Army Heritage Days salutes a century of the Armored Corps

If you happen to be in Pennsylvania this weekend and are looking for something to do, you might want to look into the Army Heritage Days event at the US Army Heritage and Education Center at the US Army War College in Carlisle Pennsylvania on May 20 and 21.  This is an annual event and this year the theme is a century of the US Armored Corps.

Here is the event description from their website:

Come out to the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC) Armed Forces Weekend, Saturday, May 20 – Sunday, May 21, 2017 from 9:00AM to 5:00PM, for Army Heritage Days! Each year the USAHEC hosts Army Heritage Days, a timeline living history event that features several hundred reenactors from all eras spread out over the one mile long Army Heritage Trail. Decked out in period uniforms and weapons, these living historians will have their historical equipment and weapons on display and will be available to talk to the public and answer any of your burning history questions!

As always, this event centers on one specific theme. This year’s focus will be tanks and armored vehicles! This event will be one of a kind, featuring armored vehicles from many different eras that will be allowed to DRIVE on the USAHEC’s tank course to demonstrate MANUEVERS and TACTICS! There will also be a logistics and operations competition with various challenges to complete.

In addition to the tank display, we will be bringing back old favorites, such as the Veterans Meet and Greet, lectures by notable historians, the kid’s passport program, and informational programs by the reenactors on the Army Heritage Trail. As always, the event will also feature a book sale in the Museum Store and several food vendors with a variety of different cuisine offerings.

So be sure to mark your calendars for Saturday, May 20 – Sunday, May 21, 2017 for a weekend full of history, tanks, and family fun! As always, the event is free and open to the public. Check back for a schedule of events and additional information, closer to the event.

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From the Vault: British Report on the US M46 Medium Tank

Today we have something sent to us by British researcher and author P.K. Knight.  Knowing of our interest in anything having to do with US tanks powered by Continental Motors engines, he forwarded us a copy of a British F.V.R.D.E. (Fight Vehicles Research and Development Establishment) report examining a US M46 medium tank.  This is a fairly short report and mainly focuses on automotive performance.  The most interesting thing revealed by this report is just how much difference there is between the stated gross horsepower of the engine, the actual power output taking into account power lost to engine cooling and accessories and then the actual power at the sprocket.  The M46 was the first US tank equipped with a Continental 12 cylinder 1790 cubic inch aircooled engine and the Allison CD-850 transmission.  The report states that while the listed gross HP of the engine is 810, their bench tests show an actual power output of 646 HP, which they attribute to losses from air cleaners, cooling fans and the exhaust system.  The power at the sprocket is measured at 433 HP.  So what does this all mean?  Not much, other than always take those gross horsepower numbers listed in books with a grain of salt, they don’t always tell you all that much about how much power is actually being transmitted to the drive sprocket.

Report below.

Book Alert: The Armor Journal #5

Armor Journal 5The fine folks over at The Armor Journal have released their fifth issue.  This new issue is available now for download or as a print copy starting on June 5.  The good news is that print editions are now only $9.95 plus shipping or $8.50 plus shipping if pre-ordered now.  Issue 5 contains a variety of articles covering AFV history, both early and modern, as well as some pieces aimed at the model building community, book reviews, letters to the Editor and readers submissions.

Those interested in early AFV history will enjoy the article on the pre-WWII Vickers Six Ton Tank by Peter Brown as well as the Yuri Pasholok article on British Infantry tanks in Soviet service during WWII.  Those interested in more recent history will enjoy the article by Mason Pacek on the Battle for Baghdad.  For those into model building, Chris Medding’s opinion piece “Rivet Counters” and Don Haney’s  description of his model of the US Abrams tank “All Bout Da Bones” will be good reading.

If you would like to read this issue and support the fine work being done by Alex at The Armor Journal, please purchase a copy at their website here.

Combat Dealers: Panther Tank

NBP_MDM_11117_crompton_5854We noticed that earlier this month an episode of the TV show “Combat Dealers” was posted on youtube.  This particular episode deals with a WWII German Panther tank that show host Bruce Crompton.  The episode also features German tank expert Hilary Doyle. Unfortunately, the episode does not mention where or from whom Mr. Crompton purchased his Panther tank.  We found a recent article concerning Mr. Crompton in the Mirror, but it provides few details regarding this Panther tank.

Inside the Chieftain’s Hatch: Strv 103C part 2

In this second part of the Inside the Chieftain’s Hatch episode about the Strv 103 tank, Nicholas “The Chieftain” Moran looks at the crew positions, height restrictions, the number of people required to control the S-tank, and show the unique position of the radio operator/driver who faces backwards.

Photo of the Day: Hydro-Abrams

Considering how long it’s been since we did a POTD post, perhaps we should rename it the Photo of the week or fortnight.  Anyhow, we recently found these images while going through some stuff.  Not sure the year on these pictures, but we are going to guess they date back to when the Crusader program was still alive, so early 2000’s.  As can be seen, this is a picture of an Abrams tank fitted with a hydro-pneumatic suspension system.

Hydro Abrams

Hydro Abrams 2

Hydro abrams unit


From the Editor: Tank Pogs!

Remember the Pog (milk caps) collecting fad of the early 1990’s?  If not, don’t worry, you didn’t miss much. That said, the fad was popular enough that even some defense contractors apparently got in on the game.  We recently gained possession of these Teledyne Continental Motors “pogs” depicting the AVDS-1790 tank engine, their hydro-pneumatic suspension for tanks, a generic “combat vehicles” graphic and a military fire truck.  The beer cap is included for scale.  While we think these are pretty cool, we doubt many kids were clamoring for a Pog of the AVDS-1790.

Teledyne POGs

Strong Europe Tank Challenge

1000w_q95This past weekend saw the Strong Europe Tank Challenge event take place in Grafenwoehr, Germany.  Tank crews from six NATO or NATO-allied countries competed in a series of tests to prove which crew (and vehicles) were the best.  The competing nations included the USA, France, Germany, Poland, Austria and Ukraine, each country entering a platoon of four tanks and crews.  The inclusion of Ukraine marked a first time for that country in the competition, as well as for their T-64BV tank.  The competition was won by Austria, whose crews were operating Leopard 2A4 tanks.  Second place was taken by German tankers in Leopard 2A6 tanks.  Third place was awarded to the US platoon and their Abrams M1A2 SEP tanks.  Poland operated Leopard 2A5 tanks and France had their LeClerc MBT.  Stars and Stripes noted that Poland, France and Ukraine all scored close to the top three countries, making for a tough competition.

For more on Strong Europe Tank Challenge, check out these links from various media sources from the competing contries.

Stars and Stripes – Austria blasts its way to first place at Tank Challenge

KyivPost – Ukrainian tankmen come fifth in NATO tank biathlon

Daily Mail – Gearing up for World War Three: Nato tanks put on massive show of strength in Germany while Putin’s troops practise dropping their armour by parachute

DVIDS – Tank Challenge 2017 Photo Gallery

Scout – Which Country Won a European Tank Challenge?

And from Russian media…

Sputnik International – Members Only! NATO Holds Its Own Copycat Tank Biathlon Contest

RT – Austria blasts past Germany to win NATO’s tank games (VIDEO)

Here is video footage from the competition, from the youtube channel Military Material

[Read more…]

AFV News from around the Web

Another installment of AFV news from around the web. Click in the headline to go to the full article.


Jane’s 360 – Russia shows off upgraded T-72B3 MBTs in Moscow parade

1700351_-_mainRussia displayed the first of 150 upgraded T-72B main battle tanks (MBTs) at the 5 May Victory Day Parade in Moscow.  Under a 2016 contract with UralVagonZavod the MBTs are to be brought to what the Russian Ministry of Defence has referred to as the T-72B3 standard, although the upgraded tanks feature a number of differences to the existing T-72B3 standard, being variously reported under the designations T-72B3M and T-72B4. It is possible the MBTs will not receive a full type designation and will instead use a year designator, potentially T-72B3 obr.2016, or a minor modification designation such as T-72B3-1.


Jane’s 360 – IDEF 2017: FNSS displays Kaplan AFV armed with 30 mm gun

p1701588Turkey’s FNSS unveiled a version of its Kaplan tracked armoured vehicle armed with a 30 mm gun at the country’s IDEF 2017 exhibition, held in Istanbul on 9-12 May. The medium-calibre armament is designed to allow the new vehicle to operate alongside main battle tanks (MBTs).  The Kaplan-30 Next Generation Armoured Fighting Vehicle (NGAFV) is fitted with an FNSS Teber-30 turret housing a 30 mm Orbital ATK Armament Systems MK44 dual-feed automatic cannon and 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun.


Defense News – IDEF’17: Increased rivalry observed among Turkey’s armored vehicle makers

downloadISTANBUL — Increased insurgency-related violence in Turkey and more turmoil in regional conflict zones have led to a surge in competition among Turkish armored vehicle producers.   A United Nations report on human rights in southeast Turkey says about 2,000 people were killed in security operations in the area between July 2015 and December 2016. The report also estimates between 355,000 to 500,000 people are displaced in the area.


Defense News – Four US Army Strykers in Europe get survivability upgrade

download (1)STOCKHOLM — A U.S. Army cavalry regiment in Germany is testing a Stryker upgrade that could increase the vehicle’s survivability as the service conducts training exercises in Europe meant to deter Russia.  Soldiers from the Army’s 2nd Cavalry Regiment, stationed in Vilsek, Germany, have installed Saab’s mobile camouflage system, or MCS, on four of its Strykers, said Scott Caldwell, the company’s director of marketing and sales for its Barracuda business unit.


Jane’s 360 – IDEF 2017: Upgraded M60T MBT breaks cover

p1682891Aselsan has partnered with the General Directorate of Military Factory (AFGM) to upgrade two of the Turkish Army’s M60T main battle tanks (MBTs) with enhanced survivability.  The effort follows the service’s disastrous Euphrates Shield operation in Syria, where a number of its MBTs were destroyed or damaged.  Turkey took delivery of 170 upgraded M60T MBTs which were originally updated by Israel Military Industries (IMI), with most of the work carried out by the 2nd Main Maintenance Centre Command at Kayseria. The command has extensive experience with upgrading and overhauling MBTs and other tracked armoured fighting vehicles.


Jane’s 360 – IDEF 2017: Prototype Kaplan MT medium weight tank completed

1682888_-_mainFNSS Savunma Sistemleri has unveiled the first prototype of the Kaplan MT Modern Medium Weight Tank (MMWT) at the IDEF 2017 exhibition.  The vehicle under joint development by FNSS and Indonesian defence prime PT Pindad to meet the potential requirements of Indonesia, using internal research and development funding under an agreement signed in 2014.


Defense News – Germany beefs up tank fleet with $832M acquisition

download (2)COLOGNE, Germany — The German Army is in line for an upgrade of its tanks, based on the expectation that future conflicts will rely heavily on ground warfare with armored vehicles.  All told, the Bundeswehr stands to get 104 used Leopard 2 battle tanks out of storage that manufacturer Krauss-Maffei Wegmann will upgrade under a contract with the German Defence Ministry from the A4 configuration to the newest A7V standard. The latest package includes improvements in the areas of information technology, armaments and armor.


Mil.Today – T-90 Tanks to Get MCT-Matrix Heat-Vision Sight

irbis1In 2016, the Krasnogorsk plant finished tests of the heat-vision sighting system Irbis for modernized tanks T-80U and T-90. The sights will be supplied to the army after 2017 under the already concluded contract, says the manufacturer’s annual reporting. According to the experts of Mil.Today, commissioning of the new sight will for the first time give Russian tankers a homemade thermal vision device based on the mercury-cadmium-telluride (MCT) matrix, which will bridge a gap between the leading NATO countries in this area.


India Today – Transformers: Retired tanks functioning as bunkers

A video purported to be one Pakistani army bunkers being destroyed by the Indian army along the line of control and which went viral this morning, may have spilled a secret. The Indian army is using retired Vijayanta and T-55 tanks as pillboxes along the Line of Control, their 105 mm main guns functioning as mobile artillery pieces.  The 1.41 minute video opens with a shot of an anti-tank guided missile (either a Konkurs or a Milan) racing towards and exploding inside a bunker. It is followed up by a barrage of shots and explosions which some army officials say almost certainly appear to be high- explosive squash head (HESH) rounds fired from a battle tank’s main guns judging by their characteristic black smoke.


Tank Chats #37 Daimler Armoured Car

Historian David Fletcher MBE, of the Tank Museum at Bovington discussing the Daimler Armoured Car.