Merkava Mk IV MBT (photo : Military Today)
Source IntelligenceOnline.com reports that Singapore will be the first foreign buyer of major Israeli tanks series Merkava. According to these reports, Singapore signed a contract for the purchase of 50 tanks Merkava Mk 4 new construction. According to the resource, the transaction amount reaches $ 500 million
Earlier, at the beginning of June 2014, the Israeli newspaper "Yediot Ahronot", citing a source in the Israeli Defense Ministry announced the signing of export agency of the Ministry of Defence Shibata first export contract for the Merkava Mk 4 tanks, without naming the customer and saying only that it is a country, "related long-term relationships with Israel in the field of security. "Also does not provide any details, except that the amount of the contract is "several hundred million dollars."
Merkava tanks series produced in the Israeli public a tank factory in Tel Hashomer in 1979, however, despite the considerable interest shown in him at different times by different potential foreign customers, never exported. This let low rates of production of tanks Merkava, their high cost, as well as export restrictions by both the U.S. (acting supplier significant portion of the tank units and systems and provide partial funding for the program of the issue), and most of the Israeli Ministry of Defense. Now, for reasons mainly economic plan, Israel's Defense Ministry has issued export permits Merkava Mk 4.
Singapore since 2007 acquired are considered 182 Leopard 2A4 tanks from the German Bundeswehr presence (part of them for use on parts and conversion into special machines), and is currently carrying out a program of modernization.