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TAM

Light tank

TAM light tank

The TAM light tank was developed by the Thyssen-Henschel for Argentinean army

 
 
Country of origin Argentina
Entered service 1976
Crew 4 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 30.5 t
Length (gun forward) 8.23 m
Hull length 6.78 m
Width 3.12 m
Height 2.42 m
Armament
Main gun 105-mm rifled
Machine guns 2 x 7.62-mm
Elevation range - 7 to + 18 degrees
Traverse range 360 degrees
Ammunition load
Main gun 50 rounds
Machine guns ?
Mobility
Engine MTU MB-883 Ka500 diesel
Engine power 720 hp
Maximum road speed 75 km/h
Range 550 / 940 km
Maneuverability
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step 0.9 m
Trench 2.5 m
Fording 1.4 m
Fording (with preparation) 4 m

 

   The TAM or Tanque Argentino Mediano (Argentinean medium tank) is considered a light tank. In early 1970s a contract was awarded to German Thyssen-Henschel to develop a 30-tonne tank, armed with a 105-mm gun and an infantry fighting vehicle (VCTP) with as much common components as possible. Production commenced in 1976 in Argentina. Out of 500 TAMs and VCTPs initially planned only 256 tanks and 94 IFVs were built due to budget cuts. As of 2016 a total of 218 TAM tanks remain in service with Argentina.

   Design of the TAM light tank resembles that of the German Marder 1 infantry fighting vehicle.

   Front armor protects from up to 40-mm armor-piercing rounds, all-round protection is against small arms bullets. Engine is located in front of the hull, thus adding protection.

   The TAM is fitted with a fully-stabilized L7A2 105-mm rifled gun. It fires all standard NATO 105-mm munitions. Vehicle carries a total of 50 rounds, 20 of them are located in the turret, while remaining are stored inside the hull.

   Secondary armament consists of two 7.62-mm machine guns. One of them is coaxially mounted with the main gun, while the other is mounted on top of the roof.

   Vehicle has a crew of four, including commander, gunner, loader and driver.

   The TAM light tank is powered by German MTU MB-883 Ka500 diesel engine, developing 720 horsepower. Vehicle is fitted with a deep wading kit, enabling to ford water obstacles up to 4 meters deep. It can carry additional fuel tanks for extended operational range.

   It was planned to upgrade all 235 surviving TAM tanks to the TAM 2C standard. These combat vehicles had to be fitted with new fire control system, new sights and add-on armor. However only one tank was upgraded when funding was stopped.

 

Variants

 

   VCTP infantry fighting vehicle;

   VCA 155-mm self-propelled howitzer, fitted with turret of Italian Palmaria;

   VCTM 120-mm self-propelled mortar;

   VCPC command vehicle;

   VCLC-CAL and VCLC-CAM 160- and 350-mm multiple launch rocket systems, prototypes only;

   VCRT armored recovery vehicle, prototype only.

   Further development of the TAM by Thyssen Henschel has resulted in the TH301 which has a number of improvements including new fire control system and more powerful engine.

   TAM 2C is a proposed upgraded version of the TAM light tank with add-on armor kit, new fire control system and new sights. It was developed by Elbit Systems of Israel. This vehicle appeared in around 2010. There were plans to upgrade all then surviving 235 TAM tanks to the TAM 2C standard. However only one tank was upgraded when funding was stopped. Instead a different TAM 2IP upgrade program was selected.

   TAM 2IP is another upgraded version of the TAM light tank. This upgrade was also developed in Israel by Elbit Systems. The TAM 2IP was tested by the Argentinean Army in 2015. During the same year Argentinean MoD signed a contract with Israel to upgrade 74 tanks to this standard. This tank can be identified by a wedge-shaped turret add-on armor.

 

Video of the TAM light tank

 
TAM light tank

TAM light tank

TAM light tank

TAM light tank

TAM light tank

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