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War Machine Orbis Publication 1983,
Guide to the worlds main battle tanks of the 1980's
War Machine Orbis Publication 1983,
Guide to the worlds main battle tanks of the 1980's

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Published by Orbis Publishino Ltd @ Aerospace P'ubtisning Ltd 1983

Australia: Back numbers are obtainable
from WAR MACHINE Back Numbers, Gordon & Gotch (Aus) Ltd, 1 14 William Srreet, PO Box 767G, Melbourne, Vic 3001

Editorial Offices
War Machine Aerospace Publishing Ltd
10 Barley Mow Passage London W4 4PH

South Africa, Europe, Malta and New
Zealand: Back numbers are available at
cover price from your Newsagent. ln case of difficulty write to the address in your country given for binders. South African
readers should add sales tax.

Managing Editor: Stan Morse
Editorial : Trisha Palmer
Chris Bishop Chris Chant Design: Rod Teasdale Golour Origination: lmago Publishing Ltd, Thame, Oxon Typesetting: SX Composing Ltd Film work: Precise Litho Ltd

How to obtain binders for WAR

Yolune I



MACHINE UK & Eire: Details of how to obtain your binders (and of our special offer) will be in lssue 7. Eu.ope: Write with remittance of f5.00 per binder (incl p & p) payable to Orbis Pub-

lishing Ltd to WAR MACHINE Binders,

Modern Main Battle Tanks

Keith Fretwell
Ray Hutchins

Art Workshop Arka Graphics


Orbis House, 20-22 Bedfordbury, London WC2N 4BT. Malta: Binders are obtainable through your local Newsagent, price t3.95. ln case of drffrculty write to WAR MACHINE Binders, Miller {Malta) Ltd, M.A. Vassalli Street, Valletta, Malta. Australia: For details of how to obtain your b nders see inserts in early issues or write to WAF MACHINE Binders, First Post Pty
Ltd, 23 Chandos Street, St Leonards, NSW 2065. The binders supplied are those illustrated in the magazine.


l{arnBattle Tad< Type T4lvlamBattleTuk

2 2 3

Printed in Great Britain byThe Arl san Press Ltd


($tark) Main Battle Tank Al'fi-30ManBattleTad<



Maur Battle


6 6 7 8

Distribution and marketing offices:
Orbis Publish ng Ltd Orbis House 20-22 Bedfordbury London WC2N 4BT Telephone: 01-379 671




l{arn Battle Tank

Crdenger Marn Battle


trroLoh \our ocal Newsaoentorfrom WAR tv/ACFtNE Br"ders, Gord"on & Gotch (NZ) -'o DO Box '1594. Wellington. South Africa: B inders are available through ary branch of Central News Agency, ln case ci d ffrculry write to wAR MACHINE Bincers ntermag, PO Box 57394, Springfield
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tle Gulf Wu Oi-ii ManBanleTuk
Battles of

Circulation Director: David Breec Marketing Ditector: M c.ae ,i,::

i.€opard I ]t{am Banle


0 IO
T2 14

Note: B nders and Back Numbers are .!ia "able subject to availability of stocks.

Fu+ft nroi Systems leopard IA4 Man Battle Tank -€opard tn Ac[on

ManBattle Tank

,'vh Si €very altempt is made to keep the c-ae of the issues and binders constant, :^e cub rshers reserve the right to increase :-: slated prices at any time when cir:--slances dictate. Binders depicted in :- s 3uol cation are those produced for the UK market only and may not necessarily := .e-r'ca to binders produced for sale







-:s :e :re UK Binders and issues may


MlAbnmsMunBattleTalk ]lellava Man Battle Tad< lu,k Wufue rn the Lebanon
142 trtarnBattleTank

,'.' :^ a'a'ct

mporl duty and /or local taxes, included in the above prices




tr{amBattle Tank
2A 4V

ll,e Eruopean Tank Baluce

--: .'. -: r,'..1CFlr\E published by Orbis :-: i- -: -:tr -as no connection with the ,',:: ,.':-:- .,! crc,sl-ed by Emjay. The ::::- : : -a:.2^e devoted to Computer : -, :: :- ::i -: a'd furlher information :-: :-::---:::" -ceia,ls can be obtained '':- =-- ., '7 .argbank Avenue, Rise ::-.
NG5 5BU, England.


lr'lanBattle Taltk lvlanBattle Tank


Armed Forces of the World
i -r-- --'-'. -1 +i *:




Bcfftle Taril<s
Although many other weapon systems have been developed for land combat since World War II, the main hattle tank is still the dominant factor in that enuironment, It possesses the arrrrout protection, mobiJity/agility and firepower which is essential to its suwival on today's battlefield, and of all atnry weaponsit isthe only one capable of offensive anddefensive

Durrng World War II most of the major powers developed and deployed three classes of tank (light, medium and hear,ry) and in the immediate post-war period this tendency continued with the USA and the USSR each developing new generations oftanks that included all three types, In the case of the United States it was the M4I Walker Bulldog hght tank, the M47 and M48 Patton medium tanks and the MI03 heavy tank, The

Tanks have domrhafed tfterhcessant post-war contlicts in theArab lands. Despite all the revolutionary advances made in other weapon sfsfems, if is *re tankformations that carry out the battles, relegating other weaponry tomore or less support roles,

developed the PT-76 hght amphrbious tank, T'54 medium tank and

T-10 heavy tank,

By the 1950s the idea of having three types of tank had lost ground, however, and almost without exception the industrialized countries built just one type of tank which became known as the Main Battle Tank (MBT). France built the AMX-30 (36 tonnes), West Germany the Leopard I (40 tonnes), Japan the Type 74 (38 tonnes), the UK the Chieftain (55 tonnes), Sweden the unconventional Stridsvagn I03 or S-tank (39 tonnes), Switzerland the Pz 6l (38 tonnes), the USSR the T-62 (40 tonnes), and the United States the M60 (46 tonnes). As can be seen from these weights, there were significant differences in weight: the British Chieftain is the heaviest of them and would by earlier standards be classed as a heavy tank, The lighter tanks have farrly thin armour and rely on their mobility for protection. Whereas most first-generatron MBTs weighed about 40 tonnes and, in the case of the Leopard 1, had apower-to-weight ratio of 2l hp (15 7 kW) per tonne, second-qeneration MBTs are much heavier but also have much more powerful engines. The Ireopard 2 weighs just over 55 tonnes, but thanks to its l,500-hp (l I lg-kw) MTU diesel has a power-to-weight ratio of just over 27 hp (20 kW) per tonne, and therefore much improved cross-country mobrlity and hence greater survivability, as it is able to

move from one fire position to another more quickly and is in drrecl irr.e of fire with enemy weapons for a shorter perrod. For many years most MBTs have been fitted wrth a NBC (nuclear btologrcal and chemical) system to enable them to continue to operate tn a NBC-contaminated area; but the flrst generatron of infra-red nigh: vision equipment is now giving way to thermal and passive systems which are a dramatic improvement, Ail tanks now have a weaponstabrlization system which enables the main armament to be laid and fired whilst the vehicle is moving across country. Fire-control systems now always include a laser rangefinder and a ballistic computer which virtually guarantee a first-round hit on both stationary and moving targets

at all battiefield ranges, The widespread introduction of electronic

devices rnto AFVs has, however, rncreased the cost of the vehicie and increased the demand$ on the already overworked maintenance per-

Apart from the unconventional S-tank destgned in Sweden, tank design has not changed dramatically in the last 50 years or so. It may wetl be that we are now seeing the last MBT as we know it, Already the United States, West Germany and Sweden are experimenting with externally-mounted gmns fed by automatic loaders, This enables the crew to be reduced to three men (commander, qunner and driver) seated in the hull under the maximum posslble armour protection.
The General Dynamics Abrams MBT is the first tank in the world to enter pr oduction fi t te d wi th a g a s tu r bi ne. Al though tlrrs rs m ucft sm al ler than a diesef il doeslr ave much higher fuel consumption and has to carry additional fuel. By early 1983 more than 300 Ml s were inEurope.

-,*i. \h.*-...,.


TAM Medium Tank
For many years the World War II Sher-

some 200 of these are now belng built

man tank was the backbone of Argentinian armoured units, By the early 1970s these were becoming increasingly difficult to maintain and a decision was taken to obtain a new
tank. Most of the tanks available at that time weighed 40 tonnes or more and were therefore too heavy to pass safely over many of the bridges in the country, A decision was then taken to have a new tank desiqrned speciflcally to meet the requirements of the Argenti-

of the Marder MICV, of which well
over 2,000 are now in service with the

in Argrentina. The hull ofthe TAM is based on that

West German army, The driver is

seated at the front ofthe vehicle on the left with the powerpack (engine and transmission) to his right. The glacis plate is well sloped to give the best

nian army, and the development con-

tract for this was subsequently

possible protection within the weight limits of the vehicle, The armour does not compare very well with that fitted to MBTs such as the Leopard 1 and
AMX-30, however, The three-man allwelded twret is at the rear of the vehicle, with the commander and gn:nner on the right and the loader on the left. The main armament comprises a 105mm Qnrn fitted with an extractor to remove fumes when the gun is fired; thts has an elevation of *lB' and a depression of -7', A 7.62-mm (0.3-in)

awarded to the West German company of Thyssen Henschel, which was at that time building the Marder MICV (mechanized infantry combat vehicle) for the West German army, The first prototype of the new tank, called TAM (Tanque Argentino Mediano) was completed in 1976, a further two vehi cles beingr completed the following year. This tank was accepted for service with the Argentinian army and a

sen Henschel has as a private venture

developed a complete family of
flghting vehicles, although as yet none of these has been placed in production.

theWest German company of Thyssen Henschel for the Argentinian army andis based on

TheTAM tankhas beendesigned by

machine-gun is mounted co-axially with the main armament, and a similar weapon can be mounted on the turret roof for anti-aircraft defence, Four
Wegrmann dischargers can flre smoke or fraqmentation grenades.

Crew: 4 Weight: 30,5 tonnes (loaded)

over 100 of these have now been built inArgentina.
Performance: maximum road speed 75km/h (46.6mph); maximum range 550kn (342mi]es); fording 1.4m (4ft 7 in); Qrradient 65%; vertical obstacle

tfte clrassr's of tfi e Marder MICY. Well

factory for production of the vehicle was established near Buenos Aires,

be fltted

Almost 200 TAMs have now been built, though none was deployed to the Falklands dunng the conflrct that took place in 1982. To work with the TAM the VCTP infantry fiqrhting vehicle was developed by Thyssen Henschel and

on each side of the turret, and these

Engine: MTU 6-cylinder diesel developins 720 hp (537 kW)
Dimensions: Iength (with anrn forward) 8.23m (27 ft Oin); Ienerth (hull) 6.77m

and 6,000 rounds of 7.62-mm (0.3-tn)

Totals of 50 rounds of 10S-mm

ammunitron are carried ln the TAM. Using the chassis of the TAM, ThYs-

(22f: zyz in): width 3.25 m (10 ft B in); height (turret top)2.42 m (7ft 1l%in)

1m (3ft 37sin); trench 2,5m (8ft




59 Main Battle Tank
sive niqht-vision equipment for the Type 59 MBT, includtng the drtver's
periscope and the commander's and gnrnne/s sights. More recently a number of Type 59s have been observed with a laser rangteflnder mounted extemally above the gn-rn mantlet This ts in a very exposed positton however. and is therefore vulnerable to small arms fire and shell splinters. The Type 59 has been exported tn some numbers and is known to be Ln sewice with Albama, the Congo Kampuchea, North Korea, Pakrstan. Sudan, Tanzania and Vietnam. lt has seen combat with Pakistan, Vtetnam and. of course, China when she Lnvaded Vietnam in 1979, It is believed that the Type 59 MBT has been replaced ln productlon bY the Type 69, whrch was seen in Public for the first time during a parade held outside Beijing (Peking) rn September

Following the ending of the Chinese civil war in 1949, the Communlst Chinese army was based on a more permanent basis, but much of its equipment was obsolete or in urgent need of repair includingT a number of

American and Japanese tanks of
World War II vintage, The USSR soon supplied large numbers of armoured vehicles including T-34185 tanks, SU-

l0O 100-mm tank destroyers, and BTR40 and BTR-152 armoured personnel carriers, In the early ]950s these were followed by a quantity of T-54 MBTs, and production of the type was subsequently undertaken rn China under the designation Type 59 MBT. The flrst production models were very austere and were not fltted with a stabilization system for the 100-mm Type 59 gmn or wrth any night-vision equipment. l,ater vehicles were fitted with a full range of

Early in 1983 it was reported that China was supplying, via Saudi Arabia large quantities of Type 69 MBTs

The Chinese-built TYpe 59 is essentially a Soviet T- 54. Later production Type 59s have intra-red

Iraq to make up for some of its losses tn the heavy fighting with lran. American

infra-red night-vision equipment for
the commander, gmnner and driver, as well as a stabilization sytem. The 7.62-

1982, This tank is very similar in appearance to the Type 59 but has a

mm (0.3-in) bow-mounted and


mm (0.3-in) co-axal machine-gllns are

sian-designed 12,7-mm (0.5-in)
DShKM machine-gmn mounted on the loader's cupola is designated TYpe 54 by China. The British company MEL has provided small quantities of pas-

designated Type 59T, while the Rus-

new gnrn (with a fume extractor near its muzzle) believed to have a calibre of 105-mm or l06-mm and probablY a development of the I l5-mm smooth-bore gmn installed in the Sovtet T-62, at least one example of which has been caPtued by Chinese forces during a battle with Soviet border untts.

intelligence reports have stated that between 1977 and l98l Chinese tank production amounted to about 3,500 vehicles, the vast majority being the Tlpe 69 MBT with the rematnder the Type 62 light tank.

night vision equipment and an e x te r n ally mounte d laser rangefinder.
Dimensions: lengrth (wtth Qun forward) 9.Om (29ft 6in); lenqth (hull) 6. 17m

(20ft 3in); width 3.27m (10ft 9in)

Specification Crew:4
Weight: 36 tonnes
Engine: V-12 diesel developing 520 hp

height 2,59 rn (B ft 6 in) Performance: maximum road speed 50km/h (31mph); maximum range 400km (249 mrles); fording l,4m (4 ft 7in); gnadient 60%; vertical obstacle
O 79



ft 7 in); trench



(B ft



1975. By


74 Main Battle Tank

computer and a laser rangefinder to
enable the exact range to the target to be determined, so increasing the possibihty of a f,rst-round hit. Some modsearchligrht mounted to the left of the main almament, and the driver is also provided with infra-red nrght-vision equipment. The most unusual feature ofthe Type

to meet the requirements of

The Type 74 MBT has been designed

Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (IGSDF) by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. The fust prototype, called the STB, was compieted in 1969, and the

'lhe main armament consists of the proven British Royal Ordnance Factories 105-mm L7A1 gun, for which a total of 55 rounds of ammunition are carried; there are also a 7,62-mm (0,3-in) coaxial machine-qun and a 12.7-mm (0,5in) machine-gun on the roof for antraircraft defence. Three smoke dischargers are mounted on each side of

els have an infra-red/white-light

meet different tactical situations. The ground clearance can be varied from 0.2 to 0,65m (7.9 to 25.6in), and the driver can even tilt the nose or back of the tank, or have one side of the tank
higher than the other. The 105-mm gn:n has an elevation of +9,5" and a depression of -6.5', but with the suspension raised at the front and lowered at the rear this can be increased to + 15", the reverse producinq a depression of -12.5"; this is a very useful feature when the tank is firing from behind a crest or from a reverse sloPe.

first productlon vehicles followed tn
early 1983 about 3OO Type 74 MBTs had been completed, and production was expected to continue unttl at least the mid-l980s.

which enables the driver quickly to
adjust the height of the vehicle to sutt the type of ground being crossed or to

74 rs rts hydro-pneumatic suspension,

the turret, firing forwards. The firecontrol system includes a ballistic

the export of weapons the Type 74 MBT has not been exported The only
varLant of the Type 74

As a result of japan's prohlbltion of

the Type


armoured recovery vehicle whrch has a hycirauhc dozer/stabrhzrng blade at

the front of the hull, a wtnch, and


pro;ected twrn 35-mm AW-X sell

hydrauirc crane on the rrght srde of the hull for changing engtnes and other components in the fieicl. The chassrs oi the vehLcle wrll also be used for the

*. rlt '' Y.fiBj *d ,rF+n

propelled antr-arrcraft gun whrch s expected to enter servrce ln the second hall of rhe 1980s For the future the Type 88 MBT Ls berng developed under the drrectron

Technrcal Research Headquarters. 'I'hrs wrll have advanced armour, be frtted wrth a smooth bore 120 mm gun

of the Japanese Self Delense Aqency s



oi these are expected to be burlt to replace the olcl Type 6l MBTs, whrch
are raprdly becomrng obsolete

and weLgh about 43 tonnes At least 600

Crew: 4 Weight: 38 tonnes (loacled)

Engine: Mrtsubrsht 10-cyltnder dtesel developLng 750 hp (560 kW) Dimensions: length (wrth gun fonvard;
9 41 m (30

Performance: maxrmum road sneed
53 krrri

rn); lenqth (hu11) 6 7 rr (21 117r wrdth 3 18 m (iC ft 5,/r rn) hercrht (overall) 2 67 m (B ft 9 rr)


lt l0Z


300 km (186 mrles) fordrng I m (3 fr (31,' rn) qradrent 60%t vertical obstacle I m (3 ft 3,/r rn)t trench 27 m (8lI lOlr rn)



mph) -u"rniu- ,inge

The Type 74 MBT entered service in
1976. An unusual feature of the vehicle is its hydro-pneumatic suspension. allowing the driver to adjust the heighl o1 ffte suspenslon to suit the type of terrain being crossed.

ti L




(S-tank) Main Battle Tank
Bofors S-lank s how ing e x te r n al stowage boxes at hull rear and dozer

mounted rn a turret Traverse was to be obta.nod by rUtn.nq I' o - lnk on tlS Vo' tlcal axrs and elevatron/depressron by loworrno or I.rtsl'to lna sLspenston dt basrc concept and rn 1958 Bofors was alvarded a contract lor two prototypes ol the turretless tank At the same ttme development of th-. KRV was stoppecl. The first two prototypes were compieted tn 196l but so certaln was the Swedrsh army that the concept was sound that tt had. rn 1960 placed a pre productLon order for a further l0 vehrcles T'otal development costs ol the Stridsvagn 103 tank whrch rs com monly known as the S-tank, was under 19 mrlhon The first productron vehrcles whLch drlfered only rn mrnor detarls from the prototypes, were com, ulol-d rn -960 or o produ ron ^or trnued untrl 1971, by whLch trme 300 had been birrlt The marn armament of the S tank rs a mochfied versron olthe Brrtrsh 105-mm

'ho Swcdrsh dlmy wds d-sronrno a new concept rn AFVs tn that the gun was hxed to the chassrs and not

ln the perrod immedrately after World War li hght tanks formed the bulk of the Swedrsh army's tank strength To mtro lhacoul tJ\ stmnedtatotequtte ments for tanks some 300 Centurrons were purchased from the UK Development of a heavy tank (the KRV) armed wrth a l5O mm smooth bore qun was started wlth Landsverk responsrble lor the chassrs Volvo Ior the powerpack and Bofors for the armament. At the same nme Sven Berge of

blade in retracted position under nose. Flotation screen is in |owered posrdon.

chers for rllumLnatrng targets ai
The engLne and transmrssLcr. :il j r' the lront of the vehrcle. and ilre c - ,'. =r pack consrsts ol a Bntrsh Rolls !: .' -. KoQ n ul r. r^l r, rrr6 o-v-l ! : bhp/179 kW (to be replaced b.y a L=trolt DLesel) and a Boerng 553 gas t;: btne developrnq 490 shp (366 ki'r' l: noJ mdi usF lhe -anl, ts po.v-ro i ; . :.




front or back Test nqs proved the

dLesel the turbrne bernq en'l.,.;=:

hull and has a conrbrned per-..:,r = rr I binoc-rl ,r srohl wi l r rr , : ' 'ronor I .o IOo' LB n : ' -vapl-.a h ,r ng , gl,ill.ulF srq:. . :. radro operator rs to the rear of the tt t'.' rnd locns'hq ^' on the nqht rrl. lhe on-m.:.- : rs and hts obser'.'a:.,:.
equrpment rncludes a combrned t:=t. scope and optrcal srght that r,c al[],-j: id r. re rl . lrdl ol tne dr-ver ,11o .. ables hlm aiso to arm anci fire the .ul I h' con n a .d r . OPS L ront .. :....

when the vehrcle rs rn combat ar.i:.r'.' lJro.r '1, -s courl'y d-n..nd.r, , ,:er power to-werght ratra) 'f he drrver Ls seatecl on the lei: - : -:-=

l.rre defensrve posittons. Carrted .:,':,nd the top of the hull Ls a flotatton si--teen vrhtch can be erected tn 20

:rain.back to Swecien however as her irned lorces wtll probably be en, .:aL.red tn defensrve ralher than offen:r-. i- perattons M,runted under the nose ol the tank -s . dczer blade whrch ts used to pre

Dimensions: length (wLth gun)


6 Ln);

lenqth (hull)

7 04

m (2:




mrnut-.s and the tank ts then propelled rrr Ihe water by rts tracks at a speed of r krr h (3 7 mph)

(overall) 2 5 m (B fI 2V: trt) Performance: maximum road spe=:; 50 km/h (31 mph) rrlaxtmum rarr,r: ;aaIm'242mrlesr: tord ng I 5m :' 1l rn) gradrent 60%, verttcal obsta:.0.9m (2it ll,/,rtn), trench 23m -.'

I tn), wrdth 3 26 m (10 ft By': rn), he;:r:.



Crew: 3 Weight: 39 tonnes

Bofors Strv I 038 (or S - tank), which has a 105-mm gun fixed to the hull with the weapon being aimed in

Engines: dtesel developrnq 240 hp 'l;,,i-l.,ptns
i ,9 kW) and a Boerng 553 gas turbrne
490 shp (366


elevation and depression by ting the hydro- pneum a tic suspension. The gun is fed by an automatic loader, enabling l5 rounds per minute to be fired.
adj us

L7 and

thrs ts fed from a 50 rounci

stablllzed and can be traverseC
throuqh 208'. In a typlcal engaqeneni the commander first observes the target then uses th-o hanclle bars on the trller columns to lay the armament ontc the tarqet the tvpe of amnrunrtron rs then selected and loaded and the oun rs fired. The ernpty cartndge case ts elected through the hull rear


srtuatron but could comprrse 25 APDS 20 HE and five Smoke A max rmum of 15 rounds a mLnute can be ftred. A 7 62 mm (O 3 rn) machtne-gun

magazrne located rn the hull rear. The ammunltron mrx depends on the tactrc-

and a lurther two 7.62 mm

mounted on the commander



of the hull. flrrnq forwards A total oi 2 750 rounds of 7 62 mm (0.3-rn)
ammunrtlon rs carned Mounted on the roof of lhe vehrcle are two Lyran laun

(0 3-rn) machrne guns are futed on the lelt srde

The suspensron rs of the hydro

pneunralLc typ-. and allows the arma menvhull to have an elevatron of + l2' and a depressron of l0' The marn dratvback of th,. S tank rs that lt cannot

fire on the move Ths rs ol no qreat



AMX-30 Main Battle Tank


rench Army AM X - 30 showing I 0 5' mm type CH - I 05-F I gun whose main anti-tankround is the OCC (HEAT), which has a muzzle velocity of 1000 m
(3,280 ft)

per second and will penetrate 400 mm ( I53/s in) of armour at an incidence of} degrees. More recently anAPFSDS (OBUS Fldche)
has been introduced intoFrench

army service, but not exported.

the remaininEr 28 in the h::ll Totals of 1 050 rounds of 2O-mm and 2 050
rounds of 7 62-mm amminLiton are also ii'[ain armament of the AMX-30 is a ) 05-nm rifled gun, which can fire

carried Types ol ammunrtio:l fired by the 105-mm gun Lnciude HEAT, HE,

andard NATO ammunition as well

as Frenclr-desr'gn ed


Smoke anC IllumrnatLng '.n;htle a new APFSDS round has been Introduced recently. The latter Ls cailed the Obus Fl6che, and wrth a muzzle velocity of 1525 m (5,005 ft) per seccnd will pene(5.9 in) of armour at an angle of 60' at a range of 5 000 m (5 470

qineers. The chassrs is also used for the French version of the Euromrssrle Roland SAM system and the SA-10 Shahine SAM system which has been developed by Thomson-CSF to meet the requirements of the Saudi Arabian army. A twin 30-mm self-propelled
anti-aircraft gun system, the AMX-30-S 401 A. has also been developed lor Saudi Arabia thrs provrdinq close rn protectron for the sA- 10 battenes, The GCT is essentially a modifled AMX-30 chassis wrth a new turret fitted wrth a 155-mm howitzer that is provrded wtth an automatrc loader and enables the weapon -o fire erght rounds a mrnute untrl its ammunLtion suppiy rs exhausted The CCI Ls now rn service wrth the French army and Saudr Ara-

AMX-30 of the French army showing its cross-country mobility. This is one of the few Western MBTs that is not now fitted with a stabilization system for the main armament, and cannot therefore fire on the move.

Specification Crew:4
Weight: 36 tonnes Engine: Hispano-Suiza 12-cylinder diesel developing 720 hp (537 kW)
Dimensions: length (with




yards). The current productton modei of the AMX-30 for the French army IS the AJ!D(-30 82, whrch has a number of rmprovements rncludinq an tntegrated fire-control system that tncludes a las er rangefinderand a LLL I V system tls automotlve Lmprovements tnclude a

height (overall) 2.86 m (9 ft 4 in) Performance: maximum road speei

ft I in); lensth (hull) 6,59 n (21ft 7in); width 3.lm (10ft 2tn)
(31 65 km/h (40 mph); maximum ranqe 50C



new transmlsslon. The basic AMX 30 chassts has gtven birth to a very larqe farriily of related vehrcles, The AM(-30D armoured recovery vehicle is desiqned to recover and repair damaged vehtcles tn the freld, and has a dozer/stabihzer blade rrrounted at the front of the hull, two winches, and an hydraulic crane on the rlght srde of the hull for changing engrnes and other components ln the field. The AMX-30 bridgelayer has a scrssors bridqe which can be used to span gaps of up to 20 m (65 fI I)/ztn). The chassrs is also used to carry and Iaunch the Pluton surface-to-surface tactical nuclear misstle, which is used only by the French army. The combat engineer tractor, the AM(-30 EBG, is still under development and wtll be used by tl-re French corps of en-

bia and has more recently been
ordered by Iraq

to 600km (311 to 373 miles); gnadien: 60%; vertical obstacle 0.93 m (3 f: 07:: in); trench 2,9 m (9 ft 6 in)

AMX-32 Main Battle Tank cutaway drawing key
I Dl W 13 TV canrera 2 E evat on scnsor 3 M58l gunncr's telcscopc 4 Gunner's oane

5 Gunncr's TV monttor 6 Gun gyro acco ciometer T Iank commandcr's
box box TV

11 M527 tank commander's

monltor B Tank commander's psrtel 9 Turret Syro-accccromeier

12 Radro sets 13 NBC compartmcnt 14 Flux valvc


10 Cupo



Casc Radrator (engrne cool ng\


aivix-sz Main Battle Tank
Mounted co-axrally to the lelt of the marn armament rs a 2O-mm M693 cannon which can be elevated rndependently to +40'; a total oi 4BO rounds of ammunition is carried [or tbrs weap:n A 7.62 mm (0.3 in) machrne-gun rs mounted on the commander's cupoia. and mounted on each side of the for ward part of the turret rs a bank of three smoke dischargers. One of the most significant differences between the AMX 32 and the

The AM(-32 MBT has been desrgned by the Ateher de Construction d'lssyles-Moulineaux specrfically as an export MBT for those countries who re-

qurre more flrepower and better

armour protection than available on the current AMX-30 MBT, which is produced at the Atelier de Construc
tion Roanne (ARE), the only MBT plant in France. The first prototype, armed with the same 105-mm gun as the current AMX-30, was shown at tire ]979 Satory mihtary equrpment exhrbrtron,

but the second prototype, shown

AMX-30 rs the lormer s integrateci

new 120-mm gun as well rmproved armour protection. At the
has a


rn as

COTAC fire-control system vrhrch ha-. been developed from an earlier system frtted to the smaller AMX-IORC
x 6 amphibrous reconnarssance vehrcle, whrch has been rn servrce wLth the

trme of writrng the AMX-32 was not yet rn production The layout of the AMX-32 rs srmrlar

to the AMX-30 with the dnver at the
front, three-man crew in the turret, and

French army for several years Thrs enables the AMX 32 to enqfage statron

the engine and transmissron at the
rear. Main armament compnses a

ary and movrng targets under day and night condrtrons wrth a 90 per cent

mm smooth-bore qun developed by
the Etabhssement d'Etudes et de Fabrrcatrons d'Armement de Bourqes (EFAB) wrth a vertical slidrng breech block. The barrel n fitted wrth a ther-

probabrlrty of a first-round

hrt Mounted externally to the lelt of th-. 20 mm cannon is the low-hqht-level TV canrera whrch lransmrts d plCl,rlt on a TV screen to both the ccmmander's and gnlnner's posltlons The con.i-

werqht ratro at 17.5hp (13kW) per tonne rs somewhat iower than that of 'he AMX 30 MB1' whrch was rntro. duced well over 15 years ago. The suspenslon is a modtfied verslon of that fitted to the AMX 30, but srde skirts
have been added to gtve a measure of protectlon agalnst attack from HEAT prolectrles.

has meant however that lts power to-

AMX-32 has aredesigned turret and hull fr ont with improved armou r protection. The fire controi s/stem rncludes a /ase r rangefinder and a roo[- mounte d stabilized s ight.

ferent transmissron, fire extlnqutshLnj system, arr conditronrng system. dt:' ferent tracks and a system that Lnlec:-.
diesei fuel into the exhaust, so creantl d smoke cloud Thrs rs d system s.n,.l.'

mal sleeve wrth holes underneath to
extract the fumes when the gmn rs flred. Two types of ammunrtron have been developed, APFSDS wrth a muzzle

mander has a iully stabrlized. roci

The AMX-32 is fitted wrth an NBC system and a schnorkel whrch enables rt to ford to a depth ol4 m ( 13 ft I /:: rn).

to that which has been utstalled ::

second, and a multr-purpose round with a muzzle velocity of I050 (3,445 ft) per second. The 120-mm gun will also

velocrry of


m (5,350 ft) per

verllance The gunners srght has

mounted sight wLth a maqnrficatron ,,r x2 or xB in the day mode arrci x i rn the nrght mode. Thrs can be used fcr both target acqursltlon and targe: sul

Optronal equtpment rncludes a dLf-

lnore recently been adopted bl,, : number of other armres around i:::

Russran tanks ior 30 yea rs or mc I p o: . :

Crew: 4 Weight: 40 tonnes
Engnne: Hrspano-Surza I 10 12-cylu:c:r

frre the range of ammunitron de2

magnification of x l0 and also rrcrrgr:rates a laser rarrgeflnder The AMX 32 has the sam-. HLspanc
Sutza HS I l0 12-cyhnder water-l:ir:ci englne as the AMX-30 thLs deveLcc,r

veloped for the Leopard

MBT now in servrce wrth the West German and Dutch armies. A total of 38 rounds of

multr-fuel enqrne deveioping 720 r.:

120-mm ammunrtron rs carrred, of which 17 rounds are stowed rn the turret and the remaining 21 in the hull.

also be fitted wrth a supercha:q=: model that develops 800 hp l5gl <'.',The rncreased werght of the ANllr--:.

72Ohp $37 kW). bur -he AJrlX-:,"



Dimensions: length (wrth 120-nrm


forward) 985m t32 lt

(hull) 6 59 m (21 ll7tlztn), width 3 2i

3 rln)



ft B/z in) Performance: maxlmum road spee: 65 km/h (40.4 mph), maxrmum ranr= 5s0 km i329 mrles; gradrent 600o r' :trcal obstacle 0.9 m (2 ft I I 7: rn); 2 9 m (9 ft 6'lr tn)

(10ft 77ztn); herght (overall) 296:.


17 O I cooler (gcarbox coo rng) 18 Hvdraulic mcchanrsm box

20 Arr frlter 2T Loader's seat 22 Tank conrmander's


Arr supply dust rcmovcr

23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

CVro box

Gunncr's scat Systcm clcctron cs tl

Dfvcr's scat
Rcvcrscr contro Siccr nq whcc Gcar shrflrrg sldt o'l 20 nrni cannon w ih clcvatrcn dcvrcc


31 105-nrnl !tun 32 llonncctorfrticd

>K Uii$iin Mk s Main Battle rank
the Fighting Vehicles Research and
The Chieftain MBT was designed by Development Estabhshment (now the

MLlrtary Vehrcles and Engrneenng Establshment) in the late 1950s as a successor to the Centurron tank, The flrst prototype was completed rn late 1959 with a further stx prototypes following in 1961-62. The Chreftain was accepted for service wrth the Bntlsh army in May 1963 and two productron Iines were laid down, one at the Royal

Until the introduction of theWest
German Leopard 2 with its I 20-mm gun, the British Chieftain with its I 20mm rifled gunwas the mostwellarmoured and powerful tank in NATO. More recently a I 20-mm
APFSDS-T roundhasbeen introduced to enhance its combat

Ordnance Factory Leeds and the other at Vickers at Elswick (Newcastle-upon-Tyne). Until the rntroductron of the Leopard 2 into the West German army in 1980, the Chreftain was the best armed and armoured MBT rn the world. About 900 Chieftains were built for the British army, Kuwart also orderrngr 165, and Oman taking dehvery ofa small quantrty in 1981. But the largest export order was placed by Iran, whLch ordered over 700 MBTs, plus ARVs and brrdqrelayers as well as lBZ


and Defence systems Improved Ftre Control System (IFCS) which when used rn con;unction wrth the laser
rangefinder manufactured by Barr and

ranges of well over 2010 m (2,200
yards). Mounted co-axrally with the 120-mm gnrn rs a 7.62'mm (0.3-tn) machtne-gnrn and located on each slde of the turet ls

Stroud, enables targets to be hit at

left of the turret. Thrs has a ranqe of 1000m (1,100 yards) in the rnfra-red role and 1500m (1,640 yards) in the white-light role. Thermal rmaglng
nrght-vrsron equLpment

Weiqht: 55 tonnes Engine: Leyland 6-cyhnder multt-fu:.

developins 750 bhp (560 kW)
Dimensions: lenqth (with gun forwari
6 rn)

will be rntro-

duced in the mrd-l9B0s. Variants of the Chreftarn rnclude an

atmoured recovery vehrcle and

10.795m (35ft 5in) Iength (hull m (24 ft 8 rn) width 3.657 m (li :: B/zin); height (overall) 2.895m (9i: Performance: maximum road speec


Improved Chieftarns. In i974 lran ordered 125 Shir I and I,225 Shir 2

MBTs (the latter a new design) but this

a bank of slx electncally-operated smoke dischargers. A total of 64
7.62 mm (0.3

order was cancelled by the new regrme The Shrr I became the Khahd and further development of the Shrr 2 re sulted rn the Challenger which entered servrce with the British Army rn

rounds of 120-mm ammunitron (prolectiles and charges) and 6,000 rounds of

bridgeiayer. The latter can lay a Number B tank bndqe which ls of the sclssor type and can span a qap of up to 22.86 m (75 ft 0 in) or a Number 9 tank brtdge which can span a gap of up to

km/h (30 mph) maxlmum roac range 400 to 500 km (250 to 310 miles)


ammunrtion ate catrted The NBC pack is mounted on the turret bustle, and a fire deteclron and extrngrutshtng
system 1s mounted in the enojne compartment. Nrght-vision equrpment lS of

int machtne-gun

also be fitted with a hydraulically-

12 192 m (40 ft 0 rn). The Chreftain can

0.914 m (3 ft 0 rn); trench 3 149 m (10 ft 4 rn)


vertical obstacle



ft 6 in);


operated dozer blade at the front ofthe obstacles and the preparatron of flre

hull for the clearance of battlefield

The layout of Chieftarn ls conventtonal, with the dnver at the front, turret
centre (with the commander and gmnner on the dght and the loader on the left), and the englne and transmisrn the

L 1 l AS

the infra-red type wrth an Lnfra-red/
whrte-hght searchlight mounted on the

Specification Crew:4

British Chieftain MBT with I 20-mm rifled tank grun, which has a thermal sleeve to reduce distortion, andrs also used by lran, Kuwait, Oman and probably lrcq.

sron at the rear. To reduce overall height, the driver slts rn a rechned

positlon, lyrng almost horizontal when driving with the hatch closed. The turret 15 of all-cast steel constructlon with the front well sloped to provide the maximum possible protection. The commander has a cupola that can be traversed through 360", and mounted externally on this rs a 7.62-mm (0.3-Ln) machrne-gun which can be aimed and fired from within the turret. The main armament of the Chieftain

ts a l20-mm LI1AS senes rifled gnrn designed by the Royal Armament Research and Development Establish-

ment at Fort Halstead. Thrs flres separate-loading ammunition (divided projectrle and chargre). The main advantages of thLS type of ammunition over the conventlonal frxed round rs that the ammunltion rs easier to handle in the cramped confines of the tank turret, and that as the bagged charges are stowed in special water-filled contatners below the turret rrng, there rs less risk ofan explosron. Types ofprojectile that can be fired rnclude APDS-T (traimng round is DS-T), HESH (traintns round is SFVPractice) and Smoke. Soon to be introduced into servrce is the APFSDS-T projectrle which will have a long rod-penetrator and will be capable of penetrating the armour of all known MBTs in servrce today

Brrtish army Chieftains are now berng fitted with the Marconi Space

>K Ulidnser Main Battte rank
1974 Iran ordered 125 Shir I and I 225 Shir 2 MBTs from Royal Ordnlnce Factory Leeds. The Shir 1 was :ssentially a late-production Chieftain, already entering service with lran in .arge numbers, with a new powerpack r::rsistrns of a 1,200-bhp (895-kW)


Rolls-Royce dresel, coupled to a David

Brown Tll37 automatic transmisslon and fltted with an Atrscrew Holden coohnq system. Armament was the
120-mm L1lAS rrfled gnrn connected to a Marconi Space and Defence Systems Improved Fire Control System (IFCS)

and a Barr and Stroui laser rallrei:der The Shrr 2 was a brand ne;,' ciesrgn and had the same po.;;erpack armament and hre-control svsten-r as the Shrr l, but had a hull and turret of Chobham armour whrch would pro-

vrde a high degree of protectron
agarnst all battlefield weapons espe-

whrch gave an excellent ride across rougth country as well as betng easy to maintain and repair in the event of battlefield damage. The Brrtish army was to have replaced its Chieftatns wrth a Britrshr./ West German desrgn, but this fell bY the wayside rn March 1977 and the UI(
went ahead on its own with a new Prolect deslgnated MBT-80. With the fall

cially missiles wrth therr HEAT w'arheads. It also had hydroqas suspensron

Challenger Main Battle Tank (continued)
of the Shah of lran the massive lranian order was cancelled before deliveries could start, although by that tlme the Shir I was already in production at the

Modern Main Battle Tark

ance Factory Nottingham 120'mm wrll be replaced by the new high-

L11A5 rifled gun but at a later date thls

Royal Ordnance Factory Leeds, Jordan eventually placed an order for 278

Khalid MBTs essentially simtlar to the Shir l; deliveries of these began in 1981, and are still under waY. In 1980 the British Ministry of De-

ject had been cancelled as not only
was 1t getting too expenstve but its inservrce date was slipprnq. Instead an rnitlal order was placed wrth Leeds for 237 examples of the Challenger MBT,

fence announced that the MBT-80 pro-

technologry Qun now under advanced development by the Royal Armament Research and Development Estabiishment (RARDE) at Fod Halstead. Thrs weapon wrll be of electro-slag refined steel (ESR) with a new split breech desLgn, and will be able to hre proiectrles wrth a much hiqher muzzle velocrty, provrdrnq increased penetratlon compared wrth current projectlles. It wrll also be able to flre, as will the current Ll1A5, the new RoYal Ordnance Factory BirtleyAPI'SDS-T projec-

thrs being basically the Shrr 2 with modifications to suit it for a European rather than Middle Eastern climate. The frrst production Challengers were handed over to the Britrsh armY in March 1983, and four regiments are

tile which wrll defeat all known

Crew: 4 Weiqht: 60 tonnes

expected to be equipped with the tank wrthin the British Army of the Rhine. It IS anticipated that a further order will be placed to enable at least half of the Corps to be replaced. The first production vehrcles wrll be fLtted with the standard Royal Ordn-

Engine: Rolls-Royce 12-cYlrnder

Chreftains of the Royal Armoured

dresel developinq 895 kW (1 200 hP) Dimensions: length (with gmn forward) 11,55 m (37 ft 1O% in); length (with gun to rear) 0.87 m (32 ft 4% in); width 3.51 m (11 ft 6% rn); herght 2.89 m (9 ft

Performance: maximum road speed 56 km/g (35 mph) maxrmum range

(estrmated) 500 km (310 miles); lordinqr 1.07 m (3 ft 6 in); gradrent 6070; verttcal obstacle 0 91 m (3 ft 0 in); trench 3 m



10 rn)

Tank Battles of fhe Gulf War
In 1979 the Shah of Iran was overthrown, bringing to an end a regime that had been in powe: foi some 3? years and had in recent years built up one of the most powerful and well-trained aimed forces in the Mlddle East. The strength of the lranian army included three armoured and three infantry divisions, plus four indepen-

:::,!!:!#':: e'ir31't';'!'):!:L'L"

dent brigades which were equipped with

some 900 Chieftain tanks, 400 M47 and M48 tanks, 460 M60Al tanks, over 250 Scorpion reconnaissance vehicies, many APCs (armoured

personnel cauiers) plus self-propelled gmns and self-propeiled howitzers, and (most importantly) moblle air-defence systems, Althis time the Iraqi army had a strength of some four armoured, four lnfantry and two mechanized brigades plus two special-forces brigades, one independent brigade and the Reflublcan Guard Brigade A11 major equipment was Russian, including over 2,000 T-54, T-55 and T-62 MBTs.

varied considerably. Most of the successes

Border flare-ups
When the Shah was in power there was little trouble belween the two countries as in 1975 a treaty was negotlated to redefine the mutual borders, But from May 1979 there were a number of clashes along the lranlan/lraqi border, and between April and July some 30,000 Iraqis of Iranran orlgin were expelled from Iraq; in September 1980 President Hussein cancelled ihe 1975 treaty between the two countries. On 20 September Iraqi aircraft bombed a number of airfields in Iran, and two days later the Iraqi army advanced into Iran, According to lraq, all she wished was to return to Iraqi sovereignty parts of the Shatt-al-Arab waterway and terrl-

were in the southern thrust, with Khorramshahr falling after a bitter struggle, Iran did mount

tory ceded to lran in 1975 Itaqr forces advanced on three main axes, towards Qasr-e-shirin in the north' Mehran in the centre, and (the most important of the three) Susangerd and Khorramshahr in the south, Iraq hoped that such a move would quickly lead to the downfall of the regime of Ayatollah Khomeini, Iraq succeeded ln crossrng the border, but the depth of penetration

minor counterattacks in the northern and central sections, usually with little armour or artlilery support, and did regain some of its lost terrrtory. In January i98l the Iranians mounted a much larger counterattack south of Susangerd in the southern sector, This was a complete failure as the tanks were apparently unsupported by tnfantry, and the terrain, whrch at that time of year is soft, was unsuitable for tanks. It is be[eved that Iraq lost about 50 T-62s with Iran losing well over 100 Chreftains and M60Als,

In the flrst year Iraq lost about 250 or 300 tanks, and Iran probably about the same number, Then early in 1982 it was reported that lraq had captured some 50 operational ChreJtains
abandoned by their lranian crews; M60Als

OF-40 Main Battle Tank
The standard tank of the Italian army during the 1950s was the Americansupplied M47. The country did take part in the formulation of the requirement which eventually led to the production of the French AMX-30 and West German Leopard I MBTs, ItalY decided to make the American M60Al
under licence instead, and 200 ofthese were made by OTO Melarai another 100 were supplied direct from the USA. In 1970 Italy placed an order with West Germany for 200 Leopard ls, and at the same time OTO Melara obtained

a licence to undertake production of the vehicle in Italy. By i9B2 some 720 had been completed for the italian army and a further 160 ofthree specialrzed versions (ARV, AVLB and AEV) were due to be completed bY the mid1980s.

Under the terms of the LeoPard I hcence OTO Melara could not export the tank, so the company designed a

new tank specifically for the export
market under the designation OF-40, the O in the desrgnation standrng for the prime contractor (OTO Melara) and the F for Fiat which supplies the complete powerpack (engine, transmrssion and cooling system); 40 stands

the empty weight of the vehicle,


The first prototype was completed 1980, and lhe flrst production contract was placed by the small country of Dubai in the Persian Gulf, which received its flrst production vehicles in


I98 I.

of all welded steel construction and
are drvided into three compartments, wrth the driver's at the front, fighting in the centre, and engine and transmission at the rear. The marn armament comprises an OTO Melara-designed 105-mm rifled gnrn which is fltted with a falling-wedge breech-block, concentric bulfer and spring recuperator. When the Qun recorls the breech-block automatically
opens and ejects the empty cartridqte cases into a bag under the breech of the weapon, Towards the rear of the turret on the left is a circular hatch which can be used to dtspose of the empty shell cases or to resupply the vehrcle with ammunition. A total of 61

The hull and turret of the OF-40 are

rounds of ammunitron is carried, 42 to
the left of the driver and the remainder

in the hrrret for ready use,

mounted co-axrally with the main armament, and a stmtlar weaPon is mounted on the turet roof for antiaircraft defence, Four smoke/fragmentation grenade launchers are mounted on each srde of the turret. firing forwards. The OF-40 has a
system which includes a computer and a Selenia laser rangeflnder. As an option, a fuily stabilized fire-control system can be fltted, enabling the OF-40


7,62-mm (0,3-in) machine-gnrn is

stabilized sight, which is used for both surveillance and target acquisition. Standard equrpment on the OF-40 MBT includes nightvrsion equipment and an NBC pack which is mounted to the left of the driver. The chasss oithe OF-40 is also used

OF -40 MBT of the D ubai army (Part o! the United Arab Emirates), which has ordered 18 vehicles with an option

on a further 28. This MBT uses automotive components of the West

self-propelled anti-aircraft tank currently being developed by OTO Melara.
as the basrs for a 76-mm

GermanLeopard I andis armed with a 1 05-mm grun and two 7.62-mm (0.3-in) MGs. The fire-control system ,ncludes a Jaser rangefinder and a ballistic computer. height (turret top) 2.45 m (8 ft 0'ls in) Performance: maximum road speei 60 km/h (37.3 mph); maximum range (road) 600 km (373 miles); fording 1.2m (3ft li7qin); gradient 6070; vertical obstacle 1, 15 m (3 ft 97+ in); trench 3m(9ft 10in) armour protection against missiles anci HEAT protectiles.

Officine Galileo OG]4I,R flre-control

Crew: 4 Weight:43 tonnes
Engine: 10-cylinder diesel developing

hp (619 kW)

to engage enemy tanks when moving at speed across country. The commander has a roof-mounted French SFIM

Dimensions: IenErth (with gun forward)

9.22 m (30 ft 3 in); Ienqth (hull) 6 89 m (22 frTW in); width 3.51 m ( I I fr 6rlq in);


t.i.il*a t Main Battle Tank
was built for the West German army n four basic models desiqnated Leopard

with the marn armament a srmllar
weapon is mounted on the turret roof
for use in the antr-alrcraft role. and four

The basic Leopard

When the West German army was re-

three-barrelleo smoke drschargers
are mounted on each srde of the turret flrrng forwards. A gun stabLhzatlon system is fitted, enabhng the marn armament to be lard and hred whLlst the


chassis has

formed it was initially equipped with American M47 and M4B tanks, bolh of '.vhrch were armed with a 90-mm gnrn.
A decision was soon taken that the former wouid be replaced by a more modern tank armed with a l05-mm gun, and two desrgn teams (called A and B) were selected to build pro'rtypes of vehrcles for comparattve tnals. At the same trme France built prototypes of the AMX-30 to replace its American-supplied M47s, It had been 3xpected that either the West German lvfBTs or the French AMX-30 would
'.'.'ent its own

IAI (with addrtronal armour this became the Leopard IAIAI), the
new fire-control system). The Leopard

teopard IA2, the Leopard lA3 (with a new welded turret) and the LeoPard IA4 (with a new welded turret and

tank is movrng across country.

Leopard Is have an NBC system and a

been the basis for a complete family of vehicles which have been destgned to support the MBT on the battlefield. AIl of the specialized versions, with the exception of the Gepard, have been designed and built by MaK of Kiel who have also built a few of the Leopard I


was also adopted by Australia (90

full set of nrght-vrsron equrpment for the commander gunner and loader. was of the flrst-generatlon tnfra-red
type but thls rs now berng replaced by the second-generarlon passlve tvpe A wrde range of ophonal equlpment When orrgrnally rntroduced the latter

vehicles), Belgium (334), Canada (1 14), Denmark (120), Italy (920, of which 720 were built in Italy by OTO Melara), the Netherlands (468) and Norway (78)

Specification Crew:4
Weight: 40 tonnes
Engrine: MTU l0-cylinder diesel developrng 830 hp (619 kW) Dimensions: lengrth (with gmn forward) 9.543 m (31 ft 4 in); Iength (hull) 7.09 m

become the comrnon MBT of both armres but in the end each countrY
way. In the case of West 3ermany, further development of the ::am A desrgn resulted in the standar:uzation of the vehicle as the Leopard

Production was resumed bY Krauss Maffei and Krupp MaK in 1982 to meet further orders from Greece (106) and T\rrkey (77), The Leopard I is armed with the
proven British Royal Ordnance Factories Nottingham 1,7 series rifled tank gmn, and can fire a variety of ammunitron including APDS, APFSDS, HEAT, HESH and Smoke, a total of60 rounds being carried, A 7.62-mm (0.3-tn)

has also been developed for the
Leopard I rncluding a schnorkel whrch enables the tank to ford deep rt'rers and streams to a maximum depth of 4m (l3ft l7zrn), An hydraulic blade
can be mounted at the front of the hull

(23ft 3in); wrdth 3.25m (10ft Bin)

:ieted by Krauss-Maffet of Munich in j-prember I965 and production con:.:-:ed untrl 1979 A total of 2,437 MBTs


The first production tanks were com-

and this is operated by the drtver to clear or prepare battlefield obstacles,
Leopards are havrng appiiqu6 armour fitted to their turrets to grve increased

heisht (overall) 2.613 m (B ft 7 in) Performance: maxtmum road sPeed 65 km/h (40.4 mph); maximum tanqre 600 km (373 miles); fording 60%; vertrcal obstacle L 15 m (3 ft
9 7<

in); trench

Most West German and Dutch


machine-qun is mounted co-axially

Tank Fire-Control Sgstems

Guone. -c,r

targetwhich isthen acquired bygunner through tank lasersighl

Commander selects

2, Gunner lays muzzle bore sight (MBS) on target and selects main

3. Tracking conti nues. Laser measures range ot target and computer


calculatesthe required bal listic trajectory.

4. Computer applies corrections to compensate for wind. temperatu re. movement etc and 'shifts' ballistic aiming mark.

targetlna:- -a-







For many years tank guns were aimed with the aid of a telescope linked to the main armament, the gunner using manual controls to line up the sight (and hence the gun) with the target. This required constant practice and meant that several rounds had to be fired in order to hrt the target, even at the relatively short distances involved, usually under 1000 m (1,095 yards). The optical sight did not take into account such vital factors as speed of the wind, the velocity of the ammunition and the ambient temperature, allof which have some effect on the accuracy of the weapon. lnitially, optical rangef inders of the stadiametric or coincidence type were used to find the exact range of the target and this information was transferred to a mechanical computer for calculation of the weapon elevation required to hit the target. These rangef inders were diff icult to

operate and required a considerable amount of training, and armies in the Middle and Far East found these especially difficult to operate. ln the 1950s the UK developed the ranging machine-gun (RMG) concept, in whlch a 0.5-in ('1 2,7-mm) machine-gun was mounted co-axiallywith the '105-mm L7 gun in the Centurion. A similar weapon was fitted to the Chieftain MBT with its 120-mm gun, but as the RMG was only effective out of some 1830 m (2,000 yards) the full potential of the gun, which is eff ective out to well over 2060 m (2,250 yards), could not be exploited. The RMG was later replaced by a Barr and Stroud Tank Laser Sight (TLS) which incorporates a laser rangef inder which is accurate to 5 m (1 6 ft) at all

Battle tanks can be extremely obvious, and therefore vulnerable. ta:g;e:: - : counter this disadvantage commanders rely on reducing engager:: e: : ::': :: to a m inimum an d incre as ing accu racy of fire to a m a x im u m. T h e E ::':s : Marconi Improved Fire ControJSysfem r.s one of a number of corr.p::e:-

battlefield ranges. There are many types of fire-control system available for MBTs today, but space permits brief descriptions of only two of these, the British Marconi Space and Defence Systems lmproved Fire Control System (IFCS) and the Belgian SABCA fire-control system. All British army Chieftains are now rapidly being retrofitted with the IFCS which, coupled with the already installed TLS, enables the tank to engage and hit stationary targets at a range of 3000 m (3,280 yards) and moving targets at a range of 2000 m (2,185 yards) with a high probability of a firstround hit. The IFCS has a Marconi 12-12P digital computer which automatically gathers and updates information from a number of sensors for factors such as wind direction, angle of sight, charge temperature, barrel wear, target displacement and ammunition type. lt then calculates the ballistic solution and correct laying offsets for each target engagement and controls the automatic laying of the gun in azimuth (line) and eleVaiion (including the tracking of moving targets) in readiness to fire. ln the Chieftain both the commander and gunner can lay and fire the 120-mm gun, the commander having override control. The IFCS has been fitted to a number of other vehicles for trials purposes and has also been installed in the Khalid MBT being built for Jordan and the new Challenger MBT for the British army. During one trial of a Chieftain fitted with the IFCS the crew obtained nine first round hits within 53 seconds at ranges of between 1600 and 2900 m ( 1 ,750 and 3,1 70 yards) ln a 1 1 0" arc. The Belgian SABCA f ire-control system has already been fitted to the Leopard 1s of the Australian, Belgian and Canadian armies. lt consists of a laser range-

assisleds/slemswhichofferarapidandaaccurateaimingfacti;-' '\'::.-:.. je:

seconds ofsr'grlr ting a target (above right) the gunner or comrrar =:': ; = left) can lay his gun to the correctazimuth and elevation (offselLl:,? -':::r--:: temper ature, movem ent e tc), s elec t a c hoic e o{ r ou n d s. an d fi r e. .:- C :: e : : :-crew has been seen to obtain three hits on each of three sma|! ia:ge- :: ranges of 1,750 to 3,175yards (l,600 to 2900 m), within awide arc. types of ammunitionwithin 53 seconds.



-: l-. -: ::-: :."J---- '- : cross wind, trunnion cant or tilt, and rate of 1".'e: :':.:':: - -determinestheanglesbetweenthe lineof s deand t.: :, : :' :-= :-- .--: I-:-= - -. outputistransforried intoadisplacementof crcss -:-: When the cross hairs are brought back onto tne re-g:: --'= ),' correct target elevation and azimuth. The widespread introduction of these ire-co.:': : .:::^. : ':.=- ' with the installation of a gun-stabilizatron syste- -:s :- :: : : ^- - :'' : " thetargetwiththefirstshotundermostoperaia^i a:-:' --. I -' - . ..be achieved rf the tank crew caries oJt cc'::i-: =': ="=.' .:- : backed up by good workshopfacilitles ln or:e' 1^.-..'.':- -: -'-: be quickly traced and rectified. For tns'eas:- -:-. --- -:-:: : offeringtankgunnerytrainingsysten stoe^a:a::-. :':..:'- : :, tank engagements without us ng ve a---- : :finder, seven sensors, an analogue computer and an c:: : measure ambient and ammunition temperature, a' :';ss-'=


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Four-view jllustration of the Leopard J A4. the final r:roducticn model for the West German army with a new all-welded turret with improved armour protection and a stabilized stght for the comnLander. The rear view show's the tank fitted with a schnorkel for deep fording operations. with which ihe Leoparcl I can t'orcl ta a depth of 2.25 m
(7 ft 1t':. in).




f, o

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leopard lAl

leopard lA4]4qinBotfleTonk

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Leopard in Action
As the first marn battle tank to go into productron in West Germany since 1945, when that cormtry was a world leader in AFV design, the


planned and serviceabie tank, It could hardly be more conventional, but tanks are not all the same and Leopard 1 is a good compromise. Clearly better than US and French counterparts in being more squat, it has a modest weight of some 40 to 42.5 tonnes (depending on variant), which reflects the belief in the early 1960s that there was little point rn using really thick armour. The Leopard was designed instead to survive by being agile, and it is generally accepted that this tank has the best crosscountry performance of any MBT of its era. Climbing aboard is simple, and even in the early versions with a small turret there is plenty of room in the lnterior. The driver sits in the front of the welded hull on the right side. This leaves room beside him on the left lor 41 of the total of 60 rounds for the LZA3 gmn, where they are readily accessible in front of the loader on the left of the gnrn, The gnrnner sits on the other side of the gnrn, with the commander behind him. The loader and commander both have circular hatches in the cast oval turret roof, one of the hatches (usually the loader's) havrng the MG3 machine-gmn for local firing and AA use, The MTU diesel, a i0-cylinder Vee rated at 830 hp (6 i9 klAf , is well isolated at the rear and


could hardly fail to be a well-

mander incorporating a telescope whose mag-

nification can be varied from x6 to x20, Its

head rotates relative to the turret, and the commander uses it to maintain a detailed lookout over all drstant terrain, to find targets and to determine stadia ranging (finding the range of

Leopard I MBTs on the firing ranges. Tfiis lankias been modernized to serve into the J 990s, when i! will be replaced by a new MBT cttrrently at the conceptstage.

or commander can fire it, Automatlcally, shutters blank oilall sight systems for 0.25 second to
avoid flash blindness at night. The breech automatically opens after the shot, the spent case is dumped in the fume-extracted bag, and in action a preselected type of fresh round is loaded Though far from new in design, the British gun

targets of known size simply from their apparent size in the optics).

traverses the twret to bring the gnrn onto the same bearing. A flexible dnve{ink between the turret azimuth and the sight head keeps the
As soon as the commander finds a target he holds the optics of the sight head on it while he

water-cooled, which helps to make the Leopard one of the quietest tanks to drive.

at once, the breech closing automatically.

Changing gear is very effortless because ofthe hydraulic torque-converter, and as soon as the tank is properly on the move across rough terrain it is obvious that the ride is hke a RolisRoyce compared with that of some other AFVs.

is unfallingly accurate, typicai figures with
APDS ammunition at a range of 1000 m (1,095

latter on target no matter how the turret is
traversed, The tangent elevation of the gun is also electrically fed to the commander's sight so that rn emergency he can lay and fire the I05-mm gnrn. Normally the gn:n is laid by the gmnner usrng hrs x 16 binocular rangefinder, which has a base length of 1.7 m (5 ft 7 in) For

yards) being 99 dlrect hits out of I00 rounds fired against a target slightly smaller than a typical tank turret. At the same distance the
score against a tank is 100, or 98 at 2000 m (2, 185 yards) and 89 at 3000 m (3,280 yards). When the Leopard I fired on the move, the scores were lower, but early in productron the Leopard IAI

road wheels have large vertical travel and are sprung by torsion bars combined with five hydraulic shock-absorbers in a system cunningly designed to keep the hull sensibly level even in traversing the roughest terrain. Even the drrver with his head outside hears little but a muted and distant engine note, and when travelling in the sealed condition the crew members are amazingly comfortable and rnsulated from the few noises.


replaced the first model and one of its new
features was an improved autostabilization system which gives a 50 per cent flrst-strike probabilrty even when firrng on the move across

rapid or unskilled ranging an optical coinci-

Fighting comforts
The entlre fightiner compartment is airconditioned to avoid extremes of temperature in a way that was never attempted in World

dence system ls used, simiiar to that in many cameras, but for maximum accuracy in poor visibility a stereoscopic method is preferred. The main gnrn has a very flat trajectory, but tangent elevation appropriate to the ammunition selected - APDS (armour-prercing discarding sabot), HEAT (high-explosive anti-

country. The autostabilization greatly speeds the task of laying the gun when the vehicle is
stationary, and enables the target and the shot fall to be accurately observed after the vehicle has started moving agaln. Another add-on was a thermal sleeve around the barrel to minimize distortion caused by the barrei ever being hot


il. In cold

weather the interror can be


brought up to comfortable temperature in about two minutes by a heater burning mainengine fuei oil, Exhaust heat from this installation pre-heats the engine coolant while the hot crew-compartment air can be specially blown

over the eight electric-system batteries


warm them before engine start. There are

several features designed to avoid toxic propellant fumes from entering the crew compartment, and even the bag for the spent cartridge cases is continuously scavenged by an air extractor system. As in most modern tanks there is room for food and drink, and an electric oven and hot cup are provided for the quick preparation of snacks in the field, Probably the most vital of a tank's functioning sytems is the maln fire-control unit. That of the Leopard I naturaily stemmed in basic principles from that of the old American M47 tank which the Leopard replaced in the German army. There are no fewer than 14 periscopes (eight for the commander, three for the driver, two for the loader and one for the gnrnner), but the main sight is a large periscope for the com-

tank) and HESH (hiqh-expiosive sguash head) is automatically fed in as the exact range is determined. A third ranging/sighting system is a monocular telescope co-axial with the gnrn, used by the gnrnner only, At iright the panoramic sight of the commander can be replaced by an IR (infrared) device which is extremely sensitive to IR wavelengths. Unaided it can spot the exhaust of a tank or a hot gun barrel at a distance of2000 to 3000 m (2, I85 to 3,280 yards), these and comparable objects showing whlte against the black night. At intervals the commander can switch on his special searchlight to emrt a stream of IR

on one srde and cooler on the other.

Night vision and fire control Wrth the Leopard IA2 variant a major

change was replacement of the IR system by hght-amplification periscopes. Electronic image intensifier systems emit no radiation to give away the tank's own position, and in effect merely improve the crew's vision so much that they can see in the dark. In the Leopard lA3 the turret is a new all-welded pattern wrth

'black ligrht' to give a clear picture on his IR

spaced armour (such armour retrofitted to Leopard lAI tanks turns them into Leopard hollow-charge projectiles, though nobody

sighting device, though this has an obvious disadvantage rn that it looks like a lighthouse to any opposing tank commander with his eye on an IR receiver sight. When needed the same searchlight can emit white (visibie) ligrht. The Leopard is itself painted with greyish camouflage which rs specially formulated to minimize the tank's reflectivity to IR, while its engine exhaust is mixed with cold air before being drscharged overboard. As soon as the main armament is on target, loaded and at the correct elevation the gn:nner

lAlAls), which greatly improves resistance


would pretend even this turret could withstand a direct hit by a modern antiarmour missile. The Leopard 1A3 turret is much roomier, making for rncreased comfort in action (though by Russian standards even the original turret was amazingly capacious!). Last of the Leopard J.s to be built were 250 vehrcles designated Leopard IA4 with a completely new computerized firecontrol called COBELDA, as well as a daylight IR panoramic telescope for the commander.


The leopcrd Familg

Leopard Biber bridgelayer in travelling order showing its stabilizer/dozer blade under nose of tank. The bridge can be positioned in les s than five mr'nules and used lo spangapsof upto22m(72 ft2 in). The bridge can be retrieved from
either end. The Biber k also used by Australia, C anada, JVetherJands and I taly as well as West G ermany.

Leopard Biber bridgelayer laying its bridge in position actoss awater obstacle.

Leopard 1 MBT chassis with turret removed and replaced by the same tufiet as on the French I 55-mm GCT sel{-propelled gan now in service

with France,

S audi Arabia and I r aq. The weapon can fire eight rounds

perminute due toits automatic loading.

Above: Gepard twin 35-mm selfpropelled anti-aircratt grun system with tracking (turret tront) and surveillance (turret rear) radars in operating positions. Above: One of the prototypes of the GPM armoured engineer vehicles, whichwas developed specifically to prepare and clear river crossing pointsfor lollowing tanks and other

Below: Leopard armoured engineer vehiclewith crane traversed to front and titted with an auger which enables it to drill holes 70 ctn

in diameter, to a maximum depthof 2 m(6s/tin).Thehullof the AW is almost identical to that of the Leopard ARV but a heat exchanger has been installed.
(27V2 in)

Above : Leopard I ARV with dozerl stabilizing blade lowered at front of hull and crane litting a complete Leopard powerpack. All ARVs, AEVs and bridgelayer members of the Leopard I tank family have been built by Krupp MaK ot Kiel, who are now also building





2 Main Battte Tank
Lapard 2 MBT of the West German army, which will take delivery of
1,800 vehicles by I 986. The 7.62-mm (0.3-in) MG 3 machine-grun can be mounted at the commander's or loader's station and provides short range anti-aircraft protection. On either side of the turret is a bank of

rhe late 1960s West Germany and

VBT designated MBT-70. In 1970 this '.vas cancelled as a result of rrsing :csts, and West Germany went ahead

::.e USA were']ointly developing a new

:o develop a new MBT eventually

known as the Leopard 2. Thts is fact
-ncorporated the engine. transmlsslon and certain other components of the MBT-70. A total of 16 hulls and 17 tur-

rets was built to test various suspen-

eight electrically-operated smoke

slon armaments (105-mm

smooth-bore guns) and fire-control




under intensive evaluation by the
Swiss army, whrch needs to replace tts old Centurions and Pz 6ls from the late

combrnations. A special version was also built at a iater date to meet the requirements of the US Army; this was called the Leopard 2(AV) and was

armed wrth the standard 105-mm L7 rrfled gun, After troop trials had been carried
out in both West Germany and abroad,

Rhernmetall-developed I20-mm
smooth-bore gun which fires two matn types of ammunition, namely HEAT-

The Leopard 2 is armed with

with a more modern vehtcle.

not a qreat drawback as the 120-mm round has greater penetratlon and the fire-control system qives a much greater hit probabrlrty A 7.62-mm (0.3-in)


machine-gun is mounted co-axtally

MP-T (High Explosrve Anti-Tank

the Leopard 2 was accepted for servrce by the West German army, and in 1977 an order was placed for a total of I 800 Leopard 2 MBTs, ofwhich Krupp MaK is to build 810 and Krauss-Maffei ol Munich the remaining 990. The first production tanks were handed over to the West German army in 1979, and it rs expected that final deliveries will be made in 1986. in 1979 the Netherlands selected the Leopard 2 to replace its ageing Centwion MBTs and AMX-13 Iigrht tanks armed with a 105-mm qnrn; a total of445 Leopard 2 is to be dehvered by 1986, the first of these having being handed over in 1982. Under the terms of this contract, which is worth some Fl2,4O0 million, many of the components will be supplied by Dutch industry. At the time of writing the Leopard 2

Multi-Purpose Tracer) and APFSDS-T (Armour-Piercing Frn-Stabihzed Dis-

cardinq-Sabot Tracer); in each case there is also a practice round The for-

with the main armament, and a similar weapon is mounted on the tufiet roof for anti-arrcraft defence On each side of the turet are eight smoke drschargers, firrng forwards The commander of the Leopard 2, who srts on the rLghr of rhe lurret, LS

gives it a high degree of battlefteld survivabrhty, especially agalnst antitank weapons wrth HEAT warheads. The Leopard 2 is powered by a multtfuel engrne developrng 1,500 hp (i 119 kW) which gives the Leopard 2 a power-to-weight ratio ol 27 hp (20 kW) per tonne compared wtth just under 20 hp (15 kW) per tonne for the final productron models of the Leopard
1. Thrs gnves

the tank greater accelera-

mer is used against all battlefield targets, includrnq field forttflcattons

provrded wrth a stabrlrzed roofmagnrflcatron of x

tron and rmproved cross-country

mounted sight which has a variable
2 and x B. this can be traversed through 360" for observation and can also be used to lay and flre the

mobility, which promote suwrvability on the battlefield.

and lighter vehicles, whrle the Iatter is the marn tank-kilhng round and is said

Crew:4 Weight:
55. i5 tonnes Engine: MTU 12-cyhnder multi-fuel

to be able to penetrate the frontal
armour of all current tanks includinqt
the Soviet T-64 and T-72. The ammunttion, also developed by Rheinmetall, is

main armament. The gunner, who is seated forward and below the commander, also has a stabLhzed sigrht but his incorporates a laser ranqfefinder and a thermal image unit both of whrch are hnked to the flre-control system The marn armament rs fullv stabrhzed and standard equlpment Lncludes passive night-vision equLpmenl. an NBC system, a fire extrnqturshrng system and a schnorkel for deep wadrng. The hull and twret of the Leopard 2

developrng 1,500 hp (l i 19 kW)
Dimensions: length (with

combustible cartridge case, so that after the gnrn ts fired all that remains of the cartridge ts the base stub which is e;ected tnto a

in that it has a

9.668m (31ft B% in); length (hull) 7.772m (25ft 6rn); wrdth 3.7m (12ft 1% in); height (overall) 2.79 m (9 ft I3/a


bag under the breech of the gmn. A total of 42 rounds of 120-mm ammunition is carned, compared with 60

and the American


rounds for the first-generation

Performance: maxlmum road speed 72km/h (45mph); maximum range 550 km (342 miles) gradient 60%; vertrcal obstacle I I m (3 ft 77q in); trench

Abrams were

Leopard I with its 105-mm gmn. This is

rncorporate advanced armour,n'hrch




M60Al Main Battle Tank



In 1956 a decision was taken to develop an improved version of the M4B
tank to incorporate a new engine and a

The M60A3

larger-calibre main armament. The
former was the Teledyne Continental AVDS-1790-P while the latter was the British 105-mm LZAI barrel fitted with

an Amerrcan-desigrned breech. The
LTA1 was subsequently made under hcence in the United States under the Cesignation MOB and fltted to all production examples of thrs M60 series (lvith the exception of the M6042) and LS also fitted to the new Ml MBTwhich Ls also produced by General Dyna-

AnericanMBT andis the latest


the most widely used

development ol the M60, which entered sewice in 1960. It is armed with a 1 0 i-mm M 68 grun and has an advanced fire control system that rhcJudes a stab ilization sys tem, passive night vision equipment, laser rangefinder and a ballistic


The M60 entered service with the US Army in 1960 but was soon succeeded in production by the M60Al 'whrch had a number of modrfications rncluding a redesigrned turret which oflered greater balhstic protection. The M60A2 was fitted wlth a new turret armed with a i52-mm weapon system whrch could fire the Shillelagh missile
or a range of conventional ammumtion with a combustible cartndqe case, A rotal of 526 M60A2s was built, but the type has now been phased out ofserv1ce, the chassis beingr stored for conversion to specialized vehicles. The current production model is the M60A3, which is produced at the Detroit Tank Plant now operated by the

ized in both elevatlon and traverse, AVDS-1790-2A RISE (Reliability Improved Selected Equipment) enQttne,

new tracks with replaceable pads,

new searchlight over the maln armament, thermal sleeve for main armament, new co-axial 7.62-mm (0.3-tn)
machine-gnrn and British

pected to be completed tn 1984 by which trme well over 13.00C vehrcles should have been buiit for the home and export markets. In addrtron to being used by the US Army and US
Marines, the M60 series
rs also used

Mounted at the front of the vehrcle

is an

hydraulic dozer blade to clear battlefield obstacles and prepare fire positions for other AFVs, and prvoted at the front of the hull rs an A-frame which les back over the rear when not required,



Austria Egypt, Iran, Israel, Italy (tncluding 200 burlt under licence by
OTO-Melara), Jordan, Morocco, Saudt fuabia, Sudan Tunrsra and the Yemen Arab Repubhc (North Yemen). There are only two main versrons of the M60, namely the M60 AVLB and the M728 CEV. The M60 AVLB has a scissors bridge on top of the hull, and this is launched over the front of the vehicle to span gaps of up to 60 ft 0 in (18.2BB m). The M72B Combat Engineer Vehicle has a hull and turret similar to those of the M60A1, but is

Crew: 4 Weight: 48 98 tonnes
Engine: Continental AVDS- I 790-2A I 2-

smoke dischargers mounted on each side of the turet, to name but a few. Many of these tmprovements have

now been retrof,tted into the M6041,
which rounds of ammunition for the 105-mm gmn, of whrch 26 are carried tn the forward part of the hull, 13 in the turret for ready use, 21 tn the turret bustle

cyhnder dresel developinq



The M60A3 carries a total of

is then

redesignated the M6043.

Dimensions: length (with gun forward)


9.436m (30ft ll7zin); lensth (hull)

(l 1 ft 11 rn); height

m (22f1


in); width

3,631 m

3.27 m (lO ft B7q in)

Land Systems Divrsion of General

Dynamics who took over Chrysler Deiense Inc, during 1982. The M60A3 has

many improvements over the earlier M60A1, including a Hughes Aircraft Laser Tank Fire Control System, Tank
Thermal Sights, main armament stabtl,1

and three under the gmn. A 7.62-mm (0.3-in) machine-enrn is mounted coaxially with the main armament, and a
ts mounted in the commander's cupola.

0.5-rn (12.7-mm) machtne-gun
Producrion of the M6043

armed with a 165-mm demolition gmn which flres a HESH (High Explostve Squash Head) round to demolish battlefield fortifications and pillboxes.

Performance: maximum road speed 4B.2Bkm/h (30mph); maxtmum road range 500km (310 miies); fordtng 1.219 m (4 ft 0 in); qradient 60%; verttcal obstacle 0,914m (3ft 01n); trench 2.59 m (B ft 6 m)

now ex-


ffit nframs Main Battle Tank
The M 1 Abrams, with its I 0 5 -mm M68 rifledwn, advanced armour and gas turbine, is now operational with the US 7th Army in West Germany. Its fire control system,


h the 1960s West Germany and the
:.ew MBT known as the MBT-70, but :rrs was cancelled in July 1970 for a ,-arrety of reasons, The United States ::ren went on to develop a more aus:ere version called the XM803, but .:IS too was soon cancelled as it was
-SA started the loint development of a

::lt that it would be

incorporating thermal sights, laser
r angetinder an d s tabiliz ation

too expensive and

letroit Diesel Allison

ro sophrstrcated. T\aro years later the

Divisron of the leneral Motors Corporation and the lefense Division of the Chrysler Cor: lranon were each awarded contracts

s/slem, enab/es it to engage and destroy enemy tanks in avariety of environm ent al conditions.
imaginq system that allows the tank to engage tarQrets by both day and night,


desrgn a new MBT which would :,:'re much improved armour protec-


The gun rs fully stabihzed in both
elevation and traverse, and so can be armed and flred whrle the vehicle moving across country. A total of 55 rounds of 105-mm ammunition is carried, of which 52 are compartmentalized. Of the latter 44 are in the turet bustle (22 on each side) and separated from the crew by slidingr doors, A 7,62-mm (0.3rn) machine-gmn is mounted co-axrally wrth the main grun, and a similar weapon is mounted at the loader's

and greater mobrlity than the M60 :en rn production. After extensive ::-als the desrgn from Chrysler was .r.epted and in 1976 the company ,'.'as awarded a full-scale development rrrtract including the construction of - - prlot vehicles which were com:-:ted in 1978. The XMI was eventual-

.; standardrzed

:.:BT. the first production tank being ::mpleted at the Lima Army Tank

as the



:.ant, Ohro, in 1980. Productionstarted .: :he Detroit Tank Plant in 1982 and by
i9B3 over 700 Ml MBTs had been and each plant was turnrng out 30 '.:ks a month. The US Army has a re: jirement for 7,058 Mls by fiscal year




The hull and turet of the Ml are of ..i'.,anced Chobham type armour and :::vrde the greatest deeree ofprotec'.:r ever rncorporated rnto an Amer. .,r MBT. Marn armament comprises -.-.e proven lO5-mm M6B gun as ::-:unted in the current M60 series, but


hatch. The commander has a 0.5-in (12.7-mm) machrne-gun that can be traversed through 360" and elevated to +65'. Mounted on each side of the turet is a bank of sx smoke drschargers. It is expected that from l9BS productron vehrcles wrll be fitted with the

bine takes up much less room than

tng trials in an M4B tank. The gas tura

I2O-mm Rheinmetall smooth-bore gmn

as already fltted into the Leopard


nuch improved fire-control system .s been installed, this system includ:.q a laser rangTefinder and thermal

MBT in servrce with the West German army, These later productron vehicles will be designated MIAI and will also have a number of other improvements such as addrtronal armour protectlon The Ml Abrams MBT is the first such vehicle to be powered by a gas turbrne engdne, and was installed follow-

dtesel, and ts easrer to servrce or replace in the fleld if rt breaks down, but it uses more fuel than a diesel engrne a factor whrch tends to negate the space saved in the first place. The West Germans installed the same gas turbine in the Leopard 2 for trials purposes, but stuck to the MTU diesel for all production vehicles.


4.,1 -

Merkava Main Battle Tank
JaIsraeli armyMerkava MBT armed with a 105-mm M68 grun, as fitted to theM4SAS andM60 series of MBT. The Merkava was.ltrst used in combat in the I 982 invasion of the Lebanon, when it engaged and

-: the 1960s the backbone of the Israeli -:.rmoured Corps was the British.:bsequently rebuilt and fitted with

::ophed Centurion MBT (which was
,,3-mm gmn to become known as the
cgnaded Centurion), Sherman (most for :cecralized roles such as command '.':hrcles, ambulances, recovery vehi-

: which have now been rebuilt


:les, mortar carriers and self:lcpelled howitzers) and the Amer'.'.'ar

.:an M4B. After the


Middle East

Israel became concerned that in ':e future she would not be able to ,btain AFVs from her tradrtional sup:hers (the UK, France and the USA). lioreover, many of the tanks from .rese sources did not meet lsrael's
Under the drrection of General Tal, Israel started to develop rts own MBT, ramed Merkava (or Chariot). Thrs was rnnounced in 1977, and the flrst pro-

defeatedSyrianT-72s. It can carry infantrymen, additional ammunition or a number of stretcher patients in the hull rearand the loader on the left. The turet is well sloped to grve the gEeatest possrble degree of armour protection and rts small cross sectron makes it a very difflcult target. At the rear of the hull is a compartment which can be used to carry additional ammunition or (supposedly) four stretcher patients or I0 fully equipped rnfantrymen. A hatch is provided in the hull rear to allow for the rapid exit ofthe tank crew or infantrymen. Standard equipment includes a full range of night-vision equipment, an NBC system and a special flre de-

-:rque requirements.

iuction vehicles were completed in 1979, It was estimated that by 1982 at
least 250 vehicles had been built. The Merkava was used in action for the first trme aqainst Syrian armoured units operating in southern Lebanon in the summer of 1982. The layout of Merkava ts unlque rn

penetratlng the Soviet T-62 and T-72 MBTs over their frontal arc. The 105mm gmn has an elevation of +20'and a depression of -8.5', Turret traverse and gun elevation/depression are electro-hydraulic, with manual controls for emergency use. A stabilizatlon system is fltted, enabling the gun to be

Lebanon this round proved capable of

the Merkava the Is:a:-- :...'great emphass ::. r::','. : --' Wuh a natronal q:p --='.-.. -: ..

mrlhon, every -ra.,-.:: :::.' - -' very valuaLle c::.:-:. .'... :.. grven the rr.il{:r.-.;. i.!j r : -'

tection and extinguishinqr system

that the whole front of the vehicle rs occupied by the engrne, transmissron, cooling system and fuel tanks. The driver is seated just in front ofthe turret
on the left. The turret, whrch is of cast and welded construction, rs srtuated well to the rear of the hull with the commander and gnrnner on the rrght

which is automatically activated when a projectile penetrates the vehicle. The main armament is the proven lO5-mm nfled tank gmn, which can fire a wide range of ammunition includingr the new APFSDS-T round (the Ml11)

almed accurately and fired while the vehicle is movrng across country, The Elbit fire control system includes a computer and laser rangefinder. Compared with other MBTs developed in recent years, the Merkava has a very low speed and poor powerto-weigrht ratio, but it has been designed for a different tactrcal situation

Crew: 4 Weight: 5i :::-:-:Engane:

',-..-:.-..+.:: :.':.:.



Drmenstons: .=:.1:. .':.:. 8.36r,-- 2-:':. .-...:'
/a/ t+:





a -- --

to that found in Central Europe It
should also be remembered that Israel has had more experience ofsuccessful

developed by lsrael Mihtary Indus-

armoured warfare since World War II

tries. Dwing the recent fighting in the

than any other country. In desrorLn:

Tcnk Wcrrfare in the Lebctnon
For a number of years PLO (Palestine Ltberation Organization) guerrillas had been crossing from southern Lebanon into northern Israel to conduct hit and run raids against Israeli settlements, often causing heavy clvilian casualties. On 6lune 1982 the Israel Defence Forces (lDF)

launched an attack into southern Lebanon under the codename Operation 'Peace for
Galilee', The advance was led by three regular armoured divisions with some 800 MBTs, sup-

ported a number of separate/independent armoured brigades and mechanized and

motorized infantry brigades. One division was allocated to the east thrust, one to the centre and one to the west. TWo reserye armoured divisions with some 500 MBTs followed the original advance of the req-rlar divisions on 7 and I0 June, with one division covertng the

further two armoured divisions were mobilized and deployed on the Golan to replace one of ihe regrular divisrons which was committed to the Lebanon operatlon, Additionally, small amphrbious landings were conducted along advance in blocking positions to stop the gnrerrillas' line of escape: dunng Operation 'Litani', conducted in 1978, many gmerrillas escaped wrth their equipment before the Israeli army could make contact, and the lesson had been fully apprecrated. In the 1973 Middle East war the Israeli Armoured Corps lost many tanks as a result of poor co-operation between armour, infantry, artillery and engineer units. The heaviest losses were incurred among tank units, especially on the Sinai front where a number of units were
almost wiped out,

eastern sector and the other the central, A

Upgraded Centurion MBT of the lsraeli army in Beirut. This tank has two roof-mounted7.62-mm (0.3-in) MGs and one 12.7-mm (0.l-in) MG over the 105-mm grun to provide the maximum amountof suppressive fire.

the coastline, and helicopters were used to deploy troops weli to the front of the line of

Galilee' most Israeli tank casualties were
:aused by PLO gnrerrillas ambinhing the vehi:les wlth manpack AT-3 'Sagger' mrssiles and P.PG-7 rocket-propelled grenades. Such a::acks were generally directed at the most '.ulnerabie parts of the tank, namely its upper oarts, sides and rear, The Syrian army was deployed in the Leba:-:n in some strenqth, a number of armoured -rd mechanized brrgades being located in the lekaa Valley. The Syrians tried to reinforce In the f,rst few days of Operation 'Peace for

T - 5 5 fi tte d

equipmentfor the commander, gunner and driver.


a fu

ll r ange of infra- red night vision

The Merkava first saw action in the 1982 invasion theLebanon. Production has however beenvery low and only around 200 have beenbuilt.


::'ese with another T-62 armoured brrgade

Homs, but on the evening of 9 June this ','.'as destroyed by the Israeli atr forces while
s::-l rn transit. The major armour battle between the Israeli -.1 Syrian armies took place on I0 and i I June


heavy NATO single-target homogeneous
led steel armour at an angle of some 2000 m (2, 185 yards).
60o at a


range of

'.',':en Syrian MBTs (T-54s, T-55s, T-62s and - -- 2s) were engaged by Israeli tanks and heli::p:ers armed with Hughes TOW missiies. No

The T-72 was used in combat for the first trme rn this campaign, and from all accounts it can be knocked out over its frontal arc by I05-mm

firrng the Mlll round, There has been much speculation in the West that the frontal

even though they were often attacking up very hrlly country. For the Lebanon operation of 1982 many Israeli M60AIs and Centurions were fitted with addrtional armour protection to their turrets and sides, It is not known if these were ceramic tiles, or hollow boxes to give protection against

HEAT projectiles, or active armour. The last
consists of a thrn layer of explosive whtch ts

::= Cetails of losses are available, although it is incorporating laminate armour impenetrable :=--e-''ed that Syria lost almost 400 tanks inciud- by any NATO gun projectiles, or even by mis:.; 211T-62s 130 T-54s and T-55s, and as many siles such as MILAN, HOT and TOW. It could r. - - ci their new T-72s. Israeli losses were be, however, that the tanks burlt for export are tanks, -.:=r 150 losses.of which some 40 or 50 were to a different standard to those issued to memIsrael deployed the Centu- bers of the Warsaw Pact, The Israelis tried to ::::!.ele :-::.- i160 serres and the Merkava, the last capture a T-72 MBT for detail examination, but :=.:-; :sed tn action for the first time. All of as far as it is known they were not successful. --:-=:: :re armed with the combat-proven 105:-:- -- \15E tank gun which fires the new Israeli supremacy '.:r=-'=::--= ','.':::h has also been adopted by
\1--r:ary Industries Ml I I APFSDS-T proa

armolu of the T-72 is of the advanced type

detonated by the incoming warhead (HEAT, for example) and so disrupts the latter. Some of the tanks were also fitted with what are believed to be launchers for decoy flares to distract Syrian missrle systems, including the recently-delivered AT-4 'Spigot' which in the replacement for the 'Sagger'. 'Peace for Galilee' Israeli ^During Operation Cr (command, communications and control) was first class and the Israel air lbrce soon gained complete air superiority over the battlefield, shooting down some 90 Syrian aircraft for the loss of only two of their own. Extensive
use was also made of the IAI Scout and Tadiran

num::: :: :: -:::nes in Europe including West Ger:.--.'.' =:-: S',.,'ttzerland, Thts projectile has a ,-', t-= .,-=-::L:;r of over 1450m (4755ft) per : r : ;. : =:. i :an penetrate l50 mm (5 9 in) ol

In tank-versus{ank engagements, the Israeli gunners again proved that they are the best in

the world, and few of the Israeli tank losses were caused by penetrations from projectiles flred by Syrran tanks. The Israelis also made better use of the terrain than their opponents

Mastlff remotely-piloted vehicles (RPVs) to
gather intelligence on the battlefield.

Modern Main Battle Tanks

k *':i#


M60Ai of the lsraeli army with additional armour to its tufiet and hullfront. The exact composition ol this armour is stillnotknown, although some sources ftave said that it is of the active type that reacts when hit by a HEAT weapon (e.9. Sagger ATGW or RPG-? grenades) which were encountered in large numbers in the Lebanon'






't; {+

. # #Fk






''{*-. '4!rd'1:

'1i:f:r:. r. !


['joz Main Battte Tank
Tank Frn-Stabrlized, wtth a muzzle velocrty of 900 m (2,955 ft) per second
rts I15-mm smooth-bore gmn. The rn Red Square (Moscow)

T-62 is a further development of -e T-54/T-55 tank with a slightly lon:re ;el hull to accommodate the turret ',','::h

:r:ade held

l-62 was flrst seen rn public durtng a r:rLng 1965, although tt ts now known :r rave entered productlon ln about

and capable of penetrating over 430mm (16.9in) of armour at any ranqe, and the deadly APFSDS, or
Armour-Piercing Frn-Stabilized Dts-

'.'.':re also produced under ltcence in l::choslovakta, matnly for the export ::,:ket. The T-62 was more expensive ': oroduce than the earlier T-54/T-55 =:.: for thrs reason the T-55 remained -:- :roductlon for many years after the :-:le modern T-62 had been phased ::: of production. ihe llS-mm U-STS smooth-bore ,-r1 LS fitted wlth a bore evacuator and -: :-iLly siabrltzed in both elevation and :::',-erse. An unusual feature of the T-62 :i ':.rr rr has an lntegral shell case ejec:.:: system whrch ts actlvated by the r=:orl of the gmn. Thrs elects the empty r-se out throuqth a trapdoor in the tur:=: rear, but this has reduced the rate -: :re to about four rounds a mtnute as ::-. ;mn has to elevate to +3'30' for thts

r:.irl the early l97Os and a number

1 The T-62 remained in production

of 1680m (5,510ft) per second and a very flat trajectory, and capable of
penetratinq 330mrn (13 rn) of armour at a ranqe of 1000m (1,095 yards). A
total of 40 rounds of LIS-mm ammuni tion is carried, ol which four are ready rounds in the tulret, and of the rest 16 are to the nqht of the driver and 20 in the rear of the flghtrnqlcompartment. A 7.62-mm (0.3-rn) PKT machine-gnrn is

carding-Sabot, with a muzzle velocity

mounted co axially with the main armament; for thrs weapon 2,500
rounds of ammunttion are carried. Standard equipment on all T-62s in-

ment for the commander, qunner and

cludes rnira red nrghl viston equipcarned at the rear of the hull, a turet

dnver, an undrtchtng beam which is

ventilation system to remove fumes
when the grun is fired, a nuclear collectrve protectron system, and the capability of rnjectlng diesel fuel into the exhaust to provide smoke screen. The vehicle carries 675 litres (148.5 Imp gal) of fuel internally with a further 285 litres (63 Imp qal) externally on the runnrng boards, and this total gives the T-62 a road range of 450 km (2BO miles). A further two drum type fuel

tanks can be fltted on the hull rear; these each hold some 200 litres (44 Imp gal) of fuel, increasing road range to some 650 km (404 miles), All T-62s can ford rrvers to a depth of 5,5m (l8ft 072 in) with the aid of a schnorkel
erected over the loader's hatch. A cen-

SovietT-62 tanks advance through an artillery barrage during training

operationally in the Middle East.

Iftis tankwasllist used


be carried out

Tlree main types of ammunition are ::=C by the 11S-mm gnrn, namely HEa:.AG-FS, or Hrgh Explostve Frag-

trahzed frre-extinguisher sysrem ts provrded for the engrne and fiqhting compartments, and this can be operated automatrcally or manually by the commander or driver. Specification Crew:4
Weight: 40 tonnes

Engine: V-12 water-cooled diesel := veloprng 580 hp (433 kW) Dimensions: lengrth (with wrr forwar: 9,335 m (30fl 7)/z in); length (hull

:,::t3tton Fin-stabilized, with

:LAT-FS, or High Explosive Antt-

a muzzle ,'=i-rcrty of 750 m (2,460 ft) per second,

Performance: maximum road speec 50 km (31 mph); maximum road range 650 km (404 miles); gradrent 60%r vertical obstacle 0.8 m (2 ft 7'lz tn); trench 2.85 m (9 fi t/atn)

in); height 2.395 m (7



ft 9 in); width 3,3 m (lO::
ft ljt/q rn)


['jo+ Main Battle Tank

'::'.'ces of a new MBT whrch became

the Russians built pro-

: :.:'.';n as the M-1970 in the West m the r.: s:rce of any known Soviet designa-



conslstrng of sx small dual road .'.:,:els wrth the dnve sprocket at the :::r rdler at the front and four track := ..:n rollers supportrnq the inside of ',-,: :rack only All previous MBTs de-..;:,:C rn the USSR since World War II = T-54 T'55 and T-62) had been r:-..r1c1enzed by larqer road wheels '.'.::. :3 return rollers. The turret of the I.l'-:-0 v,'as similar to that of the T-62 :,:.i ',';as armed with the same 11S-mm

Thrs vehicle

hada new


-.:.:::.1'bore gun. Further develop-

l.l: - ',',':Lch


-i the M-1970 resulted in the T-64
was placed rn productLon

:',::. --'r:r l';hrch was later fltted to the , -a: l.:3T So far the T-64 has not been
-:=:-.-:el as beLng rn service wrth any '--,:: ::.rnlry whereas the later T-72 ::-: ::::. exported on a wtde scale,

.- -.--: ialk plant rn the USSR. Produc. :. .+:..cles were armed wrth a 125-

:::. ','.'-:i] Production now betngt -..r-::1K:i both rn Czechoslovakra . -: i - -:: j Some reports have stated '...' ::.= l-5-i ',r'as such a poor design .-: :: :.:;-ed,"vith mechanical trou:.-: ':-.r: -: '.'.'as only in production for a .:.' '.':::: :i:hough several thousands

: - ':. ','.'-::-n the Warsaw Pact and over-

plate stops water rushlng up when the vehicle is fording a deep stream. When drivrng in the head-out posttton, the driver can quickly erect a cover

main armament, and a 12.7-mm (0.S-in)

machine-giun on the commander's cupola. The T-64 has an NBC system and a full range of nrght-vision equrp-

The T-64 has only been seen in servicewith the USSR, and by all

over his position to protect himself
against rain and snow. The turret design is similar to that of the T-72 but ls not thought to have advanced armour. The qnrnner is seated on the left and the tank commander on the rrght; no loader is required as an automatic loadLng mechantsm is provided for the 125-mm qnrn, which is assumed to be the same as that of the

' :- - --:-: -'-: -,','r:h the drLver's com'- r-:-: . turret in the cen'i: :-r ::,-:::.:::::.1 ;.:,= .-:-i transmrssion at the r - : . : .r ..+lted rn the centre ' -- : ..":-- .:...:=: glacrs plate (prob:- ., ,r.: r.r. = -:ncu:) to his front. A :--''.',: -.:-...-:-i::ard on the glacrs

' -:= : --,: - :e other theory rs that the : - :... :i'.'anced armour (especially '.-.= ,-.=:-s claie) and for this reason ' r-: -:.':: :::ccrted even to trusted : -::.a-:-: ,: ::: Warsaw Pact -:= -'.'- -- :: rhe T-64 ts stmilar to

ment and, irke most other Russran MBTs, it can be f,tted with a frontmounted dozer blade and varrous roller or

accounls las been unsuccessfu/ and was replaced by the much imProved

Weight: 38 tonnes
Engrine: S-cyhnder diesel developingt 700 to 750 hp (522 to 560 kw)

types of mrne-clearinqtsystems such as

command vehrcle whrch carries

The only known variant is the T-64K

Armament is identrcal to that of the T-72 and consists of a fully stabihzed 125-mm smooth-bore qun, a 7,62-mm (0.3-in) machine gmn co-axtal wrth the

mast. When erected over the turret, this s held rn posrtion by stays that are pegged to the ground, preventrnq the tank from movlng off qurckly.

10.0m (32ft 9%in) hish telescopic


Dimensions: lenqth (overall) 9. 10m (29 fI ljt/q rn); length (hull) 6.40 m (2 I ft 0 in); width (without skrrts) 3.38 m ( I I ft I in); height 2,30 m (7 ft 67, in) Performance: maximum road speed 70 km/h (43 mph); maximum range 450 km (280 mrles); fording 1.4 m (4 ft 572 in); gradient 60%; vertical obstacle 0.915m (3ft 0in); trench 2.72m (Bft


The Europecn Tcnk Balcnce
At the heart of East /West insecurity lies the fear that, once again, Eutope could witness a repeat of the World Wat lI Blitzkrieg with tank diuisions swarming into neigltbouring
countries, The Soviet anion and her WarPac allies maintain a vast tank supertority over the NATO countries. She holds that they are for defence, but the West is not conuinced. Seeing these ovemrrhelming forces pitched against them, NATO considers it can only hold the line for a short time. From then on any battle in Europe would soon escalate to nuelear dimenstons.
being foMard depioyed to West Germanv Each armoured brigade includes two tar( battaions each wth 53 MBTs. whre the mechanlzed brigade has one tank batta on





:: .

S:r e' --. -e'.ll--.,-,



Totai Dutch MBT strenqth consists of


a :.:

Leopard 1 s (plus variants), 368 Centur ons, and the f rst of some 445 Leopard 2s which are to be dellvered by 1986.




rre o



Betsium has a tota or 334

Leopard T MBTs 1p us specia rzed veh cies) .rnd about 60 lV47 lar<s The lalter form a reserve batta ion One mechanlzed brigade

. r'c Italy 1a\ 2d o o.u.five armoured, seven mechanrzed. lin'c nde

pendent mechanrzed and four rdeoende't





E WE""."da

has one brisade group West Germany, tncluding one tank battallon lor armoured regrmenl) equipped wllh a roral of 53 leopard 143 MBTS

have two armoured ard mech:n zed b'gades, the former wlth loo la^.: 5e::a trs and the latter wlth one Each iari c?:la cn has 49 MBTs. Total tar( st'e.r:" -c !des 300 M60A1 s, 920 Leoparc I s 'o -s . ?r a-lsl
and a few M47s.



-. sor

Army of the Rhine nc udes nine tank regrm ents (or balta rons) each of which is equLp ped w'th a total of 74 Chiefta n MBTs, wlth another two reg ments expected to be formed rn the md 1980s The first oi 237 Cha lenger MBTs were handed over rn March 1983, and four of the BAOR's cur rent Ch eftain regrmenls will be converted io the Challenger Tota British Chieftain 'tc be around 900

a-a-a-- aa:: couf:-es ':^:r -:: tvr'c:3...r rr I " l.l: be e,,gJ :: rr ::- :MBTs ; s^ : ,- ...' :' ing nurce' -'-- -: : : 85s usec ':"'a - -: :


strength I nc uding reseivesl is estimated

-a'. . T-54T-55s 2-- -'-: T-34 85 ra-.s -:::r ':
Sovet ..es

potand motor zed ''= :



ffi :-United

-::"c:iboJt 90 cons sts of '2;) -:::,--'': C,onlur ons ,,r :ir :a ' ' - :i' : iL|S



:i :;n(


I ffi i'----:-

States. T'^ - S ,lh Arrv ln West Germany ncludes two armoured and lwo mechanized d v s ons and one
armoured, one cava ry and one mechanized brigades. Each armoured d v s on norma ly has six tank batta lons ard each mechanized vision four tank battal ons. each tank battalion hav ng an authonzed tank strength of 54 M60A1/M6043 MBTs lnclud ng vehlc es held in reserve or eaTmarked for use by unlts currently statloned rn the USA, there

Frn"rrrr-,, 126 moio'z3r -'- .:
each hav ^g


West Germany .- , o r o'

iMBTs (plus v3' :i-::

1 232 M4B series


2 *37 -eopard


I,r.orredo\ ru

France. rvlBrs

-or 'ofA d-d the rc.1 t t/oa .'' *nrcl tnetc orc n o, al ,l r.Ld." lwO td-. ^9 tr AMr:0VBtsr.'d n L t, regref -r,..' ^ paniesoi

.-r -::..

-elp.:rd 2 MBTs rcu: :' 30Cordcred) The '.r.lul.rr army cors sl: t'3t3 br gades nclud-ar I7 :"r -5:rmoured nfantry.

:'al :30!1





i:'::e cr. eacn ballai on having 41 MBTs --e teff lor a army rcludcs 1 2 tank batta'

::rh oi tre fc''-at .a udes three tank ::::: a-s. ard ll-,e aller each have one tank t's

are about 3,000 Arnencan MBTs in West Germany Severai hundred of the new M1 MBTs are now deployed in West Germany


: )onthJS'd dlol"l or ld5-. total ing'l 184overal Three.:-- :-' -,or'\ 4rn tornd.d.d^pto,e\: ..

cac''.'- : --r
The Netherlands has two
.rnroured and four mechanzed brigades.


czechostovakia has { ve motoal1 orga-

rized rifle and five tank divisions,


:re armoured

br gade and supporting un ts

nized along Soviet lines. Total tank strength is thought to inc ude about 3,000 T 54/T 55 and 4A0I-62n-12 MBTs.

::: .':-, : MBTs Toto ::-. : : least 50 CCO .:- : :: T55, T62 r-i* - - : Sion f c;-: --^-r: l obso esce-: '::. . :,; : are he0 ^'=::ai TheS:,::J.:,-::: lows : r' !..: l.'- : ' motoTrTeo''; -:::: gary twc t3-. -:-r :..: Czechos c!e. : :.. r : lzed r:e .:-::,--::i and 40 notcr::: '' : :-: one 13fK 3Tc ' ,: southern t SSi ll -:'. and a ong the C- ^::: : andSrXtar\a,::: poved r Afc::-:::.





:::i*r-i-r i'ir*i-rrr--r:::-irrir-r t ---rlr -a :-:-r*iEirr----rrr - --r a- ai:-r-rrrr -':r---:--i-r:i ---.=-a :.-:-:rrr--; ----:*--rrrr--r r:----ir-rrraal=-rc =1i'=-i =-=:-:-:rrlrr: .irrrrrrl=r:i irr *:Errrr r-:r.=rr-a a rr -r-:-t r-ri-=r -=-: .irr===== -trt.*tit_lti:--* !rr r-r---=t-----:- i i\

= r

i r r

Unitcd Kingdom mriodty dsployrd to Gdrooy



,:i:i:=r r=ai-*:-i:r





reinforcement by reserves and the movement into the atea of fore elsewhere ( in the U SA in the c ase of NATO, an d in the F arEast for *e [/SSR The arrows show the generally assumedpatis oI any attackingSode'




ffi 5r-r


['jzz Main Battte Tank

The T-72 MBT was seen ln pubhc for the first time during a parade held in Red Square (Moscow) during November 1977, although it is now known to have entered production in 1971. In April l97B American reports stated that pr:oduction of the T-64 and T-72 was running at the rate of some 2,400 unlts a year and that by i9B7 it was expected that a total of 30,000 vehicles .would have been built. Since then it is

beheved that production of the T-64 has in fact stopped and that production rs now concentrated on the T-72, with production ofthe T-80 expected to beqrn rn the near future, Production of the

rovis ional drawi ng of T - 7 2 M BT with the commander's cupola fitted with 1 2.7-mm AA MG traversed rear. At hull rear are the long range fue) tanks that can be quicklyjettisoned. Side skrits provide defence against ATGWs wilh their HEAT warheads.

T-72 is also undertaken in Czechoslovakra and Poland and is expected to also be undertaken in lndia. By l9B3 the T-72 was known to be rn service with the following countries; Algerra, Bulgaria, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, India, Libya, Po]and, Romania, Syriaand, ofcourse, the USSR. The T-72 was first used in combat by Syria against Israeli armoured units in southern Lebanon durrng the summer of 1982, The layout of the T-72 rs conventronal, wrth the driver's compartment at the

arrcraft defence. The crew has been reduced to three as an automatic loader, mounted in the lower part of the hull, has enabled the fourth man to be omitted. Full details of

The flre-control system includes an optical rangefinder mounted in the forward part of the turret rool in front of the commander's cupola; more recent

the loader are not yet available

production vehicles have a laser
rangefrnder. The suspensron
rs of

front, the turret in the centre, and the engine and transmission at the rear. The hull may incorporate some type of advanced armour (especially on the glacrs plate), although the turret is belLeved to be ofconventronal cast steel armour construction, The commander IS seated on the right and the gunner on the left, the former being provided wlth a cupola that can be traversed through 360", and on this rs mounted a ),27-mm (0.S-in) machine-gnrn for anti-

although it is thought to be stmilar to a carousel with the projectiles in the lower part and the cartridge, which is believed to have a combustible case, in the upper part. Some reports have lndicated that the automatrc loader has not proved reliable in service and in some instances has trted to place the gmnner in the breech instead of the ammunitionl A total of 40 rounds of 125mm ammunitron rs carried, a typrcal load consisting of 12 APFSDS, 22 HE and six HEAT, The APFSDS has a muz-

the torsron-bar

type, with six large road wheels, the idler at the front, drrve sprocket at the
rear and three track-return rollers, the last supporting the Lnsrde of the track only. When the tank is in action, four spring-loaded skirts are fltted over the forward part of the track on each srde and spring forward to glve some protectron against HEAT attack, notably from mrssiles. As on all Russran tanks, Iong-range fuel tanks can be mounted at the hull rear; in the case of the T-72 these lncrease lts road operatrng range from

provement over prevrous Russian tank desiqns 1n terms of flrepower and probably armour protection, it rs not thought to be superior to the British Challenger or West German Leopard 2 designs on the basrs of a one-to-one action; where it does score, however, is that rt is already in service in huge

numbers whereas the Challenger is only just entering servrce and only a few hundred Leopard 2s are in serVICC.

Crew: 3 Weight: 41 tonnes Engine: V- 12 dresel developing 780 hp (582-kw) Dimensions: length (with gun forward) 9.24 m (30 ft 33/q in); lensth (hull) 6.95 m (22fi 9'% in); width (without skirts) 3.6 m (11 ft 93/a in); herght (without AA MG) 2 37 m (7 ft 97s in)

zle velocity of 1615m (5,300ft) Per second and will penetrate 300 mm
(l LB rn) of armour at a range of


(1,095 yards), while the HEAT-FS has a muzzle velocity of 900 m (2,955 ft) per

second and will penetrate 475 mm (18.7 in) armour at a similar range. A
7.62-mm (0.3 in) PKT machine-gmn ts mounted co-axially with the matn

km (298 miles) to 700 km (435 miles), Standard equlpment includes an NBC system, infra-red night-vision equipment and a schnorkel for deep fording, Mounted under the nose ofthe T-72 ts a dozer blade for clearrng obstacles or prepanng fire posrtLons.

Performance: maximum roaci speed 60 kr/h (37.25 mph); maximum range 480 km (298 miles); fording 1.4 m (4 ft 7rn); gradrent 60%; vertical obstacle 0.915m (3ft 0in); trench 2.9m (9ft
Zt/q rn)

Although the T-72 is a srgnrficant tm-


i'jeo Main Battle Tank
100-mm in the T-54 and T-55, 1iS-mm in the T-62 and 125-mm in the T-64 and T-72, It is most probable that the T-80 ammunitron, and some reports have in-

the second half of the 1970s l,Vestern intelligence sources have stated that the USSR is about to field a :ew MBT which has been gdven the
',Vestern designation T-80.

fires a much improved range of dicated that this will rnclude
an HVAPFSDS (High-Velocity Armour-

According to American reports in .cth 1979 and 1980 some 200 preproduction T-80 tanks were built for :xtensr.ve troop trials, with full-scale .::roduction expected to take place by ,:65 There has been some specula:.::r that the T-80

Piercing Fin-Stabilized DrscardingSabot) projectile with a depleteduranrum penetrator for rmproved

armour-piercing capability. The qun is


in fact the T-64 wrth :.ew turret incorporating Chobham

fully stabilized and the fire-control sytem probably includes a laser
MBTs, A 7.62-mm (0.3-in) machine-enrn

"':e layout of the T-80 is convention- re -. ',','1th the drrver's compartment at the


rangefinder which has already been introduced on late productron T-72

-:::.: turret

rn the centre, and engrne r.=.i iransmission at the rear. The drLv:: :-as to hrs front a well-shaped glacis


on whrch rs a vee-shaped splasha:d to stop water rushing up the gla^ : piate ',ffhen the tank is fordrng riv=:. a:i has a single wrde-angle periror driving in the closed-down

is mounted co-axially wrth the main armament, and a 12.7-mm or 14.5-mm (0.5-in or 0.57-jn) machine gun ts mounted on the turet roof for antiaircraft defence. The value of the latter must be questioned as the chances of


hitting a jet aircraft are very small.

Mounted on each side ofthe turret and

: , s-:-::

:==:=i -: the turret one oneachsideof

-:-: c:mmander and gunner are
::,:.:. armament whlch has an auto-

firing forwards is a bank of four dtschargers. As all Soviet tanks have the capabrlrty to lay their own smoke screen by injectingr diesel fuel into the exhaust, there is some speculation that

-.-.: r:ader so enabltng the T-80's ::=',',':: i:: kept to three men, as rn the
T-72 MBTs .' -: ::-=^r:-ed that lhe main arma:.:.: -: : ::::rer development of the .-,':::. rncunted in the T-64 and

The upper part of the track and the retum rollers are covered by skirting;
it rs not known if these provrde armour

I n March 1 983 the US Department D efense al loc ate d the T - 80


,-:=: --:i a:d

these (similar dischargers have also been observed on recent production
T-72 MBTs) may in fact launch chaff or decoys to confuse NATO missiles suclt as the MILAN, HOT and TOW.

designation to the late production

protection or simply help to keep the dust down,

modelof theT-72 MBT, although designationT-74.

- , - -: --. ::.::glt unlikely that the Rusgun :1,::- --=.:- ::.erI tank fleet as, excludtank --..':.= :---: amphLbtous light (122. : :-.-:- ;::. ::-d T-10 heavy tank
,..:-. ,'.' -.: .:.'::du:e yet anothel


Crew: 3 Weight: 48.5 tonnes

The suspension of the T-80 is be heved to be of the hydro-pneumalrc type, and enables the driver to adjust
the grround clearance to sult the type of ground being crossed. It consists ofsLx small road wheels wrth the idler at the

Performance: maximum road sPeed

Engine: dresel developing 750 hp
Dimensions: Iength (hull) 7.0m (22f1


km/h (43.5 mph); ranse 450 km (280 miles); gradient 60%; vertical obstacle 0.92m (2ft 117zin); trench 2.Bm (9ft
ZVz rn)

:. ;,:- -:..::=saLready have three .:,='; :-.-: ..' :f qurvammunttion,

rn); wrdth 3.5 m (11


53/a tn),

(Note the above spectfications are pro-

front and drive sprocket at the rear.

height 2 3 m (7 ft



Armed Forces of the World

:: - ruch

--..e was a rebellion in Dhofar province. The with:':walof British forcesfromthe Middle Eastin 1967


of its existence Oman relied on the United ^gdom for its external defence, but from 1963

:: to the establishment of the Popular Democratic republic of Yemen (PDRY) in Aden, who backed the lJerrilla {actions in the Dhofar area. The Popular :'ont for the Liberation of Oman (PFLO)was formed .! th the backing of the PDRY and with considerable :ss stance in the form of arms and supplies from ln na and lraq. ln July'l 970 the Sultan Oabus over:rrew his old father in a coup and this led to a rapid expansion of the Sultan's Armed Forces (SAF), .vhich until then was essent allv a mercenary force ed by British contract off cers. From 1973 a comclete lranian brigade started to operate ln the Dhofar 3rea togetherwith their log st c support and helicoprers. Northrop F-5 fighters and radars were also supplied and manned by iran, pend ng tne arrival rrom the United Kingdorn of 12 SEPECAT Jaguar f ighter/bombers. The arr va of tne lran an iorces and expansion of the armed :orces, nclud ng the ned to the gradual creaslng number oca pushing-back of the PFLO ntc Scrtn Yen'en. By the mid-1970s the war was esse,rt a v cver, and since then there has been very 1tl1e 'r- :ar\'act vity. The lranian presence started to r..rn Cc.'.'". and by the time of the lranian Revolution n 1973 ess tlran 1000 troops remained; these have s 1:. been r-eplaced by a much smaller number of Eor:l ar l'cops. Oman has a population of just ..r:i3' :'e n' ll on, ess than with the armed forces cons sl -1ere are 20,000, excluding expatrate ::'s a"d men on still many British and Pak stan contract, although Ornanis d!e ?'=)-= . :a< 19 over in many units. Defence accc.l-:s ':'a -alor part of Government expenditure, \^,.ose ':3re :s almost entirely dependent on o I, tnc,-:' S:-d Arabia con^g 'cr tne Omani tinues to provide sign f ica^t



The armoured regiment operates three
armoured-car and two tank squadrons. The former are equrpped with Alvis Saladin (6x6) armoured cars with a number of Alvis Scorpron CVR(T)s recently



introduced, while the latter are equipped with six
Amerrcan M604T and 12 ex-British army Chieftain MBTs. The latter are on loan, while 15 new vehicles are being built at Roya Ordnance Factory Leeds; these have a nurnber of modif ications requested by Oman, and are known as the Oayis Al Ardh. lnfantry equ pment s of Western origin and includes 9-mm Brown ng pistols, 9-mm Sterling SMGs; 7 62-mm FAL, 5 56-mm M1641 and 5.56mm SIG rifles; 7 62-n'n' FN MAG GPMG, French Thomson-Brandt 6O-mm, British B1-mm L-16 and Amerlcan M3O 4.2-in (107-mm) mortars; and Hughes TOW ATGWs. Armoured personnel carriers include the French VAB and the British AT 105; four Soviet ZSU-23-4 SPAAGs are also in service. The Omanl a r force has a strength of about 2,000, plus a high number of expatriate personnel, and has one squadron w th 1 2 Hawker Hunter Mk 73 f ighter/

-! a' :;'s--'= ."

:,. : -: ": ^ !- : . . -:.:- -=' -also four Brooke Mar ne Fasl :'.'.'.:. l'.'which were all comm ss onel ' ' :-- .armed with a single 76-n^n' OiC ','= .-' I gun forward and a sing e 2O-'rr i=' . -' aft.The Landing Ship Log st c',as ::^-- :: 979 and has a crew ol 4l a'd ca' :.-'. -: ' troops as well as armoured ven c es .- I : :-' Armament consists of a 76-mrn OTO "': pact gun forward, and two 20-mrn ca^-:or ginally three ships in th s c :ss overboard in the Bay o' B sc:. shipped backto Oman a+ter a
. '1

Exocet surface{o-surface fi- ss



copter deck is f itted aft, and two Roto:< : - : are carried. In addition the navy has so-e s :


defence effort. TheArmyhasa strengtn c' :c:-: 1 5,OOO men and consists of two brigade !Os ,-: :^e Royal Guard Brigade, which together cc^:': s:^-e three artillery reglments, one srgna s a^3 :^3 :'-oured regiments, eight infantry batia :-s c-g neer and parachute squadrons ano s:a: , :=: 'orces. Of the artillery reg n ei:s :.'. 1 a'e I ght reg ments with 25-pounderfield g--s :-: r.r'alOrdnance Factory Nottinghan" l05--- j': Jns, while the -30-rm M-46 towed medium regiment nas S:'. :: guns and Arnencan 155---'""0-o self-propelled howitzers. Artillery fire c:rt': si'stems are mainly British. and a number o' iY Cvrbeline mortarlocating radars arb n use

ground-attack aircraft, plus Hunter T.Mk 66 and
T.Mk 67 trainers (some o{ the former have a photoreconnaissance capability); one squadron with the remains of 12 SEPECAT Jaguar fighter-bombers; and one trainer/COIN squadron with 12 BAC OneEleven, one Dassault-Breguet Falcon 10, seven Britten-Norman Defender, 15 Shorts Skyvan 3MF and three Lockheed C-1 30H Hercules transport aircraft. Two de Havilland Canada DHC-5D transport aircraft have been ordered. The one helicopter squadron is equipped with some 'l 5 Agusta-Bell AB 205s, two AB 206s and five Bell Model 214s. There is also a Royal Flight with one Grumman Gulfstream, one BAC VC '1 0, one Douglas DC-8, two FWA AS 202s

craft, three British Skima-'1 2 hovercr:':,-: support craft ln addition to the regular forces there s i:: :-: tribal Home Guard (the Firqats) with a s:-:-:.- :' over3000 men, aswellasa police Mar nc r'; -l :- l an Air Wing.


Order of Battle
One Royal Guard Brigade Eight infantry battalions One medium and two light artillery regimenls \'mm SP howitzers and 105-mm light gunsr Onearmoured regiment {Saladin and Scorpor re::--: ance vehicles, M60A1 and Chieftain MBTs One signal regiment One parachute squadron Specialized troops


and four Agusta-Bell AB 212 helicopters. Air defence weapons conslst of 28 British Aerospace Rapier missile launchers and a similar number of Marconi Space and Defence Systems Blindfire radars to give an all-weather capability. The navy has a strength of 1 500 and has recently completed a major re-equipment programme; the

Air Force

One fighterbomber squadron (SEPECAT Jagua' Hunter) One COIN/training squadron (BAC Strikemaster sault-Breguet Falcon) One helicopter squadron (Agusta Bell AB Bell Model 214) One Royal Flight {BAC VC-10, Douglas Gulfstream, FWA AS.202, Aqusta-Bell Two air defence squadrons (Rapier with

One fighter-bomber/reconnaissance squadron





main operatlng base is Muscat, with advanced bases at Mina Raysut and Jazirat. Craft include a Royal Yacht which has been fitted with a helicopter pad and also carries a Fairey Marine Spear patrol
craft. The three new Vosper Thornycroft 56-metre Province fast-attack craft are armed with a single

Three transport squadrons (BAC One-Elever -a :. -:: : C 130, Britten-Norman Defender, Shorts S<v':- I -':
205 3no DC-8,

AB 212

:: : , a G----:-

76-mm OTO Melara Compact gun forward, twin Breda anti-aircraft guns aft, the latest fire control
Members of theOmaniDelence Forces loading Rapier ultra-low-level defence misslJes on fo tfie

Blindf re

One Royal Yacht/Corvette One logrstic iand ng ship Five fast attack craft (missile) Four fast attack craft (gun) Support vessels


systems and six Exocet surface-to-surface missiles. The two Brooke Marine fast-attack craft missiles were completed in 1973 and are armed with twin 4O-mm Breda guns forward and two launchers for

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