Class: Main Battle Tank
Vehicles Built: cca 800
The Centurion tank (known under the name Sho’t – Hebrew for “whip”) holds a special place in the Israeli armor history next to such iconic vehicles such as the Super Shermans. It’s not just that it’s a solid, well-performing tank, but also the fact that it was available when the Israelis needed tanks the most and helped in winning many a tank battle. After the Israeli-British cooperation during the 1956 Suez Crisis, Israel was allowed to purchase its first Centurion tanks with 20pdr guns. These early Centurions were, according to some sources, referred to as “Ben Gurions” in honor of David Ben-Gurion. These Centurion tanks would later be refitted with the famous British 105mm L7 rifled gun (specifically, its locally produced variant called Shrir).
By the time the Six-Day War erupted in 1967, Israel had 385 combat ready Centurions of both kinds. The re-armament program was finished three years after the war, in 1970. By the end of the war, however, their engines were completely worn out and were subsequently replaced by the American Continental AVDS-1790-2A model. Other components were upgraded as well, including the armor, fire control system, ammo stowage, fuel stowage and much more. With these upgrades, the vehicle became known as “Upgraded Centurion” or Sho’t Kal. The “Kal” name is a shortcut of “Continental”. It entered service in the May of 1970 and by 1972, over 700 Sho’t Kal tanks were in service.
And then came the 1973 Yom Kippur War. In the north, some 177 Sho’t tanks of the 7th Armored Brigade under Avigdor Ben-Gal and the 188th “Barak” Armored Brigade faced as many as 1200 Syrian tanks (including the deadly T-62), pouring at them via the Golan Heights. The battle that ensued became legendary and greatly contributed to the later reputation of the Centurion tank. The Israelis were losses were extreme – one tank lost five commanders within a day and still its crew fought on. At night, the frontline dissolved into chaotic battles between individual tanks. One of the most prominent heroes of the northern theater of war was Zvika Greengold, whose Centurion knocked out dozens of Syrian tanks, a feat unheard of since the Second World War.
Nevertheless, it was clear at that point that the Centurions were obsolete and an upgrade program was launched. The first post-war upgrade was the 1976 Sho’t Kal Bet, featuring hydraulic turret traverse, followed by Sho’t Kal Gimel, the most distinctive feature of which was the Blazer Explosive Reactive Armor. All things considered, the Blazer kit was a significant improvement even if it left a lot to be desired for. Following the 1982 Lebanon conflict experience, the final production version called Sho’t Kal Dalet rolled out in 1984, featuring further improvements to the Fire Control System and an improved Blazer kit. But the heyday of this tank was over and the Sho’ts continued to disappear from service, being replaced by the superior Merkavas. The Sho’t was officially retired as a combat tank in 2002.
- Armored: This vehicle's armor can withstand a lot of punishment, allowing it to survive even serious firefights.
- Improved Progression: This vehicle earns extra Experience, allowing you to progress faster in the game.
- Early ERA: This is one of the earliest vehicles that can be equipped with a set of Explosive Reactive Armor, making it more resistant to HEAT shells and ATGMs.
- HESH Rounds: This vehicle can fire special Squash Head rounds. These are extremely effective against angled armor that is typical for Soviet tanks.
|105mm DM23 APDS||APDS||Stock||270||530[note 1] mm||1475 m/s||7.20 s|
|105mm DM502 HESH||HESH||700||240||390 mm||730 m/s||7.20 s|
|105mm OCC105F1 HEAT||HEAT||800||415||630 mm||1120 m/s||7.20 s|
|7.62mm AP||AP||Stock||8||18[note 2] mm||855 m/s||5.00 s|
|XP Cost||Credit Cost||Hull
|Stock||Stock||505 mm (vs AP)
695 mm (vs HEAT)
|Steel Layers with Air Gaps||915 mm (vs AP)
1220 mm (vs HEAT)
|Steel Layers with Air Gaps||N/A||N/A vs AP|
N/A vs HEAT
|This tank features basic sheet armor without any advanced components, making it vulnerable to HEAT shells and ATGMs.|
|Name||XP Cost||Credit Cost||Aim Time||Reload Time||More Info|
|105mm Shrir L/52 Rifled Cannon||Stock||Stock||1.50 s||7.20 s|
105mm DM23 APDS
105mm DM502 HESH
105mm OCC105F1 HEAT
- 530 mm at 150m;
398 mm at 500m
- 18 mm at 100m;
9 mm at 1000m