the internal 60 mm mortar is left to the gun, just forward the loader’s position.

In the Mk.4 the mortar is under this cover:

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I was half-right, then, it was changed, just in the opposite direction I thought.

Thanks, this sort of thing is good to know and it’s not always information that’s evident.

I’ll perhaps see what I can do about it (though it’ll have to be eye and a lot of guesswork, since the only walkarounds I’ve found of the IV were both from that same tank and I can only be as accurate as my sources.

(I assume it’s the same MG as on the other side?)

Thank you, that was what I was starting to suspect.

(Didn’t see a quote or multiply button, else I’d have done this in one post.)

Thanks, folks! I can carry on now with a much better idea of what I’m doing.

(Been doing this ten years now and I’m still learning about the intracacies - it was only just recently I came across a random video of the boxer and realised the driver’s vision block actually raises and lowers, which suddently explained why it looked like there were two different version on so many of the photos over the years!)

The mounts are different, but otherwise the MAGs (including the coax) are identical allowing to switch between them in case needed.

Thanks. That will make it a little easier, as I can work the gun off the more prevalent pictures of the commander’s mount. (I’m working in 144th for 3D printing, so there’s only so much you can do with MG mounts anyway.)

I have so very nearly done (at least as good a job as it’s going to get, this is officially the most difficult model I think I’ve ever done), but I cannot seem to find any pictures at all of the IV with the loader’s MG attached.
Even looking at model versions (secondary sources, but sometimes you have to go with what you can) with the Trophy system on (e.g. this one)

I can’t see a seemingly logical place where the MG would go. The presense of the sensor pod would suggest it can’t sit in front of the hatch.

Also, is there actually a single vision block to the left of the loader’s hatch? One model source seems to suggest there is, but that one (and one photo) doesn’t, but both of the latter are Trophy-equipped. (And the Trophy version is a job for another day…)

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I am confused, the Merkava IV does not have a station for a loader’s MG. Only a rack for a fire arm next to the hatch on the left

You’re right, I forgot for a second we’re talking about the Mk.4 here: even versions equipped with loader’s hatch don’t have an MG on the left side.

RIGHT.

(The armament information at least in wiki and one or two other places, it lumps all four together in one go and doesn’t say the IV doesn’t mount the second MG anymore.)

That would explain why I can’t find any pictures of it. That makes modelling it significantly easier, since I, y’know, don’t have to model it!

(And that means the block on the left here (on the only image I could find)

is probably said firearm rack, not a vision block?)

I have then, technically, finished the modelling stage at this point, then; “all” I have to do is force TurboCAD screaming into co-operating to assemble the damn thing, which it REALLY doesn’t want to do, and I can actually try printing it.

Much appreciated folks, as I say the Merkava IV has been driving me spare, but I can hopefully get it done by the end of my next work day. (With dubious optimism.)

No, this is just a feature added to the vehicles with loader’s hatch and I think one of the LIC features, it is not a vision port nor a gun mount, looks like a small shield to protect the loader’s head.

The mount is the long plate with the straps

And here is a close up of the ir/laser sensor

Uploading: mer4_025.jpg… Uploading: merkava%20mk-iii%20project%20300resized.jpg… Uploading: recup 071-2-2010 (131).jpg…

These are the rifle-racks, although they don’t seem to be used much these days.

Right. Thanks. I think I did the one on the right hand side, as it was on the drawings and photos I was using, but not the left, so I should be able to add that quite easily tomorrow.