Stingray light tank
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|Stingray light tank|
|Place of origin||United States|
|Weight||22.6 metric tons|
|Length||(With gun forward) 9.3 meters|
|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 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 for the U.S. Army as a light tank—with firepower matching that of a main battle tank (MBT), while lacking the countermeasures to be considered a main battle tank—for the U.S. Army's Armored Gun System competition in the 1980s. It was exported for use by armed forces of Thailand, who remain the only user.
Stingray has a 105 mm bore cannon. Its cruise speed is 44 mph (71 km/h). Maximum grade is 60%. Its vertical obstacle limit is 2.7 feet (82 cm). It can ford water up to 3.5 feet (107 cm).
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 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 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.
Key recognition features
- Well-sloped glacis plate with driver's hatch in upper part, hull top horizontal with two slight steps to raised engine compartment at rear of hull. Sides and rear of hull vertical with exhaust outlet in upper part of rear hull.
- Turret in center of hull with pointed front, sides slope inwards with turret basket at rear, bank of four smoke grenade dischargers on either side of the turret. 12.7 mm M2HB anti-aircraft machine gun mounted on right side of turret roof.
- Suspension either side has six small road wheels with idler front, drive sprocket rear and three track-return rollers, no side skirts.