Israel's Ministry of Defense and the Israel Defense Forces unveiled the Merkava 5, its fifth-generation high-tech tank. The tank is nicknamed "Barak," which means lightning in Hebrew.
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant praised the new tank as representing a technological leap forward, while maintaining the IDF's high level of quality.
"The innovative era that brings with it the Barak tank to the IDF is an exceptional leap forward and a clear expression of the IDF's technological abilities which time and again guarantee its qualitative advantage," Gallant said.
Like the American-produced F-35 Air Force platform, the Israeli-produced Merkava 5 tank is a fifth-generation high-tech vehicle.
The tank took five years to develop and is the result of close cooperation between the Israeli Defense Ministry and key players in the Israeli defense industry.
Israel has incorporated the latest technology into the new tank, including artificial intelligence, which reportedly optimizes Merkava 5's intelligence reporting and firepower capabilities.
The late IDF General Israel Tal and tank engineer Yisrael Tiltan are usually credited for the development of the Merkava tank, considered one of the world's leading tanks.
The first generation of Merkava tanks was first produced in the late 1970s and entered service during the First Lebanon War in the early 1980s. Since then, the Merkava tank has undergone dramatic technological developments and earned praise from military experts for its focus on crew safety.
In June, Israel reported that it would export hundreds of older Merkava tanks to unnamed European countries.
While Israel declined to name the specific countries, Yair Kulas, head of IDF's International Defense Cooperation Directorate, hinted that Ukraine could be one of the export markets.
"European countries are helping Ukraine and supplying it with systems. The stocks in those countries are being emptied, they are renewing them by purchasing more modern and up-to-date systems, and this is where Israeli industries come into the picture," Kulas said.
This article originally appeared on All Israel News and is reposted with permission.