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Lesson 1

TANK IDENTIFICATION

 

OVERVIEW

LESSON DESCRIPTION:

In this lesson, you will learn to identify various friendly armored vehicles, including main battle tanks (MBT), medium tanks, and light tanks, and their characteristics.

TERMINAL LEARNING OBJECTIVE:

Action: Identify friendly armored vehicles and their characteristics.
Condition: You will be given the information contained in this lesson.
Standard: Identification of friendly armored vehicles and their characteristics will be in accordance with the material contained in this lesson.
References: The material contained in this lesson was derived from the following publications:
  FM 1-402
Jane's Armoured and Artillery 1989-1990.

 

INTRODUCTION

The various friendly tanks have distinguishing features, characteristics, and roles. Their capabilities range from high-speed stabilized firing on the move to night-fighting electronics. Most are not amphibious, but are capable of fording several meters of water with the aid of a snorkel or other preparation. Practically all are armed with machine guns and smoke dischargers. Most have main guns that fire new armor-piercing ammunition with great accuracy over thousands of meters. Some have modern add-on armor packages. Variants range from radar-guided missile launchers to bridgelayer, engineer, and recovery vehicles. This lesson will discuss the identification characteristics and capabilities of friendly tanks.

1. Main Battle Tanks (MBT).

There are a number of friendly main battle tanks. They each have individual characteristics and differences in capabilities. This lesson presents information on several MBTs.

a. AMX 30 Main Battle Tank (Figure 1-1). Produced since 1963 by the French as a replacement for the American M47 tank, the AMX 30 was built with a 12-cylinder multi-fuel engine. The AMX 30 and improved models will remain in service with the French Army until a new main battle tank enters service in the early 1990s. The AMX 30 is easily confused with the former Soviet built T-72 and T-62 tanks.

Figure 1-1. AMX 30 Main Battle Tank.

(1) Variants. There are a number of variants of the AMX 30. These are discussed below.

(a) AMX 30S. Developed for desert operations, this model includes the addition of sand shields, and gear reduction that limits speed to 60 kilometers per hour (km/h). The AMX 30S has been adopted by Saudi Arabia and its tanks are fitted with an M409 sight. This has a day sight with a magnification of x8 and an 8o field-of-view. The M409 sight also includes a day sight and an infrared night sight. A laser rangefinder allows the commander to target without traversing the turret. The laser rangefinder also increases the first-round hit probability.

(b) AMX 30 B2. This configuration includes an integrated fire control system based on a laser rangefinder and a low light level television (LLTV) system.

The gunner's telescopic sight is combined with an electronic control system and an optical module containing a computer-controlled graticule. The laser has a maximum range of 10,000 meters. The gunner also has a rotatable periscope, a fixed periscope, and a television (TV) monitor. A computer processes information such as ammunition, drift and jump angles, cross wind velocity, altitude, ambient temperature, target distance, elevation, azimuth, and turret slant. The LLLTV camera is mounted externally on the right side of the turret. A TV monitor screen for both the commander and gunner displays an aiming mark for targets up to 1,000 meters.

The B2 can fire the newer armor piercing fin stabilized discarding sabot (APFSDS) ammunition. Different gear boxes and steering allow on-the-spot turning and gear changing in bends. A new suspension gives improved cross-country mobility. Quieter tracks can be fitted as an option. A new pressurization system provides complete filtration for improved nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) protection. Other options include longer-life batteries, new filters, a radiation counter, air-conditioning, and different land navigation systems. In place of smoke dischargers, a protection system can fire different types of grenades. An exhaust system smoke generator also can be fitted to the B2 model.

(c) AMX 30 Venezuela. The Venezuelan AMX-30 is modernized with a new fire-control system that has a laser rangefinder, weapon stabilization system, and sensors for wind, temperature, and humidity. A new diesel engine with fully-automatic transmission increases speed, operating range, and fuel capacity. The commander's and driver's stations were modernized, and the vehicle can lay its own smoke screen by injecting diesel fuel into the exhaust system. Other options include applique armor and replacement of the torsion bar suspension which improves cross-country mobility.

(d) GIAT AMX Super 30. The modernized GIAT AMX Super 30 has improved mobility, firepower, and logistics support. It has a new diesel engine, automatic transmission, and cooling system. Other improvements include a laser rangefinder, halon fire extinguishing system, new turret electric rotary joint, new fuel tanks, improved torsion bars, bump stops, and shock absorbers. Some have an optional thermal camera, slant sensor, and an atmospheric sensor mounted at the back of the commander's cupola.

(e) AMX 30 with GT601. This is a gas-turbine-powered version of the AMX 30.

(f) Super AMX 30. This version has a new, fully automatic transmission and a new diesel that can be removed from the tank in one hour. The Super AMX 30 also has air filtration, cooling and electrical generating systems, new suspension, nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) protection system, fire suppression, and increased fuel capacity. A laser fire control system has new stabilized sights for the gunner and commander.

(g) AMX-30D Armored Recovery Vehicle (ARV). Three major tasks are designated for this ARV: recovery of disabled vehicles; replacement of major components such as engines; and engineer work. A hydraulic dozer blade at the front also provides stability while operating the crane or winch. A hydraulic crane mounted on the right of the vehicle can lift up to 15,000 kilograms (kg). The ARV weighs 38,000 kg loaded, and normally carries a spare engine at the rear. The AMX-30D(S) is modified for desert operations.

(h) AMX 30 Bridgelayer. This model is not used by the French Army. A few are used in Saudi Arabia. It is basically the AMX 30 with the turret removed and replaced with a scissors-type bridge that can be launched over the rear in five minutes. The bridge opens to 22 meters long and spans a gap up to 20 meters. It is 3.1 meters wide and can widen to 3.92 meters when equipped with widening panels. The vehicle weighs 42,500 kg with the bridge.

(i) Pluton Surface-to-Surface Missile System. This version was a Pluton tactical nuclear missile fitted to the AMX 30 chassis. The missile has a range up to 120 kilometers (km), and can be fitted with a tactical nuclear warhead of either 15 or 25 kilotons.

(j) AMX 30 Combat Engineer Tractor. Also designated EBG for Engin Blinde de Genie, this vehicle is designed for forward areas. A hydraulic dozer blade in front is fitted with six scarifying teeth. There is a hydraulic winch capable of lifting 20,000 kg. A power take off (PTO) arm can lift obstacles and be fitted with pincers or an auger.

The EBG is armed with a 7.62-millimeter (mm) machine gun, four smoke dischargers, a launching tube for demolition charges, and four anti-tank mine launching tubes. The three-man crew consists of the commander, a sapper and a driver. Maximum speed is 65 kilometers-per-hour (km/h). The fording depth is from 2.5 to 4 meters.

(k) Roland Anti-Aircraft Missile System. This is a modified AMX 30 MBT chassis with two Euromissile Roland surface-to-air missiles in the ready-to-launch position and eight missiles in reserve in the hull, ready for automatic reloading. The surveillance radar is mounted on the turret rear with the tracking radar mounted on the turret front.

(l) Shahine Anti-Aircraft Missile System. This version was developed for Saudi Arabia. It consists of two units. One unit carries six missiles in the ready-to-fire position on a modified AMX-30 chassis. The second unit is the acquisition unit and has a large surveillance radar, also on a modified AMX 30 chassis. This is an all weather system. The firing unit carries no reserve missiles. They must be brought up by a cross-country truck fitted with a crane.

(m) Twin 30-mm Anti-Aircraft Gun System. This version features an AMX 30 chassis fitted with an updated, power operated version of an AMX 13 turret. The turret has twin 30-mm cannons that have 600 rounds ready to fire, and another 900 rounds in reserve. The radar system is mounted on the rear of the turret.

(2) Recognition Features. The AMX 30 has the following features:

  • The commander's hatch opens to the rear of a cupola that has all-around vision from 10 periscopes.
  • A squared, infrared searchlight is mounted to the left of the main gun.
  • There is a sight for the gunner mounted on the roof of the turret, located forward of the commander. The gunner also has two periscopes.
  • There is a small, circular loader's hatch on the left rear of the turret.
  • Supported track (five support rollers).
  • Five road wheels.
  • May have side skirts.
  • Sides of the hull slope upward toward the center.
  • Upper and lower glacis form a rounded edge.
  • Air intake covers are on the right side of the front slope.
  • Large exposed triangular shaped muffler on each rear hull fender.
  • Round engine vent centered on deck at the rear.
  • Driver's hatch on the front deck left of the gun tube.
  • Long, bell-shaped streamlined turret centered on the hull.
  • Smoke grenade dispenser on the turret.
  • Bustle rack rails extend from the rear NBC systems box to the front of turret.
  • Two round hatches in line on the turret.
  • Rectangular main gun mantle.
  • Large 105-mm telescopic-shaped gun with heat shield encasing jacket.
  • No muzzle brake or evacuator on the long gun tube.
  • One 7.62-mm machine gun.
  • One 12.7-mm machine gun.
  • Large, high profile commander's cupola on the right (with 10 periscopes).

(3) Vehicle Characteristics. The hull has three compartments with the driver in the front, the fighting compartment in the middle, and the engine in the rear. Some key specifications that apply to the AMX 30 are listed below.

AMX 30 Measurements
Combat Weight, 36,000 kg Track width, 570mm
Hull length, 6.59 meters Fuel capacity, 970 liters
Hull width, 3.1 meters Maximum road range, 500-600 km
Overall height, 2.86 meters Maximum speed, 65 km/h
Ground clearance, 0.44 meters  
AMX 30 Armor
Hull Thickness Turret Thickness
Front, 79mm Front, 80.8mm
Sides, front, 57mm Sides, 41.5mm
Top, 15mm Top, 20mm
Sides, rear, 30mm Rear, 50mm
Bottom, 30mm  

(4) Vehicle Capabilities. The AMX 30 can

  • cross 2.9-meter trench.
  • mount a 0.93-meter vertical step.
  • climb a 60-percent grade.
  • ford 1.3 meters without a snorkel.
  • ford 2.2 meters with preparation.
  • ford 4 meters with a snorkel.

(5) Armament Characteristics. The following paragraph discusses the AMX 30 main and secondary armament.

(a) Main Armament. The AMX 30 has a 105-mm rifled gun. There is no muzzle brake or fume extractor. Compressed air evacuates fumes from the barrel. The gun is fitted with a magnesium alloy thermal sleeve. The gun can fire APFSDS, high explosive anti-tank (HEAT), high explosive (HE), phosphorus smoke, or illuminating rounds of a French design, and can also fire standard 105-mm ammunition used with the L7 series of weapons used on the Leopard 1 and the M60 series of MBTs. The tank carries 47 rounds (19 in the turret and 18 in the bustle). The 105-mm gun has a maximum effective range of 1,700 meters.

(b) Secondary Armament. The AMX 30's secondary armament consists of the following:

  • 20-mm cannon. At the left of the main gun, this cannon can be elevated with the main gun, as well as on its own to a maximum of 40 degrees for use against slow aircraft. It has a range of 1,500 meters and can be fired by the gunner or the tank commander. The cannon fires high-explosive, incendiary (HEI) rounds, armor-piercing rounds, or single-feed M56 type ammunition. 500 rounds are kept at ready use, and 550 rounds are held in reserve.
  • 7.62-mm machine gun. This gun is mounted on the right of the commander's cupola, and can be aimed and fired from within the cupola. The machine gun has a maximum effective range with a range of 700 meters. A total of 2,050 rounds is carried, of which 550 are ready for immediate use.
  • Smoke dischargers. The smoke dischargers are mounted on either side of the turret, and can lay a smoke screen that can cover the tank in eight seconds.

(6) Countries Served. The AMX 30 tanks are in service with the following countries:

Chile Iraq Spain
Cyprus Nigeria United Arab Emirates
France Qatar Venezuela
Greece Saudi Arabia  

b. AMX 40 Main Battle Tank (Figure 1-2). The AMX 40 was designed new from the beginning, and was not developed or modified from a previous version. The AMX 40 is powered by a 12cylinder diesel which develops 1,100 horsepower.

Figure 1-2. AMX 40 Main Battle Tank.

(1) Variants. The single variant is an AMX 40 armored recovery vehicle. This vehicle has a 25-ton crane and a 35-ton winch.

(2) Recognition Features. The turret is similar to the AMX 30, with the commander sitting on the right, and the gunner forward and below him. The cupola for the commander has eight periscopes for 360-degree observation. On the left side of the cupola roof is a gyro-stabilized sight for target acquisition, observation, and firing the main armament. The loader sits in the left of the turret and has three periscopes and a hatch cover opening to the rear. An ammunition resupply hatch is on the left side. Stowage baskets and the stowage box are located on the sides and rear of the turret. The driver sits on the left and has three forward facing periscopes. The crew has an emergency escape hatch in the hull floor between the driver's seat and turret basket. Other features are:

  • Six dual rubber-tired road wheels, idler at the front, and drive-sprocket at the rear.
  • Two large drums mounted on the rear of the tank. These are long-range fuel drums that can be jettisoned by the driver, drums carrying an additional seven rounds of 120-mm ammunition, or one of each, depending on the tactical situation.
  • One of the prototypes has a sectionalized dozer blade mounted under the nose. It enables the tank to prepare its own fire position, and can be released manually.

(3) Vehicle Characteristics. A 12-cylinder diesel engine and automatic transmission drives the rear sprocket. Armored skirts cover the upper tracks, thicker in the front for lateral protection of the crew compartment. The fire control system is the same as on the AMX 30 B2. The LLLTV camera on the right moves in elevation with the main gun. The commander and gunner both have a screen for engaging targets up to 2,000 meters away. The gunner also has a x10 sight with laser rangefinder with a maximum range of 10,000 meters. Laminate-type armor provides protection over the frontal arc against infantry antitank weapons and tank rounds up to 100 mm. The skirts over the front four road wheels are much thicker than the remainder to provide later protection for the crew compartment. Standard equipment includes fire extinguishing for crew and engine compartments, NBC package, smoke screen from diesel fuel injected exhaust, and built-in test equipment (BITE). The fourth prototype was designed for hot climates and can operate in temperatures up to 50 degrees Centigrade without any degradation in performance. Specifications for the AMX 40 are provided in the lists and paragraphs that follow.

AMX 40 Measurements
Combat Weight, 43,700 kg Track width, 570mm
Hull length, 6.8 meters Fuel capacity, 1,100 liters
Hull width, 3.35 meters Maximum road range, 550-850 km
Overall height, 3.1 meters Maximum road speed, 70 km/h
Ground clearance, 0.45 meters Average road/cross country speed ,55/30-45 km/h

(4) Vehicle Capabilities. The AMX 40 can

  • cross a 3.2-meter trench.
  • mount a 1-meter vertical step.
  • climb a 70-percent grade.
  • ford 1.4 meters without preparation.
  • ford 2.3 meters with preparation.
  • ford 4 meters with snorkel.

(5) Armament Characteristics. The main and secondary armament of the AMX 40 are discussed below.

(a) Main Armament. A 120-mm smoothbore gun fires fixed ammunition with a semi-combustible cartridge case. An assisted loading device allows ammunition to be loaded while the tank is moving. The gun can fire APFSDS-T, APFSDS-T (practice), or HEAT multi-purpose rounds, all of which have combustible cartridge cases. The APFSDS-T sub-projectile can penetrate a NATO heavy tank target at a range of 7,000 meters. However, useful combat range is 2,000 meters. The first round hit probability against stationary and moving targets at a range of 2,000 meters is 90 percent. A complete firing engagement takes less than eight seconds.

(b) Secondary Armament. Secondary armament consists of a 20-mm cannon mounted coaxially to the left of the main gun. The 20-mm cannon can elevate independently from -8 to 40 degrees against slow-flying aircraft. A 7.62-mm machine gun with a white light searchlight is mounted on the right side of the commander's cupola. A bank of three electrically operated smoke dischargers fire forward from either side of the forward turret. As an alternative to smoke dischargers, a protection system can launch a variety of grenades.

c. Centurion Main Battle Tank (Figure 1-3).

Figure 1-3. Centurion Main Battle Tank.

The Centurion was designed in 1944 and has undergone many modifications over the years. With a 17-pounder gun, the Mark 1 became uparmored to the Mark 2. A later 20-pounder gun was finally replaced by the 105-mm gun.

(1) Variants. Perhaps more variants of the Centurion have been developed than any other post-World War II tank. Those remaining in service include the Mk 5 with either a 20-pounder or 105-mm gun. Some versions are uparmored or given more fuel capacity. The Mk 6 has infrared night vision equipment, a ranging machine gun, and stowage basket on the turret rear. The Mk 7 is either a 20-pounder with 61 rounds, or a 105-mm version. The Mk 8 has a resiliently-mounted gun mantlet with no canvas cover. Also, the commander can raise his twin hatch covers like an umbrella for better visibility without exposing himself. The Mk 9 is uparmored and upgunned and has versions with night vision equipment and ranging machine gun. The Mk 10 carries 70 rounds of main gun ammunition, and has different versions. The Mk 11, 12, and 13 are upgraded versions of earlier models.

(a) (Mk 5) Bridgelayer. This variant is still used by the Danish Army, but is withdrawn from the British Army.

(b) (Mk 2) Armored Recovery Vehicle (ARV). Still used in small numbers today, the Centurion ARV basically is the tank with the turret replaced by an all-welded superstructure behind the driver's position. A 360-degree commander's cupola has a 7.62-mm machine gun. Spades mounted at the rear of the hull stabilize the vehicle when using the 31,000-kg winch. The vehicle has a crew of four. The loaded weight is 50,295 kg.

(c) (Mk 5) Assault Vehicle Royal Engineers (AVRE). This is basically the Mk 5 tank with the gun replaced by a 165-mm demolition gun, and a hydraulic dozer blade mounted in front. The AVRE can be fitted with a track-width mine clearing plough. It may tow a trailer carrying mine clearance equipment. The vehicle has a crew of five. It weighs 51,810 kg loaded. It is used only by the British Army. There are also some versions which have a 105-mm gun instead of the 165-mm gun.

(d) BARV. This vehicle is used only by the British Army. Only 12 were built for use by amphibious forces. It is basically a Centurion tank with its turret replaced by a superstructure that enables it to operate in water up to 2.895 meters deep. It has a crew of four, one of whom is a trained diver. Loaded weight is 40,643 kg.

(e) Austrian Centurions. Austria uses the Centurion 105-mm in static defense roles.

(f) Danish Centurions. The Danish Centurions have been upgunned to the 20 pounder or the 105-mm gun. They also have a 12.7-mm machine gun mounted forward of the commander's cupola.

(g) Israeli Centurions. One of the main drawbacks of the Centurion was the gasoline engine which provided a low power-to-weight ratio and poor fuel economy. Israel modified the Centurion to incorporate a diesel engine. To accommodate the new engine, the rear of the hull was enlarged. The modified Israeli Centurions are recognized by the raised engine decks and air filter boxes on the track guards. The upgraded vehicles have increased fuel capacity and improved ammunition layout, with 72 rounds of 105-mm ammunition. Some have a 12.7-mm machine gun over the main gun barrel. The 12.7-mm gun is fitted with one box of ready use ammunition and is fired by an electrically operated solenoid from within the turret. The upgraded Centurion has a maximum road speed of 43 km/h and twice the cruising range of the Centurion Mk 5 on which it was based.

Many Israeli Centurions are fitted with a track-width mine plough or a mine-clearing roller system. For use as armored personnel carriers, some Israeli Centurions have their turrets removed, have machine guns mounted around the top, and may be armed with light mortars. A 290-mm multiple rocket system also has been mounted on a Centurion chassis. The upgraded Centurion can also be fitted with a dozer attachment, which can be installed by the tank crew in about 30 minutes.

Figure 1-4 shows a recent version of Sho't Upgraded Israeli Centurion fitted with Blazer explosive reactive armor, roof mounted mortar, two 7.62-mm machine guns on the roof, 12.7-mm machine gun over the 105-mm gun, thermal sleeve for the 105-mm gun, new low visibility antennas, new exhaust ports, different stowage basket at the hull rear, and Matador computerized fire-control system.

Figure 1-4. Sho't Upgraded Israeli Centurion.

(h) Jordanian Centurions. The Jordanian Army refitted its 293 Centurions with diesel engines, laser rangefinders, turret drives, stabilization systems, and hydropneumatic suspensions.

(i) South African Centurions. South Africa modernized about 300 Centurions. These modified Centurions are known as Olifant, or Elephant. Each is fitted with a V-12 diesel engine, automatic transmission, a South African manufactured 105mm L7A1 gun, and a bank of six 81-mm dischargers on each side of the turret. South Africa has also developed an ARV based on the Centurion MBT chassis.

(j) Swedish Centurions. Sweden upgraded its Centurions with solid-state, computerized gun-control equipment, laser rangefinder and a 71-mm twin launcher illuminating system with a 1300 meter range. The cupola was modified to include an armored hood for the commander when observing head out. A 7,000kg Swedish mine clearing roller system can be fitted in 30 to 40 minutes for use at slow speed.

(2) Recognition Features. The Centurion has the following features:

  • Supported full tracks.
  • Six pressed road wheels with a gap between number 2 and number 3.
  • Large side skirting plates angle-cut at the rear, covering the support rollers but completely exposing the number 6 road wheel.
  • Wedge shaped glacis plate inset between the tracks.
  • Upper and lower front glacis forms a straight edge.
  • Tow hooks mounted at the edge of the front glacis.
  • Two large mufflers on each side of the rear deck.
  • Some upgraded diesel versions have air cleaner boxes just forward of where the mufflers were.
  • Engine vents centered on the rear deck.
  • Driver's split hatch on the right front of the hull.
  • Large, square turret centered over the third and fourth road wheels.
  • Wire storage box mounted on the rear of the turret.
  • Long stowage boxes along the fenders on each side.
  • One large angular stowage box on the right side of the turret.
  • Two angular stowage boxes on the left side of the turret.
  • Smoke launchers on both sides of the turret.
  • 105-mm main gun.
  • One 12.7-mm machine gun.
  • One 7.62-mm machine gun.
  • Bore evacuator two-thirds the distance from the muzzle.
  • Large, square gun mantle.
  • Commander's hatch is slightly raised on the right side of the turret.

(3) Vehicle Characteristics. The driver sits at the front right side, with two hatch covers opening to either side, each with a periscope. The casted turret has a welded roof. An ammunition resupply hatch is on the left.

The loader sits inside of the turret on the left side, the commander on the right, and the gunner below and in front. The commander's cupola has split hatches, a periscope sight with a ballistic pattern, and seven periscopes for all-around observation. A searchlight is mounted at the commander's station. Below that is a periscope sight for the gunner. The loader has a single observation periscope and twin hatch covers that open front and rear.

The engine compartment is separated by a fireproof bulkhead. Drive sprockets are at the rear. There are six track-return rollers, four that are dual rollers in the center. Cast manganese steel tracks are covered by removable skirts that help protect against HEAT projectiles.

Many Centurions were fitted with infrared driving lights, searchlight, and sights. There is no NBC system or deep-fording capability, although a kit was developed. To clear obstacles or prepare fire positions, a dozer blade may be mounted in front. A mono-wheel trailer full of fuel may be towed to increase its otherwise short operational range.

All models up to the Mark 10 use the same basic rear engine and transmission, but some have improved fuel capacity, contra-rotating commander's cupola and stowage. The Centurion also has these features:

Measurements
Combat Weight, 50,728 kg to 51,820 kg Track, 2.641 meters
Hull length, 7.55 meters to 7.823 meters Track width, 610 mm
Hull width, 3.39 meters Track length on ground, 4.572 meters
Overall height, 2.94 meters to 3.009 meters Fuel capacity, 458 liters to 1,037 liters
Ground clearance, 0.457 meters to 0.51 meters Maximum road range, 102 km to 190 km
  Maximum road speed, 34.6 km/h
Armor
Hull Armor Thickness Turret Armor Thickness
Hull glacis, 76mm to 108mm Turret Front, 152mm
Hull nose, 76mm  
Hull sides front, 51mm  
Hull sides, rear upper, 38mm  
Hull sides, rear lower, 20 mm  
Hull floor, 17mm  

(4) Vehicle Capabilities. The Centurion MBT can

  • cross a 3.352-meter trench.
  • mount a 0.914-meter vertical step.
  • climb a 60-percent grade.
  • ford 1.45 meters.
  • ford 2.74 meters with preparation.

(5) Armament Characteristics. The two levels of armament (main and secondary) are discussed in the following subparagraphs.

(a) Main Armament. The 105-mm rifled gun with fume extractor is the main armament of the Centurion Mk 13. Many countries fitted the gun with a thermal sleeve. Effective range is 1,800 meters with armor piercing discarding sabot (APDS), or between 3,000 and 4,000 meters with the high explosive squash head (HESH). A well-trained crew can fire eight rounds per minute. The gun fires APDS-T (L28A1), APDS-T (L52A1), APFSDS-T, DS/T, HESH, and smoke ammunition manufactured by Royal Ordnance. It also fires ammunition manufactured by many other countries such as, Austria, Canada, France, West Germany, Israel, and the USA.

(b) Secondary Armament. A 12.7-mm ranging machine gun is mounted coaxially to the main gun. It has a range up to 1,800 meters, and fires in three-round bursts using tracer ammunition. A 7.62-mm machine gun is mounted to the left of the main gun, and another is mounted on the commander's cupola for anti-aircraft use.

(6) Countries Served. Centurion tanks are in service with the following countries.

Austria Kuwait Sweden
Denmark Singapore United Kingdom (no MBTs, only ARVs, AVREs, and BARVs)
Israel Somalia
Jordan South Africa

d. Chieftain Main Battle Tank (Figure 1-5). Somewhat similar to the earlier Centurion, the Chieftain was designed with a new turret without mantlet. The driver is seated reclining at the front of the hull to reduce height.

Figure 1-5. Chieftain Mk 3 Main Battle Tank.

(1) Variants. A number of modifications and variations of the Chieftain are presented in the following subparagraphs.

(a) Chieftain with Stillbrew Armor. In 1986 some Chieftains were fitted with a substantial increase in armor protection with little degradation in automotive performance. No details of the actual Stillbrew have been released, but it is probably an outer shell of steel with layers of composite armor behind. It is fitted over the front of the turret and hull top to the rear of the driver's position to give more protection to the generally vulnerable gap between hull and turret.

(b) Chieftain Assault Vehicle Royal Engineers (AVRE). The Assault Vehicle Royal Engineers (AVRE) was a conversion done in Germany. The turret is replaced by a metal plate that mounts a set of rails that carry rolls of trackway. The rails can also carry other combat engineering stores or a spare bridge for the armored vehicle-launched bridge (AVLB). The AVRE has a crew of three. It has a dozer blade that can be fitted with mine ploughs. There is no provision for a demolition gun as is fitted on the Centurion AVRE.

(c) Armored Repair and Recovery Vehicle (ARRV). The Chieftain ARRV has a hydraulic crane that can lift the complete powerpack of the new Challenger MBT.

(d) Chieftain Armored Recovery Vehicle. This ARV uses electro-hydraulic controls on the main double capstan winch with 122 meters of 28-mm diameter cable. A similar auxiliary winch provides 260 meters of 11-mm cable. Power comes off the main engine. A hydraulic earth anchor is lowered to allow the vehicle to exert a pull of up to 90,000 kg. Chieftains delivered to Iran had a 5,803-kg crane. The ARV has a 7.62-mm machine gun and smoke dischargers.

(e) Chieftain Mk 6 Armored Vehicle-Launched Bridge (AVLB). The Chieftain turret was replaced by an armored roof plate with a commander's hatch and hydraulic bridge-launching mechanism. Mounting points are included for a track-width mine plough system.

(f) Chieftain Armored Vehicle-Launched Bridge (AVLB). This is basically a Chieftain without a turret, and with hydraulics to lay and recover a tank bridge. Either a 24.384 meter or 13.411-meter bridge is carried folded and is launched over the front.

(g) Chieftain 155-mm Self-Propelled Gun (SPG). This is a 155-mm turret on a Chieftain chassis.

(2) Recognition Features. Main features of the Chieftain are:

  • Supported full track.
  • Six pressed road wheels.
  • Sixth road wheel not fully exposed by the track skirting.
  • Side skirts angled sharply at the rear.
  • Flat, low-silhouetted hull.
  • Curved shaped front glacis.
  • Splash board set well forward.
  • High, flat, rectangular engine vents centered on the rear deck.
  • Long stowage boxes on each side at the rear of the hull.
  • Stowage boxes on front fenders (tapered, giving a built-in streamlined appearance).
  • One round and one square hatch in line.
  • Driver's hatch is centered on the front deck under the gun tube.
  • U-shaped ballistic shield surrounds the driver's compartment.
  • Pointed nose turret without mantlet and with a long sloping front.
  • Large, oval, shallow turret with a large overhang.
  • Turret longitudinally centered over the fourth road wheel.
  • Large bustle racks on each side at the rear of the turret.
  • Large 120-mm main gun with thermal dispensing covers.
  • Very long gun protrudes from the center of the turret.
  • Bore evacuator one-third the distance from the muzzle.
  • Large searchlight built into the left side of the turret.
  • One 12.7-mm machine gun.
  • Two 7.62-mm machine guns.

(3) Vehicle Characteristics. The driver's hatch opens to the right. Behind his hatch is a periscope with optional infrared night driving capability. The turret is made of cast and rolled steel sections. The loader is on the left and the commander and gunner on the right.

The commander's cupola has nine observation periscopes and one sighting periscope. To the right of the cupola is a spotlight operating coaxially with a machine gun. On the turret roof is an infrared detector that has three silicon photo-voltaic cells covering 360 degrees. This can localize any infrared light source within an arc of 62 degrees. The gunner is below the commander and has either a sight periscope or a laser sight unit. He also has a telescopic sight. The gunner and commander can be equipped with infrared night sights. The loader has a folding, rotatable periscope and a two-piece hatch cover opening to the front and back.

A very high-intensity infrared/white light searchlight is mounted on the left side of the turret. The searchlight overhangs the side of the turret and has an armored cover. The searchlight uses a servo-control system on the mirror assembly. It has an infrared range of 1,000 meters, and white-light range of 1,500 meters. However, the searchlight is being replaced by the British Army with the smaller thermal observation and gunnery sight (TOGS) unit. The thermal imager moves with the main gun.

The Chieftain can be fitted with a navigational aid. Some have a dozer blade with an electro-hydraulic power pack fitted in place of the right front stowage bins. The driver operates the aluminum blade with a joystick control.

The NBC system is located on the turret bustle. A ventilation and filtration system in the rear of the turret provides clean air and works with the NBC filter pack so the crew does not have to wear respirators inside the tank. An automatic fire-detection system sounds a horn, flashes indicators, and sounds signals in the crew's headsets. There are five portable fire extinguishers.

Other characteristics are:

Measurements
Combat Weight, 54,100 kg Track width, 610 mm
Hull length, 7.52 meters Fuel capacity, 950 liters
Hull width, 3.5 meters Maximum road range, 400 to 500 km
Overall height, 2.895 meters Maximum cross country range, 200 to 300 km
Ground clearance, 0.508 meters Maximum road speed, 48 km/h
Track, 2.718 meters  

(4) Vehicle Capabilities. The Chieftain can

  • cross a 3.149-meter trench.
  • mount a 0.914-meter vertical step.
  • climb a 60-percent grade.
  • ford 1.066 meters.

(5) Armament Characteristics. An improved fire control system (IFCS) significantly improves first-round hit probability on stationary tank targets of at least 3,000 meters and on moving targets at more than 2,000 meters.

(a) Main Armament. A 120-mm rifled tank gun has a fume extractor, muzzle reference system, thermal sleeve, and vertical sliding breech block. The main gun can fire at a maximum rate of 8 to 10 rounds for the first minute, followed by 6 rounds per minute. Separate loading ammunition consists of charges stored in pressurized bins below the turret ring, and projectiles stowed alongside the driver, under the gun, and in the turret. The Chieftain carries 53 to 64 rounds of ammunition for the main gun, depending on the version of the tank. Maximum effective range is 3,000 meters.

(b) Secondary Armament. A 12.7-mm ranging machine gun (RMG) originally was the main means for aiming the main gun. Mounted coaxially to the main gun, short bursts from the RMG landing over the target provided quite rapid engagement by indicating main armament graticule marks to use. The main gun is not fired until virtually certain of a hit. The RMG and its ammunition was removed when fitted with the IFCS. The IFCS is used only in British Army Chieftains. A 7.62-mm machine gun is mounted to the left of the main gun. Another 7.62-mm machine gun on the commander's cupola can be aimed and fired from within the tank.

(6) Countries Served. Chieftain tanks are in service with the following countries:

Iran Kuwait
Iraq Oman
Jordan United Kingdom

e. Challenger Main Battle Tank (Figure 1-6). The Challenger is essentially a modified Shir 2, which was built for Iran. It is fitted with Chobham laminated armor, a 1200 hp diesel engine, automatic transmission, and improved fire control system (IFCS). The British Army has seven Challenger regiments.

Figure 1-6. Challenger Main Battle Tank.

(1) Variants. The Challenger variants are discussed below.

(a) Challenger Armored Repair and Recovery Vehicle (CR ARRV). These vehicles have a hydraulic winch, independent auxiliary winch, and hydraulically-operated crane to lift a complete Challenger powerpack. A multi-purpose blade in the front can be used as an earth anchor, dozer blade, or crane stabilizer.

(b) Marksman Anti-Aircraft Turret. A twin 35-mm anti-aircraft turret has been mounted on a Challenger and successfully tested.

(2) Recognition Features. The Challenger is characterized by:

  • Supported full track; drive sprocket in rear.
  • Six aluminum road wheels (space between third and fourth road wheels); four return rollers.
  • Side skirts angled sharply at rear, partially exposing sixth road wheel.
  • Skirt covers upper track similar to Chieftain.
  • Square/angled, box shaped hull.
  • Hull armor is streamlined with flat surfaces.
  • Upper and lower glacis form a straight edge.
  • Driver compartment recessed into the center of the upper glacis.
  • Large angular, faceted turret with sloped front, flat on top.
  • Center-mounted turret and fighting compartment.
  • Five smoke dischargers on each side of the front of the turret.
  • Small bustle racks located at each rear turret corner.
  • NBC environmental control system mounted at the turret rear.
  • No gun mantle.
  • Long 120-mm main gun with thermal jacket and muzzle reference system (MRS) collimator.
  • Bore evacuator located 1/3 back from the muzzle.
  • Gunner primary sight recessed into the right front turret roof.
  • One 7.62-mm machine gun mounted coaxially.
  • One 7.62-mm machine gun mounted on commander's cupola.

(3) Vehicle Characteristics. The Challenger has a similar layout as the Chieftain. The driver's compartment is at the front, the turret and fighting compartment in the center, and the engine and transmission at the rear. The driver has a single-piece hatch cover that lifts and swings forward horizontally for driving with his head out. He can also exit through the fighting compartment. Behind the driver's hatch is one wide-angle periscope. The commander sits on the right of the turret, behind and above the gunner. The loader is to the left.

The commander's cupola either has a day sight or an image intensification swap sight. The cupola has nine periscopes for all-around viewing. A Thermal Imaging Surveillance and Gun Sighting Sight (also TOGS, for Thermal Observation and Gunnery Sight) is located in an armored box on the right of the turret, and can separately serve the commander and gunner. The loader has a periscope swivel-mounted on the roof forward of a two-piece hatch that opens front and rear. The Challenger has a four man crew. Applicable specifications are provided in the lists and paragraphs that follow.

Measurements
Combat Weight, 62,000 kg Track, 2.12 meters
Hull length, 8.33 meters Track width, 650mm
Hull width, 3.5 meters Fuel capacity, 1797 liters
Overall height, 2.95 meters Maximum road speed, 56 km/h
Ground clearance, 0.5 meters  

(4) Vehicle Capabilities. The Challenger can

  • cross a 2.8-meter trench.
  • mount a O.9-meter vertical step.
  • climb a 58-percent grade.
  • ford 1.07 meters.

(5) Armament Characteristics. The characteristics of the main and secondary armament are discussed below.

(a) Main Armament. The main gun is a 120-mm gun fitted with a thermal sleeve, fume extractor, and a muzzle reference system. It can fire APDS-T (L15A4), DS-T (L20A1), HESH (L31), HESH practice (L32A5), smoke, white phosphorous (WP) (L34), and APFSDS-T (L23A1) ammunition. There are up to 42 charge stowage and 64 projectile stowage positions. Each charge location takes either one DS charge or two HESH or smoke charges. A typical mix would be 20 DS and 44 HESH or smoke.

(b) Secondary Armament. There is one 7.62-mm machine gun mounted coaxially with the main gun. Another 7.62-mm machine gun is mounted on the commander's cupola. There is a cluster of five smoke dischargers on each side at the front of the turret.

(6) Countries Served. United Kingdom. The British Army has 420 Challengers. It has been tested in Abu Dhabi, and demonstrated in Morocco, but no export sales have been made.

f. Khalid Main Battle Tank. The Khalid is essentially the Shir 1 with minor modifications and is based on a late production Chieftain with major changes in the fire control system and the powerpack.

(1) Recognition Features. The Khalid is somewhat of a cross between similar turret characteristics of the Chieftain, and the heavy hull of the Challenger. Additional stowage boxes may be mounted on the right side of the track guard. Main features are:

  • Fully tracked.
  • Six road wheels.
  • Armored skirting covering upper track.
  • Flat, low-silhouetted hull with large, oval turrent longitudinally centered over fourth road wheel.
  • Large main gun with thermal sleeves and muzzle reference system.

(2) Vehicle Characteristics. The Khalid and the Challenger have almost identical powerpacks. The fire control system of the Khalid is the Computer Sighting System which is similar to the Chieftain IFCS. The Khalid also has a laser tank sight. The commander's cupola has a combined day/passive night sight plus projector reticle image unit. The commander has 24-hour day/night vision and firing capability. Some key specifications are:

Measurements
Combat Weight, 58,000 kg
Hull length,8.39 meters
Hull width, 3.518 meters
Overall height, 3.012 meters

(3) Armament Characteristics. The main and secondary armament of the Khalid are discussed below.

(a) Main Armament. The main gun is a standard 120-mm rifled tank gun.

(b) Secondary Armament. The Khalid also is armed with 7.62-mm machine gun mounted coaxially with the main gun, another 7.62-mm machine gun that can be aimed and fired from inside the commander's cupola, and six smoke dischargers on each side of the turret.

(4) Countries Served. Jordan ordered 274 Khalid main battle tanks from the United Kingdom for delivery beginning in 1981. Production is complete, and they are is service with the Jordanian Army.

g. Leopard 1 Main Battle Tank (Figure 1-7). The Leopard 1 was developed by West Germany and has been exported in several versions to several armies in the world.

(1) Variants. The several variants of the Leopard 1 are discussed in the following subparagraphs.

Figure 1-7. Leopard 1 Main Battle Tank.

(a) Leopard 1A1A1. Many of the Leopard 1 became the Leopard 1A1 when fitted with a main gun thermal sleeve, stabilization system, and new tracks and skirts. The stabilization system gives a higher first-round hit probability by controlling elevation and traverse to acquire and engage the target while moving across country. They became the Leopard 1A1A1 when fitted with additional armor made of rubber-lined steel plates screwed on the turret, gun shield, and turret bustle back. More steel plates were welded on the sloped front roof section.

(b) Leopard 1A2. This version has a stronger cast steel turret, an improved NBC system, and image-intensification night vision for the commander and driver.

(c) Leopard 1A3. This incorporates a new welded turret with a wedge-shaped mantlet. A contoured rear turret stowage bin holds the searchlight when it is not mounted over the main gun. The loader's periscope is movable in elevation and azimuth.

(d) Leopard 1A4. This version has an integrated fire control system consisting of a commander's stabilized panoramic telescope and a gunner's primary sight with stereoscopic rangefinder coupled to a fully-stabilized main gun and ballistic computer.

(e) Australian Leopards. The Australian Leopards are the 1A3 model fitted with the Belgian SABCA fire control system and a tropical kit. Leopards replaced the Centurions in the 1st Royal Australian Armoured Regiment.

(f) Belgian Leopards. The Belgian vehicles had their MG3 machine guns replaced by FN 7.62-mm weapons and some minor storage changes.

(g) Canadian Leopards. The Canadians selected a modified version of the Leopard 1A3 fitted with the Belgian fire control system to replace their Centurion tanks.

(h) Greek Leopards. The Greek Leopards have the EMES 12A3 fire control system and an LLLTV system.

(i) Netherlands Leopards. The Dutch Leopards have different radios, Dutch type smoke dischargers, and three stowage panniers. They are fitted with the same applique turret armor as is on the Leopard 1A1A1. The Dutch Leopards use the British L52 APDS round for the main gun.

(j) Norwegian Leopards. Like the Netherlands, the Norwegians use the British L52 APDS round. All Norwegian Leopards are being upgraded to Leopard 1A3 standards, but will retain the cast turret.

(k) Turkish Leopards. The Turkish Leopards are 1A3s with the EMES 12A3 fire control system and an LLLTV system.

(l) Leopard Armored Recovery Vehicle. The ARV has a tank chassis with a new hull. Standard equipment is a dozer blade, hydraulic crane pivoted on the front right of the hull, a 35-ton winch, electric winch, and welding system. With a crew of four, the ARV recovers and tows damaged or disabled vehicles. It can lift complete vehicles or components up to 20 tons. It carries a spare powerpack, dozing equipment, and refueling equipment. The ARV is armed with two 7.62-mm machine guns, one for anti-aircraft defense, and smoke dischargers.

(m) Leopard Armored Engineer Vehicle (AEV). The AEV is based on the ARV. The only differences are that the AEV has a heat exchanger, explosives are carried for demolition work, an auger is carried in place of the spare powerpack on the rear, and the dozer blade can be fitted with scarifiers.

(2) Recognition Features. The Leopard 1 MBT has the following features:

  • Supported, fully tracked (three support rollers).
  • Seven evenly spaced, pressed road wheels.
  • Jagged or wavy design track skirting.
  • One 105-mm gun with no muzzle brake.
  • Bore evacuator two-thirds the distance from the muzzle.
  • Large wedge-shaped gun mantle.
  • May have a thermal shroud.
  • One 7.62-mm machine gun mounted coaxially with the main gun.
  • One 7.62-mm machine gun mounted on the turret roof.
  • Elongated or oval, slab-type, all-cast turret mounted forward of center.
  • Turret has an external stowage basket in the rear.
  • Sides of the hull slope upward toward the center.
  • Sloped front armor.
  • Upper and lower glacis form a straight edge.
  • Louvered exhaust grills on the rear of the hull sides.
  • Engine plate in the rear angles up the from the turret.
  • One rectangular louvered engine vent on each side at the rear.
  • One postage stamp engine vent centered on the rear deck.
  • One rounded and one oval hatch in line on the turret.
  • Driver's hatch on the front deck at the right of the gun tube.
  • Box-shaped searchlight (if mounted) above and to the left of the gun.
  • Leopard 1A2s have round turrets.
  • Leopard 1A3s and 1A4s have angular, box-shaped turrets.

(3) Vehicle Characteristics. The hull has two compartments. The engine is at the rear and separated from the crew by a fireproof bulkhead. The driver is in the front on the right and has a hatch cover opening to the left. In front of his hatch are three periscopes, one that can be infrared or image-intensification for night driving.

The commander and gunner sit on the right and the loader on the left of an all-cast turret. Hatch covers open to the rear for both the commander and gunner. Eight periscopes for all-round observation are provided for the commander. Sights and one periscope are at the gunner's station, while the loader has two periscopes. In the turret roof in front of the commander's hatch is a swivel-mounted x6 to x20 zoom periscope. The gunner, seated in front of and below the commander, has a rangefinder and a telescope mounted coaxially with the main gun.

On the left side of the turret is an ammunition resupply hatch. Many models have a stowage basket at the turret rear. A searchlight sits over the main gun, but is sometimes removed and stowed at the back of the turret. The infrared range is 1,200 meters and the white light range is 1,500 meters. An LLLTV observation and sighting system is on the Leopard 1A1A2. Other highlights are:

Measurements
Combat Weight, 40,000 to 42,400 kg Track, 2.7 meters
Hull length, 7.09 meters Track width, 550mm
Hull width, 3.25 to 3.41 meters Track length on ground, 4.236 meters
Overall height, 2.613 to 2.764 meters Fuel capacity, 955 liters
Ground clearance, 0.44 meters Maximum road range, 600 km
  Maximum cross country range, 450 km
  Maximum road speed, 65 km/h
Armor
Hull Armor Thickness Turret Armor Thickness
Hull nose, 70mm Turret mantlet, 60mm
Hull glacis, 70mm Turret front, 52mm
Hull glacis top, 25mm Turret sides, 60mm
Hull sides upper, 35mm Turret rear, 60mm
Hull sides lower, 25mm  
Hull top, 10mm  
Hull floor, 15mm  
Hull rear, 25mm  

(4) Vehicle Capabilities. The Leopard 1 can

  • cross a 3-meter trench.
  • mount a 1.15-meter vertical step.
  • climb a 60-percent grade.
  • ford 2.25 meters.
  • ford 4 meters with preparation.

(5) Armament Characteristics. The Leopard 1 main and secondary armament are discussed below.

(a) Main Armament. The main gun is a British-supplied 105-mm rifled tank gun with a single-piece barrel. It has a screwed-on breech ring and bore evacuator. The barrel can be changed in the field in 20 minutes. After each round is fired, a semi-automatic breech mechanism opens, ejecting the empty cartridge case into a container under the breech. Maximum effective range is 2,400 meters.

The Leopard 1 fires all standard 105-mm rounds made in Canada, France, Germany, Israel, the United Kingdom and the USA. The turret carries 13 rounds, and another 42 are stowed in the hull. The weapon system's first-round hit probability, even when on the move and firing at moving targets, increases with a gun stabilization system and modern fire control systems such as a primary stabilized line of sight, laser rangefinder, or an integral thermal imaging system.

(b) Secondary Armament. A 7.62-mm Rheinmetall MG 3 machine gun is mounted coaxially with the main gun. It is provided with 1,250 rounds of ready-use ammunition. Another MG 3 machine gun is located at the commander's or loader's position for anti-aircraft defense. Four smoke dischargers are on either side of the turret.

(6) Countries Served. Leopard 1 tanks are in service with the following countries:

Australia Germany Netherlands
Belgium Greece Norway
Canada Italy Turkey
Denmark    

h. Leopard 2 Main Battle Tank (Figure 1-8). The Leopard 2 is characterized by it's bulky, angular appearance and very high automotive performance.

Figure 1-8. Leopard 2 Main Battle Tank Armed with 120-mm Smoothbore Gun.

Germany had some 1,800 Leopard 2s delivered by 1987, and another 250 are replacing Leopard 1A4s. Early units are being overhauled and having interim image intensification night sights replaced with standard integral thermal sights. Newer units eliminated the side-wind sensor, relocated the tank filler openings, improved exhaust gratings, modified tool stowage, and added a commander's cupola covering. Final units have a new paint scheme, digital core for the fire control computer, ammunition hatch on the left side of the turret welded shut, and a fire suppression system.

By 1989, an upgraded armor package was developed, and the commander's roof-mounted sight was to be fitted with a laser rangefinder with thermal imaging capability.

(1) Variants. Except for Dutch and Swiss main battle tanks, the only variants have been prototypes. Except for the Swiss and Dutch MBT variants, no other variants are in production.

(a) Dutch Leopard 2. The Dutch Leopard 2s have different 7.62 mm machine guns, smoke dischargers, passive night periscope for the driver, radios, and intercom equipment.

(b) Swiss Leopard 2. Similar to the German vehicle, the Swiss Leopard 2 has a different engine and transmission, Swiss radios and intercoms, and Swiss coaxial and anti-aircraft machine guns.

(2) Recognition Features. The Leopard 2 has the following recognition features:

  • Fully tracked.
  • Seven evenly spaced road wheels.
  • Grenade launchers on the rear side of the turret.
  • Two circular exhaust louvers on the top of the rear of the hull.
  • 1,600-horsepower turbocharged diesel engine.
  • Front three panels of track sideskirting are straight.
  • Three rear skirts have jagged or wavy design.
  • Sides of hull are flat and vertical (squared).
  • Upper and lower glacis form a straight edge.
  • Driver's compartment located at the right front.
  • Loader hatch on the left side of the turret.
  • Large, slab-type turret with flat surfaces, angular appearance, and overhang in rear.
  • Turret centered on the hull.
  • Turret has a cutout to the right of the gun mantle.
  • Long hand rails on the left and right side of the turret.
  • Shorter cargo rails on the left and right of the turret frontal armor.
  • Two round hatches in line in the center of the turret roof.
  • Tank commander's hatch on the right side.
  • Rectangular gun mantle.
  • 120-mm gun with thermal jacket and MRS collimator.
  • Rounded bore evacuator aft of center.
  • Coaxial machine gun port to the left of the main gun.
  • Panoramic sight mounted forward of the commander's hatch.
  • Gunner's sight is recessed into the right front of the turret.
  • Telescope port at the right of the main gun.

(3) Vehicle Characteristics. The Leopard 2 has a four-stroke, 12-cylinder multi-fuel, exhaust turbo-charged, liquid-cooled engine. The hull is made of spaced multi-layer armor and divided into the driver's compartment in front, the fighting compartment in the middle, and the engine compartment in the rear. Standard equipment includes an NBC system, powerpack preheating, crew compartment heater, fire-extinguishing system, electric bilge pumps, and a hull escape hatch behind the driver.

The driver sits on the right front with three periscopes and has a hatch cover opening to the right. Some ammunition is stored to his left. The commander and gunner are on the left of the turret, the loader on the right. The commander's hatch has all-around periscopes and a circular cover opening to the rear. In front of the commander's hatch is a stabilized panoramic periscope. Another periscope on the roof is for the gunner. The loader on the left has a single periscope and hatch cove opening to the rear. On the left side of the turret is an ammunition resupply hatch. There is a stowage basket on the rear of the turret.

The torsion-bar suspension supports dual rubber-tired road wheels, four track return rollers, and rear drive sprocket. Steel-reinforced rubber skirts cover the rear two-thirds of the tracks. The front third are covered by special, thick armored boxes. Other features are:

Measurements
Combat Weight, 55,150 kg Track, 2.785 meters
Hull length, 7.72 meters Track width, 635mm
Hull width, 3.7 meters Track length on ground, 4.945 meters
Overall height, 2.787 meters Fuel capacity, 1,200 liters
Ground clearance, 0.537 meters front, 0.487 meters rear Maximum road range, 550 km
  Maximum road speed, 72 km/h

(4) Vehicle Capabilities. The Leopard 2 can

  • cross a 3-meter trench.
  • mount a 1.1-meter vertical step.
  • climb a 60-percent grade.
  • ford 1 meter without preparation.
  • ford 2.25 meters with preparation.
  • ford 4 meters with snorkel.

(5) Armament Characteristics. Main and secondary armament of the Leopard 2 are discussed in the following subparagraphs.

(a) Main Armament. The 120-mm smoothbore gun has a barrel length of 5.6 meters. It fires APFSDS-T and HEAT-MP-T ammunition. It has an effective range of well over 2,000 meters. Leopard 2 main gun ammunition is interchangeable with that of the American M1A1. Some of the 42 rounds are stored in the left side of the turret bustle, which has blow-out panels that explode upward if hit.

(b) Secondary Armament. A 7.62-mm machine gun is mounted coaxially to the left of the main gun, and another can be mounted on the loader's hatch. On either side of the turret are eight smoke dischargers.

(6) Countries Served. Users are:

Australia Germany Norway
Belgium Italy Germany
Canada Netherlands Switzerland
Denmark    

i. Leopard 2 (Pz 87 Leo) Main Battle Tank. Swiss Leopard 2s are similar to the German Leopard 2s. The Swiss Panzer 87 Leo, as it is usually called, have Swiss radios, antennas, and machine guns, an improved driver's hatch, a digital computer instead of the analog computer, a fire/explosion detection and suppression system for the crew compartment, an improved NBC protection system, hydraulic track tensioning units, a Baird passive night driving periscope, optical master warning for the driver when driving with the hatch open, and some other minor modifications.

j. Merkava Main Battle Tank. There are three versions of the Merkava MBT, the Mark 1, 2, and 3. The Mark 3 version has several improvements over the previous versions.

(1) Recognition Features. The Merkava can be recognized as follows:

  • Six road wheels linked in pairs to suspension units for high mobility.
  • Sideskirts are cut to expose road wheels.
  • Thick-walled, single cast hull.
  • Hull has a long sloping under-glacis.
  • Engine is mounted forward and to the right of the fighting compartment.
  • Narrow wedge-shaped turret with a large rear overhang and bustle rack.
  • Rear door loading capability (accommodates 9 or 10 people).

(2) Vehicle Characteristics. An air-cooled diesel develops 1,200 horsepower. Suspension consists of 12 road wheels independently mounted on trailing arms and sprung by pairs of concentric coil springs. The first and last road wheels have hydraulic bump stops, and the four central wheels have hydraulic rotary dampers. The Mark 3 version has an advanced threat warning system which displays threat warnings on a small panel at the commander's station. The armor is of a modular type and covers both the turret and the hull on the Mark 3. It provides a much higher degree of protection than the Mark 1 and 2. The armor can also be changed in the field. Some key specifications of the Merkava are:

Measurements
Combat Weight, 61,000 kg Ground clearance, 0.53 meters
Hull length, 7.60 meters Track width, 660mm
Overall width, 3.70 meters Maximum road speed, 55 km/h
Overall height, 2.76 meters  

(3) Vehicle Capabilities. The Merkava can:

  • cross a 2.35-meter trench.
  • mount a 1-meter vertical step.
  • climb a 70-percent grade.
  • ford 1.38 meters without preparation.
  • ford 2.4 meters with preparation.

(4) Armament Characteristics. The main and secondary armament are discussed in the following subparagraphs.

(a) Main Armament. The Mark 3 version has a 120-mm smoothbore gun fitted with a thermal sleeve. It has a range of 1,700 meters. The Merkava carries 50 rounds of 120-mm ammunition. The Mark 1 and Mark 2 versions have a 105-mm main gun.

(b) Secondary Armament. The Mark 3 version has a 7.62-mm machine gun mounted coaxial with the main gun and there are another two 7.62-mm roof mounted machine guns. The Merkava carries a total of 10,000 rounds of 7.62-mm ammunition. On each side of the turret there is a bank of 78.5-mm smoke grenade launchers. There is also a 60-mm turret mounted mortar.

(5) Countries Served. Israel is the only country that uses the Merkava MBT.

k. M1 Abrams Main Battle Tank (Figure 1-9).

The M1 offers improvement over M60 series tanks in areas of protection, mobility, firepower. The M1 also offers improvement in reliability, availability, maintainability, and durability (RAM-D). It has a very high automotive performance, but quiet operation due to its turbine engine.

For protection against newer anti-tank weapons, the M1 turret and hull has advanced armor protection similar to the English Chobham armor used on the Challenger and Leopard 2 main battle tanks.

Figure 1-9. M1 Abrams Main Battle Tank.

(1) Variants. The following variants of the M1 have been produced.

(a) Improved M1. The improved M1 is essentially the basic M1 with improved armor protection.

(b) M1A1. In addition to the improved armor of the improved M1, the M1A1 has the 120-mm gun and an integrated NBC system. The system provides the crew with conditioned air for breathing and also supplies cooling or heating for the crew as required while they are wearing their protective suits and face masks.

The M1A1 has two blow-off panels in the turret roof, while the M1 has three. Of the 40 rounds of 120-mm ammunition carried by the M1A1, 34 are in the turret bustle and 6 are in a rear hull box. In addition to the smoke dischargers, the M1A1 also has an engine-operated smoke-laying system.

(c) M1A1 with Depleted Uranium (DU) Armor. This significantly improved armor was designed to meet Warsaw Pact anti-armor weapons. Depleted uranium has two and a half times the density of steel.

(d) M1A1 for U.S. Marine Corps. The M1A1 for the U.S. Marine Corps is identical to the U.S. Army version with few minor exceptions. The Marine M1A1 includes a deep fording kit with a cap for the 120-mm main gun and engine intake and exhaust towers which enable the tank to ford a depth of 2 meters. It also has more tie-downs for secure stowage on board ship.

(e) M1 Abrams Bulldozer Kit. The bulldozer kit fits onto the MBT's lifting eyes and towing lugs. It is powered by the tank's 24 volt electrical system.

(f) M1 AVLB. A three-part Heavy Assault Bridge (HAB) will span a gap of 30 meters, compared to the 19.2 meters of the current HAB on the M48/M60 chassis. It will weigh some 5,000 kg less than the current two-part scissors bridge. The high-strength aluminum and composite materials will be field-weldable. The new HAB will take vehicles up to 70 tons.

(2) Recognition Features. The M1 Abrams has the following features:

  • Seven road wheels with a wider gap between the first and second road wheels.
  • Needle-nosed turret with flat, well-sloped sides centered on the chassis.
  • Gun tube with a bore evacuator 2/3 way down from the muzzle.

(3) Vehicle Characteristics. The driver sits in the front center in a semi-reclining position when his hatch is closed. He steers with a motorcycle-type T-bar with twist grip controls for throttle and electronic fuel management. A panel displays the condition of fluid levels, filters, batteries, electrical connectors, and circuit breakers. Opening to the right is the driver's single hatch which has three integral periscopes. He has a 120-degree field of view. His night-driving periscope will fit into the loader's periscope housing.

The commander and gunner sit on the right of the turret, and the loader on the left. The commander has six periscopes that cover 360 degrees. He also has a x3 sight for the 12.7-mm machine gun, and an optical extension of the gunner's primary sight (GPS). This GPS has dual x10 and x3 day optics or x10 and x3 thermal imaging night vision, a Hughes laser rangefinder, and sight stabilization. The gunner has a x8 auxiliary sight. The loader has a x1 periscope that can traverse 360 degrees.

The Hughes infrared Thermal Imaging System (TIS) senses a small difference in heat radiated by objects. This is converted to electrical signals which are displayed on a cathode ray tube, similar to a TV picture. This image also is projected into the gunner's eyepiece. His sight displays target range information, ready-to-fire, and other systems indications. It also indicates if the laser rangefinder has received more than one return. The fire control computer has data entry and test panels for fault diagnosis.

Armor bulkheads separate the fuel tanks from the crew. Sliding armor doors and armored boxes isolate the main gun ammunition. A Halon fire-extinguishing system reacts to the outbreak of a fire in two milliseconds and extinguishes the fires in less than 250 milliseconds. If penetrated by a HEAT projectile, the ready-use ammunition stowed in the turret bustle would explode through top panels. The turret bustle magazine also vents to the rear as well as upwards. Heavy access doors are kept closed automatically when the loader is not holding a pressure switch.

An engine-driven pump provides power for the electro-hydraulic gun and turret. A 1,500 horsepower gas turbine engine operates primarily on diesel or kerosene-based fuel, but can operate on gasoline during emergencies. Most engine components can be removed without taking out the engine. A complete powerpack can be removed and replaced in less than an hour, compared with four hours for the M60 series tanks. The gas turbine delivers more horsepower than a comparable diesel because of the low cooling requirement. Exhaust is at the rear and air inlet at the hull top.

Measurements
Combat Weight, 54,545 kg Track length on ground, 4.65 meters
Hull length, 7.918 meters Fuel capacity, 1,907.6 liters
Overall width, 3.653 meters Maximum road range, 498 km
Overall height, 2.885 meters Maximum cross country speed, 48.3 km/h
Ground clearance, 0.432 meters Maximum road speed, 72.4 km/h
Track width, 635mm  

(4) Vehicle Capabilities. The M1 can:

  • cross a 2.743-meter trench.
  • mount a 1.244-meter vertical step.
  • climb a 60-percent grade.
  • ford 1.219 meters without preparation.
  • ford 1.98 meters with preparation.

(5) Armament Characteristics. A stabilization system permits accurate firing on the move. The gunner merely places his graticule on the target, and uses the laser rangefinder to determine the range. Then a computer applies necessary angles, and the gunner opens fire. The computer also gets information from a wind sensor and a pendulum static can't sensor on the turret roof. The main gun has a muzzle reference system to measure the bend of the gun. The gunner manually sets battle sight range, ammunition type, barrel wear, muzzle reference compensation, barometric pressure, and ammunition temperature.

(a) Main Armament. The turret can accept the standard 105-mm M68 series gun or the German Rheinmetall 120-mm smoothbore gun (American designation M256). The 105-mm gun fires standard M60 type armor piercing rounds. An new depleted uranium (DU) round has higher density and penetrating capabilities (not exported by the U.S.). The tank carries 55 rounds of 105-mm ammunition; 44 in the turret bustle, three horizontally in spall-proof containers on the turret basket, and eight in a hull box. When fitted with the 120-mm gun, the tank is designated M1A1. The M1A1 carries 40 rounds of 120-mm ammunition; 34 in the turret bustle and six in a rear hull box. Maximum effective range is 3,000 meters.

(b) Secondary Armament. Mounted coaxially to the main gun is a 7.62-mm M240 machine gun. A similar machine gun is skate-mounted on the left side of the turret for the gunner. The M1 carries some 11,400 rounds of 7.62-mm ammunition. A standard 12.7-mm (50-cal.) Browning M2 HB machine gun is located at the commander's station. It can be aimed and fired from within the turret. The tank carries 1,000 rounds of 12.7-mm ammunition. A M250 six-barrelled smoke discharger is on either side of the turret. The M1A1 also has an engine-operated smoke-laying system.

(6) Countries Served. Congress approved the sale of 555 M1A1s to Egypt, with the first 15 complete tanks to be delivered in 1991. General Dynamics stated other potential customers as Canada (250 tanks), Pakistan (some 400), Saudi Arabia (315), and possibly Kuwait.

l. M48 Series/M48A5 Main Battle Tank (Figure 1-10). Design work for the M48 series MBT began in 1950, and the first production model was completed in 1952. By completion of production, 11,703 M48s were built.

Figure 1-10. M48A2 (left) and M48A5 (right) Main Battle Tank.

(1) Variants. The M48 went through several modifications. They are discussed in the following subparagraphs.

(a) M48. The first model has a small driver's hatch, five track return rollers, no tensioning idler, no dust shields on the fenders, and a "T" or cylindrical-type blast deflector on the barrel. The commander's cupola has the 12.7-mm machine gun on an open mount rather than in a fully enclosed cupola.

(b) M48C. A letter C is embossed on the right front of the hull meaning this training tank has a non-ballistic mild steel hull unsuitable for combat. This model is used for training only.

(c) M48A1. This model has a larger driver's hatch, fully-enclosed commander's cupola, fender dust shields, rear track idler wheel, five track return rollers, and a "T" type blast deflector.

(d) M48A2. This has a fuel-injection system, larger fuel tanks, improved engine deck to minimize infrared detection, constant-pressure turret control system, improved fire-control system, modified commander's cupola, stowage basket mounted at the turret rear, and the main gun is fitted with a "T" type blast deflector. Also, jettisonable long-range fuel tanks can be fitted at the rear.

(e) M48A2C. This model is almost identical to the M48A2, except for slight differences in the optical and fire control equipment. Most models do not have the track tensioner wheel.

(f) M48A3. A rebuild of earlier tanks, this has the same diesel engine as the M60A1, an improved fire control system, and the commander's cupola is modified by mounting a circular ring with vision blocks between the roof of the turret and the base of the commander's cupola. Most have only three track return rollers and no rear idler. They also have "T" type blast deflectors and fender dust shields.

(g) M48A5. This was a rather large modernization (M48A4 was canceled). The M48A5 is used by the National Guard. The M48A5 version includes: top-loading air cleaner, top-deck grille, engine and transmission shroud, gun travel lock, exhaust grilles, new engine, track, final drives, tow pintle, hull turret seal, torsion bar knockout, bulkhead, fuel tank, track support rollers and shield, turret basket, modified hull ammunition stowage, driver's controls, periscope and escape hatch, gun shield and cover, turret and gun control, 105-mm gun, composite headlamp, searchlight, M87 gun mount, and various ballistics kits. Also provided is a modified commander's cupola and a 7.62mm M60D machine gun at the loader's hatch.

(h) German M48s. Germany rebuilt 650 M48s to a new configuration known as the M48A2GA2. The modifications included the replacement of the 90-mm gun by the same 105-mm L7A3 rifled gun used in the Leopard 1. Further modifications included a new commander's cupola, modified ammunition stowage, passive night vision equipment for the driver, commander, and gunner, and modifications to the fire control system. German M48s also have four German smoke dischargers on either side of the turret. The driver has an image-intensifier periscope. A passive TV aiming and observation unit with a screen that can be seen by both the commander and gunner is mounted over the 105-mm gun.

(i) M48 Armored Vehicle Launched Bridge. An M48 chassis is fitted with a scissors bridge that is launched hydraulically over the front in three minutes. The bridge opens to 19.2 meters and spans a gap of 18.3 meters. It weighs 14,470 kg. and has a 60,000 kg. capacity. The two-man AVLB weighs 55,746 kg. with bridge.

(2) Recognition Features. The gunner sits forward and below the commander. His telescopic sight is mounted on the roof and is linked to the main gun.

The loader has a hatch cover opening to the rear. To the rear of the turret is a dome-shaped ventilator and stowage basket.

Other key features of the M48 are:

  • Six road wheels with support rollers.
  • Raised commander's cupola on the right top of the turret.
  • Oval/dome-shaped turret located forward on the chassis.
  • Bore evacuator and blast deflector at the end of the muzzle.

(3) Vehicle Characteristics. The cast hull is boat shaped with additional sections welded into position. The driver sits in the center front with a hatch cover opening to the right. In front of him are three periscopes. A night periscope is in the turntable in the driver's hatch.

The one-piece cast turret holds the commander and gunner on the right, and the loader on the left. The commander has a 360-degree traversable cupola with five vision blocks and a sight for controlling the .50-cal. machine gun.

Infrared driving lights are fitted as standard and most models have an infrared/white light searchlight mounted over the main gun which has a maximum range of 2,000 meters. Standard equipment also includes an NBC system, heaters, external infantry phone, and provision for installing a dozer blade on the front of the hull. The following paragraphs include M48 specifications.

Measurements
Model M48 M48A1 M48A2 M48A3 M48A5
Combat wt. (kg) 44,906 47,173 47,173 47,173 48,987
Hull length (m) 6.705 6.87 6.87 6.882 6.419
Width (m) 3.631 3.631 3.631 3.631 3.631
Height (m) 3.241 3.13 3.089 3.124 3.086
Ground clearance 0.393 0.387 0.385 0.406 0.419
Track (m) 2.921 2.921 2.921 2.921 2.921
Track width (mm) 711 711 711 711 711
Track length on ground (m) 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.0
Road speed (km/h) 41.8 41.8 48.2 48.2 48.2
Fuel (liters) 757 757 1,268 1,420 1,420
Road range (km) 113 113 258 463 499
Armor (all models)
Hull front 101/120mm Turret front 110mm
Hull sides front 76mm Turret sides 76mm
Hull sides rear 51mm Turret rear 50mm
Hull top 57mm Turret top 25mm
Hull floor 12.7/63mm    
Hull rear 44mm    

(4) Vehicle Capabilities. The M48 can

  • cross a2.59-meter trench.
  • mount a0.915-meter vertical step.
  • climb a 60-percent grade.
  • ford 1.219 meters without preparation.
  • ford 2.438 meters with preparation.

(5) Armament Characteristics. The main and secondary armaments of the M48 are discussed below.

(a) Main Armament. An M41 90-mm gun has an evacuator chamber, blast deflector, and breech mechanism assembly. The barrel has a life of 700 equivalent full-charge rounds. The gun fires various anti-personnel, armor-piercing, high-explosive, anti-tank, and smoke rounds. Belgian and Israeli companies have developed improved armor penetrating rounds for this gun. Eight rounds are at ready use in the turret, 16 stowed vertically around the turret ring, 19 to the left, and 11 to the right of the driver. Newer versions have a 105-mm gun.

(b) Secondary Armament. Mounted coaxially to the left of the main armament is a 7.62-mm M73 machine gun. Earlier models have a 7.62-mm M1919A4E1 weapon. On the commander's cupola is a 12.7-mm Browning M2 HB machine gun that can be aimed and fired from within the cupola in elevation of -10 to +60 degrees.

(6) Countries Served. The M48 MBT in one or another version is in service with the following countries.

Germany Morocco Taiwan
Greece Norway Thailand
Iran Pakistan Tunisia
Israel Portugal Turkey
Jordan South Korea United States
Lebanon Spain Vietnam

m. Super M48 Main Battle Tank. A German private venture offers a retrofit package for improvements to the vehicle, armor protection, mobility, or firepower. The Super M48 main battle tank has additional armor protection for turret front and sides, new tracks and skirts, commander's cupola, and 105-mm gun with a thermal sleeve.

(1) Recognition Features. The Super M48 MBT has

  • 105-mm main gun.
  • six evenly spaced road wheels.
  • uneven or jagged side skirts.

(2) Vehicle Characteristics. Add-on armor is fastened to the basic structure of the turret front and sides by elastic elements. If damaged or hit, another panel can be quickly interchanged.

An MTU MB 837 Ka-501 diesel engine develops 1,000 horsepower at 2,300 rpm. It has an intercooler, exhaust turbo-chargers, flat radiators, and an air cleaner system with a dust evacuation blower. This diesel has a much greater operating range than the 113 km for the gasoline engine of the original M48. A fully-automatic steering transmission is integrated with a brake system that has a retarder and multiple disc brakes. The powerpack is equipped with quick-disconnect couplings and mountings to allow for quick replacement.

The top decking of the engine compartment is modified. The fuel system was changed to a 1,050-liter capacity, with five storage tanks and one delivery tank. The Super M48 also has a new electrical system and fire-suppression system.

A MOLF 48 firecontrol system has a roof-mounted primary gunner's sight incorporating day sight, laser rangefinder, and thermal night sight. A computer controls the main gun and coaxial machine gun. The system can engage stationary or moving targets while the tank is either stationary or moving. The stabilization system has four modes:

  • "stab on" when stabilized gun and turret are slaved to the gunner's primary stabilized sight.
  • "stab ready" for self-stabilized gun and turret, manual laying with hydraulic power, and line of sight electrically slaved in elevation and azimuth
  • "observation" for manual laying by hand cranks and line of sight is electrically slaved to elevation and azimuth.
  • "turret off" for manual laying by handcranks, gunner aims using FERO Z19 panoramic telescope.

The suspension system gives an improved ride and good pre-stabilization for the firecontrol system. A new track has removable rubber pads and spoon-shaped end connectors for increased life and reduced track noise. Armored side skirts help reduce dust going into the air cleaners.

Measurements
Combat weight, 53,000 kg Track width, 711mm
Hull length, 6.87 meters Road speed, 56.3 km/h
Hull height, 1.475 meters Fuel capacity, 1,050 liters
to cupola top, 2.9 meters  

(3) Vehicle Capabilities. The Super M48 MBT can

  • cross a 2.69-meter trench.
  • mount a 0.915-meter vertical step.
  • climb a 60-percent grade.
  • climb a 30-percent side slope.
  • ford 1.219 meters.

(4) Armament Characteristics. A 105-mm L7A3 rifled tank gun replaces the M48 tank's 90-mm gun. The Super M48 carries 40 rounds of 105-mm ammunition in the hull and on the turret platform. There is a new electro-hydraulic gun/turret drive and weapon stabilization system.

A bank of four Wegmann smoke/fragmentation dischargers may be fitted on either side of the turret towards the rear.

n. M60 Series (M60A1/M60A3) Main Battle Tank (Figure 1-11). The XM60 was an M48 rebuilt for increased operational range and mobility with a minimum of refueling and servicing, plus an improved main gun. Chrysler began producing the M60 in 1960. General Dynamics completed the production of M60A3s in 1987.

Figure 1-11. M60A1 (left) and M60A3 (right) Main Battle Tank Armed with 105-mm Main Gun.

(1) Variants. The M60A1 has a new engine, fully-stabilized main gun, top-loading air cleaner, tracks, and better night-vision equipment.

(a) M60A2. This model has been phased out. Most of the 526 M60A2s built have been converted to other uses such as AVLB, M728 Combat Engineer Vehicle, or Counter Obstacle Vehicle.

(b) M60A3. Many improvements such as the add-on stabilization system, reliability improved selected equipment (RISE) engine, and smoke grenade launchers were first fitted to the M60A1. The M60A3 mainly has an improved fire control system, with laser rangefinder and solid-state computer. It computes range data, cross-wind velocity, air temperature, gun trunnion tilt, air density, altitude, target tracking rate, and ammunition ballistics. The cross-wind sensor is spring mounted for encountering low branches.

The gunner's control unit has a self-test row of lights for less burdensome troubleshooting. Thermal sights improved night-fighting capability and enabled the tank to see through smoke and ground cover. This AN/VSG thermal imaging equipment replaced the gunner's passive night-vision periscope. The major improvements for the M60A3 are:

  • Top-loading air cleaner.
  • AN/VSS-1 searchlight replaced by AN/VSS-3A on passive tanks thermal gunner's sight.
  • T97 tracks replaced by T142 tracks with removable pads.
  • AVDS-1790-2C RISE engine.
  • Thermal shroud for main gun.
  • Laser rangefinder.
  • 650 amp oil-cooled alternator.
  • Solid-state computer.
  • British-style six-barrelled smoke dischargers fitted to either side of turret.
  • Engine smoke generator.
  • Automatic Halon fire-extinguishing system.

(c) Mine Roller System. The M60A1 and M60A3 MBTs have mine roller systems that can be installed.

(d) XM1060 Robotic Breaching Assault Tank (ROBAT). The ROBAT has been tested for a possible 142 conversions of the M60 chassis. The crew may operate the vehicle by remote control by a fiber-optic video link, or the commander and driver sit in tandem in two armored pods fitted with an NBC system. The ROBAT fires a line filled with explosive over a minefield and then detonates any remaining mines with front-mounted mine-clearing rollers. A Cleared Lane Marking System (CLAMS) dispenses day or chem-illuminescent light sticks from the rear to mark the cleared lane.

(e) M9 Bulldozer Kit. This kit is a depot retrofit package that gives M60s bulldozing capabilities.

(f) M60 AVLB. The AVLB has a hydraulic launching mechanism and an aluminum scissors bridge. The 14,470-kg bridge opens in two minutes to a length of 19.2 meters. It spans a 18.288-meter gap.

(g) M728 Combat Engineer Vehicle. The M728 has a short-barrelled 165-mm M135 demolition gun, a 7.62-mm machine gun mounted coaxially to the main gun, and a 12.7-mm machine gun at the commander's cupola for ground and anti-aircraft use. A hydraulic dozer blade clears obstacles and prepares fire positions. Pivoted at the front is an A-frame that works with a two-speed 11,340-kg winch. It also has an infrared searchlight. The vehicle is also used by Saudi Arabia and Singapore.

(h) Israeli Upgraded M60 Series Main Battle Tank. Combat experience resulted in many upgrades to Israel's numerous M60 series tanks. A major upgrade was announced in 1989 to extend the operational lives of their tanks into the 1990s.

Areas upgraded include an Israeli-developed thermal sleeve for the 105-mm gun, explosive reactive armor, new Urdan commander's cupola, two roof-mounted 7.62-mm machine guns, and the Israeli Military Industries (IMI) CL-3030 instantaneous self-screening system either side of the main gun.

A new passive armor is the key part of the latest upgrade which also included a new engine, tracks, and fire control system. The armor is fitted to the glacis, nose, turret front and sides, and forward part of the roof. Lateral protection is provided by armored skirts. Openings in the armor package can be seen in the right side for the gunner's sight, and in the left side for the coaxial machine gun. This passive armor protects against kinetic energy and chemical energy attack.

Appearing like banks of bricks, earlier explosive reactive armor was for chemical energy, the RPG-7 and Sagger-type anti-tank guided weapons are used by Arab armies. Called Blazer, this armor adds less than one ton to the vehicle weight. It has small panels bolted onto the hull and turret that react to HEAT attack but not small arms ammunition, fire or artillery fragments. Once hit, the panel no longer provides protection, but the possibility of a second hit is considered remote.

The Matador computerized fire control system, already in service on the Merkava, includes a laser rangefinder. Remaining unchanged is the IMI 105-mm M68 gun installed on all Israeli M60, Centurion, and Merkava Mk 1 and 2 vehicles. This gun may have significantly improved armor piercing rounds developed by IMI.

(2) Recognition Features. The M60 MBT has a wedge-shaped nose and vertical side walls, whereas the M48 hull had a rounded hose and elliptical cross section. The M60A1 has a cast section hull with forged floor plates welded together. The driver sits in front and has a hatch cover that opens to the right. Forward of his hatch are three periscopes. Near the driver's position is a hull escape hatch.

In the all-cast turret, the loader is on the left, and the commander and gunner on the right. At the rear of the turret is an external stowage basket. The loader has a rear-opening hatch cover with an integral 360-degree periscope.

The commander's cupola can be traversed through 360 degrees. It has eight vision blocks, and a sight in the forward part of a hatch cover that swings to the rear. The gunner has a telescopic periscope with rangefinder or night vision capability and sits in front of and below the commander. Other key features are as follows:

  • Six road wheels with three support rollers.
  • High silhouette and prominent cupola.
  • Gun tube with bore evacuator 2/3 way down from the muzzle.
  • No bore evacuator.
  • Streamlined wedge- or tortoise shell-shaped turret.
  • Thermal shielding on the barrel.
  • .50-caliber machine gun mounted in the cupola.
  • Rectangular searchlight over the main gun on the M60A1 (no searchlight on M60A3).
  • M60A1 is similar to M60A3, but lacks thermal shroud and sometimes the smoke grenade launchers.
  • M60A2 has a long narrow and square-sided turret with a short, stubby gun tube.

(3) Vehicle Characteristics. The engine compartment is at the rear of the hull and is separated from the fighting compartment by a fireproof bulkhead. The torsion bar suspension system consists of six dual rubber-tired road wheels with the idler at the front, the drive sprocket at the rear, and three track return rollers.

The NBC system is a central air filtration type which pipes fresh air to each crew member via a tube. The crew compartment is provided with a heater. A RADIAC NBC detector can be fitted if required. Some key characteristics and specifications are as follows:

Measurements
Model M60 M60A1 M60A3
Combat Wt (kg) 49,714 52,617 52,617
Length Hull (m) 6.946 6.946 6.946
Width (m) 3.631 3.631 3.631
Height (m) 3.213 3.27 3.27
Ground Clearance (m) 0.463 0.463 0.45
Track (m) 2.921 2.921 2.921
Track Width (mm) 711 711 711
Track length on ground (m) 4.235 4.235 4.235
Road Speed (km/h) 48.28 48.28 48.28
Fuel (liters) 1,457 1,420 1,420
Range (km) 500 500 480

(4) Vehicle Capabilities. The M60 can

  • cross a 2.59-meter trench.
  • mount a 0.914-meter vertical step.
  • climb a 60-percent grade.
  • climb a 30-percent side slope.
  • ford 1.219 meters without preparation.
  • ford 2.438 meters with preparation.

(5) Armament Characteristics. The main and secondary armament characteristics are discussed below.

(a) Main Armament. The M60, M60A1, and M60A3 have a 105-mm M68 rifled tank gun with bore evacuator. Between six and eight rounds a minute can be fired by a well-trained crew. Thirteen rounds are carried in the turret for ready use, 21 in the turret bustle, 3 under the gun, and 26 in the forward part of the hull. The 105-mm gun fires a variety of armor piercing, anti-personnel, high-explosive, smoke, or dummy rounds. Maximum effective range is 3,000 meters (M60A1--2,000 meters).

(b) Secondary Armament. An M85 12.7-mm (.50-cal.) machine gun is mounted in the commander's cupola. A 7.62-mm machine gun is mounted coaxially to the main gun.

(6) Countries Served. The M60 or variant is used in the following countries:

Austria Iran North Yemen Taiwan
Bahrain Israel Oman Tunisia
Egypt Italy Saudi Arabia United States
Ethiopia Jordan Sudan  

o. Panzer (Pz) 61 and Pz 68 Main Battle Tank. This section discusses the Swiss Pz 61 and the Pz 68 MBTs. Production began on the Pz 61 in 1961. Development of the Pz 61 led to the Pz 68. Figure 1-12 shows a Swiss Army Pz 61 MBT.

Figure 1-12. Pz 61 Main Battle Tank.

(1) Variants. There are several variants of the Pz 68. The Pz 68 became known as the Mark 1. Therefore, the variants discussed below begin with the Mark 2 version.

(a) Pz 68 Mark 2. This vehicle is basically the Pz 68 Mark 1 with an alternator, thermal sleeve for the main armament, and a system for extracting carbon monoxide.

(b) Pz Mark 3. This has all of the improvements of the Marks 1 and 2, but also has a larger turret.

(c) Pz Mark 4. This is similar to-the Mark 3.

(d) Armored Recovery Vehicle. The ARV is based on the Pz 68 chassis. The vehicle is equipped with a main winch with 120 meters of cable and a maximum capacity of 25,000 kg. The capacity can be increased to 75,000 kg by using snatch blocks. There is an auxiliary winch used to pull out the main cable and has 240 meters of cable. A hydraulically operated dozer blade which is used to stabilize the vehicle or for dozing is mounted at the front. An A-frame with a 15,000 kg lifting capacity is pivot-mounted at the front of the ARV. The ARV is outfitted with a full range of tools and cutting equipment. There is a crew of five. The loaded weight is 38,000 kg. Armament consists of a single 7.5-mm machine gun and eight smoke dischargers.

(e) Armored Bridgelayer. The bridgelayer is based on the Pz 68 chassis. The bridge has an overall length of 18.23 meters and a maximum capacity of 60,000 kg. Its normal capacity is 50,000 kg. The bridgelayer has a crew of three and weighs 44,600 kg with the bridge.

(2) Recognition Features. The Pz 61 and Pz 68 have the following features:

  • Six evenly spaced road wheels.
  • Rounded turret mounted forward of the center of the hull.
  • Pz 61 has no bustle.
  • Fume extractor on main gun.

(3) Vehicle Characteristics. The vehicle characteristics for the Pz 61 and the Pz 68 are discussed separately in the following subparagraphs.

(a) Pz 61. The Panzer 61 has a one-piece cast hull and turret. The driver sits at the front center, and has three periscopes in front of his hatch, which has a cover hinged to the rear. The commander and gunner sit on the right, and the loader on the left. The commander's cupola has eight periscopes and a hatch cover opening to the rear. The loader's cupola is a little higher, which restricts the commander's area of observation. The commander operates a split image coincidence x8 rangefinder. The gunner also has a periscope. Unlike most other contemporary tanks, the turret has no bustle.

The rear engine is separated by a fireproof bulkhead. It takes about an hour to remove the complete powerpack, consisting of engine, auxiliary engine, transmission, cooling, and exhaust system. A German engine is coupled to a Swiss transmission with six forward and two reverse gears. There are six rubber-tired, independently sprung road wheels. There are three track return rollers. The cast-manganese tracks have no rubber pads.

Standard equipment includes an NBC system, hull escape hatch, and a drinking water tank. Deep fording capability is not provided.

A newer PZ 61 AA9 has a dry-air filter, an SE-412 radio, and coaxial 7.5-mm machine gun.

(b) Pz 68. This model incorporated a stabilization system allowing the main gun to engage targets accurately while the tank is moving. On the left side of the turret is an ammunition resupply hatch. It has a more powerful engine and modified transmission, wider tracks with replaceable rubber pads, and more track contact with the ground. On the rear of the turret is a large stowage basket. Deep fording equipment can be installed.

The main 105-mm gun has a fume extractor but no muzzle brake. An illuminating rocket with a range of 1,300 meters can be launched from a system with 12 projectiles on the turret roof between the commander's and loader's cupolas.

Measurements
  Pz 61 Pz 68
Combat Weight 38,000 kg 39,700 kg
Hull length 6.78 meters 6.88 meters
Hull width 3.08 meters 3.14 meters
Overall height 2.85 meters 2.88 meters
Ground clearance 0.42 meters 0.41 meters
Track 2.59 meters 2.59 meters
Track width 500mm 520mm
Track length on ground 4.13 meters 4.43 meters
Max road speed 55 km/h 55 km/h
Fuel capacity 760 liters 710 liters
Maximum road range 300 km 350 km
Armor
Armor on the Pz 61 and Pz 68 varies from 15mm to 120mm.

(4) Vehicle Capabilities. The Pz 61 and Pz 68 can

  • cross a 2.6-meter trench.
  • mount a 0.75-meter vertical step.
  • climb a 60-percent grade.
  • ford 1.1 meters.

(5) Armament Characteristics. The main and secondary armament of the Pz 61 and the Pz 68 are discussed in the following subparagraphs.

(a) Main Armament. The main armament is a Swiss 105-mm gun known as the Pz Kan 61. It can fire a Swiss-designed high explosive round, an Israeli APFSDS, APDS, HESH, and smoke rounds. The gun control system is similar to that used on the French AMX30.

(b) Secondary Armament. A 7.5-mm MG 51 machine gun is mounted in front of the loader's hatch. Coaxial to the main gun is a 20-mm cannon.

(6) Countries Served. The Pz 61 and Pz 68s are only used in Switzerland.

p. STRV-103 (S-Tank) Main Battle Tank (Figure 1-13). This turret-less tank has a fixed gun that is elevated and traversed by altering the pitch of the hull and turning the whole vehicle. Named the Stridsvagn 103, Bofors designed an external crowbar steering system, adjustable hydro-pneumatic suspension system, and automatic loading system. Newer vehicles have a flotation screen for amphibious operation and a dozer blade.

Figure 1-13. Bofors Strv 103B Main Battle Tank.

(1) Variants. The variants of the S-tank are discussed in the following subparagraphs.

(a) S-Tank Modernization Program. All vehicles are having the Rolls-Royce K60 engine replaced by a Detroit Diesel 6V-53T that develops 290 horsepower. They are also being fitted with a new transmission, electronics, radiators, generator, silencer, laser rangefinder, computer, and fuel cans along the sides of the tank to increase range and protection.

(b) S-Tank With Mine Clearing Rollers. The first Swedish-developed mine-clearing rollers were delivered in 1989. Tests showed that they can detonate 15 to 20 heavy anti-tank mines at the same time as continuing to breach mines across the same clearing width.

(2) Recognition Features. Obviously, the most distinguishing feature of the STRV-103 is the fact that is has no turret. A series of horizontal ribs on the glacis plate is for deflecting armor-piercing hits. Some key features of the S-tank are:

  • No turret.
  • Fully tracked.
  • Four large road wheels.
  • Long, sloping nose plate, giving a wedge appearance.
  • Bore evacuator at the middle of the main gun barrel, near the mantle.
  • Dozer blade folded under tank nose.
  • Low hull.

(3) Vehicle Characteristics. The S-tank has an all-welded hull holding the engines and transmission at the front, and magazines at the rear. Two engines are geared together; the diesel normally used all the time, and the gas turbine used only when in action. The gas turbine also can be used for cold-weather starting, or when the diesel is not working. The engine compartment has two fire extinguishers. The glacis plate and the main gun must be removed before the engine can be changed. The process takes about four hours.

The commander is on the right side of the tank, slightly to the rear of the radio operator. The commander has four periscopes and a combined periscope and binocular sight which is not operated with a laser rangefinder. The sight is stabilized in elevation. The cupola is stabilized in azimuth and can be traversed through 208 degrees. After locating a target, the commander uses handle bars on tiller columns to lay the tank onto the target. He selects ammunition type and fires the main gun. When firing the main gun, the suspension is locked for a more stable platform.

The driver also lays and fires the main gun. He sits on the left side of the hull and has a combined periscope and binocular sight to his front and a single periscope to the left. A laser rangefinder works through the sight also. Behind the driver is a radio operator who has a single-piece hatch cover, two periscopes, and controls to drive backwards if necessary. The fighting compartment has a hull-escape hatch.

All periscopes and sights have armored shutters to protect against shell splinters and prevent giving away the S-tank's position by sun glinting on its periscopes.

The first and fourth road wheels are on leading arms, while second and third are on trailing arms. A dozer blade folded under the nose can be secured by two rods after swinging forward through operating the hydro-pneumatic suspension. The S-tank is prepared for, but has no NBC system.

A flotation screen is erected from around the top of the hull in 15 to 20 minutes. The tank then propels through the water with its tracks at 6 km/h. When amphibious, the driver stands on top in the rear with a remote throttle control. He steers with reins attached to the main tiller.

Measurements
Combat weight, 39,700 kg Track width, 670mm
Hull length,7.04 meters Track length on
Total height, 2.43 meters ground 2.85 meters
to cupola top, 2.14 meters Road speed, 50 km/h
Width, 3.63 meters Water speed, 6 km/h
Ground clearance, 0.4 meters Fuel capacity, 960 liters
Track, 2.6 meters Road range, 390 km

(4) Vehicle Capabilities. The STRV-103 can

  • cross a 2.3-meter trench.
  • mount a O.9-meter vertical step.
  • climb a 60-percent grade.
  • ford 1.5 meters.
  • become amphibious with the installation of the flotation screen.

(5) Armament Characteristics. The armament of the S-tank is discussed below.

(a) Main Armament. The main armament is a 105-mm rifled tank gun 62 calibers long. It has a bore evacuator, but no muzzle brake. The L74 mainly is a longer version of the British L7 series found on many other tanks. The gun is loaded from a rear magazine that holds 50 various armor-piercing or high-explosive rounds in 10 racks. The magazines are filled through two hatches in the rear in about 10 minutes. An automatic loader allows the gun to fire at a rate of 15 rounds per minute. Empty cartridge cases are automatically ejected outside the hull.

(b) Secondary Armament. Mounted similar to the main gun on the left side of the hull are two fixed 7.62-mm machine guns that fire alternately. When empty, they have to be reloaded by someone leaving the vehicle. To the left of the commander's cupola is an anti-aircraft 7.62-mm machine gun which can be aimed and fired from within. Two Bofors Lyran launchers on the roof are for target illumination at night.

(6) Countries Served. The S-tank is in service only with the Swedish Army.

2. Thyssen Henschel THE 301 Medium Tank.

The following subparagraphs present information on only one medium tank. It is the Thyssen Henschel THE 301 (TAM) tank.

The Tanque Argentino Mediano (TAM) was developed for the Argentinean Army by Thyssen Henschel of Germany. According to Thyssen Henschel, the TAM is superior to the Leopard 1 in firepower and mobility. Argentina's main reason to develop a tank in the 30-ton range rather than the normal 40- to 50-ton range was that many bridges and roads in South America could not stand up to the heavier tanks. Figure 1-14 shows the TAM tank without detachable rubber side skirts or the LLTV camera.

Figure 1-14. Thyssen Henschel THE 301 (TAM) Medium Tank.

a. Variants. There were several variants of the TAM, some of which were never placed into production.

(1) Infantry Combat Vehicle. Argentina considered it an advantage to have to have a tank and an infantry combat vehicle based on the same chassis with resulting logistical, training, and economic advantages.

(2) TAM 4. This tank is externally very similar to the THE 301. It has significant differences in the powerpack and fire control system. The TAM 4 has a Rheinmetall 105-mm main gun and fires all standard 105-mm ammunition. The main armament is fully stabilized in both planes. For engaging targets at night there is an LLTV camera mounted on the mantlet which moves in elevation with the main armament. Both the commander and the gunner have a TV monitor which displays a second set of electronically generated cross-hairs superimposed on the TV picture.

(3) 155-mm Self-Propelled Gun (SPG). Argentina placed an order for 25 155-mm turrets which will be installed on lengthened TAM chassis. They will have seven road wheels on each side instead of six.

(4) 30-mm Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Gun. This system, called the Dragon, consists of the TAM chassis fitted with a French Thomson-CSF turret with twin 30-mm cannon.

b. Recognition Features. The TAM is based on the Marder infantry combat vehicle chassis. It has the following features:

  • Six evenly spaced road wheels.
  • Drive sprocket in the front and idler in the rear.
  • 105-mm main gun.
  • Turret set to the rear of the chassis.
  • Well sloped glacis plate.
  • Two fuel drums can be mounted on the rear of the tank.

c. Vehicle Characteristics. An all-welded hull has a well-sloped glacis plate for protection against small-arms fire, shell splinters, and up to 40-mm armor piercing rounds.

The driver sits n the front left and has a conventional steering wheel. His hatch cover opens to the right and he has three periscopes. One escape hatch is in the floor, and another in the rear. On the right of the driver is the engine. The glacis plate hinges on the right for maintenance access.

An all-welded turret mounted to the rear of the vehicle holds the commander and gunner on the right, and loader on the left. The commander has eight periscopes, and operates a coincidence rangefinder. In front of his hatch is a non-stabilized panoramic telescopic day or infrared night sight. Forward and below him is the gunner who has a sight combined with a swivelling and tilting periscope. The loader has a hatch opening to the rear, and a tilting periscope in front. On the left side of the turret is a small ammunition loading hatch. At the hull rear is another hatch for emergency exit or rapid reload of ammunition.

A super-charged MTU MB 833 Ka 500 six-cylinder diesel engine develops 720 horsepower at 2,200 rpm. The front sprocket drives Diehl tracks with removable rubber pads. The tops of the tracks may be covered with detachable rubber skirts. There are six rubber-tired road wheels and three track return rollers.

Standard equipment includes an NBC system, combustion heater for both cold engine starts and the crew compartment, electric bilge pumps, and a manual or automatic fire-extinguishing system. Optional equipment may be additional armor, radios, and intercoms. Key specifications are as follows:

Measurements
Combat weight, 30,500 kg Track length on ground, 3.9 meters
Hull length, 6.77 meters Road speed, 75 km/h
Total height, 2.42 meters Road range, 550 km
Width, 3.12 meters with aux tanks, 900 km
Track, 2.62 meters Fuel capacity, 650 liters
Track width, 500mm  

d. Vehicle Capabilities. The THE 301 tank can

  • cross a 2.9-meter trench.
  • mount a 0.9-meter vertical step.
  • climb a 60-percent grade.
  • climb a 30-percent side slope.
  • ford 1.4 meters without preparation.
  • ford 2.25 meters with preparation.
  • ford 4 meters with snorkel.

e. Armament Characteristics. The main and secondary armaments are discussed below.

(1) Main Armament. The main armament is either a 105-mm gun developed in Argentina or a Rheinmetall Rh 105-30. Both fire standard 105-mm tank ammunition. The gun has a bore evacuator, thermal sleeve, and is fully-stabilized. The TAM carries 50 rounds, 20 of them in the turret.

(2) Secondary Armament. Mounted coaxially to the main gun is a 7.62-mm machine gun made in Argentina. Another one on the roof can be used on slow or low-flying aircraft. On either side of the hull are four smoke dischargers.

f. Countries Served. The THE 301 has been tested by Malaysia, Thailand, and Ecuador, but Argentina remains the only country using them.

3. Light Tanks.

There are a number of friendly light tanks. They each have individual characteristics and differences in capabilities. This subcourse presents information on three light tanks. They are--

  • AMX 13 light tank.
  • M41 light tank.
  • M551 light tank/reconnaissance vehicle.

a. AMX 13 Light Tank (Figure 1-15). Since 1952 France has produced over 3,000 of these light battle tanks with numerous modifications. New production vehicles incorporate a new hull front, new diesel engine, automatic transmission, and hydro-pneumatic suspension. The basic chassis has been used for a mechanized infantry combat vehicle, a 105-mm howitzer, a 155-mm gun, and a twin 30-mm anti-aircraft gun system. By adding HOT missiles, the AMX 13 can be used as a tank destroyer. Because of its light weight it may be considered as a useful air-portable reconnaissance vehicle.

Figure 1-15. AMX 13.

(1) Variants. There are numerous variants of the AMX 13. The following subparagraphs provide information about the variants.

(a) 75-mm Main Gun. This first model of the AMX 13 was armed with a 75-mm gun with a single baffle muzzle brake. It is fed from two revolver type magazines, each holding six rounds. When fired, the empty cartridge is ejected out the rear of the turret through a trap door. One round can be fired every five seconds. When empty, the magazines are refilled by hand from outside the tank. It fires armor-piercing and high-explosive rounds, with an APFSDS under development.

Mounted to the right is a 7.5-mm or 7.62-mm machine gun, with another often mounted externally to the commander's position. The vehicle generally carries 37 rounds of 75-mm and 3,600 rounds (in belts of 200) of machine gun ammunition. Also two electrically-operated smoke dischargers are on either side of the turret.

(b) 90-mm Main Gun. This gun barrel is fitted with a thermal sleeve and a single baffle muzzle brake. It fires armor piercing, canister, HEAT, and smoke. A regunning package incorporates turret modifications for two six-round ammunition drums and turret basket ammunition racks with an automatic loading system.

The turret also has a coaxial machine gun, with another at the commander's position. The tank carries 34 rounds of 90-mm ammunition (21 in the turret, of which 12 are in the magazines) and 3,600 machine gun rounds.

(c) 105-mm Howitzer Main Gun. This gun fires the same non-rotating rounds as the AMX 30 MBT except with smaller and lighter propellant.

(d) FL-15 Turret. Special observation equipment includes seven M554 periscopes and two OB44 night observation binoculars for the commander. The gunner has two M556 telescopes. There is a laser rangefinder on the roof. The fire control equipment results in more effective target acquisition, engagement, increased probability of a first-round hit.

(e) 75-mm Gun in FL-11 Turret. This gun is identifiable by absence of rear turret overhang. It has a manually loaded 75-mm gun.

(f) Model 51 with 75-mm Gun and SS-11 Missiles. Two wire-guided anti-tank missiles are mounted on each side of the main armament. The missiles have a range of between 350 and 3,000 meters and the warheads can penetrate 600mm of armor.

(g) Model 51 with 75-mm Gun and HOT Missiles. The missiles are located in three launcher boxes on either side of the turret.

(h) Argentinean AMX 13s. Most of these have probably had their original gasoline engines replaced by diesels.

(i) Creusot-Loire Industrie AMX 13 Version 1987 with 105-mm Gun. The current production models of these tanks are improved in armor, mobility, and fire power. They have a new hull front with improved ballistic protection. Sand guards have been added to help keep down the dust. A 105-mm gun is standard. There is a choice of two diesel engines. They give the tank a road speed of 65 km/h. A new cooling system enables the engine to operate in high ambient temperatures. The automatic Fives Cail Babcock FL-15 turret has a 105-mm gun which can fire many types of ammunition, including APFSDS.

(j) Ecuadorian AMX 13s. The Ecuadorian AMX 13s have a fire control system which includes a laser rangefinder and its control unit, a digital computer that calculates the firing elevation, and a module that injects an aiming graticule into the gunner's original sight. There is a kit available to allow the 105-mm gun to fire APFSDS ammunition.

(k) Singapore AMX 13s. Singapore Automotive Engineering has developed its own repower package with a diesel engine. Other improvements include an automatic gun loading system and a hydro-pneumatic suspension unit.

(l) Venezuelan AMX 13s. These tanks have a 90-mm main gun. They are fitted with a diesel engine and a new cooling system.

(m) Venezuelan AMX 13 Rocket Launchers. Venezuela has about 25 AMX 13 light tank chassis with the turrets replaced by an Israeli 160-mm local acquisition radar (LAR) multiple rocket launcher system.

(n) AMX 13 with Laser Rangefinder. The laser rangefinder is mounted externally behind the gunner. It has a range of between 400 and 9,995 meters.

(o) NIMDA Upgrade for AMX 13. NIMDA, an Israeli company, produces a complete retrofit package for the AMX 13 light tank. The package consists of a new diesel engine, a new automatic transmission, new armament, computerized fire control system, additional armor protection, and a fire/explosion detection and suppression system.

(p) AMX 13 ARV. The AMX 13 ARV is used to recover other members of the AMX 13 family, and for changing major components such as turrets and engines. The ARV is equipped with a front-mounted A-frame, a 15,000 kg capacity winch, a secondary winch, four spades at the rear of the hull, tools, and other equipment. The ARV has a crew of three. The armament consists of an externally-mounted 7.5-mm or 7.62-mm machine gun and smoke dischargers.

(q) AMX 13 Bridgelayer. The bridgelayer is fitted with a folding class 25 bridge which has an unfolded length of 14.01 meters. The bridge is launched over the rear of the vehicle and two stabilizers steady the vehicle while the bridge is being positioned. The ARV has a loaded weight of 19,700 kg.

(2) Recognition Features. The AMX 13 has a driver's and engine compartment at the front. A small turret is set well to the rear, with a large flat overhang. The top half of the two-piece turret oscillates to elevate the gun. The AMX 13 also has these features:

  • Low, square hull.
  • Fully tracked chassis.
  • Five road wheels with support rollers.
  • Steeply sloped front armor.
  • Elongated turret with pronounced rear overhang.
  • Turret hinged in the center for elevating and depressing the gun (oscillating turret).
  • Low-silhouetted hull with a flat-faced turret mounted over the third and fourth road wheels.
  • No bore evacuator.
  • Blast deflector at the muzzle.

(3) Vehicle Characteristics. The driver sits to the left with three periscopes and a hatch cover opening to the left. The commander sits to the left of the turret, has eight periscopes and a domed hatch cover that opens to the rear. The gunner has two periscopes and a single-piece hatch cover opening to the rear. A torsion-bar suspension has five rubber-tired road wheels with the drive sprocket at the front. Steel tracks have 85 links that can be fitted with rubber pads.

An add-on armor package can be installed or removed by the crew with on-board tools. The package is installed on the turret front and sides and on the nose and glacis plate of the hull. This protects against 20-mm armor-piercing projectiles fired from a range of 100 meters over a 180-degree arc.

This tank does not have an NBC system. It cannot be fitted for deep wading. It was not built for night fighting, although some armies have fitted an infrared searchlight to the rear of the gunner's position and an infrared sight for the gunner. Recently the AMX 13 has been produced with passive or thermal night firing and night driving equipment, laser rangefinder, and automatic display of the battle sight.

Measurements
Combat Weight, 15,000 kg Track width, 350mm
Hull length, 4.88 meters Track length on ground, 2.997 meters
Hull width, 2.51 meters Max road speed, 60 km/h
Overall height, 2.3 meters Fuel capacity, 480 liters
Ground clearance, 0.37 meters Maximum road range, 350-400 km
Track, 2.159 meters  
Armor
Hull Thickness Turret Thickness
Front, 15mm Front, 25mm at 45 degrees
Sides, 20mm (equal to 40mm)
Top, 10mm Sides, 25mm
Rear, 15mm Top, 10mm

(4) Vehicle Capabilities. The AMX 13 can

  • cross a 1.6-meter trench.
  • mount a 0.65-meter vertical step.
  • climb a 60-percent grade.
  • climb a 60-percent side slope.
  • ford 0.6 meters.

(5) Armament Characteristics. The following subparagraphs describe the main and secondary armament.

(a) Main Armament. The AMX 13 main armament can be a 75-mm gun, a 90-mm gun, or a 105-mm gun. The ammunition used depends upon which gun is mounted on the tank.

(b) Secondary Armament. A 7.5-mm or a 7.62-mm machine gun is mounted coaxially to the right of the main armament. A similar weapon is often mounted externally at the commander's position. In addition, there are two electrically operated smoke dischargers on either side of the turret.

(6) Countries Served. Nations using the AMX 13 include:

Algeria France Peru
Argentina India Singapore
Austria Indonesia Switzerland
Belgium Ivory Coast Tunisia
Cambodia Lebanon Venezuela
Dominican Republic Morocco  
Ecuador Netherlands  

b. M41 Light Tank (Figure 1-16). This light tank with a stabilized 76-mm automatic gun was designed to replace the M24 Chaffee after World War II. Improvements included cast and welded turret, new mantlet, redesigned ammunition stowage, new fire control system, stabilization system, and automatic lead computer. The M41 Walker Bulldog was named for General W. W. Walker who was killed in Korea.

Figure 1-16. M41 Light Tank.

(1) Variants. There are several variants of the M41. The following subparagraphs discuss them.

(a) The M41A2 is the same as the M41A1 except for a simplified turret and gun control system. This has manual and hydraulic power traverse for the gunner, dual power traverse by the commander, and manual mechanical elevation for the gunner. The more compact system allows 65 rounds instead of 57 rounds of 76-mm ammunition to be carried. The M41A2 and M41A3 also have a fuel injected engine.

(b) Cadillac Gage Turret Modernization system (TMS). A TMS for the M41 can be fitted by the user. Advantages are improved low-speed tracking and target acquisition, high precision gun positioning capability, improved first round hit capability, reduced system weight and volume, simplified system operation and maintenance, simplified overall logistical support, readily available spare parts, increased reliability, and high system growth potential. It also can be fully stabilized for firing on the move.

(c) Brazilian M41. In this version, the original 500 HP gasoline engine has been replaced by a diesel engine. To accommodate the engine, the rear hull has been enlarged and a new cooling system has been installed. The first 20 M41Bs retain the original 76-mm M32 gun. The following 120 to 200 M41Bs were fitted with the M32 gun bored out to fire the same 90-mm ammunition as the Cockerill 90-mm, which is used on other Brazilian armored vehicles. Since 1984, all rebuilt M41s have been equipped with the 90-mm gun. They also have a muzzle brake and bore evacuator. They can fire an APFSDS round. This tank also has a thermal sleeve for the 90-mm gun, side skirts, and additional spaced armor for the forward part of the hull, glacis plate, and turret. Four smoke dischargers are mounted on each side of the turret. Night vision equipment and a laser rangefinder can also be installed. The upgraded engine and transmission provide a maximum road speed of 70 km/h.

(d) Spanish M41. The Spanish Army has 127 M41 lights tanks in service and approximately 120 in reserve. Of these, 100 may be converted to anti-tank use. These will be equipped with either the Euromissile turret with four high subsonic optically tracked (HOT) anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM) in the ready-to-launch position or the improved tube-launched, optically tracked, wire-guided missile (TOW). The remainder will be upgraded with a new powerpack, which gives a maximum road speed of 72/km/h.

(e) M41 German Tank Improvement (GTI). This program replaces the original gasoline engine with a diesel. The new engine and increased fuel capacity increase the range from 161 km to 600 km on roads. Quick disconnect couplings allow the rapid removal of the complete powerpack. Other modifications include a new fire suppression system, suspension, tracks, skirts, an electric turret drive system, a laser rangefinder, smoke dischargers, NBC protection system, radios, and intercom. Six electrically-operated smoke dischargers are mounted on either side of the turret. These smoke dischargers can also fire fragmentation grenades.

(f) M41 with Cockerill LCTS 90 Turret. This two-man power-operated turret is designed for a Cockerill 90-mm Mk 7 gun, a7.62-mm coaxial machine gun, optional 7.62-mm anti-aircraft machine gun, and two banks of smoke dischargers.

(g) NIMDA Upgrade Package for M41. An Israeli company retrofits the M41 with an Israeli 60-mm weapon system, advanced fire control systems and optics, improved protection, new engine, and suspension.

(2) Recognition Features. The M41 light tank is used by several nations, and there are several variants. Some key recognition features are listed below.

  • Five evenly spaced road wheels.
  • Three track return rollers.
  • Drive sprocket in the rear and idler in the front.
  • Turret sits well forward on the hull.
  • Elongated bustle.

(3) Vehicle Characteristics. The driver sits at the front, left side of the all-welded steel hull. Three periscopes are mounted in front of the driver, and another one to his left. Beneath the driver's seat is a hull escape hatch.

The commander and gunner sit on the right, and the loader on the left. A hatch cover opens forward of the commander's cupola, which has five vision blocks and a 360-degree traversable periscope. Another periscope that can be traversed 360 degrees is provided for the gunner.

The gunner also has a telescopic sight for aiming the 76-mm gun. The loader has a single periscope and a hatch cover that opens forward. A light sheet-metal stowage box is mounted on the turret rear. A dome-shaped ventilator is on the turret roof toward the rear. The driver operates the ventilator blower.

The M41 is divided into three compartments. The driver's compartment is at the front, the fighting compartment is in the center, and the engine compartment is at the rear.

Standard equipment on all M41s includes a heater, deep fording equipment, and electric bilge pumps. The M41 is not equipped with an NBC system.

Measurements
Combat Weight, 23,495 kg Track, 2.602 meters
Hull length, 5.819 meters Track width, 533mm
Hull width, 3.198 meters Track length on ground, 3.251 meters
Overall height, 3.075 meters Fuel capacity, 530 liters
Ground clearance, 0.45 meters Maximum road speed, 72 km/h
Armor
Hull Thickness Turret Thickness
Glacis, 25.4mm Mantlet, 38mm
Nose, 31.75mm Front, 25.4mm
Top, 12/15mm Sides, 25mm
Rear, 19mm Rear, 25mm
  Roof, 12.7mm

(4) Vehicle Capabilities. The M41 can

  • cross a 1.828-meter trench.
  • mount a 0.711-meter vertical step.
  • climb a 60-percent grade.
  • climb a 30-percent side slope.
  • ford 1.016 meters without preparation.
  • ford 2.44 meters with preparation.

(5) Armament Characteristics. The M41 main and secondary armament is discussed in the following subparagraphs.

(a) Main Armament. The M41 has a 76-mm gun. It fires blank, canister, smoke, and various high-explosive antitank, or high-velocity armor-piercing rounds.

(b) Secondary Armament. Mounted coaxially to the main gun is a 7.62-mm (30-cal.) Browning M1919A4E1 machine gun. At the commander's position is an anti-aircraft 12.7-mm (50-cal.) Browning M2 HB machine gun.

(6) Countries Served. M41s are in service with the following countries.

Brazil Greece Taiwan
Chile Guatemala Thailand
Denmark Philippines Tunisia
Dominican Somalia Uruguay
Republic Spain  
Ethiopia Sudan  

c. M551 Sheridan Light Tank/Reconnaissance Vehicle (Figure 1-17). Originally designated the Armored Reconnaissance/Airborne Assault Vehicle (AR/AAV). It was originally intended as a fully-amphibious main reconnaissance weapon for armor, infantry, and airborne operations. It was assigned to the Rapid Deployment Force of the 82nd Airborne Division.

When deployed to Vietnam there were deficiencies with the engine, transmission, suspension, and its conventional round with a combustible cartridge case. The M551 Sheridan is now phased out of service except for some 330 of these light tanks assigned to the National Training Center at Fort Irwin where they are disguised as various aggressor force vehicles.

Figure 1-17. M551 Light Tank/Reconnaissance Vehicle.

(1) Variants. The variants of the M551 are discussed in the following subparagraphs.

(a) M551A1. This model is fitted with the Hughes AN/VVG-1 laser rangefinder in the forward part of the commander's cupola. A ruby laser, optics, and electronic panels give the commander an accurate range within seconds.

(b) M551 for ARMVAL. An Army/Marine Corps Advanced Anti-armor Vehicle Evaluation program modified 10 vehicles by reducing the weight to 11,340 kg. The tanks received a more powerful engine, new cooling system, and a modified cross-country suspension. Acceleration was from 1 to 48 km/h in 10 seconds. A German sighting system has a zoom daylight TV and laser gun simulator.

(c) M551 with 75-mm ARES cannon. An Elevated Kinetic-Energy Weapon Test Bed was built for a low-profile turret with a 75-mm ARES automatic cannon. The commander on the right has a 360-degree movable periscope. The gunner on the left has dual-sight periscopes.

(d) M551 with 105-mm gun. This version has a 105mm Low Recoil Force turret.

(2) Recognition Features. The Sheridan has a duckbill shaped nose and thick stubby main gun. The driver in the front has a hatch cover which swings inside the vehicle to his rear for driving with his head out. The cover has three integral periscopes each with a washer and wiper. Other recognition features are listed below.

  • Five equally spaced road wheels.
  • Drive sprocket in the rear and idler in the front.
  • No track return rollers.
  • Short, stubby main gun does not extend past the front of the hull.
  • Turret mounted forward of center.
  • The tank is amphibious with a flotation screen which takes five minutes to install.

(3) Vehicle Characteristics. The hull is all-welded aluminum armor. An all-welded steel turret holds the commander and gunner on the right, and loader on the left. All around the commander's cupola are ten vision blocks. The commander also has a x4 portable night-vision device. His split hatch cover opens left and right.

Below and in front of the commander is the gunner, who has a telescope linked to the main gun. He has an infrared sight mounted on the roof. The loader's hatch cover opens to the right. Mounted in front of his hatch is a 360-degree traversable periscope. At the rear of the turret is a large wire stowage basket. Nine boxes strapped on the left, and six on the right, are for machine gun ammunition.

A six-cylinder water-cooled turbo-charged diesel engine develops 300 horsepower at 2,800 rpm. A cross-drive transmission has four forward and two reverse speeds.

There is no fire warning system, but a fire-suppression system in the engine compartment can be operated by the driver, or from outside the vehicle.

The Sheridan was originally intended to be fully amphibious without preparation, but a flotation screen was designed and takes about five minutes to fit around the top of the hull. The tracks propel the vehicle through the water.

Standard equipment is a heater, extraction fan in the turret roof, diesel cooker, and an NBC system that pipes fresh air to the crew's face masks from a central unit.

Some key specifications are:

Measurements
Combat Weight, 15,830 kg Track width, 444mm
Length, 6.299 meters Track length on ground, 3.66 meters
Width, 2.819 meters Fuel capacity, 598 liters
Overall height, 2.946 meters Maximum speed, road, 70 km/h
Ground clearance, 0.48 meters Maximum speed, water, 5.8 km/h
Track, 2.348 meters  

(4) Vehicle Capabilities. The M551 can

  • cross a 2.54-meter trench.
  • mount a 0.838-meter vertical step.
  • climb a 60-percent slope.
  • climb a 40-percent side slope.
  • become amphibious in five minutes.

(5) Armament Characteristics. The main and secondary armament is described below.

(a) Main Armament. The M551 has the M81 155-mm gun/launcher with a concentric hydro-spring recoil system. It fires the Shillelagh missile or conventional rounds with a combustible cartridge.

The MGM-51A Shillelagh missile was produced in 1964 and was also launched from the M60A2 main battle tank. The missile is 1.155 meters long, weighs 26.76 kg, and has a velocity of 689 meters per second. A solid propellant motor burns for 1.18 seconds for an effective range of 2,500 to 3,000 meters. Depending on mission requirement, 8 Shillelagh missiles and 20 rounds of conventional ammunition are carried.

The well-trained gunner can launch two missiles a minute. He guides the missile by keeping cross-hairs of his sight on the target until impact. A missile tracker measures deviation of flight path from line of sight. Commands are transmitted to the missile from an infrared transmitter mounted in a small box over the main gun.

(b) Secondary Armament. The M551 has one coaxial 7.62-mm machine gun and one anti-aircraft 12.7-mm machine gun.


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