FMSO Magazine OE Watch releases details on Russian Armata tank

The Foreign Military Studies Office has released new information concerning the Russian Armata MBT in the March issue of OE Watch (Pages 51-53.)  The information in the FMSO article comes from Russian language news sources.  The picture below listing some of the technical details has been making it’s way around the internet the past several days.  It is worth nothing that the articles about Armata in both the War is Boring Blog and Real Clear Defense have mistakenly reported that the Armata has a “gas turbine” engine.  it is quite clear from the chart below that Armata has a 12 cylinder diesel engine.  The reference to a “gas turbine super-charger” refers to the turbo charging system.  It is probably a safe assumption that the engine in the Armata is the GSKB Transdizel 2B A-85-3.

Armata diagram

WWI replica tank moved for air show in New Zealand has posted a video showing a replica WWI Mark IV tank as well as a Panzer IV and a Stuart Light tank being loaded onto a ferry for transport from Wellington to Marlborough for the Classic Fighters air show.  The replica Mark IV was used in the 2008 short film “Crossing the Line” directed by Peter Jackson of Lord of the Rings and Hobbit fame.  Jackson is a WWI history buff who owns a nuber of planes from the era.  He has announced that he is planning to help launch a museum to commemorate World War I in Wellington NZ.

Click on the image below to view video.

New Zealand tanks

Veteran of 736th “Canal Defense Light” Battalion turns 92

143560aThe Arizona Daily Courier has posted a human interest piece about a former US tanker named Jesse “Pete” Henson, a veteran of the 736th tank battalion.  The 736th battalion is notable for being one of the units equipped with the Canal Defense Light, a powerful searchlight mounted on an M3 medium tank intended for use in nighttime operations.  The article recounts Henson’s personal history, noting that in 1943 he received orders to the 736th Tank Battalion. Originally based at Camp Rucker, Alabama, Henson’s unit started tank training at Fort Knox, Kentucky.  “We were introduced to these strange machines,” Henson said, describing the Canal Defense Light, a British invention that mounted a 13 million candlepower search light and machine gun turret on an M3 tank. The machine was so odd-looking, Henson said, that the men started calling them “Gizmos.”  “We were top secret,” he said.

Full article here.

WoT’s Chieftain posts new article: US Centurion Part 3

chieftains hatchWorld of Tanks researcher Nicholas Moran, aka “The Chieftain” has published part 3 of his article on US testing of the Centurion III tank.  Part one dealt with the US assessment of the Centurion III’s fighting compartment.  Part 2 dealt with automotive tests.  Part three covers the gun control systems.  The Chieftain summaries the report saying: “So, overall, the US generally liked Centurion. They appear to have considered it to be inferior to the new generation of tanks they were designing, but quite competent for an already-extant vehicle. Some features, like the tracks and transmission, they didn’t like. Some, like the stabilisation system and general capability, they did. The engine power they deemed insufficient for the future tank. The entire evaluation process was more of a learning experience, learning some lessons, both good and bad, from the tank the British had built, it was never an attempt to comparatively rate the tank in order of preference.”

Read the entire post at the Chieftain’s Hatch

Book Alert: The Armored Forces of the Bulgarian Army 1936-45

armoured_forces_bulgarian_army_wwii_305x222Earlier this month Helion Publishing released a new hardcover book on “The Armored forces of the Bulgarian Army 1936-45.”  Written by Kaloyan Matev, this volume comes in at a hefty 504 pages.  It is probably fair to say this is the most in-depth book that has been written on the topic of the Bulgarian armored forces.

Publishers descriptionThis book provides a detailed history of motor vehicles and armored fighting vehicles in the Bulgarian Army from 1936, during the last years of peace, until the end of the Second World War in 1945.
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From the Vaults: Army Research, Development & Acquisition Magazine

tank history 1 Sept Oct 1978Today we are presenting some tank related articles from the Army R,D&A (Research, Development and Acquisition) magazine.  This publication started in 1960 and is still being produced, although the name has changed to AL&T (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology).   For most of it’s history, the magazine was published bi-monthly and featured articles on new army technology and research programs.  Fortunately, a complete set of back issues is available here.  Tank and AFV News has gone through these back issues and picked out a selection of articles which may be of interest to the tank and AFV enthusiast or researcher.

We start with the Sept-Oct 1978 issue which features an article titled “Tank Development Traced to Royal Naval Air Service Early Efforts.

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French and German defense companies announce joint land weapon venture

Leopard 2Defense News is reporting that the French company Nexter and German company Krauss Maffei-Wegmann have signed a memorandum of understanding for an equally owned alliance.  Assuming that the political issues involved in such an alliance may be overcome, the purpose of the alliance, named Nexter and KMW Together (KANT) is to produce a new generation of combat vehicles, including a new tank.  According to the article, KMW Chairman Frank Haun on Jan. 14 told the French National Assembly defense committee the alliance would work over the next five years developing a tank — whether it be called Leopard 3, Leleo or Leoclerc — and the new heavy armored vehicle could be delivered 2025-2030 to replace the Leclerc and Leopard 2.  Other products developed by KANT could include fully automated artillery, smart munitions and laser weapons.  The article neglects to mention the relatively poor track record of joint tank design and production programs involving Germany and France in the past.  Full article here.

IDF re-emphasizes importance of tank/infantry cooperation

merkava 4The Jerusalem Post has an article about recent new training programs of the Israeli Defense Forces designed to boost cooperation between infantry and armored units.  According to the article, infantry officers from the Nahal Brigade trained with tank crews from the 196 Battalion of the 460 Armored Brigade, at the Shizafon Advanced Armor training base in the South.  “As part of lessons we learned from Operation Protective Edge [in the Gaza Strip last summer], we learned the necessity of close cooperation between tanks and infantry,” Lt.-Col. Rafi Wolfson, commander of the 196 Battalion, told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday.  “For two days, Nahal commanders learned about our tanks, driving, firing and commanding over them. Full article here.

Italy begins disposing of massive armor inventory at Lenta

Lenta m113L’Espresso is reporting that the Italian army has started to decommission and dispose of a large part of their surplus armor inventory.  The article notes that unlike some other European countries, for nearly twenty years Italy has not released any tanks removed from service.  Many of these vehicles are stored in the rice fields near Lenta, an area with contains more than 3,000 tanks and APCs.  Italy has started to sell or scrap this massive collection of vehicles, said to be the largest concentration of non-operating tanks in the world.  The article notes that some vehicles will be given to friendly countries, and many will be auctioned off.  Included in the collection are hundreds of Leopard I MBTs, M113 APCs, M-109 SPGs and Centauro Wheeled AFVs .  It is reported that both Pakistan and Jordan are in negotiations to purchase some of these vehicles.  To read the L”Espresso article and photo gallery, click here (in Italian).

From our Readers: Sexton wrecks in Italy

A Tank and AFV News reader from Italy has submitted some interesting pictures of some Sexton SPGs used as range targets in Italy.  These vehicles differ from standard Sexton SPGs in that they were re-armed with the 105mm Obice da 105/22 gun (but still retaining the original 25 pounder gun recoil system.)  These two wrecks are located at Cape Teulada, at the Italian Army training range.  The reader who submitted the pictures states that he and two others of the 1st Regiment were ordered to select 14 vehicles from the Italian army armor storage area at Lenta in November of 1986 to be transported to the firing range.  Of the 14 Sexton SPGs that were selected, one was retained as a monument at the barracks while the others were used as range targets.  (This information was sent to us written in Italian, we have translated it as best as possible using Google translate.)