Merkava-4 tank utilizes the Battle Management System (BMS) designed by Elbit Systems’ ElOp – the system is providing fast communication networking between the commander and subordinate units, and enables the crew to plan missions, navigate and continuously update their situation awareness. The system also enables recording and debriefing the operation, by utilizing the tank’s digital recorder. The Merkava Mk4 is equipped with the new VDS-60 digital data recorder produced by Vectop, it records and restores the sight images and observation data collected during the mission. The capture of such images can also be shared by other elements, which are networked with the BMS, to enable reporting of enemy targets. This concept is rapidly becoming an essential part of the “digitized land forces” integrated battlefield concept, combining tanks, anti-tank and combat helicopters in a combined task force at various levels. Each crew member has an individual flat-panel color displays showing the status of systems each member is responsible for. The gunner and commander can also see the sight images on their individual screens. The commander can use his display for map navigate, orientation and reporting.
For example, the driver can see a rear and side view of the tank from the closed compartment. This capability is derived from a new, and unique system called Tank Sight System, developed by Vectop. The system provides video coverage the tank’s surroundings in day and night. It improves safety, especially when traveling backwards and in conditions where the driver’s visibility is impaired. Merkava Mk 4 uses four cameras installed in hardened cases embedded outside the tank. These cameras are providing full peripheral view displayed on high resolution monitors installed at the driver’s position and in the fighting compartment.
Another feature provided by the “computerization” of the Merkava Mk4 is the introduction of “integrated training capability”, providing the crew and unit a sophisticated training environment based on their tanks and readily available in the field. This capability will be integrated with the “virtual scenario” a set of virtual terrain features, friendly and enemy elements, and “intelligent” behaviors based on pre-set maneuvers, doctrinal concepts etc. All will be presented to the tank crew, and unit members, through their observation systems, sights and sensors, to support a comprehensive training scene in the field.