In 1947, Israel’s low population but high level of education meant its citizens could train and organize a national army fairly quickly. Manpower limitations also meant the Israeli Army tended to gravitate towards it’s logically advanced, high firepower forces, and become more proficient at them than its neighbors.
Much like the Israeli Air Force, the Israeli Army came from humble—but more established—beginnings.
Israel’s ground forces had their origins in the Haganah, a Zionist paramilitary force created in the early 1920s to protect Jewish interests.
Since then, the Israeli Army has seen combat every decade since its founding. It has fought numerous wars in defense of Israel, and embarked on numerous punitive expeditions into the Sinai, Lebanon, Gaza and the West Bank.
Here are five Israeli army weapons of war that no one in the Middle East would certainly want to tangle with in a fight:
Merkava Main Battle Tank:
The Merkava is Israel’s first and only indigenous main battle tank. The tank was especially designed for Israeli tank doctrine: low to the ground, with a powerful gun, the Merkava even had the engine placed in the front of the tank to provide protection to the crew. Merkava made an excellent defensive tank, well suited to defending against Egyptian armored formations on the Sinai or Syrian forces on the Golan Heights.
Merkava tanks were some of the first armored vehicles to be equipped with active protection systems against guided missiles. Israel has built just over 2,000 Merkavas in all versions, with 660 of the latest Mark IV built.
Spike Missile System:
The Spike Missile is Israel’s one-design-fits-all anti-tank guided missile system. The Spike SR (Short Range) system is a single shot, disposable missile system like the old American LAW. Spike has a thermal seeker, tandem shaped charge warhead (for defeating reactive armor) and a range of 800 meters.
Spike is mounted on everything from ground vehicles to Seraph (Apache) helicopters, naval vessels, and drones. It can be used against tanks and armored vehicles, ships, aircraft, and even individual high value terrorist targets.
Israel defense system.
Namer Armored Personnel Carrier:
Namer infantry fighting vehicle is an early model Merkava Mk.1 tank with the turret and main gun removed, and an enormous amount of armor applied to the front glacis, sides and side skirts. A Namer weighs roughly as much as a Merkava before modifications, a testament to the amount of armor that has been added.
About 120 Merkavas have been converted into Namers, enough to equip about three battalions. Namer has a crew of three, including driver, remote weapons station operator, and commander. It can carry nine infantrymen.
Tavor Assault Rifle:
Israel’s second generation indigenous rifle, Tavor is the standard infantry weapon of the IDF. A futuristic looking rifle, the Tavor’s bullpup design—wherein the magazine is located in the buttstock—makes for a compact design while still retaining a rifle-length barrel.
“Smasher” Multiple Rocket Launcher:
The “Smasher” rocket launcher is actually the American M270 MRLS. A mainstay of the U.S. Army’s artillery branch, the M270 was developed in the 1970s as part of the “Big 5” of weapons systems that would transform the Army. Based on a modified M2 Bradley chassis, the “Smasher” carries twelve 227-millimeter rockets. A three vehicle battery can send 23,184 cluster munitions downrange in one minute, saturating at one kilometer by one kilometer area.
Israel has 48 “Smasher” systems. Currently Israel is limited to rockets with a 40 kilometer range, but new 150 kilometer range rockets are in the pipeline. Such rockets will give Israeli artillery, positioned in Haifa, the ability to strike....See More