to promote tanks to ‘European nation’

64 to promote tanks to ‘European nation’

Merkava autos value “tens of millions of shekels” could exchange NATO panzers despatched to Ukraine

Israel is negotiating the sale of older Merkava tanks to 2 unnamed international locations, one in all which is in Europe, the protection ministry in West Jerusalem revealed on Thursday. The deal is the primary of its sort and is anticipated to come back by throughout the subsequent three months, if authorised by the US.

“There are two potential international locations with which we’re holding superior negotiations. I’m barred from naming them, however one is on the European continent,” Yair Kulas, the pinnacle of the Israeli Protection Ministry’s directorate for worldwide cooperation (SIBAT), advised the finance outlet Calcalist.

Kulas defined that many European international locations have emptied their arsenals to provide Ukraine, and search to replenish them with extra trendy techniques, “which is the place Israeli industries come into the image.” Producing tanks takes time, so it’s simpler to purchase them used, he added.

“There’s a potential of a number of hundred million shekels there,” stated Kulas, which might translate into tens of tens of millions of {dollars}. On Wednesday, the Israeli Ministry of Protection reported $12.5 billion in weapons gross sales for 2022, amounting to an all-time file.

In keeping with the outlet YNet, the deal entails round 200 “orphaned” tanks retired from energetic service and gathering mud at upkeep depots. The Ministry of Protection meant to dismantle them and promote them for scrap iron when the escalation of hostilities in Ukraine final 12 months drastically modified the scenario on the worldwide weapons market. Israeli inspectors checked on the tanks and located them “serviceable sufficient to be offered.”

The Instances of Israel reported that the deal is “on the verge of a last signature” and is anticipated to be accomplished inside about three months.

Israel has beforehand exported the Merkava to 1 worldwide shopper. In July 2022, the Philippines acquired two armored bridge-layer (AVLB) items, primarily based on the Merkava IV chassis. The sale of precise fight tanks could be with out precedent, and the primary for any European operator. 

The tanks in query are Mark II and Mark III fashions, because the Israeli Protection Pressure at present operates primarily the Mark IV, with Mark V beginning to enter service. The Pentagon’s blessing is required as a result of the tanks’ engines and a number of other different elements are American-made.

The Merkava (“chariot”) is an Israeli design developed domestically within the Nineteen Seventies, utilizing the teachings of wars with Egypt and Syria. All variations have the engine within the entrance, with the turret set again and a preventing compartment opening to the rear, enabling dual-use as an infantry service. It’s designed particularly for city fight and crew survivability.

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