New IDF tank shells_370.
(photo credit: IMI)
In an effort to improve its ability to accurately target terrorists hiding
inside homes, the IDF will receive new tank shells developed to penetrate
reinforced targets in the coming weeks.
Such a capability is believed to
be crucial for the IDF as it faces future conflicts with Hezbollah and Hamas,
both terrorist groups which embed themselves within civilian infrastructure,
according to the military.
Called M339, the new 120 mm. shell was
developed by Israel Military Industries together with the IDF Ground Forces
Command. It can be fired by Merkava Mk 3 and Mk 4 tanks at extended ranges. The
shell explodes only after it penetrates a target and then releases thousands of
The M339 is the second new tank shell purchased by the
IDF in the past year. It joins the Kalanit – which was recently deployed in
tanks stationed along the border with the Gaza Strip – and is unique in its
ability to explode midair over terrorists hiding behind various obstacles such
as boulders or vehicles.
In related news, the IDF has taken delivery of a
new IMI-developed hand grenade with special safety mechanisms to prevent it from
exploding even if shot or set on fire.
Called M26IM, the new grenade has
two safety measures in addition to the standard pin that is pulled by the
operator but is the same size of the standard grenade issued until now within
The grenade was developed by IMI after Maj. Eliraz Peretz, a
deputy battalion commander in the Golani Brigade, was killed in a firefight with
Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip. During the firefight, one of the
grenades in Peretz’s vest was hit by a bullet and exploded, killing him.