Israeli industry has a long history of various modifications tanks acquired in the Big Five, and supplies armored vehicles for their own needs.
This was due to the fact that a small country, which has no significant financial and industrial resources, difficult to start production of tanks from scratch. That all changed in 1979 when the Israeli army unveiled the new main battle tank, named "Merkava" (Hebrew - "Chariot").
Early modification "Merkava" were armed with guns of 120 mm British design. On later models appeared guns of the same caliber, but designed and manufactured in Israel. The single most important part of the tank received from abroad, is an American diesel engine.
main feature "Merkava" tank makes this particularly interesting is the placement of the engine in the front of the chassis, and the tower - in the back. This "Merkava" differs from almost all models of tanks built after the First World War. Today has become familiar with the layout of the engine to the rear of the hull and turret in the middle. Solution Israeli designers to place in front of the engine by a desire to provide additional protection for the crew.