Vickers MBT

Vickers MBT Mk 1

Vijayanta MBT, a variant of the Vickers MBT.
Type Main battle tank
Place of origin United Kingdom
Service history
In service 1965–present
Used by See users
Wars Iraq-Kuwait War
Production history
Manufacturer Vickers Defence Systems
Produced 1963–1994
Weight 38.6 t (42.5 short tons)
Length 9.79 m (32 ft 1 in) overall gun forward
Width 3.17 m (10 ft 5 in)
Height 3.1 m (10 ft 2 in)
Crew 4

Armour Glacis: 80 mm
Hull sides: 40 mm
1 x 105 mm L7A1 gun with 50 rounds
1 x 12.7 mm ranging MG with 700 rounds
1 x 7.62 mm MG (pintle mount) with 1,300 rounds
1 x 7.62 mm MG (coax) with 1,300 rounds
Engine Leyland L60 (multifuel 2-stroke opposed-piston compression-ignition)
650 hp (480 kW) 6 Cyl, 19 litres.
Power/weight 16.84 bhp/t
Transmission TN12 semi-automatic
Suspension Torsion bar suspension
530 km (330 miles) on roads
Speed Road: 50 km/h (31 mph)
Off road: 30 km/h (19 mph)

The Vickers MBT is a series of main battle tanks (MBTs) developed as a private venture by Vickers-Armstrongs for export. The design makes use of proven components such as the L7 gun of the Centurion, and the Leyland L60 multi-fuel engine, transmission and fire control system of the Chieftain. A large number of tanks were also built by India under licence as the Vijayanta.

Design and development

The Vickers MBT followed on from a 24-tonne 20-pdr gunned tank design intended for export.[1] This would be as well equipped as Centurion but substantially cheaper and with Vickers Vigilant missiles as effective. However with the appearance of the 105 mm L7 gun into the British, US and German tank designs, this light tank would have been less powerful while too large for the reconnaissance role, and so a new design was required. With armour twice that of the light tank design, it would still be 12 tonnes lighter than Centurion and hence more mobile. The design would use the new engine and transmission of the Chieftain tank then being developed. The development coincided with an agreement with India in 1961 to produce a tank design and help set up a factory there to produce it.

The Vickers MBT Mk 1 was designed to be a simple, low-cost, but effective tank.[2] The first prototype was completed in 1963.[2] In 1964 one of the prototypes was sent to India.

The Vickers was made of welded rolled homogeneous armour plates. It weighed 38,600 kg, carried a 105mm gun with 44 rounds and had a top speed of 48 km/h.[2] 70 tanks were sold to Kuwait and a large number of a modified version were made in India where the tank was called Vijayanta.[2]




Map of Vickers operators in blue with former operators in red

Current operators

Former operators

See also


  1. Ogorkiewicz, R M (1973). Vickers Battle Tank, Profile Publications, August 1973.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Gelbart, Marsh (1996). Tanks main battle and light tanks. Brassey’s UK Ltd. p. 108. ISBN 1-85753-168-X.
  3. Gelbart, Marsh (1996). Tanks main battle and light tanks. Brassey’s UK Ltd. pp. 109–110. ISBN 1-85753-168-X.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Jane's Armour and Artillery 2003–2004
  5. Ogorkiewicz, R M (1973). Vickers Battle Tank, Profile Publications, August 1973.
  6. Foss, Christopher F; McKenzie, Peter (1988). The Vickers tanks From landships to Challenger. Patrick Stephens Limited. pp. 185–186. ISBN 978-1-8526-0141-6.
  8. International Defence Equipment Catalogue 1988–1989 Volume II
  9. Tanks of the World (1990) ISBN 3-7637-5871-2
  10. Jane's Armour and Artillery 1993–1994
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 12/5/2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.