DF 105 Combat Tank

Hello everyone,

here’s a tank you’ve probably never heard of before, well, unless you are into this sort of thing. When you consider the German tanks, they are rarely pretty, but they are always functional. But what happens when the French and the Germans start to cooperate? Well, something like this:


This is the DF 105 Combat Tank. It’s a prototype, built in the mid-80′s in cooperation between the French (the turret) and Germans (the hull) by Thyssen Henschel, intended for export. The hull is of the Marder 1 IFV, the turret is French-made FL-15 by Fives Cail Babcock company (this turret was used in the late production AMX-13 as well). First, the hull – the Marder IFV was developed in the 70′s, based on the needs of the West-German army, the Bundeswehr. It’s very lightly armored (protecting the crew and passengers from 20mm APDS shells only, later increased to 30mm protection due to the armament of the BMP-2), but it’s fast and well armed. Of course, it’s “just” an IFV and as such, there were plans by Thyssen-Henschel to build several vehicles on this chassis:

- tank destroyer (please note this does not imply a casemate design, merely a role)
- infantry support tank
- IFV (the Marder)
- self-propelled gun

The DF 105 was a tank destroyer/support tank design, created by fitting the abovementioned FL-15 oscillating turret on it. The FL-15 turret was developed in 1983 (well beyond World of Tanks timeline, unfortunately) as further development of the earlier FL-12. This oscillating turret was equipped with modern electronics and targetting devices, such as the TCV 186 laser rangefinder and SOPTAC fire control system. The turret was equipped with the French 105mm FN gun, with autoloader if course. The turret itself was up to 40mm thick and had quite favourable depression and elevation in its cradle (-8/+12). Rate of fire of the 105mm gun was rated at 12 rounds per minute and the ammunition capacity was 50 shots of various types – HE(T), HEAP, HEAT, APDS(T) and APFSDS. The effective combat range (at which the vehicle could fire accurately) was cca 2000 meters, but in “artillery mode” (indirect fire), the gun could fire at longer distances, up to 8000 meters. The turret was also equipped with a coaxial MG with 5000 rounds of ammunition.

The entire vehicle weighed 30 tons and was powered by a 720hp MB-833 Ka-500 engine just like the TAM. Unfortunately, the top speed is not known, but it’s possible it was identical to the Marder IFV (which was 75 km/h). The vehicle could, apart from the standard crew of three, carry either 50 additional ammunition rounds, or 6 men in the back.

As you can probably see from the design itself as well as the producer, this vehicle was tied to both the AMX-13 (the Dutch upgraded their AMX-13 tanks with the very same turret) and TAM development. The TAM was an Argentinian medium tank project (while earlier than DF 105, it is still too new for World of Tanks). Unfortunately, this vehicle did not cross the prototype stage – there were no interested countries to buy this tank at that point (Argentina already had the TAM). Damn shame, because it’s a really pretty vehicle.


42 thoughts on “DF 105 Combat Tank

      • I think he’s right, up to Panther/JT/TigerII, they all looked pretty horrible – just a box with another box on top, like soviet car design.
        Now, the sexiest Beast in WoT is no doubt the mighty JAGDTIGER – imo, ofc, but come on, an M60 looks epic as fuck as well.

          • So if i find a box in my basement and paint it gray, it is automatically the sexiest thing on earth?

            On the other hand, i just love the way the KV-13 looks, dem roadwheels, dem tracks, dat engine deck.

            Also, if you look at the M6 in a way, it kinda looks like the sphinx

            • I personally think that of all the tanks, the T-54 is the sexiest. It almost seems like a lithe dancer, I would give its equivalent person a 10/10 for f*ckability and hotness.

    • German tanks were shit and looked like shit. I wish all the wannabe SS e-obersturmfuhrer would get over it already.

      The B1-bis looks better than any WWII german tank. Even the FT-17 is cutter than the whole WoT German tree put together. Russian machines are also more imposing and have smoother curves.

      Putting a gun on a grey box doesn’t make it a sexy tank.

      Look at this thing: the only noticeable feature is the french oscillating turret. The rest of the tank looks lame as hell.

      • Even if it did get implemented, its toooo big for a light, and a light tank with a 105mm gun? A fast medium at most, prob a bit like the bat chat. Good ammo capacity though.

  1. Would the 105mm be maintained in all variants, including the IFV variant, or just in the infantry support tank/tank destroyer role? Large caliber guns mounted on IFVs directly in the BMP-3 experience did not prove very successful, so I am supposing the latter, but might as well as inquire.

    Also, did they figure out how to fit NBC protection onboard? That was a major draw back to oscillating turrets, and a failure to do so on this vehicle would explain quite well why nobody had any interest. Although outside of Europe the issue was less pressing.

  2. Side note…Something I did not know about Marders.

    With the first unit delivered in summer 1971, the Marder IFV remained untested in combat for 38 years until July 2009 when they defended a German combat outpost against the Taliban in Chahar Dara district of Afghanistan’s Kunduz Province, killing and wounding scores. Since then, the Marders have been involved in heavy fighting several times. The vehicles have proved to be extremely useful and have been praised as a great tactical asset by German troops. However, the crews have been subject to great physical stress as none of the vehicles are equipped with air conditioning systems.

    Germany needs to save up for vents, instead of rammer, and stabs. Or get in on Vent
    reward missions