IMI 120 mm gun
|IMI 120 mm MG251 & MG253 tank gun|
MG253 tank gun
|Type||smoothbore tank gun|
|Place of origin||Israel|
|Used by||see the operators section|
|Manufacturer||Israeli Military Industries|
|Weight||2,900 kilograms (6,400 lb)|
|Length||5.3 meters (17 ft)|
|Caliber||120-millimeter (4.7 in)|
The IMI 120 mm gun is an L44 smoothbore tank gun designed and produced by Israeli Military Industries (IMI). It is widely confused as a licensed production of the Rheinmetall L44 tank gun, however it was developed by IMI from 1983 to 1988, to meet the requirements of the Israel Defense Forces' Merkava Mark III main battle tank.
It was first revealed in 1989 when it was shown to be the main armament of the Merkava Mark III. In 1990 the Israel Defense Prize was awarded to Israeli Military Industries for this development, which gave Israel the means to produce tank guns independently.
This tank gun is very similar to the Rheinmetall L44 versions installed on the German Leopard 2, American M1 Abrams, South Korean K1A1, and Japanese Type 90 main battle tanks. However, it has a different recoil system, consisting of an optimized concentric retarder and pneumatic recuperator, and more compact overall dimensions, not exceeding those of the existing 105 mm Royal Ordnance M68 105 mm rifled gun of the Merkava Marks I and II, and the M60 Patton.
There are two versions of the IMI 120 mm gun: the MG251, fitted with a thermal sleeve developed by Vishay Intertechnology and provided with a fume extractor which can be removed for maintenance without disturbing the actual sleeve, and the MG253, with a thermal sleeve developed by Vidco Industries and a new compressed gas recoil system.
Weapons of comparable role, performance and era
- L30: British rifled equivalent
- GIAT CN120-26/52: French equivalent
- Rheinmetall 120 mm gun: German equivalent
- 2A46 125 mm gun: Russian 125-mm equivalent
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to IMI 120 mm guns.|