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Vickers Mk.4

Prototype main battle tank

Vickers Mk.4

The Vickers Mk.4 had been offered for export customers with a choice of three 120-mm guns

 
 
Entered service -
Crew 4 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 43.6 t
Length (gun forward) ?
Hull length ?
Width ?
Height ?
Armament
Main gun 120-mm
Machine guns ?
Elevation range ?
Traverse range 360 degrees
Ammunition load
Main gun ?
Machine guns ?
Mobility
Engine Rolls-Royce CV12 TCA diesel
Engine power 915 hp
Maximum road speed ~ 70 km/h
Range ~ 500 km
Maneuverability
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step ~ 0.8 m
Trench ~ 3 m
Fording ~ 1.2 m

 

   The Vickers Mk.4 was developed in the late 1970s as a private venture. This tank is also referred as the Valiant. A prototype was completed in 1979. It followed the line of export tanks and was aimed at foreign customers that were unable to operate more expensive MBTs. It matched the French AMX-32 and Italian OF-40 of the same period. However later some design problems emerged and the marketing was stopped. The Valiant MBT received no production orders.

   In 1976 it was announced that United Kingdom developed new Chobham armor. It is a composite armor with steel, ceramics and aluminum parts. It weights less and offers greater protection. Vickers sought to take advantage of the new technology and developed the Mk.4 with aluminum armor hull in order to save weight and increase mobility. So the Valiant was relatively light. Turret was made of steel though. Add-on armor could be added to the hull and turret. However during tests aluminum hull proved to be too weak for the steel turret.

   It is worth mentioning that all Vickers export tanks had inferior protection comparing with tanks operated by the British Army.

   The Vickers Mk.4 was fitted with a Universal Turret, which could be fitted with various tank guns. For export customers it was offered with a choice of three guns: British L11A5 120-mm rifled gun, German Rheinmetall L44 120-mm smoothbore gun and French GIAT CN-120 F1 120-mm smoothbore gun. All of these guns are loaded manually. The prototype was armed with a British L11A5 rifled gun. The same gun was used on the Chieftains and Challenger 1 MBTs. Later similar Universal Turret was used on the Vickers Mk.7 prototype main battle tank.

   This Valiant tank was fitted with Marconi Centaur digital fire control system and gun control system. Both of these systems were revolutionary at that time.

   This tank was operated by a crew of four, including commander, gunner, loader and driver.

   The Valiant was powered by Rolls-Royce CV12 TCA turbocharged diesel engine, developing 915 hp.

   There were some cross-country mobility issues alongside aluminum hull problems. Marketing of the Valiant was stopped, however development of the turret continued. Further development of the Vickers Mk.4 became the Vickers Mk.7. It uses the same turret, based on the Leopard 2 chassis. The Mk.7 was proposed as a replacement for the Challenger 1 MBT, however it was not accepted to service with the British Army and received no export orders.

 

 
Vickers Mk.4

Vickers Mk.4

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