The Merkava ("chariot") is a main battle tank used by the Israel Defense Forces. The tank began development in 1970, and entered official service in 1979. Four main variants of the tank have been deployed. It was first used extensively in the 1982 Lebanon War. The name "Merkava" was derived from the IDF's initial development program name. The Mark II was first introduced into general service in April 1983. While fundamentally the same as the Merkava Mark I, it incorporated numerous small adjustments as a result of the previous year's incursion into Lebanon. The new tank was optimized for urban warfare and low intensity conflicts, with a weight and engine no greater than the Mark I. Mark IID, with modular composite armor on the chassis and turret, allowing rapid replacement of damaged armor.
- All hatches can be built open or closed
- Link and length style tracks included
- Tracks assembly jig included
- Photo-etched parts included
- Four types of markings