Photo of the Day: M47 for sale

Looking for an M47 that needs a little work?  Check out this one on Ebay.

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Vehicle listing description:

This M47 Patton Medium Tank was built in 1955 at the Detroit Arsenal Tank Plant (DATP) in Warren, Michigan while under Government contract. It was overhauled multiple times during the development of the “Patton” series tank at the Red River Army Depot (RRAD) including 64′ 67′ and a final time in 68′ before it was sent to the Italian armed forces under a “Lend Lease” agreement in ending in the 80’s. A total of 2,480 M47s were leased or sold directly to the Italian Army during this time. This M47 was returned stateside and was designated as a range target at Ft Hood after demil but ended up being sold to a private collection due to the rarity of the vehicle by 89′. Of all the Patton M46/M47/M48 tanks only under 9000 were built of the M47 making it a rare vehicle. Most M47 variants were sold overseas, unable to be imported back into the US, those who stayed in the US were destined to be range targets in the 70’s then scrapped or sold.

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Photo of the Day: M56 Scorpion

The Photo of the Day comes from Armorama.com who recently posted a photo gallery walk-around of an M-56 Scorpion on display at 45th Infantry Division Museum in Oklahoma City.  You can view the entire gallery as well as read a short description of the vehicle at the Armorama website.

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Video: T-90 on fire

This short video appeared on youtube today.  It claims to show a Russian T-90 tank on fire after being destroyed by ISIS.  However, nothing regarding this footage has at yet been verified as far as we can tell.

Statement from the National Armor and Cavalry Museum on the T28 accident

As a follow-up to our Photo of the Day from yesterday about the T28 heavy tank that slide off a HET during transit, here is a statement from the facebook page of the National Armor and Cavalry Museum regarding the event.

Friends of the National Armor and Cavalry Museum,

16266196_1419707518093515_9051849803821822730_nLast Thursday we were very excited to show off the T28 leaving the yard. It was on its way to begin the first part of a clean-up, re-paint, and partial restoration. Unfortunately things do not always go as planned. During the journey across post to where it was to be painted, the contracted Heavy Equipment Transporter (HET) was traveling down a hill when it suffered an unexpected and massive brake failure. In order to keep the HET on the road, the contractor crew was forced to make an extremely sharp turn. This forcefully shifted the T28 (currently weighing about the same as an M1A2 Abrams as it is without its outer track set or engine installed) around the trailer. Despite the large amounts of chain used, the T28 broke completely free. In hindsight, this probably prevented a worse accident since the T28 was not left partially chained, which could have caused the tank to roll over and off. Instead the T28 slid off the trailer and hit the ground with both tracks. It then rolled rear first, into a ditch before stopping.

First and foremost, we are extremely thankful no one was injured in the incident. As for the accident itself, the appropriate departments are conducting their investigations. As for the T28, we are very lucky that it was built very tough! Considering the U.S. Super Heavy was definitely not designed to fly short distances, it landed in the best manner imaginable. The impact of the landing and subsequent stop in the ditch did cause some damage to the suspension, specifically two bogie stations. The good news is everything is repairable and will be incorporated into the painting and cleanup. While she spent a night in the ditch, she was recovered the next day with no issues by two M88A1 Hercules Recovery Vehicles. During this time, we did not put out information until all chains of command could be informed and a proper damage assessment could be completed. While this is an unfortunate setback, it is minor in the long run and the T28 will be back. In closing we’d like to thank everyone for their support during this process and hope you continue to follow our work in preserving and restoring the U.S. Army’s armor collection. Thank you!

Sincerly,

The NACM Staff and Volunteers

Photo of the Day: T28 Accident

These photos were reportedly posted on the facebook page WRECKED N RECOVERED TANKS AND BATTLEFIELD RELICS earlier today.  The photo shows the T28 prototype heavy tank after it fell off a transporter this weekend.  Apparently, the brakes on the HETT which was moving the T28 suffered a failure, resulting in the tank coming loose.  Fortunately, no one was hurt although the tank reportedly suffered some damage to a few bogies.  The tank was being transported to a restoration center, so whatever damage was incurred in this incident will be repaired as part of the restoration of the vehicle.  To see images of the vehicle loaded on the HETT, check out this facebook post from the National Armor and Cavalry Museum.

From the Vault: The Orion Engine

We recently were given a copy of the 1975 book Some Unusual Engines by LJK Seltright.   This is a long out of print and somewhat hard to find book, with used copies going for $125.00 or more on Amazon.  Several tank engines are featured in this book, including the well known A57 Chrysler Multibank and the Mitsubishi 10 ZF ten cylinder engine.  One tank engine mentioned in the book that we were not familiar with at all was the Orion engine designed by General Motors.  This unusual engine never made it past the prototype stage.  Like the Soviet 5TD of the T-64 and the British Leyland L-60 of the Chieftain tank, the Orion utilized an opposed piston, two stroke design.  However, it was a much more unusual design than either of those two engines.  Rather than having the cylinders arraigned in a row, the Orion engine features six cylinders in two rows of three each on top of each other.  Even more unusual was that engine was combined with a turbine and the turbine actually generated the shaft power.  Below is the description from the book as well as an illustration:

orion-engine-descriptionorion-picture

We did our best to find out any other information on this rather interesting engine.  The only thing we found was a brief description in the document Engine Transmission Power Packs for Tactical Vehicles 1967. Interestingly, this report gives more detail on the Orion project, as well as the name “Rigel” for the 600HP version of the engine intended for tanks. This document also gives a date for the project, noting that the program was cancelled in 1955. Oddly, it credits the engine concept to General Electric, rather than General Motors. Below are the pages from the report pertaining to the Orion program. Unfortunately, the PDF these images came from is not of very high image quality.

orion-engine-report-descriptionorion-project-image-1orion-project-image-2

AFV News from around the Net

Here are a handful of articles from the world wide web related to armored vehicles.  Click on the headline to read the full piece.

 

Heraldnet.com – American-made M48 ‘Patton’ tank back home from Jordan

web1_flightpathspattontankm-edh-170118-1200x675The Flying Heritage Collection’s new M48A1 Patton tank has taken the long way around to its final destination.  The tank was built in the United States and then sold to the Kingdom of Jordan in Western Asia. Jordan, an ally of the US, UK, and France, received 197 M48 and 200 M48A1 tanks beginning in the mid-1960s.  Many Jordanian tanks saw combat during the Six Day War with Israel in 1967. It is unknown where this particular tank was assigned at the time. When newer tanks like the M60 became available, Jordan retired many of its M48s. This tank was a gift to the Flying Heritage Collection from the Royal Tank Museum in Aqaba, Jordan.

 

The Diplomat – Cold Start: India to Deploy Massive Tank Army Along Border With Pakistan

thediplomat_2017-01-19_21-30-12-386x257The Indian Army is set to deploy over 460 new T-90SM main battle tanks (MBTs) along India’s border with Pakistan, senior Indian defense officials told IHS Jane’s Defense Weekly on January 19.  The new T-90SM MBT (other designations T-90AM or T-90MS) is the latest and most modern version of the T-90 (which in turn is a modernized variant of the T-72 MBT), and has specifically been designed for export by Russia.  According to IHS Jane’s Defense Weekly, the newly ordered MBTs will supplement 850-900 license-built T-90S Bhishma tanks, divided into 18 regiments, and currently deployed in the Indian states of Rajasthan and Punjab.

 

The Telegraph – Army tests sending tanks through Channel Tunnel in case of Eastern Europe crisis

c2arj3wuaaexzr0-large_trans_nvbqzqnjv4bqsx7ldi76td85-fiyf7f892-src00rtqj67pz4zv9bbgThe Army has sent a tank and armoured vehicles through the Channel Tunnel for the first time as it looks at ways to dispatch heavy armour quickly to eastern Europe in the event of a crisis with Russia.  Five armoured vehicles loaded on wagons were sent through to France soon after midnight on Wednesday as part of the logistics exercise. They completed the 40 minute return journey a few hours later.  The drill came as the Army looks for new ways to deploy armour from the UK once it closes its bases in Germany. When the bases are closed at the end of the decade, the Army will have to deploy armoured vehicles from the UK if they are needed by Nato’s rapid reaction force to bolster defences in eastern Europe.

 

IHS Jane’s 360 – Turkey’s Altay MBT project hit by engine technology transfer issues

1684899_-_mainTurkey’s plans to build its Altay main battle tank (MBT) have hit a snag after Tümosan, the planned engine provider, cancelled a key technical support contract with Austria’s AVL List GmbH.  The cancellation comes after Austria’s parliament unanimously adopted a non-binding motion that imposed an arms embargo against Turkey in November 2016. As a result conditions were placed on the transfer of technology to Turkey. Austria made the move in response to Turkey’s increasing violation of human rights since the failed military coup attempt in July 2016.

 

TASS – Russia’s new active protection system to shield T-72, T-90 tanks from US TOW missiles

1158962MOSCOW, January 19. /TASS/. Russia’s new active protection system Arena-M for T-72 and T-90 tanks is capable of protecting armored vehicles from US Tube-launched Optically-tracked Wire-guided (TOW) missiles, Chief Designer of the Machine-Building Design Bureau Valery Kashin told TASS.  “According to the information we have on these missiles, the Arena-M will undoubtedly be able to protect a tank from a TOW,” the chief designer said.