A Brief History of the Israeli Defense Force IDF Sho't Kal Gimel 1982 Tank

3 July 2014 by

Every so often we come across model kits that are a little different to our current ranges, and are interesting enough to prompt you into doing some research into their history. Recent examples include the Soviet Aerosan, and the Apollo Saturn V Space Rocket. The latest model to this list is the AFV Club IDF Sho't Kal Gimel 1982 tank, a realistic 1:35 scale model of the original.

Sho't Kal tanks entered service within the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) in 1970. Their number was over 1000 before the Yom Kippur War broke out in 1973. Most of the Sho't kal tanks were deployed in armour brigades located in northern Israel. When the war broke out on 6th October 1973, IDF 188th and 7th armor divisions defended Golan Height and held the surprise attack of Syrian armor divisions. During four days of battles in Golan Heights, IDF lost about 200 Sho't Kal tanks and caused Syrian forces heavy losses. But most importantly it bought precious time for regrouping reserve troops and preparing counter attacks.

After the Yom Kippur War ended, IDF received M60A3 and Mercava Mk.1 tanks and still continually upgraded Sho't kal tanks which were still in service. Control mechanisms of the turret were upgraded in 1976, and it was called Sho't Kal B (Sho't Cal Bet) after this upgrade. After going through a series of battles, IDF established their tank design standards which emphasized personnel protection. Consequently, Sho't Kal tanks were later equipped with explosive reactive armour (ERA) which was very effective against shape charge warheads called Sho't Kal C (Sho't Gimel). It was the first time that ERA was used in the battlefield in 1982 Lebanon War. In the urban battles of Beirut, many Sho't Kal tanks were hit by rocket-propelled grenades (RPG) and they still maintained their combat capabilities because of protection of explosive reactive armor. In 1984 Sho't Kal tanks with upgraded explosive reactive armour were called Sho't Kal D ( Sho't Kal Dalet) and they served in IDF until late 1980s.

IDF Sho't Kal tank