Morocco is preparing to receive Israeli tanks of the Merkava type

Morocco is preparing to receive Israeli tanks of the Merkava type

Israeli tanks of the Merkava 2 and Merkava 3 type reinforce the Moroccan military arsenal. Next to Cyprus, Morocco is the first customer to acquire these machines.

Just after the acquisition of the Israeli SpyX kamikaze drones, the reinforcement of the Moroccan military arsenal continues. Another cooperation between Morocco and Israel is under development.

Indeed, Morocco is preparing to receive Israeli tanks of the Merkava type. Since 1980, these armored vehicles have been designed to meet the military needs of IDF, and they have evolved and strengthened over time, but they have never been sold to a foreign country. Morocco, like Cyprus, is the first customer to acquire these tanks.

Recently, the Israeli army renovated its arsenal by gradually introducing Merkava 4 tanks, known for their performance and robustness. The new arms contract covers the potential sale of 200 Merkava 2 (MK 2) type vehicles, equipped with a 105 mm gun, and Merkava 3 (MK 3), introduced in the 1990s and retired from service since 2016.

A pillar of the Israeli army’s force, the Mk 3 is the first tank in the world to have modular composite armor. It is also the first tank in the Merkava series to be armed with a 120mm smoothbore gun. It has a magazine with five ammunition ready to be fired, located in an armored and waterproof barrel arranged on the floor. This system guarantees that no ammunition is in the open air inside the tank.

The Mk. 3 is powered by a Teledyne Continental supercharged air-cooled AVDS-1790-9AR diesel engine, featuring 12 cylinders arranged in a V and a displacement of 29.3 litres. It develops a nominal power of 1200 horsepower.

Just after the announcement by Yair Kulas, head of the International Cooperation Directorate of the Israeli Ministry of Defense, in the daily ” Times of Israel“, stating that ” the world is looking for defense systems, and production processes take time. Not everyone has time to wait… There are two potential countries we are conducting advanced negotiations with“. However, he added: I am forbidden to name them, but there is one on the European continent“.

This declaration put Ukraine as the first suspect that will receive this military assistance in order to help it in the Russian-Ukrainian war. However, a clarification from Dana Levi on twitter denounces any rumor circulating around this controversy. She pointed out that “theagreement on the export of Israeli Merkava-2/3 tanks has been announced: part of the deliveries will be made to Cyprus to replace the 41 T-80U/UK tanks transferred to the Ukrainian armed forces, and part will be destined for Morocco to compensate for the supply of T-72B. None will be transferred to Ukraine. This is one of the conditions set by Israel“.

Year after year, Israeli exports of military equipment accounted for around 3% of market share on a global scale. Yair Kulas clarified that the Israeli army plans to acquire more advanced defense systems. Thus, Israel is preparing to sell other surplus systems.


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