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Light Tank

TAM

The TAM Light Tank

Entered service in 1979
Crew 4
Dimensions and weight
Total weight in combat order 30 t
Overall length 8 230 mm
Chassis length 6 775 mm
Overall width 3 120 mm
Overall height 2 420 mm
Armament
Main gun  L7A2 105-mm Rifled Gun
Machine guns 2 x 7.62-mm
Traverse range  360 degrees
Combat load
Main gun 50 rounds
Machine guns 6 000 cartridges
Mobility
Engine power 720 hp.
Maximum road speed 75 km/h
Autonomy on roads 550 km (1 000 km with additional fuel tanks)
Maneuverability
Slope 60
Vertical step 0.9 m
Trench 2.9 m
Ford unprepared 1.4 m
Ford with preparation 4 m
   The development contract of the TAM Light Tank, was signed between the German "Thyssen Henschel" company and Argentine government at the beginning of 70-ties. TAM means Tanque Argentino Mediano - Argentine Medium Tank). Furthermore this contract intended development not only of 30-tone light tank, completed with the 105-mm gun. Also there had to be developed an infantry fighting vehicle, unified as much as possible with it.

   The first test example of the light tank was built by "Thyssen Henschel" plants in Germany in 1976. TAM and infantry fighting vehicles were produced in Argentina since 1979 to 1985. Overall there were planned to built 500 vehicles (200 light tanks and 300 infantryThe TAM Light Tank fighting vehicles), unfortunately due to financial reasons this number was decreased to 350 light tanks and infantry fighting vehicles.

   Light tank's design greatly resembles German "Marder" Infantry Fighting Vehicle. At the front part of the hull, from the left side, there is driving compartment. Driver operates three observation periscopes. Right from the driving compartment there is engine-transmission compartment. Combat compartment is in the middle part of the hull. It is completed with a turret, specially designed for this light tank. The turret is welded and accommodates commander, gunner and loader. Light tank's armor protection is better comparing with the infantry fighting vehicle.

   The hull and the turret are welded from steel armor plates. Frontal armor of the hull and the turret protects from up to 40-mm armor-piercing projectiles, board armor - from firearm bullets. Hull's boards and chassis are covered with a steel anti-cumulative screens. Furthermore front arranged engine and transmission serve as additional protection for the combat compartment.

   The TAM Light Tank is armed with the L7A2 105-mm Rifled Gun, stabilized in both planes. Gun's barrel is completed with a very effective muzzle-brake, thermal sleeve, and ejecThe TAM Light Tanktion device. This gun fires all 105-mm NATO standards compatible projectiles. Ammunition load consists from 50 projectiles. 20 of them are placed in the turret, while remaining - in the hull.

   Fire control system contains TRP-2A Commander's Panorama Sight, TZF Gunners Sight and optical rangefinder. There is information, that TAM was additionally fitted with a laser rangefinder and ballistic computer. Commander uses eight periscopes, mounted in commanders turret, for 360 observation. Gunner operates rotating periscope. Furthermore in front of commander and gunner there is positioned thermo vision system screens, intended for firing ant night.

   Additional armament consists from the MG-3 7.62-mm Machine Gun coaxially mounted with the main gun. One more similar machine gun can be mounted over the commander's turret to defend from air and ground targets. Smoke grenade launchers are mounted from the both sides of the turret.

   The TAM Light Tank is powered with the MB883 Ka-500 6-cylinder diesel engine. It is developed by German "MTU" company and reaches a maximum power of 70 hp. under 2 400 rpm. It is made in one block with HSWL-204 hydro-mechanic transmission, designed by German company "Renk". Planetary gearbox provides 4 forward and 4 backward gears.The TAM Light Tank

   Chassis use individual, torsion suspension. There are 6 rubbered wheels and 3 supporting rolls from the each side. The first, second, fifth, and sixth wheels are completed with hydraulic absorbers. TAM is completed with tracks, similar to the "Marder" Infantry Fighting Vehicle. Tracks feature internal and external rubber run course. Furthermore track is fitted with dismountable rubber pads.

   The TAM Light Tank features high speed characteristics. It reaches maximum speed on road in 75 km/h. On cross-country terrain it manages 60 slopes, 0.9 meter height vertical step, 2.9 meter wide trenches. Tank fords 1.4 meter depth water obstacles without preparation and up to 4 meters with an underwater driving equipment.

   Vehicle is completed with air filtering device, fire prevention means, heater and radio equipment.

   On the TAM Light Tank there were based later mentioned armored vehicles:

   - The VCTP Infantry Fighting Vehicle;

   - The VCA-155 155-mm Self-Propelled Artillery Gun;

   - VCLC-CAM and VCLC-CAL Multiple Launch Rocket System;

   - Armored recovery vehicle;

   - The VCTM 120-mm Self-Propelled Mortar;

   - VCPC Comand Vehicle;

   - The VCRT Engineering Vehicle.

   - TH301 Light Tank. It was developed by the same "Thyssen Henschel" company and was an improved version of the TAM Light Tank. It features 750 hp. engine, digital fire control system with day and night firing capability. It is armed with the Rh1055-30 105-mm Rifled Gun, designed by "Rheinmetall". At the moment none of the countries were interested in this light tank.


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