Vickers 13 ton tank

Petrus

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According to "Abbot FV433 Self-Propelled Gun" by Christopher F. Foss (AFV Weapons Profile 51) there was an unbuilt vehicle based upon the Abbot that was to be a "light tank", named the Vickers 13 ton tank. This is a quotation from the booklet:

This did not progress beyond the drawing stage and used adapted Abbot suspension, transmission and steering units. The engine was to be a Leyland 680. Armament was to be the 76mm gun of the Saladin Armoured Car, a 12.7mm ranging machine-gun, 7.62mm co-axial and a 7.62mm anti-aircraft machine-guns. Two Vigilant anti-tank missiles were to have been mounted either side of the turret.

Do you have any further info on this project? Does anybody have some drawings showing it?

Best regards,
Piotr
 

uk 75

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The Vickers tank is covered in some detail in books about the
FV432 and the Scorpion family produced by Profile and then Ian
Allan in the 70s and 80s. They are pretty easy to find on Amazon.

Basically the Vickers and other designs were part of a project which
preceded the Scorpion family and also involved looking at working with the US who had a fami;y based on the M551 Sheridan. They included APCs, missile carriers and light artillery. Funnily enough the Russians seem to have done the same thing and produced the BMD family.

I am sure others know more..

UK 75
 

smurf

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Sorry, UK 75, but I think we have different ideas about what "in some detail" might mean.
Petrus quoted all there is in AFV Profile 51, 1972, which is as much detail as I ever recall seeing. The follow-up Profile 53, The FV432 Series 1973, doesn't mention the tank.
The Ian Allan Scorpion book by George Forte mentions vehicles based on the FV430 series weighing about 13.5 tons "which were judged too heavy" but then goes into a fair amount of detail on the lightweight high mobility series of vehicles under 5 tons.
Given that the FV432 weighed 28,000lb (12.5tons) empty, a 13-ton tank based on it would be difficult.
R.E. Smith, in "British Army Vehicles and Equipment" Ian Allan 1968 page 65 says
A second interesting light armoured vehicle, also the product of the Vickers organisation, is a light 13-ton ton tank, designed for air-portability and mountain operations. Again its manufacturers are very reluctant to provide information, and maintain that a complete reappraisal of the project is being prepared. According to details of its original construction, basically an FV432 standardized chassis has been employed, with the armament and turret of the Saladin armoured car.
[ie a 76mm medium velocity gun.
The Book "Vickers Tanks" by Foss and McKenzie (PSL, 1988) makes no mention of a Vickers 13-ton tank at that time.
What it does do is recall Vickers' part in developing the running gear for the FV300 light tank, an FVDE design from the Army Tank Dept Drawing Office, around 1950. The Vickers-built FV303 was the running gear prototype weighing 16tons 2cwt and in addition carrying 7tons of ballast instead of a turret. The FV300 would have had a 77mm gun, as on the Comet tank. This book also mentions another FVDE design, the 17.6ton FV400 light tank with 76mm armour and 77mm gun. Designated A46, "it should not be confused with the FV432 carrier series that appeared later."
Vickers followed up their involvement with FV300 by designing a 26ton medium cruiser tank with 77mm gun, followed by a 28ton version with Vigilante AT missiles in the turret in addition to the gun. This line of development then led to the 105mm gun 37ton Main Battle Mark 1 or Vijayanta for India. There are line drawings of the FV300, 26 and 28ton Vickers designs, but no 13 tonner, although I seem to recall seeing a photo of an Australian FV432 with Scorpion or Saladin turret, in a Jane's I think, for use in Vietnam. A British version was built with 30mm Rarden cannon in a Fox turret.
But the implication is that the "Vickers 13-tonner" was a genuine tank design using Abbot components. It remains elusive.
 

Abraham Gubler

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Canceled in the early 50s alongside the FV 200 family of vehicles was the lightweight FV 300 family of vehicles (~20 tonnes).

* FV301 21 ton tank with 77mm gun (based on A46)
* FV302 GPO/CPO Command Vehicle
* FV303 20pdr Self Propelled Gun
* FV304 25pdr Self Propelled Gun
* FV305 5.5 inch Self Propelled Gun
* FV306 Light Armoured Recovery Vehicle
* FV307 Radar Vehicle
* FV308 Field Artillery Tractor
* FV309 RA section vehicle
* FV310 Armoured Personnel Carrier
* FV311 Armoured Load Carrier

Pictures at: http://henk.fox3000.com/FV300.htm

So well before Brig. Simpkin's Scorpion family of vehicles the British Army had a requirement for a range of lightweight AFVs. The FV432 family (including Abbott) filled many of these roles but not all.
 

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smurf

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Thanks for that AG. Very interesting, especially the Henk link. But the timescales for the A46 and the "Vickers 13-ton light tank" are about 20 years apart.
 

uk 75

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Apologies about the duff references. I was working from memory.
I am , however, pretty sure that one book in the AFV profiles series
or a similar source has a set of drawings, even a model, of a tracked
vehicle with a front mounted turret and side missiles, which I think
was intended as a light tank. It might be in a book about the Saladin
family or another book. I will keep looking.

UK 75
 

smurf

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It did. It's AFV Weapons Profile 34, on the Scorpion.
The vehicle is the AVR 13.6ton tracked recce feasibility study of 1960.
There was also a study for a wheeled version. Both abandoned as too heavy for air transport
(The Vickers 13-ton tank "designed for air portability" was later, according to Smith, by which time 7 to 8ton Scorpion prototypes with 76mm gun were appearing.)
 

Petrus

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The Vickers 13-ton light tank concept, i.e. a hull of the FV430 family plus the Saladin turret with side-mounted ATGMs reminds me similar Canadian project of the Bobcat variant, namely the Light Recce Tank. It was to have a Saladin turret as well, but with two or four SS-11 missiles rather than the Vigilants.

Here you've got a speculative drawing of such the Bobcat LRT that has been published in "The Army Doctrine and Training Bulletin" of Winter 1999 (of course "the army" in the title is that of Canada).

Best regards,
Piotr
 

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DanielStarseer

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Nice thread.

Not to go too far off topic,
but these British "teen tonnes" light tanks seem in capacity similar to a French AFV project called MARS 15, which AIUI was conceived as a follow-on/replacement for the AMX-13 series.

Couldn't find anything here via searching, and there is little web info.
Only place I recall seeing it was a sparse entry in a 1980s-ish Janes Armour & Artillery...

Anyone else?
 

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