The Merkava Mk. II was first introduced into general service in April 1983. While fundamentally the same as the Merkava Mark I, it incorporated series of modifications arising from the combat experience in Lebanon the previous year. It was optimized for low intensity conflicts, and had a weight and engine no greater than the Mark I. It the same 105 mm main gun and 7.62 mm machine guns as the Mark I, but the 60mm mortar was relocated within the hull and configured for remote firing to remove the need to expose the operator to enemy small-arms fire. An Israeli-designed automatic transmission and increased fuel storage was installed on all further Mark IIs. Anti-rocket netting was fitted for increased survivability against infantry equipped with anti-tank rockets. Many minor improvements were made to the fire-control system, while new meteorological sensors, crosswind sensor, thermographic optics and image intensifiers gave greater visibility and battlefield awareness. The Mk. IIB was provided with new thermal optics and other improvements to the fire control system.
Takom’s Merkava Mk. I was an excellent kit and this Merkava Mk. IIB (ref. 2080) is based upon that. It consists of eight separate crisply moulded sprues in Takom’s usual light grey