Armor: May 22, 2003

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Numerous rumors coming out of China indicate that a new tank is being developed that could defeat the U.S. M-1. The new Chinese tank is said to have a 152mm main gun, and use Russian technology for its composite and reactive armor and active laser defense (against anti-tank missiles.) No pictures of this new tank have surfaced, and it's likely that the project has not even reached the prototype stage. China would not want to build a tank as heavy as the M-1, because many bridges in China could not handle a 60-70 ton tank. A 152mm main gun, firing a traditional, high speed discarding sabot penetrator, probably could knock out an M-1 from the front. But it would require some pretty good engineering to deal with the recoil. The new Chinese tank is said to have an autoloader, which would be mandatory with a 152mm gun, where an armor piercing shell would weigh about 80 pounds (the 120mm tank shell weighs 41 pounds). Until pictures and videos of this new tank are seen, consider it mostly speculation on a possible new weapon.



 


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