Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) Carrier
The Pereh missile carrier of the Israeli Army was built atop the framework of the earlier Magach 5 MBT series, itself formed from the American M48 tank.
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The close relationship between Israel and the United States has provided the former with access to all sorts of military aid. After the establishment of the state in the late 1940s, the country received stocks of old U.S. Army tanks including the M48 and M60 Patton Main Battle Tank (MBT) series (both detailed elsewhere on this site). These were eventually locally modified under the "Magach" name, producing several marks in the series and, from the "Magach 5" model, based in the M48A5 combat tank, the Israeli Army developed and procured the "Pereh", a dedicated tracked Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) carrier which was introduced sometime in the 1980s.
The general concept of the Pereh was the result of Israeli combat experiences in the 1973 Yom Kippur War and the 1982 Lebanon War. Enemy tanks were increasing in number and capability, requiring a highly-capable, non-projectile-based ranged weapon. From this came a revised battlefield doctrine which incorporated a tracked missile carrier into the fold, fielding the "Spike" ATGM as its primary weapon.
The Pereh was developed and operated under such secrecy that it was not officially acknowledged until 2015 - at about the time the system was ending its frontline service role.
The Pereh made use of the original running gear and chassis / hull combination of the Magach 5. However, the turret was been completely reworked to serve as both a stowage center and launcher component to the Spike missile. The missile itself was developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems in the early 1980s around the Non-Line-of-Sight (NLoS) concept. In its infantry-level, man-portable guise, it was typically fired from a fixed tripod. and carried a tandem-charge HEAT (High-Explosive, Anti-Tank) warhead to defeat modern armor. Furthermore, it was a "fire and forget" weapon, meaning the operator did not have to guide the missile to its target for the duration of the missile's flight. Range was out to 16 miles from the launcher unit and the weapon went on to be proven in the countless Israeli wars with its neighbors since 1982.
The Pereh carried twelve such missiles in an over-sized turret structure which had complete 360-degree traversal to engage targets at all sides. One interesting design element of the turret was it retention of a "dummy" main gun which was intended to disguise this vehicle's true role on the battlefield. The missile-launching component was raised prior to firing with an access hatch to the weapon's rear serving the weapon's reload process. A pair of 7.62mm FN MAG machine guns (detailed elsewhere on this site) were also carried but this for only point-defense use. Smoke grenade launchers were also provide for a self-screening capability.
The running gear of the tank included the usual six double-tired road wheels to a hull side. The engine was held in at the rear of the hull with the drive sprocket also located there. The track idler was therefore positioned at the front of the hull sides. The upper regions of the wheels and track link sections were protected by side "skirt" armor plates and additional armor plating was given to the front facings of the hull (glacis plate section).
The Pereh saw service for over three decades without much fanfare before it was formally retired from frontline duties during 2017.