European country wants to buy Merkava tanks from Israel

By Arie Egozi

The US Department of Defense was asked by the Israeli Ministry of Defense to approve the export of old Merkava Mk 2 and Mk 3 to two foreign countries, including one in Europe.

“Following the war in Europe, several countries expressed interest in acquiring Merkava tanks from the IDF’s surplus. The discussions have not yet resulted in an agreement and await approval from the Ministry of Defense as well as the interested countries,” Israeli Ministry of Defense said in a statement.

These tanks, manufactured in Israel, have been decommissioned and are currently stored in various bases. Israel requires approval from the US due to the tanks being equipped with engines made in the US.

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) Armoured Corps currently operates the Markava Mk 4 tanks, and recently, an upgraded version informally known as Merkava Mk 5 has begun to be introduced into service.

Industry sources suggest that the enhanced Merkava 4 “Barak” (Lightning) will be equipped with an improved Trophy APS system produced by Rafael, along with a commander helmet that prioritises relevant data gathered by the tank’s sensors and other sources on the battlefield. The majority of the newly developed features for the upgraded version are highly classified.



Defence sources have indicated that if the sale of the old tanks is approved, the list of included systems will consist solely of unclassified ones. Israeli sources attribute the sudden demand for tanks to lessons learned from the war in Ukraine.

Over the past 15 months of the Ukrainian conflict, Russia has lost over 2,000 tanks. Israeli sources claim that the Russian tanks dispatched to Ukraine, particularly during the initial months of the war, were inadequately protected.”



Related news & articles

Latest news