Photo of the Day: Israeli Mystery Tank

All we know about this Israeli vehicle is that it some sort of proof of concept vehicle dating from the period of 1999-2003.  Light tanks are not a category that the IDF has traditionally been all that excited about. (source)


Update: A google image search led us to this post from the For the Record blog which sources the photo to this Hebrew language book.


  1. I translated the article (I speak Hebrew) in short summary:


    Work on a light tank started alongside the Merkava 4 development, The project leader was given 20 months, but he said he doesn’t need that much and said it will be done in 10.

    They tried first with the Achzarit engine, but it was too big and there was a huge movement of air, so in a brilliant change they moved the radiator from it’s natural place by the engine to instead underneath the fighting compartment (!).

    Yochiam Herpaz (the project leader) then went to Ashot-Ashkelon to ask for their help, and they put the contract price for it to him. He explained that he wouldn’t be able to afford it, but they helped him anyways for free due to their appreciation of him.

    They worked without rest throughout the months, and towards the end the schedule became insane. By the last day, they did more work in that day that any other project would have demanded a week to do. But they had it ready for Mantak to inspect.

    The prototype was transferred to the Palmahim testing site, but the project leader Yohiam had no patience for the testing measures there or the lead tester, and instead demanded that the prototype be sent to the Golan to meet his own testing requirements instead, and so it was done!

    During the testing, the hatch became dislodged. Protocols of course demanded that it be towed and transported back to the repair hangar for repairs. However, this would have delayed the testing. Instead, Yohiam took the responsibility upon himself for the movement of the prototype as usual, and instead chained the hatch with a metal chain to the turret and completed testing that way, which was done successfully. The time from the beginning of the project to the end of successful testing took an incredible less than 7 months!!!


    There is nothing further listed. Actually the book is quite incredible, and is a huge insight into the Merkava development and capabilities, thanks for bringing it to my attention.


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