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HIMAG Light Tank test rig (HIgh Mobility AGility)
United States of America


HIMAG Light Tank test rig (HIgh Mobility AGility)
Unveiled / Entered Service
HIMAG Light Tank test rig (HIgh Mobility AGility)
Former Prototype
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Steel Aces Play for free
the highly anticipated MMO tactical tank shooter for 2024.


The HIMAG (HIgh Mobility AGility) Light Tank is a former test bed vehicle for the joint US Army and USMC "Armored Combat Vehicle Technology Programme", which was used to develop new technologies for armoured fighting vehicles post 1985. Findings of the project were published in 1982 when the project ceased.


Armored Combat Vehicle Technology Programme

The ACVT program was an interesting one. The declassified findings document concentrated on the testing and reporting of increased mobility capabilities for future armoured vehicles in various different types of terrain.

The M113A1 APC and both the M60A1 and M1 Abrams Main Battle Tanks were used in the program, but only as a point of reference of current capabilities in the same test areas the HIMAG was trialled on.

The document makes light that there were two possible HIMAG prototypes “the evaluations were made from tests with two of the best HIMAG configurations” and “The unfamiliar drivers achieved 87 percent for the HIMAG 5, but the somewhat unstable behavior of the lighter, tail-heavy HIMAG 2 had a significant influence on those drivers not familiar with the course”.

The findings concluded that whilst the M1 Abram’s excelled in comparison to the M113 A1 and M60A1, a light tank could out perform the Abram’s if the driver was well experienced with any potential new light tank with increased capabilities and was driving in a familiar area where he was confident of the terrain.

Therefore, a 50 or 60% increase in mobility capability was pointless in unfamiliar areas as the driver would only use 10 or 15 percent of the increased capability. What was also interesting was that both the Abrams and HIMAG struggled in the wet, woooden areas of West Germany.

The Test Rig

Its not clear who built the HIMAG test rigs. What is clear is that the suspension was hydro pneumatic so the vehicle could adjust its ground clearance (commonly done to adjust the vehicles height to fit in smaller cargo places) and the engine was a Teledyne Continental Motors’ (TCM) AVCR 1360-2 diesel, which generated nearly 1500hp. Due the vehicles light weight, it gave an excessive power to weight ratio, which was responsible for the vehicle impressive results.

The Turret

The turret was not fully developed, as the vehicle was mobility trials, not firepower trials and therefore was more relevant in representing the turrets weight and its affect on the vehicles mobility.

The turret featured a crew station on either side of the turret (evident by the hatches and vision blocks), which were almost below the turret ring.

The main gun was the 75mm ARES XM274 smoothbore. The gun’s design focused on two key areas (i) moving away from HEAT ammunition (as it was feared at the time that a new armour would be developed to defeat HEAT) in favour of Kinetic Energy penetrators (SABOT rounds) and (ii) rapid, automated firing.


Main Gun
75mm ARES XM274 smoothbore
Secondary Weapons
Coaxial 7.62mm Machine Gun
Ammunition Storage
Teledyne Continental Motors’ (TCM) AVCR 1360-2 diesel 1500hp
Top Road Speed
Road Range
Fuel Capacity
Vertical Obstacle
Water Capability
Trench Crossing
Side Slope
Length Gun Forward
Length Hull
Ground Clearance
NBC Protected
Standard Armor(s) Type
Optional Add-on Armor(s) Type
Active Protection Systems
Commander, Gunner, Driver