Israel's Secret Non-Tank Tank Now Non-Secret

Surprise! That Israeli tank just launched half a dozen ATGMs out the back of its turret.

No, I’m not making this up. Here’s StrategyPage with the details:

In June 2015 Israel declassified the fact that in the 1980s, as it began replacing its 500 American M48 and M60 tanks with the locally made Merkava, several dozen of the M60s were converted to ATGM (anti-tank guided missiles) carriers. These vehicles were called Pereh and looked like a regular M60. But the 105mm gun was a fake and the rear of the turret (the “bustle”) which normally contained 105mm ammo, electronics and some mechanical gear actually carried twelve Spike ATGMs. These are fire and forget missiles. The operator simply aims his sight at a target, fires the missile and the missile keeps homing in on the target even if it moves. Thus the operator can quickly (within a minute) fire several missiles at as many different targets. The 1980s Pereh Spike had a range of 2,500 meters while by the end of the century a 4,000 meter version was available.

Pereh would seek high ground and watch over the advance of gun-armed tanks below. Pereh could quickly supply a lot of additional firepower for any of the gun armed tanks that encountered a lot of resistance.

Very smart. Very cool. It’s basically the armored warfare version of the four Ohio-class nuclear missile subs which were retooled as SSGNs and carry a massive store of Tomahawk missiles, or the Soviet/Russian Kirov-class missile cruiser. The idea behind both was to put a lot of hurt up into the air, very quickly.

Only the Pereh gets the job done on land, camouflaged as a regular tank.