Light Tanks




 
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October 28th, 2004  
godofthunder9010
 
 

Topic: Light Tanks


I was doing some digging because I was curious. I didn't know for sure whether the USA or anyone else has many Light Tanks these days and it appears that they do not. I did some digging and it looks like the French LeClerc is faster than any other modern tank I could find. But that's the French's primary tank.

I was wondering, is this an oversight on the part of the militaries of the world? Fine to have the heavy MBT and the armored "swiss army knife" in the Bradley, but why are we not seeing the deveopment of some very versatile and faster moving Light Tanks? Or do they already exist? Seems to me that 70-75 km per hour (fastest top speed I could find) is a good bit slower than it COULD be.
October 28th, 2004  
SHERMAN
 
 
Well, there are light tanks out there. The Russians have their PT76, the Type 62 and Type 63, the Sweeds have the Ikv Tank Destroyer, which in my eyes is a light tank. The UK have the Scorpion family of light tanks and AFVs. Thiland has the USA built Cadillac Stingray. Many veraients of the French AMX-13 serve around the globe. Also, many wheeled AFVs have 90mm or 105mm armed versions, and serve infact in the same tactical role as light tanks. By the way, how would you define "Light Tank", by the way? Because the Bradly can acctually fit into the definition in some eyes...
October 28th, 2004  
Shadowalker
 
 
British army has tanks such as the scimitar and sabre which are used for recconaissance and are armed with 30mm cannons and have a top speed of 80kph
http://www.army.mod.uk/equipment/av/av_scm.htm
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October 28th, 2004  
godofthunder9010
 
 
My idea of what Light Tank means?

Something very fast and thusly lighter than your heavier MBT. Preferably similar to the Bradley in multifunctional role and varied weapon platform options, but minus the APC side of things -- so not a big target and more useful for recon. Bradley fits the role somewhat, but its not all that fast, it lacks a main gun and as already mentioned its a big target with a high profile. Light tank would be less focussed on tank vs tank confrontations but still have the capability of taking on another tank if need be.

The Scimetar is the sort of thing I'm thinking of from the looks. If I could design my own, I'd prolly add more options for alternate weapons configurations and find a way to make it go even faster if possible.
October 28th, 2004  
Doppleganger
 
 
I think you're probably gonna find that the 'light' tank will probably become far more important as Western armies all develop rapid reaction forces. Future MBT designs will likely have to be air-portable as a main priority. I think there's still room for the 50-66 tonne behemoths on the battlefield but they will be supplanted with many more 20-25 tonne MBTs. So there might be a blurring of roles and functions, perhaps even a return to the tank definitions of WW2 of light, medium and heavy rather than MBTs?
October 28th, 2004  
CavScout
 
I don't feel there is enough use/justification for a lite tank. Not when many platforms exist for the very purposes you state. Max speed is good, but you better have an equally good "Stab" to hit targets whiule moving on the thing to compensate for rough ride. Last thing you wanna do is get ready to fire, throw a track and spin out at 50 mph just as you get ready to squeeze the trigger and end up with an "ISU" sight impaled in your eye. Speed is good but it sure isnt the end all.
October 28th, 2004  
SHERMAN
 
 
My point exactly. There are many AFVs out there doing light tank jobs right now.
October 28th, 2004  
godofthunder9010
 
 
I can understand your point on speed. Of course you don't want to go any faster than can safely be managed, but that kinda goes without saying. If a test run of throws a tread in rough terrain then its time for resdesigning.

The puzzling thing is I can't seem to find anything in the USA's current arsenal that fits that role --- at least not with treads on it. Anyone got any info on US light tanks perhaps?
October 28th, 2004  
SHERMAN
 
 
Sheridan was the last one...
October 28th, 2004  
godofthunder9010
 
 
Well, there is the Stingray, but its not terribly fast.

Actually the older M1 Abrams designs were just about as fast as the LeClerc. Not as fast as the Scimetar, but pretty damn fast nonetheless.

So currently, the Abrams and Bradley can keep up with the majority of other tanks and/or tank-like thingies. It seems to me that there's room for a small, light and fast design to go along with them.