Merkava Mark IV is first publicly introduced and seen in Yad La-Shiryon during Israeli Independence Day celebrations in 2002. The Mark IV is the most recent upgrade of the Merkava main battle tank and has been in development since 1999. The upgrade's development was announced in an October 1999 edition of the Bamachaneh ("At the Camp") military publication. However, new Merkava Mark IIIs continued to be produced until 2003. The first Merkava IVs were in production in limited numbers by the end of 2004. In 2014 it was reported, that Israel will export a number of these tanks to an undisclosed customer. Currently the Merkava Mk. IV is among the ten best main battle tanks in the world when compared with other nations' MBTs on paper.
In-gameis tank is extremely heavily armored on the front and is arguably one of the hardest tanks tier-for-tier to destroy in the game. However, the weaknesses of the Merkava are the lower glacis where the engine is located, the rear armor which is substantially weaker than the front and sides (especially on the rear of the hull), and the slow reload speed. Still, it can fire all types of ammunition and is an absolute bear to kill from the front, even without any upgrades. One of the biggest cons is that the reload speed is very long, at 4.3 seconds (which is maxed, the stock reload speed is frustratingly slow). This means that in close quarters combat, the Merkava is prey for fast-reloading tanks such as the Leopard 2, Type 10 and K2 Black Panther. But, the Merkava's gun deals absolutely devastating damage, so almost all tanks that it meets can be taken out in only a couple hits or so. Its anti-tank missiles also have some gargantuan damage tacked to them as well, with all tanks that it encounters only needing two missiles guaranteed to destroy them if both missiles manage to damage them. The best role to use this tank on the battlefield is to act in the supporting role as a "meat-shield", or a tank that absorbs the damage from shots coming in from enemies that would potentially hit other teammates. The Merkava also works great as a sniper, although sniping is not really recommended nor admired by other players due to the fact that such health and armor that the vehicle possesses should not be wasted by sitting in an area that is far from the main fight.
The Merkava was also considered one of the vehicles to be used in the variant modifications concept though it never fell through.
Pros and Cons
- Incredible survivability, with both a huge health pool and amazing armor
- Upper glacis is extremely angled, absolutely guaranteed to ricochet shots (from the same ground level)
- Turret is excellently angled from both the front and the sides, almost always bounces shots, great for going in a hull-down position
- Very powerful gun, with amazing penetration values and great accuracy
- Reactive armor
- Active trophy system
- Lower glacis is vulnerable, engine fires up very frequently
- Rear of hull is also very vulnerable, ammo rack gets damaged easily when shot here
- Reload is very long, DPM is the lowest out of all main battle tanks at the highest levels (only beating the TR-85 Bizonul)
- Huge profile, sides are easy shots due to it being so tall