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The Sh'ot-Kal tank is an Israeli MBT based on Centurion, but with a 105 millimeter gun barrel and an american diesel engine AVDS-1790 and added new transmission CD850 so that there is spares compatibility with other Israeli tanks like the M48 and M60 (Magach).

The vast majority of MBT on the Golan in 1973 were Shot-Kal (upgraded Centurion) as the IDF preferred them due to the harsh (lava) nature of the ground. The Patton series of tank were used in the south where the sandy terrain better suited torsion bar suspension and rubber block track. It was also recognised that any attack would be unidirectional (i.e. from Syria straight at the defensive lines rather than mobile attacks in the desert due to the terrain and minefields) which the frontal armour on Centurion was more likely to be resistant to than M48/M60. 109, M107, M50 howitzer Sherman, Soltam 160mm mortar, Centurion ARV, M113, CJ5 recce jeeps, tracks.

The big difficulty with the Shot is that as it has been in service so long, none is currently in its original configuration. Later in their operational lives Sh'ot Kal were prepared for the installation of ERA but most never actually had it fitted. The Shot-Kal Mk. D [also named "Brak-Or" ('lightning light' in Hebrew)] is tank is equipped with a thermal 'sleeve' on the gun tube, IS-10 smoke discharges and full BLAZER reactive add-on armor suit.

By 2002 the Centurion tanks had been retired from the IDF, after this tanks were in reserve forces (in late 1980's) because the Magach and Merkava (Mk1, Mk2, Mk3) tanks replace them in the battle field. But with the entry of Merkava Mk4 tanks the Centurion tanks were retired from the IDF.

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Page last modified: 09-07-2011 02:52:32 ZULU