New tank shells can penetrate reinforced targets

Such a capability is believed to be crucial for the IDF as it faces future conflicts with Hezbollah and Hamas.

April 16, 2012 03:34
1 minute read.
New IDF tank shells

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.

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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 lethal fragments.

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 IDF.

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.

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