It’s not often we bash the IDF for actions not befitting one of the best armies in the world, but every now and then, something breaks in the space-time continuum, and out comes some horrendously amateurish thing from the IDF.
This time, it’s a video celebrating 35 years of the Merkava tank.
Sure, these videos are mostly intended for foreign fans of the IDF, but misstating facts and using incorrect images shows incompetence and amateurism in the IDF multimedia and social media departments. And they are the face of the IDF and the State of Israel.
The following frames were grabbed from the video:
Let’s get the facts right: no tank is indestructible. Saying so is not only idiotic, it is also vanity and hubris. During the 2nd Lebanon war, 51 Merkava tanks were hit with anti-tank weapons, with 24 of them penetrating the hull, and on 11 occasions with lethal results. In all, 23 tank crew members were killed, and another 25 were injured. Sure, most of those were in the older Mk, II and Mk, III, but also MK. IV (then without the TROPHY APS, a sophisticated active protection system that has proved effective since deployment).
Made in Israel, yes, but the engine is German.
That is an M-109 self-propelled artillery gun, not a tank, and certainly not a Merkava.
Speed figure (on an open paved road, by the way) is one of the most irrelevant aspects of modern armour warfare. Figures like numbers built, weight, crew size, armour type and thickness, armaments, rate of fire and capacity, and operational range are much more relevant for a quick summary of the machine.
Though this time it is a tank, it’s an up-armoured M-60 MBT called Magach-7, not a Merkava
While the fire control system can track moving objects and in general fire on a helicopter, it is but a meaningless anecdote about the advanced fire control system.
The Merkava tank is what gives Israel a qualitative military edge over our adversaries. Its constant upgrades and advancements over the past 35 years have greatly improved its firepower and crew survivability in scenarios unique to Israel. However, hailing its history with kindergarten-like quarrels is gratuitous.
I’m sorry, these types of videos shouldn’t pass the editor, let alone high ranking officers in charge of the IDF’s public image.