Photo of the Day – 20.3.2017

Continuing with the photos of weird or at least lesser known tanks – check this out.

M60 christobel spain

M60 christobel spain 2

This is the Spanish M60A3E1 Cristobita, a prototype upgrade for the aging M60A3 from the early 1990s. Three prototypes were built after the rejection of the expensive Lince program. It seems to just consist of spaced armor, maybe some composites in the front, but I think that’s unlikely (look at the rear of the turret how attached it is, looks pretty flimsy). Very few details are known. The idea was rejected in favor of purchasing the Leopard 2.

Picture of the Day – 18.3.2017

Sorry for the sporadic updates, it’s been another tough week. This time, however, I do have a special picture for you, courtesy of Artem Gavrilov.

HEAT explosion

Check this out. War in Syria, of course. The tank is probably a T-55 or some of its variant. Not important. Check the explosion (detail in lower left corner). What happened here is a HEAT shell was fired by another tank and detonated in mid-air when triggered by flying debris. The dust trail you see next to the tank is actually the HEAT shell “jet” traveling through air. The original video is unfortunately no longer available.

You don’t see that kind of timing much on photos :)

Photo of the Day – 14.3.2017

Chief Mk.5

This is a Chieftain Mk.5 originally delivered to Iran and captured by Iraq in the 1980s during the Iran-Iraq war. The photo wouldn’t be that strange, only – it’s from last year from Basra. The Iraqi actually repaired it with the intention to use it in battle along with some more obsolete vehicles such as the AMX-10P IFV. What became of it is unknown.

Photo of the Day – 13.3.2017

Norov

This is one of the more interesting and less known Soviet contraptions – the 2S15 “Norov” tank destroyer.

Basically it’s a product of the same school of thought as the 2S14 Zhalo-S – the idea was to put a powerful gun on a mass-produced light chassis to create a cheap and powerful tank destroyer. In this case the chassis is that of the 2S1 Gvozdika self-propelled gun (although as you can see, it has been modified) and the gun is a 100mm… something. Type unknown. The gun would be installed in a brand new turret equipped with an automatic radar-controlled fire control system. The main developer was the Yurga Machine Plant, the developer of the FCS was the “Strela” design bureau in Tula. A prototype was supposed to be built by the “Arsenal” plant (not sure which one, there were apparently more facilities of the same name).

The decision to design the vehicle was taken on 17.5.1976. The vehicle was supposed to be produced from 1980 onwards but the plant didn’t meet the deadline. The deadline for prototype construction shifted first to 1981 and then to 1983, when the actual testing started. At that point, however, news reached the Soviets about modern western MBT variants, against which 100mm guns were too weak. The project was declared obsolete and cancelled in 1985.

Not much else is known save for the fact that the armor was likely very light (Gvozdika level – some 15mm to 20mm of steel) and the vehicle was generally quite fast (maximum speed of 60 km/h, 300hp YAMZ-238 engine, weight probably around 15 tons).

Photo of the Day – 10.3.2017

Take an ugly personal car and add a machinegun. Oh, and make it Italian of course. What do you get?

Gorgona 1

The OTO Melara Gorgona. The OTO R 2.5 Gorgona vehicle has been developed as a private venture by OTO Melara and was announced in 1982. Two versions wereoffered; an unarmed police model and a combat model which could be fitted with various types of armament. The vehicle is fully amphibious, being propelled in the water by its wheels with steering being accomplished in a similar manner to that of land operations.

Ugh…

Photo of the Day – 9.3.2017

Another amazing photo from Yuri Pasoholok.

LK II

There are two types tanks on this photo, taken in Hungary in late 1920s – the Italian Fiat 3000 and the German LK II WW1 tank. As Yuri writes, there is a myth going around that the LK II and its Swedish derivative, Strv m/21, were heavily modernized after WW1. It is not so. In 1918 (autumn, that is), the tank continued to evolve – the original 57mm gun proposed for it was too big. In September 1918, Krupp developed a 37mm gun instead, which was supposed to be installed in a casemate superstructure, not a turret. That’s when a decision was taken to make one third of the tanks MG variant only with the MG installed in a fully traversable turret.

At the same time, a serious overhaul of the hull was started. The air intakes in the frontal engine compartment plate were removed and it became sloped forward. The “old” version was not supposed to be mass-produced – or, more specifically, this isn’t an evolution of a production design. This is still the part to the mass-produced variant. In the end, the 37mm gun was not fitted into the tank and the MG version became the only one built.

It’s possible that the Germans actually continued to develop and build LK II even after the armistice because according to the German military plans from 30.9.1919, the German army of the Weimar Republic was supposed to have 100 light tanks. However, on 10.1.1920, the Versailles Treaty came into effect, forbidding Germany to operate any tanks. And so the Germans sold 14 LK II tanks to Hungary in 1920, tanks that looked exactly like those that showed up later in Sweden – the conclusion is that the Germans “upgraded” the tanks themselves, not the Swedish. Compare. The old model:

And the new one.

Photo of the Day – 7.3.2017

Sorry for the delay, had a really busy day :) Anyway, everyone of you know the M113 APC, right? Standard American pre-Bradley armored troop carrier. There were several sub-variants, some rather strange. This M113 has a flamethrower for example. The photo is from the Vietnam War, specifically the village of Ben Suc, Cu Chi region north of Saigon, January 1967.

M113 flamethrower Ben Suc village Cu Chi region north of Saigon January 1967

This is the M113 ACAV. Basically, they mounted some extra machineguns, gunshields and a recoilless rifle. A whole bunch of them was given/sold to Cambodia (where this photo is from).

M113 RCL Cambodia

Another photo from Cambodia, this time showing the recoilless rifle being used against Khmer Rouge. If you are interested, I actually wrote about the history of the vehicle on the AW portal (you can ignore the game parts).

M113 RCL Cambodia 1974 versus Khmer Rouge

This is another kitted M113, this time from Lebanon. The gun on top is the Soviet 23mm AA twin ZU-23-2. Pretty brutal in anti-ground role and one of the favourites of local militias and terrorists alike due to its ability to be carried by a pick-up truck. Uncharacteristically, this version actually has decent shields…

M113 with ZU-23-2 Lebanon

…unlike this one. Two anti-aicraft 14.5mm KPV machineguns on an AA mount, the weapon is known as ZPU-2. Kitbashed, of course.

M113 ZPU