The United States and Germany will arm the Ukrainian army with modern tanks in its war against the invasion of the Russian army.
The armament comes at the height of the freezing European winter.
Against this background, we checked with the experts what would happen if Israel joined the West and sent Merkava tanks to the Ukrainian army.
Would the Israeli armored vehicles have performed well even in the winter weather?
Col. (Retd.) Ronen Itzik, who previously served as commander of the Harel Armored Brigade, explains that the chariot tank is suitable for the European arenas, although according to him it may be necessary to adapt parts of its automatic system.
Also adapted to a harsh winter, photo: Eyal Margolin/Gini
"When discussing the Chariot tank, one must understand what is the battlefield for which the Israeli Chariot tank was designed. In this context, the main and defining idea of the Chariot tank is combat in terrain conditions with difficulty of passage, with an emphasis on the basalt ground of the Golan Heights, both on the Israeli side and on the Syrian side. This, the tank was designed to move even in the harsher weather conditions of the north of the country. This is the logic of the tank and it was adapted to this in all its systems (when talking about Merkava Mark 3 and Mark 4 tanks)," says Col. (Rest.) Itzik.
"In this respect, the Chariot tank also knows how to deal with the road and weather conditions of Europe. Although it may be necessary to make some changes in its automation system, but beyond that - the tank is also very suitable for the European arena. In general, even from a global perspective, the Chariot tank is one of the five leading tanks In the world. In this respect, the Merkava tank does not fall in quality from the Leopard 2 tank, which the Ukrainians are going to accept is also a very good tank."
Col. (resp.) Ronan Itzik, photo: Michel dot Kom
General (Ret.) Gershon HaCohen, who commanded the armored brigades, also believes that there is no problem with the Merkava tanks operating in the European arena and being able to cope with the frosty conditions of Eastern Europe.
"It is true that the tank is an Israeli development, but its engine, the tank's propulsion system, is an engine that is produced in Germany and is therefore also adapted to the conditions of the European battlefield," points out General (Ret.) HaCohen, "therefore, despite the severe frost conditions, the tanks are supposed to operate on this battlefield in a manner effective".
Major General (res.) Gershon HaCohen, photo: Yehuda Peretz
Alongside this, the former senior officer emphasizes that even if Israel could send tanks, it must not do so for reasons of state secrets.
"Our tanks have a lot of very special systems like a wind jacket and more. That's why it would be very bad if such a tank fell into the hands of the Russians. They would learn our secrets. Only for this reason and not as a political party, it is inappropriate for Israel to send tanks to Ukraine, even if it could do so ".
According to Gershon HaCohen, "The recent war proves how much armored combat vehicles and tanks are needed even on the modern battlefield. Soldiers cannot go without protection in an area hit by artillery and missiles, therefore even today we need heavy weapons on the battlefield, and this is in contrast to all those who have already eulogized the tanks on the modern battlefields." .
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