Inside the M60A2 “Starship”

This video showing interior and exterior shots of the M60A2 “Starship” recently appeared on youtube.  There is no narration to the video, but it may serve as a useful reference for anyone working on a model of this vehicle, or for those just curious what this unusual tank looked like on the inside.  The nickname “Starship” is said to have come from the complicated and (for the time) high tech equipment found inside the 152mm missile launcher/gun equipped turret. This particular tank is on display at the AAF Tank Museum located in Danville, VA.

APG Centennial Live Fire Promo

Someone had a little fun making this intentionally cheesy ad for the upcoming Centennial celebration at Aberdeen Proving Ground.

Aberdeen Proving Ground Centennial Live Fire Event

For those who may find themselves in Maryland this spring, here is an event that is sure to be of interest to the AFV enthusiast.

AAPG Centennial Live Fire – Free & Open to the Public!

17884640_10154783768331284_4339089094291787130_nAberdeen Proving Ground invites the community to join us as we celebrate the APG Centennial with a live fire demonstration hosted by the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command’s Aberdeen Test Center. See tanks, vehicles, small arms and more! FREE & OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!!! Bring the family! Open to children ages 5+.

There will be two demonstrations, one at 10 a.m. and another at 2 p.m. with separate tickets for each event. #APG100LiveFire #APG100#TeamAPG

You MUST have a ticket to attend and tickets are limited. Tickets will be available for in-person pick up ONLY. Two separate ticket distribution areas have been designated. One for on-post personnel and one for the general public. Tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Each ID-card holder (on-post personnel) can receive up to four (4) tickets for one of two demonstrations. Each member of the general public (with government-issued ID) can receive up to four (4) tickets for one of two demonstrations. Attendees may only attend the demonstration time identified on their ticket.

**April 20, 2017 – Installation personnel ticket pickup at APG North (Aberdeen) recreation center (Bldg. 3326) from noon to 1:30 p.m. (or until complete)
**April 22, 2017 — Community ticket pickup at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen from 9 to 11 a.m. (or until complete).

All attendees must access the installation via MD Rt. 715. Adults 18+ must have a valid photo ID to gain access to APG.
More information will be provided at time of ticket pickup.

Tank Chats #35 Centurion

Another installment of the Tank Chats series from the Tank Museum at Bovington.

The thirty-fifth Tank Chat, presented David Fletcher MBE, is the first of the videos on the Centurion series of tanks.

The Centurion is one of the most important tanks in the history of the British AFV and is one of the most significant post-war Western tanks. Introduced in the spring of 1945, a small number of the Beach Armoured Recovery Version (BARV) served with the British forces during the Iraq war of 2003, 58 years later.

AFV News from around the Web

It’s been a little while since we did a round-up of recent internet articles about tanks and AFVs.  Frankly, there has not been as much news as usual the past couple weeks.  As usual, click on the headline if you would like to read the full article.

Business Insider – US tanks are getting a small update that signals a big shift to defending Europe against Russia

us-m1-abrams-tank-green-camouflageHaving settled into their nine-month deployment to Europe, members of the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team from the US Army’s 4th Infantry Division are making a slight update to their vehicles.  Earlier this month, the first M1A2 Abrams tank with a woodland green paint scheme appeared in Europe, signaling the unit’s shift to a camouflage scheme more appropriate for its new surroundings than the desert tan colors previously used.


Bangkok Post – China tank deal cut ‘due to cash woes’

c1_1232212_170414043631_620x413The Royal Thai Army (RTA) has cut the number of Chinese VT-4 battle tanks it wants to buy from 98 to 60 due to insufficient funds, army chief Chalermchai Sittisat said Thursday. Gen Chalermchai said the 60 new tanks will be divided equally between the 2nd and 3rd Cavalry Battalions in the northeastern provinces of Udon Thani and Khon Kaen. The new tanks will replace US-made M-41 models which will be decommissioned after having been in service for more than 40 years, he said.


Defense News – Army speeds up future Modular Active Protection System for combat vehicles

Detroit Arsenal, Mich. — The Army is speeding up development work on its future abrams-tank.  As the service works on expediting interim solutions for combat vehicle Active Protection Systems, officials are simultaneously ramping up some of the first MAPS tests using soft-kill countermeasures. There is also a plan to begin using the first prototypes of a common controller toward the end of the year. Once the common controller is available, the Army will begin “layered testing,” mixing both soft-kill and hard-kill countermeasures, Col. Glenn Dean told Defense News in a March 27 interview at the Detroit Arsenal in Michigan.


Defense News – Spain to spend $4 billion on new combat vehicles suited for hybrid warfare

General_Dynamics_8x8_armoured_vehicle_could_be_future_wheeled_combat_vehicle_of_Spanish_Army_640_001MADRID – Spain plans to acquire 348 “Piranha 5” 8×8 wheeled armored fighting vehicles from General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS) in a first phase of purchase, Secretary of State of Defense Vicente Conde told the national Congress.  He also added that in other phases of acquisition the total number of units for the Spanish Army could be around 1,000.  The Spanish defense ministry’s No. 2 leader said that the total estimated budget of this program will be €3.8 billion (US $4 billion): €1.6 billion (US $1.7 billion) for the acquisition itself and €2.2 billion (US $2.4 billion) for the maintenance and modernization services during the 30 years of useful life of the program.


Sputnik – Latin American States Mull Buying US Armored Vehicles to Fight Security Threats

1035017094WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The armored vehicles will help Latin Americans to fight some ‘illicit networks’ operating within state borders and threatening local governments, according to the US Southern Command.  “The threat from ‘illicit networks’ in Latin America continues to grow,” US Southern Command Deputy Commander Lieutenant General Joseph DiSalvo stated in the release. “And armored vehicle modernization efforts by partner nations there will play a part in combating the threat.”  Potential clients include Peru, which may soon finalize a sales deal with the United States to purchase Stryker vehicles, the release noted.


Next Big – Russia developing 152 mm tank gun and small battlefield nuclear weapons

88b0778db7b0e6b01b39ac81652b4d2d-730x430Russia in considering upgrading future T-14 main battle tnks to use the 2A83 152 mm gun instead of its current 2A82 125 mm gun. The 2A83 gun has a high-speed APFSDS shell with a 1,980 m/s muzzle velocity, only dropping to 1,900 m/s at 2 km.  However, Russian engineers have so far kept the 125 mm-size gun, assessing that improvements in ammunition could be enough to increase effectiveness, while concluding that a larger bore weapon would offer few practical advantage.  Russia is both miniaturizing the nuclear warheads and using sub-kiloton low-yield warheads. Battlefield nuclear weapons could be pared with the larger tank gun.



Message from the Editor

Regular readers may have noticed that April has seen a sharp decrease in the number of posts here.  Don’t worry, this is a temporary slow-down.  Recent events have conspired to limit the time and energy I have to put into the site right now.  These include a heavy schedule at work and dealing with an ailing parent.  I am hoping that by next week things here at Tank and AFV News will return to normal.

In the meantime, here are some pictures of some tank related objects that have recently come into my possession:

Pictured below are a couple of desktop models of US tank engines from Teledyne Continental Motors.  The one one the left should be familiar to most readers, it is the AVDS-1790-2C, the engine powering the US M-60 tank.  The engine on the right is a bit more obscure, it’s the AVCR-1360-2.  This engine was developed for the MBT-70 program and later was used to power General Motors XM-1 prototype which lost to the Chrysler Defense gas turbine powered XM-1 entry.  engine models

Speaking of the AVDS-1790, here is piece of one!  This is the cylinder head cover to one of the twelve air-cooled cylinders of an AVDS-1790.  Not sure how old this item is, but it has to have been manufactured prior to 1996 since it still has the “Continental” logo on it.

Cylinder head

Here is a drawing showing where this item fits on the cylinder.



From Russia I now have this wooden cutout from Uraltransmash corporation.


The last item in this post is this little clear plastic decorative item from General Dynamics in 1987 celebrating the first chips cut on their Abrams Recovery Vehicle.  The block has embedded inside it two metal chips and a graphic showing an image of the vehicle and text announcing that the Abrams Recovery Vehicle “meets user needs.”  Unfortunately for General Dynamics, it did not meet the US Army’s needs as well as the M88A2 Hercules and the Abrams Recovery Vehicle never went into production.

first chips cut

The Tiger Collection video from Bovington Tank Museum

Here is a short video showing off the new “Tiger Collection” Exhibition at the Bovington Tank Museum.

British tank collector finds five gold bars inside fuel tank of Iraqi tank

The Sun has posted an article about an unlikely find by British AFV collector Nick Mead.  While undertaking restoration work on an Iraqi “T54/69” (this designation is given in the article, its unclear whether this is a Soviet built T-54/55 or a Chinese Type 59), they discovered five bars of gold hidden in a fuel tank!

nintchdbpict000314875250Nick Mead, 55, discovered the five gold bars in the Russian T54/69 while restoring it to add to his collection of 150 military vehicles.

He and mechanic Todd Chamberlain were filming themselves prising open the diesel tank in case they found munitions and needed to show it to bomb disposal crews.

Instead, they pulled out the bars, weighing up to 12lb — 5kg — apiece.

Todd, 50, said a quick calculation suggested they were worth in excess of £2million.

He added: “We didn’t know what to do. You can’t exactly take five gold bullion bars down to Cash Converters without questions being asked, so we called the police.”

Nick runs Tanks-a-Lot, giving petrolheads the chance to drive any of his tanks on his farm in Helmdon, Northants.

He traded in an Army lorry and an Abbot self-propelled gun for the T54/69 in a deal worth about £30,000 after seeing it advertised on eBay.

Todd and Nick had already found machine gun ammunition while stripping down the tank and were worried they would find guns.

Instead, they discovered the gold, which they believe was looted by Iraqi soldiers in Kuwait during the Gulf War.

The tank was later captured and shipped to Britain.

Nick said: “They must have cut a hole in the fuel tank and rammed it full of gold bars.”

After calling police, two officers took away the bars and gave them a receipt.

The military buffs have stored it in a safety deposit box in London. Nick said: “Even if I don’t get any of the gold back I will still have my beautiful tank.”

A Northamptonshire Police spokesman said they could not comment “for operational reasons”.

Tank Chats #34 Chieftain

Tank Museum Curator David Willey talks about the Chieftain Main Battle Tank.

Book Alert: Centurion Main Battle Tank: 1946 to present

Haynes has published a new entry in their series of owners workshop manuals on tanks titled Centurion Main Battle Tank: 1946 to present (Owners’ Workshop Manual).  This new book explores the British Centurion Main Battle Tank.   Written by Simon Dunston, this is a hardcover book of 160 pages with numerous color photos, charts and images.

Publishers Description:

First trialled in Europe in the spring of 1945, but formally introduced into British Army service in December 1946, not only is the Centurion one of the most important tanks in the history of the British armoured fighting vehicle (AFV), but it is also one of the most significant post-war Western tanks. Between 1946 and 1962, 4,423 Centurions were built in 13 basic marks and numerous variants, with the chassis also adapted for several other AFV roles. A small number of the Beach Armoured Recovery Version (BARV) served with the British forces during the Iraq War of 2003, some 58 years after the Centurion first entered service! The Centurion has seen extensive combat in the Korean War (Britain), Vietnam (Australia), the Middle East (Israel) in the 1967 Six Day War, 1973 Yom Kippur War, and during the 1978 and 1982 invasions of Lebanon, and in the Indo-Pakistan War (India) in 1965 where it fought against US-supplied M47 and M48 Patton tanks.