Merkava MK. VIII Heavy Tank
Production information
Manufacturer Leopard Armor
Production Year 2465[1]
Mission Main Battle Tank
Type Tracked
Technical specifications
Mass 75 tons
Armor PanzerSlab
Engine Vlar 300 fusion engine
Speed 64 km/h
Crew 3
Communications System Teledon 11[2]
Targeting Tracking System Baltex K400[2]
Heat Sinks 10 single
BV (2.0) 879[3][4]


The Merkava (meaning "chariot" in Hebrew) was the main heavy tank of the Terran Alliance (and later Terran Hegemony), with variants of the venerable design in service continually from the late twenty-third century until the end of the twenty-sixth century.[5][6]


The Merkava is an ancient heavy battle tank design that started its service life with the Terran Alliance when the Mk I first deployed in 2294; after the formation of the Terran Hegemony in the early twenty-fourth century, the Merkava Mk. II became a key component of the Hegemony Armed Forces armored units[6] from its introduction in 2384.[5] The Merkava, produced by Leopard Armor of Terra, was deployed as a front line battle tank throughout the Age of War. The tank gained a kind of symbolic status during its service in the Terran Hegemony and had seen multiple revisions of its basic design over the course of the three centuries it was in service, with the last version produced by the Hegemony - the Mk VIII - finally ending production after being declared obsolete by the end of the Reunification War in 2597. By the time it was declared obsolete the Mk. VIII had been in service for over a century, having first been added to the HAF inventory in 2465.[6]

Perhaps the most important part the Merkava played in history was serving as the opposing force for the first BattleMech, the Mackie's live-fire combat trial. Four remote-controlled Merkava Mk VIs were destroyed in such a fashion as to shock the observers, sealing the BattleMech's rise to the position of king of the battlefield.[6]


The tank was produced by the Terran Alliance and Terran Hegemony until just before the formation of the Star League. It was retired from front-line service to the Hegemony militias and the surviving vehicles were finally cannibalized for parts—particularly the fusion engine—during the Succession Wars.[6]

After the discovery of the Hegemony Memory Core, the tank was revived during the first half of the Jihad thanks to its simple construction. Earthwerks Incorporated, in the Principality of Regulus, created makeshift factories to produce a new version of the tank, the Mk IX, on Tiber. The Regulan government had begun to deploy the Mk IX to the Regulan Hussars in large numbers by 3073.[6]

Weapons and Equipment[edit]

All of the Merkava's main weaponry is mounted in its turret. The tank's long-range weaponry includes a 15-tube long range missile launcher, with 16 volleys of fire. The tank's main gun is a Class 5 autocannon, which was given 20 rounds to feed it. For short-range defense, it has a single 4-tubed short range missile launcher, with 25 reloads. Finally, for anti-infantry work, the tank sports paired machine guns, one mounted on the turret, with the other located on the front; one hundred rounds are placed with the rest of the ammunition in the main body of the tank.[6]

The VIII variant mounts a 300-rated fusion engine (with ten heat sinks), giving the tank the respective speed (for its time period) of 64 km/h. Protecting the tank's hull is ten tons of standard armor, which is almost evenly spread around the tank and on the turret.[6]


  • Merkava Mk VI 
    The Mark VI was the last of the Merkava's internal combustion engine variants. Moving at a top speed of 54 km/h, it used an LRM-10 with a ton of reloads for long range fire support, but the rest of the weapons remained the same. The biggest problem was the armor protection: the Mk VI only carried four and a half tons of BAR 7 armor. This led to the tank's rapid destruction after the invention of the large laser. Several Mk VIs had their LRM launchers removed in order to produce a remote-control version of the tank used to test the prototype Mackie BattleMech in combat. BV (2.0) = 477[5]
  • Merkava Mk VII 
    Introduced in 2435, the Mark VII mounts a primitive fusion engine, which gave the tank a top speed of 54 km/h. It was also protected by primitive armor. The tank slightly differs from the Mark VIII version by having LRM 10 and SRM 2 launchers[6]. BV (2.0) = 636[7]




  1. MUL online date for the Merkava
  2. 2.0 2.1 Technical Readout: 3075, p. 174, "Merkava Mk. VIII Heavy Tank"
  3. Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged, p. 147
  4. Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged - Age of War, p. 54
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Experimental Technical Readout: Primitives, Volume 1, p. 13, "Merkava Mk. VI Heavy Tank"
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 Technical Readout: 3075, p. 174, "Merkava Mk. VIII Heavy Tank"
  7. Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged Age of War, p. 53
  8. Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged, p. 148
  9. Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged - Age of War, p. 55