Future Military Tanks
Future Military Tanks : What are the hottest tanks of today and tomorrow’s militaries? From the United States to the Middle East what can we expect to find powering our soldiers forward?
M41 Walker Bulldog
The M41 Walker Bulldog, officially 76-mm Gun Tank, M41, was an American light tank developed for armed reconnaissance purposes. It was produced by Cadillac between 1951 and 1954 and marketed successfully to the United States Army as a replacement for its aging fleet of World War II vintage M24 Chaffee tanks. Although engineered as a reconnaissance vehicle, the M41’s weight and armament also made it effective in the close infantry support role and for rapid airborne deployments. Upon entering US service, all M41s received the designation Little Bulldog and subsequently, Walker Bulldog after the late General Walton Walker, who was killed in a Jeep accident in 1950. The M41 was the first post-war American light tank to see worldwide service and was exported in considerable numbers by the United States, particularly to Asia. Development of the M41 proceeded slowly until the outbreak of the Korean War when the US Army’s renewed demands for more tanks resulted in its being rushed into production. The haste with which it was initially produced led to technical problems, which, coupled with the relatively cramped dimensions of its hull interior, gave it a mediocre reputation among American tank crews. It was also considered too large in comparison to the Chaffee for reconnaissance. Funding for the M41 program was slashed accordingly, and more emphasis placed on the development of new main battle tanks such as the M47 Patton. Cadillac ceased production of the M41 in late 1954. It was replaced by the M551 Sheridan during the 1960s. Beginning in 1946, the United States Army commissioned a project to oversee the replacement of the M24 Chaffee light tank in the reconnaissance role. For preliminary purposes, this hypothetical tank was to be known as T37. However, in the wake of World War II most armored vehicle development programs suffered from a lack of impetus and inadequate funding. The T37 concept did not reach viability until 1949 when three disparate prototypes were finally built. The second prototype of the trio, T37 Phase Two, was selected for further testing and received a unique designation, T41. In its final, pre-production form this model was known as T41E1 to the US Army. The T41E1 was envisaged as a highly mobile light tank, capable of undertaking aggressive reconnaissance and being sufficiently armed to engage the latest Soviet medium tanks if necessary. It was to utilize automotive parts and components already common to other US military vehicles and incorporate a modular hull capable of being converted for a variety of other specialized roles. For example, the US Army requirement called not only for a light tank, but an air defense platform and an armored personnel carrier based on the same chassis. A specific powerplant had even been pre-selected for all three proposed vehicles: a Continental or Lycoming six-cylinder, air-cooled gasoline engine. This made the T41E1 one of the first American tanks be designed around a preexisting engine type, rather than being built first and then adopting a suitable engine. Weighing nearly 52,000 pounds, the T41E1 was so heavy it would have easily been classed as a medium tank in its own right only about five years earlier and was no longer deemed suitable for frequent airborne deployments.General Characteristics * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Type: Light tankPlace of origin: United StatesService history & Wars : __________________________• Bay of Pigs Invasion• Vietnam War• Lebanese Civil War• Somali Civil War• 2006 Thai coup d’étatProduction history___________________Designed : 1949Manufacturer : CadillacUnit cost : USD $162,000 (1988) (equivalent to $308,173 in 2019)Produced : 1951 – 1954No. built : 5,467Specifications_______________Mass 23.49 tonnes (25.89 short tons; 23.12 long tons)Length 5.81 m (19 ft 1 in) (hull)Width 3.19 m (10 ft 6 in)Height 2.72 m (8 ft 11 in)Crew 4 (commander, gunner, loader, driver)________________________________________Armor_______• Welded steel• 25.4 mm (1.00 in) turret front• 25 mm (0.98 in) turret sides and rear• 12.7 mm (0.50 in) turret top31.7 mm (1.25 in) at 45° hull nose plate• 25.4 mm (1.00 in) at 30° hull glacis plate• 19 mm (0.75 in) hull rear 9.25 mm (0.364 in) hull floorMain armament _________________76mm M32A1 rifled cannon (65 rounds)Secondary armament _________________• .30 caliber M1919A4 coaxial machine gun (5,000 rounds)• .50 caliber Browning M2 roof-mounted M. Gun (2,175 rounds)Performance _____________Engine : Continental AOS-895-3 six-cylinder air-cooled petrol 500 bhp (370 kW)Power/weight : 21.2 hp (15.8 kW)tonneSuspension : Torsion barGround clearance : 0.45 m (1.5 ft)Fuel capacity : 530 l (140 US gal)Operational range : 161 km (100 mi)Maximum speed : 72.4 km/h (45.0 mph)
Future Military Tanks