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US prototype tank "the hunter"

Michel Van

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i found this on the internet
only info on picture was "US prototype"


from design, it look like a Tank destroyer
 

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Avimimus

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Very interesting.

There was a Soviet project with an almost identical armament and layout. I wonder what the relationship between these two projects is.

It'd be interesting to find out more information about either concept.
 

Michel Van

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Avimimus said:
Very interesting.

There was a Soviet project with an almost identical armament and layout. I wonder what the relationship between these two projects is.

It'd be interesting to find out more information about either concept.

your sure about that Soviet design ?
can't it be i post the translation of the graphic of it ?
 

Priory_of_Sion

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This is in a little section in my Hunnicutt book (Firepower). It is defiantly American. I believe it was planned to replace the Ontos.
 

spall

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Rheem is on the bow.

Google Rheem + "the hunter" + tank

And you will find more info than you want -
http://www.com-central.net/index.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&printertopic=1&t=10516&start=0&postdays=0&postorder=asc&vote=viewresult
 

Lauge

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If I read the drawing correctly, it says "Twin 105mm rocket guns". Does anyone know what these were supposed to be? Actual rocket guns (a la an artillery-size gyrojet) or "just" more or less standard recoilless guns?

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg
 

Lauge

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Jemiba said:
Lauge said:
Actual rocket guns (a la an artillery-size gyrojet) or "just" more or less standard recoilless guns?
I would think, they were something like this :
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,6612.msg57123.html#msg57123, #4
That would be my guess as well ("standard" recoilless guns). But why then refer to it as a "rocket" gun? After all, the term "recoilless gun" has existed since practically before recoil was invented ???

Or maybe I'm just reading too much into this.

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg
 

Grey Havoc

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Orionblamblam said:
Most likely an early concept of the MGM-51 Shillelagh "rocket gun."
Could well be. Maybe designed around the Frankford Arsenal proposal for the CVWS, the Polecat? Or, alternatively, perhaps based on a Sperry CVWS proposal?
Either would suggest that the overall design dates from somewhere between April 1958 and June 1959.
 

Jemiba

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Wouldn't the calibre of 105 mm a little bit too small too fit the guiding system and a
viable warhead. ?
 

Avimimus

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Orionblamblam said:
Most likely an early concept of the MGM-51 Shillelagh "rocket gun."
A neat concept. However, the vehicle's low profile and thick armour might imply a closer firing range than was expected for a tank like a Sheridan. The twin barrels might also imply a reduced hit expectancy (consistent with an unguided round at medium range). So, I'll take that bet :D

You could be right though (which would be neat).
 

Kadija_Man

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I doubt it is a standard recoilless rifle, there is no exit venturi. There would also be problems with exhaust erosion behind the turret.

I suspect it is some sort of rocket boosted round, rather like the gun on the BMP-1. Of course, it would be unguided and inaccurate. Guidance systems were in their infancy in those days and I'd be very surprised at anything other than a wire-guidance system.
 

robunos

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From Hunnicutt's 'Firepower' pp. 176-7.

"To obtain additional contributions toward the
solution of the heavy tank design problem, proposals
were requested from industry. One of these resulted
in a contract with the Rheem Manufacturing Com-
pany which produced an interesting design concept.
Named Project Hunter, the Rheem study investigated
a variety of` armament, crew arrangements., and other
features starting in September 1951. Their final
report submitted in June 1955 described a tank of un-
conventional design armed with a pair of 105mm spin
stabilized, rocket boosted guns mounted in an oscil-
lating turret. The Hunter was manned by a crew of
four with the driver in the front center of a highly
sloped cast armor hull. The gunner was immediately
behind the driver and sat between the two 105mm
rocket guns in the one man, low silhouette turret.
With its automatic loader, each of the rigidly
mounted rocket guns had a firing rate of 120 rounds
per minute using the seven rounds carried in the
magazine of each loader. With the 80 rounds in the
hull, the total I05mm ammunition stowage was 94.
Two .30 caliber coaxial machine guns were mounted,
one installed outboard of each rocket gun. The tank
commander was provided with a cupola in the raised
section of the hull just to the rear of the turret. One
cupola design was fitted with two .50 caliber antiair·
craft machine guns. Alternate arrangements omitted
the machine guns or allowed the installation of the
standard M1 cupola From the M48A1 tank. The
loader was positioned in the hull to the left of the
tank commander behind the twin rocket guns. The
raised section of the hull at the commander`s position
limited the turret traverse at an elevation of -10
degrees to 90 degrees to the left or right. A full 360
degrees rotation was possible when the guns were ele-
vated to + 20 degrees. An AOI-1490-1 engine ln the
hull rear powered the vehicle through an hydraulic
transmission system. This arrangement eliminated
the drive sprockets und used separate hydraulic
motors installed in each of the 12 road wheels. This
made it possible to use a lightweight rubber band
track assembled from six foot sections. Willi such a
drive system, the tank could still move despite the
loss of a track or several road wheels. An alternate
design was prepared using the XT500 transmission
with conventional drive sprockets and tracks.
The Hunter, with its highly sloped configura-
tion and low silhouette provided exceptionally good
protection and silicaceous cored armor was utilized in
the front of both the hull and the turret. This type of
armor was cast around a fused silica core and it was
particularly effective against shaped charge rounds.
The top rear deck was hinged just in front of the
commander's cupola and it could be raised by an hy-
draulic cylinder. This allowed easy access to thc vehi-
cle for maintenance and stowage and also provided a
quick emergency exit for the crew.
Although the Hunter concept had many innova·
tive features, long range development interest at that
time was concentrated on armored vehicles which
could be transported by air, such as the Rex tank and
other vehicles studied under the ASTRON project.
As a result no further work was authorized on the
Hunter."

Images :-

1, two view of The Hunter
2, Comparison of the size of The Hunter with the T43, which became the M103 in USMC service.
3, A model of The Hunter.
4, showing how the hinged top of The Hunter could be used for emergency escape.

cheers,
Robin.
 

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Jemiba

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Mystery solved, many thanks Robin !
A little bit strange, that this large and surely very heavy hinged top would have formed
the emrgency exit, when probably there would have been no hydraulic power. If four
men would have been able to lift it on their own ?
 

Michel Van

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Big THX for the info, robunos
 

robunos

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I thought that too, about the 'emergency escape hatch', but I've since thought, maybe it was meant to be counter-balanced in some way, or use a stored-energy strut, like a car hatchback...


cheers,
Robin.
 

SpudmanWP

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That looks more of an engine service hatch than an escape hatch.
 

robunos

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I think it was meant to serve both purposes.


cheers,
Robin.
 

Avimimus

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...so able to send 14 105mm rounds down-range - that would compensate for a bit of inaccuracy. Even if they lacked sufficient penetration - I still wouldn't want to be in the vehicle being pummeled.

It would also make an impressive fire support vehicle (as the Ontos eventually found use).
 

Graham1973

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An impressive beast, looks very Sci-Fi.
 
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