The US Army’s New Tank

The US Army’s New Tank

Light Tanks have played a vital role in modern warfare as scouts and infantry fire support vehicles. In the 1960s, The US Army adopted the M551 Sheridan Light Tank as a scout vehicle and a tank that could be parachuted behind enemy lines. The M551 was light enough that it could be dropped from a C-130. However, the tank was not without issues, for one it’s 152mm main gun was too much for the 15-ton tank and when the MGM-51 Shillelagh guided anti-tank missile was fired, often the sensitive electronics would be put out of whack.

M551 Sheridan

M551 Sheridan

Most of the kinks were eventually worked out, and the M551 was appreciated by the light units that otherwise would have been without armor support.  Still, the M551 left the US military wanting a better vehicle and so the development of the XM8 Armored Gun System was commenced, and the vehicle type classified as the M8. Defense cutback in the mid-1990s stripped funding for the M8 and also pulled the last battalion of M551 Sheridans from the 82nd Airborne.  The decision would prove extremely short-sighted as the Global War on Terror commenced in 2001, and American Light Infantry cried out for armored vehicles and armored fire support.

Light Tanks For Everyone, Except the US Army.

Light Tanks are seeing a new lease on life in the service of many foreign nations. The Russians drop their paratroopers inside light Infantry Fighting Vehicles alongside light tanks armed with 125mm guns. The Chinese and even the British Army have adopted new light tanks for their infantry formations.

 

In today’s tense geopolitical climate, the possibility of light infantry forces of major nations facing off with each other in a modern conflict is real.  With this reality, the need for tanks lighter than Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) has become a priority for Infantry and Airborne forces the world over. Nations are literally spending billions of dollars on the development, and production of light tanks. In fact in some nations, light tank development has superseded MBT development.

The US Army And It’s Light Tank

The US Army hates the term light tank.  The reasons are politically and congressionally motivated, often budget related. So the US Army is calling their new tank a Mobile Protected Firepower vehicle, MPF for short.  It’s still a light tank, but don’t tell them that.  In 2016 the Army requested prototypes for a new Light Tan-, er, MPF to meet the firepower support needs of light infantry and expeditionary forces such as the 82nd Airborne.

BAE AGS

BAE AGS

From that initial inquiry, two contenders have emerged, General Dynamics Land Systems and BAE Systems. BAE is offering a modernized version of their old M8 AGS, while General Dynamics is hoping their Griffin based on the AJAX tank recently adopted by the British Army.

General Dynamics Griffin

General Dynamics Griffin

According to a recent article from Popular Mechanics,

General Dynamics Land Systems’ vehicle is the Griffin, a modified version of the British Army’s new Ajax tracked reconnaissance vehicle equipped with a version of the M1A2 Abrams tank turret. BAE will produce an updated version of the M8 Buford (see top), an air-droppable light tank the Army flirted with buying in the 1990s but ultimately cancelled. A third competitor, designed by SAIC, was not chosen to proceed in the competition. The Army will buy 504 of the new vehicles—about enough for eight battalions.

A decision is expected later this year with production starting soon.

0 Comments

You may also like...

Buttigieg and Far-Left: Erase Thomas Jefferson

2020 Democratic Presidential Candidate Peter Buttigieg has called for things named after President Thomas Jefferson to be renamed or erased. Buttigieg is the latest to demand the re-writing of history that the Left finds “problematic”

Russia Sells 750,000 New AK-203 Rifles

Russia has just signed a deal with the Indian Government to jointly produce over 750,000 new AK-203 rifles. The Indians have long struggled with their notoriously unreliable INSAS rifle chambered in 5.56x45mm NATO.

World War III?

What would a Third World War look like? Would it be conventional, or end in Nuclear Holocaust? Would it look like World War II, plus new technology?

Preserving and Tanning Hides

Hides have provided clothing, blankets, tools, shoes, wall decorations and scores of other things for mankind. Animal hides can provide a hunter with a fine jacket or coat, or buckskin pants that would make Tecumseh jealous.

WANT TO ADVERTISE ON 1776TV?

Do you have a business you would like to promote? 1776TV is offering the chance to put your business in front of tens of thousands of visitors every week! We offer competitive advertising rates and loyalties breaks. Email us at editor@1776tv.com for rates and any questions.

Conservative States Pushing Back Against The Left

Conservative States over the month of May have been pushing hard against the agenda of the Democrats and the Left. For many years it has certainly seemed to most of those on the Right that the Left was unstoppable in pursuing their agenda. May 2019 has seemingly proved them very wrong, to the detriment of the Left.

About The Author

Zach Dunn

Zach Dunn is one of the owners of 1776TV and serves as Senior Editor. He is a passionate Constitutionalist. He enjoys the Outdoors, Firearms, and History. He is a passionate follower of Jesus Christ. Zach is married to Amy and they have a son and three daughters. He currently resides in the Mountains of North Carolina.

Featured Sponsor

Advertise on 1776TV.com

You can become a Featured Sponsor on 1776TV.com! Support our cause, promote liberty, justice, and the American Way! Get awesome exposure by putting your business in front of thousands of like-minded, liberty-loving patriots! Learn More!

Archives

Customize Your Avatar

Facebook
Facebook