According to Israeli newspaper reports the IDF will receive the first improved Merkava Mk.5 “Barak” tanks in 2023. The initial estimate was that the first tanks would be delivered in 2022 and by early 2023 at the latest, but it seems there should be little delay.
The main improvement over the Mk.4 version is the incorporation of an improved active Trophy self-protection system. The improved Trophy will perform better in a number of areas, and will be able to locate the source of the threat launch faster and transmit the location, via network, to friendly forces so that the attack can be made immediately and by the most appropriate means.
Other improvements include the integration of a day and night camera with 360-degree coverage for better situational awareness, a helmet-mounted data visualization system (Iron Vision) for the crew chief, similar to that of fighter jet operators, improved sensors, which will allow the tank the acquisition of targets independently and at longer distances, the ability to perform electronic warfare, a new computer with the ability to perform multiple functions simultaneously, artificial intelligence and improved sights for the gunner and commander.