Stingray light tank
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|Place of origin||United States|
|Length||9.3 m (30 ft 6 in) with gun forward|
|Width||3 m (9 ft 10 in)|
|Height||2.7 m (8 ft 10 in)|
|Crew||4 (commander, driver, gunner, radio operator/loader)|
|L7A3 105 mm rifled tank gun|
|7.62 mm co-axial machine gun, 12.7 mm AA machine gun|
|Engine||Detroit Diesel Allison 8V-92TA 535 hp (399 kW), liquid cooled turbo charged 2 stroke V-8 diesel engine|
550 hp (410 kW)
|Suspension||Independent trailing arm torsion bar|
|300 miles (480 km)|
The Stingray, sometimes known as the Commando Stingray, is a light tank produced by Textron Marine & Land Systems division (formerly Cadillac Gage). It was specifically designed to use as many existing components of other American armored fighting vehicles as possible to keep costs down.
It was originally developed as an entry for the U.S. Army's Armored Gun System (AGS) competition in the 1980s., which called for a new light tank with the firepower of a main battle tank on an air-transportable chassis.
It was exported for use by armed forces of Thailand, who remain the only user.
The Stingray has a 105 mm bore cannon. Its cruise speed is 44 mph (71 km/h). Maximum grade is 60%. The maximum vertical distance it can scale is 2.7 feet (82 cm). It can ford water up to 3.5 feet (107 cm). It is air transportable in a C-130 cargo aircraft. The original Stingray program was launched in 1983, with the first prototype vehicle ready in August 1984. As of 2004, the only country to have purchased the Stingray is Thailand, which ordered 106 tanks that were delivered between 1988-1990. The Stingray turret was also marketed separately for retrofit installation on the hull of the M41, M47 or M551 tank or on the V600 armored car.
The Stingray II is an upgrade version of the Stingray, developed by Cadillac Gage as a private-venture armored fighting vehicle (AFV) for the export market. The light tank's baseline armor, while thin, is adequate for a light cavalry, reconnaissance or light infantry fire support role; it protects its occupants from armor-piercing, heavy machine gun rounds up to 14.5 mm in size. Additional armor appliqué can be fitted to increase ballistic protection. Operational range is increased by about 25 miles (about 40 kilometers) if one assumes a travel speed of about 30 mph (48 km/h). In addition, the engine on the Stingray II has been upgraded to 410 kW (550 horsepower) at 2,300 rpm.
The Stingray's main armament is a low recoil force (LRF) version of the British Royal Ordnance L7 105 mm rifled gun installed in a well-angled and electro-hydraulically powered turret having manual backup as is usually found on tanks, together with duplicate turret controls for the gunner and the commander, providing redundancy. Dimensions of the turret were deliberately designed to allow it to be refitted to M41 Walker Bulldog and M-551 Sheridan vehicles as an upgrade. The gun has optional stabilization in two axes, and eight rounds, with another 24 rounds stored in the hull. Complementing the main gun is a 7.62 mm co-axial machine gun with 2,400 rounds, as well as a 12.7 mm M2 Browning anti-aircraft machine gun with 1,100 rounds on the commander's hatch. The Stingray II is fitted with 16 protective smoke grenade launch tubes, with 8 of them on each side. The optic system for the gunner is composed of a two-axis stabilized day/night thermal imaging system called 'Hughes Hire,' made by the company then known as Hughes Electronics, together with a laser rangefinder. For the commander, there is another optical system that has seven different periscopes, and there is also a repeater display for the same thermal image seen by the gunner.
The main improvements offered in the Stingray II are a more capable digital fire-control system, NBC equipment, enhanced mobility and superior target-engagement capabilities. The Stingray II also improves the armor to provide protection from 23 mm rounds.
- Stingray modified for the AGS competition but lost to the FMC/UDLP/BAE Close Combat Vehicle Light which became the type-classified M8 Armored Gun System.
- The AGS-Sheridan was a mating of the standard M551 Sheridan hull with the turret of the Stingray light tank. It was entered for the Armored Gun System competition but lost to the FMC/UDLP/BAE Close Combat Vehicle Light which became the type-classified M8 Armored Gun System.
- Jackson (2010), p. 100.
- International Business publications (2007), pp. 78-79.
- Jackson, Robert (2010). 101 Great Tanks. The Rosen Publishing Group. ISBN 978-1-4358-3595-5.
- U.S. International Business Publications (2007). Thailand Army Weapon Systems Handbook. International Business Publications. ISBN 1433061961.