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Sho't Kal Alef

Shot (meaning "Whip" in Hebrew) is the Israeli designation of the 105 mm L7 armed Centurion tank, which entered Israeli service in 1970.[1]


  • Shot Meteor: Centurion tanks with the original Rolls-Royce Meteor engine.
  • Shot Kal Alef/Bet/Gimel/Dalet: modernised Centurion tanks with a new powerpack (the Continental AVDS-1790-2A diesel engine and the Allison CD850-6 transmission).

The addition "Kal" refers to the abbreviation of the engine manufacturer "Continental", originally notated in Hebrew as שוטקל, which should read "Cal". But since Cal also means "lightweight" and the ק is closer to K than C, the name Sho't Kal struck on outside the Hebrew speaking world.

Entered service in 1970; by 1974 all Israeli Centurions were upgraded to Sho't Kal. Subvariants indicate upgrades received by Shot Kal tanks during their operational life, including a new turret rotating mechanism, a new gun stabilizer, a new fire-control system and preparations for the installation of the Blazer Reactive armour.

Combat history[edit]

A Sho't tank at the Oz 77 memorial, near the Valley of Tears, Golan Heights
Destroyed Israeli Sho't

The Shot tank only served in the Six Day War in 1967 and the Yom Kippur war in 1973. During the invasion of the Syrian army into the Golan Heights during the Yom Kippur war, two damaged Centurion/Shot tanks engaged approximately 150 Syrian T-55 and T-62 tanks. In the course of the following 30-hour tank battle, the two tanks knocked out over 60 tanks.[2] The destruction of this entire armored division forced the Syrian army to halt their advance. See Zvika Greengold. However, as all tanks in the opening days of the 1973 Yom Kippur war, it proved exceedingly vulnerable to Soviet made weapons such as the RPG-2, RPG-7, and briefcase Sagger guided missile, weapons which the Egyptians used in large numbers in the crossing of the Bar Lev line. It is estimated that the Israeli armed forces lost up to 40% of their southern armored groups during the first two days of the war, highlighting the necessity for infantry support to armoured groups, culminating in the Merkava main battle tanks being equipped with rear troop bays.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Dunstan, S., Sarson, P. (2003). Centurion Universal Tank 1943-2003. Osprey. p. 40. ISBN 0-671-00974-5. 
  2. ^ "Centurion #5". Top Ten Tanks. 7 January 2008. AHC. Retrieved 9 April 2009.