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RDF/LT Light Tank prototype
United States of America

RDF/LT

RDF/LT Light Tank prototype
Unveiled / Entered Service
1980
RDF/LT Light Tank prototype
Status
Former Prototype
Steel Aces Play for free
the highly anticipated MMO tactical tank shooter for 2024.

Table of Contents

Steel Aces Play for free
the highly anticipated MMO tactical tank shooter for 2024.

Introduction

The RDF/LT (Rapid Deployment Force Light Tank) is a former series of Light Tank prototypes developed by AA1 Corporation, originally for the export market, but later offered to both the US Army Rapid Deployment Force and United States Marine Corps.

Background

The US Army was seeking a replacement for the M551 Sheridan and in the 1970’s a number of potential replacements entered development under the direction of the US Armies Tank-automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM).

One of these vehicles was the HSTV(L) which was developed by the AAi Corporation, shortly followed by their second vehicle, the RDF/LT, which was based on their first vehicle and also unveiled in 1980, but funded by AAi as a private venture.

The aluminium hull’s of both vehicles were almost identical, but had a number of subtle differences such as fewer upper return rollers on the RDF/LT. The real changes was in the turrets.

The initial turret was similar to that of the HSTV(L), a one-man turret manned by the commander, the 75mm ARES XM274 smoothbore main gun and auto-loading mechanism.

By 1982 the vehicle featured a second turret also armed with the 75mm ARES XM274 smoothbore. This turret was unmanned and the commanders station removed. The turret is literally the gun system mounted on a flat surface mounted a few inches above the turret ring.

This turret was further enhanced with the mounting of a missile launcher (each having x4 firing tubes) on both sides of the main gun (totalling x8 ready to fire missiles) and was marketed as the “Lightweight Combat Vehicle Air Defence & Anti-Armor”. Its not clear what SAM or ATGM the vehicle would have used.

It was soon discovered that the 75mm ARES XM274 smoothbore was not approved for export, so AAi decided to develop a third turret, which was a traditional two man turret armed with the same 76mm M32 series rifled main gun as used on the M41 Walker Bulldog for the export market.

Fully air-deployable, a C130 aircraft could carry x1 vehicle, Lockheed C-5 x8 and C-141 x3. Additional armoured side skirts could be fitted for additional protection.

Failing to attract any orders, the project ceased in the late 1980’s.

Specifications

characteristic
Result
Main Gun
76mm M23 Rifled
Secondary Weapons
Coaxial 7.62mm Machine Gun
Ammunition Storage
?
Engine
650hp Lycoming 650 gas turbine
Transmission
Automatic x4 speed
Top Road Speed
?
Road Range
?
Fuel Capacity
?
Vertical Obstacle
?
Water Capability
?
Trench Crossing
?
Gradient
?
Side Slope
?
Length Gun Forward
7.34m
Length Hull
5.56m
Width
2.54m
Height
2.23m
Ground Clearance
0.50m
Weight
13.2 tonnes
NBC Protected
yes
Standard Armor(s) Type
Aluminium
Optional Add-on Armor(s) Type
Aluminium
Active Protection Systems
no
Crew
Commander, Gunner, Driver

References