The Israel Defense Forces have released images of a recently conducted exercise showing a new Ofek Command vehicle which based on Merkava Mk.2 tank platform.
The Ofek is an armored command vehicle based on the Merkava Mk.2 tank chassis. The new vehicle developed as part of the upgrade program for ageing Merkava Mk.2 fleet.
It is designed as a command post vehicle it was also can use for other roles. Also, Ofek could provide means to receive information, analyze and transmit data, and control forces carrying out combat missions.
Military experts told that the new vehicle it also maintains continuous digital or voice communications with all platoon elements within its area of responsibility, forward observers, fire support teams and higher headquarters.
The new Ofek command vehicle is fitted with large superstructure on top of the hull with flexible cage armor for additional protection against RPG-7 anti-tank rounds. The entire additional kit is hidden by a special lightweight add-on armour.
The vehicle is well protected against direct fire and artillery splinters.
Production of the Merkava Mk.2 tanks commenced in 1983 and ceased in 1989. A total of 580 of these tanks were built. The Merkava Mk.2 saw action during a number of local wars, where it proved itself well. This tank is still in service, even though it is considered out-dated.