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NATO Standard Tank for the 60s and 70s: Which would you choose?

uk 75

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As we know the Russians managed to standardise their tanks forces in the 60s and 70s on two designs: The T55 and later the T72.
What tank should NATO have chosen if politics had been no object?
 

Volkodav

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Leopard 1 although a Chieftain with a better engine would be good too. My ideal would actually be a Leo for most applications with an MTU engined Chieftain as a replacement for the Conqueror / M-103.
 

JFC Fuller

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Basically Chieftain as originally conceived, with a 90 degree RR V8 engine instead of the Leyland L60 that resulted from the NATO multi-fuel policy.
 

Volkodav

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JFC Fuller said:
Basically Chieftain as originally conceived, with a 90 degree RR V8 engine instead of the Leyland L60 that resulted from the NATO multi-fuel policy.
Interesting, I'd like to know more about that engine, I've read a bit on the Chieftain but never come across the RR engine option.
 

uk 75

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I think I would choose Leopard 1 with the excellent 105mm gun over the Chieftain and the M60, though both have their
good sides.
In some ways Leopard 1 came pretty close to being a NATO standard tanks (Belgium, Italy Netherlands then Denmark and Canada and eventually Greece and Turkey)

By the end of the 1970s it would be a hard choice between Leopard 2 and M1.

Of course for sheer lunacy and cool, MBT 70!
 

sferrin

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uk 75 said:
Of course for sheer lunacy and cool, MBT 70!
One wonders how that would have faired with the KE penetrator becoming the go-to round, given it's short barrel.
 

Pioneer

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I too would have to say Leopard 1, on the grounds of its engineering, I dare say its cheaper cost compared to the Chieftain, its excellent MTU diesel engine, its proven ability to be modified and adapted through its life cycle (including 120mm gun), and of course its excellent range of adapted support vehicles - bridge layer, recovery vehicle, engineering vehicles, SPAAG .......
I have to say anything would have been better than the M60, whose design philosophy was all but an outgrowth of the M48.
I also think it's obvious that NATO could have fielded more Leopard 1's for a given cost than other contenders!


Regards
Pioneer
 

sferrin

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How did the M103 compare to the M60? Seems like an oddball but apparently they made a few of them.
 

Abraham Gubler

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Take the best from each nation: German power pack and running gear, British armour and main gun, American fire control system, French optics, Dutch radios, Italian styling and a Nordic crew. All packaged into a 50 tonne, four man tank. Basically a bigger Leopard 1 with Chieftain style hull and turret castings.
 
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