View Full Version : New anti-personal tank round stops in the air and explodes into six charges

08-17-2009, 03:14 PM
Within the next few months, one of the Armored Corps battalions will receive the first Kalanit APAM shells for a trial week before the shells start being used. Israel Military Industries, the producer of the Kalanit, is currently producing hundreds of shells, some of which will be tested within the brigade and who will be the first to be equipped with the new sophisticated shell. The shell is expected to be in use by 2010, and all of the Merkava Mark III and Merkava Mark IV tanks of the Armored Corps will be equipped with it.

The Kalanit shell, which is suited for a 120 mm canon, was constructed mainly to function against hidden anti-tank operators and those rendering a normal shell ineffective. The Kalanit is shot above the anti-tank operator, stops in the air and explodes into six charges of different sizes, whose shrapnel seriously damages the operator and silences it.

The new shell is part of a series of tools the IDF is being equipped with in order to decrease the damaging of AFVs by anti-tank weapons. Among them are the Wind Coat, an active defense mechanism for tanks, which has recently entered service in an Armored Corps battalion, and the Spur Arrow, an active defense mechanism for IDF Namer infantry fighting vehicles, which is currently being developed.

The Kalanit shell was developed from the Rakefet APAM shell, which has been used in the Armored Corps for the past few years, and is suited for a 105 mm canon. The Kalanit, as opposed to the Rakefet, automatically receives the computerized location of the target. Once that takes place, the tank crew hits the target by pushing a button and the Kalanit will do the rest. When using the Rakefet, the tank crew has to identify the location of the target by itself before entering the chamber.

The automatic data identification allows the tank crew to keep the shell in the barrel constantly and fire it immediately, when necessary. Another advantage of the Kalanit resulting from that, is the possibility to change the shell’s assignment when it is already in the chamber.

While the Rakefet is constructed for 105 mm canon tanks like the Magach and the Merkava Mark II, the Kalanit can be used by the more developed tanks of the Armored Corps: the Merkava Mark III and the Merkava Mark IV. The Kalanit, which represents the spearhead in the field of munition worldwide, can be also be used to damage buildings, helicopters and other tools as well, through the different uses of the six charges in the shell. For the soldiers it only means pushing another button.