T54 (American tank)

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The T54E1 Tank with its 105mm gun in an oscillating turret in travel position, showing the open loader's hatch, September 1962.
TypeMedium tank
Place of originUnited States
Production history
DesignerRheem Manufacturing Company, United Shoe Machinery Corporation, Detroit Arsenal
Designed1951 to 1957
ManufacturerRheem Manufacturing Company, United Shoe Machinery Corporation, Detroit Arsenal
VariantsT54E1, T54E2
MassCombat loaded: 110,000 lb (50 t)
Unstowed: 103,000 lb (47 t)[1]
LengthGun forward with fenders:
450.2 in (11.44 m)[1]
Width143 in (3.6 m)[1]
Height121.8 in (3.09 m)[1]
Crew4:[1](commander, gunner, driver, loader)

ArmorUpper glacis: 110 mm (4.3 in) at 60°
= 220 mm (8.7 in) LoS[1]
T54: 105mm L/67.3 T140
T54E1: 105mm L/67.3 T140E2
T54E2: 105mm L/67.3 T140E3[1]
Cupola mount: .50 cal (12.7 mm) HB M2 machine gun
Coaxial: .30 cal (7.62 mm) M1919A4E1 machine gun[1]
810 hp (600 kW) gross
704 hp (525 kW) net[1]
Power/weightT54: 13.6 gross hp/ton
T54E1 12.5 gross hp/ton
T54E2: 13.8 gross hp/ton[1]
SuspensionTorsion bar
70 mi (110 km)[1]
Speed27 mph (43 km/h)[1]

The T54 was a series of prototype American tanks of the 1950s with three different turrets, all armed with a 105 mm gun, mounted on the M48 Patton chassis. The T54 had a conventional turret with an autoloader with 3 shells, the T54E1 had an oscillating design with an autoloader, and the T54E2 had a conventional turret with a human loader. The turret on T54E1 was similar to that of the T69 in its oscillating design and in that it held a crew of three and a nine-round drum autoloader under the gun. The T54E1 was abandoned in 1956 and in 1957 the entire project was cancelled in favor of the T95 Medium Tank.[2]


In December 1950, the Army Equipment Development Guide recommended that a 105 mm tank gun be pursued. By 6 July 1951, OTCM (Ordnance Technical Committee Minutes) 33842 officially initiated the development project with two new vehicles designated: the 105 mm gun tank T54, and the 105 mm gun tank T54E1. The T54's 105 mm T140 gun was a lighter version of the 105 mm T5E2, which was the armament of the T29 Heavy Tank. Designed for use with an autoloader, their breeches were inverted and fixed rounds were used. When modified for use with the T54E1 oscillating turret, the gun was designated as the 105 mm gun T140E2.[3]


  • T54: armed with a 105 mm T140 in a conventional turret with an autoloader.[3]
  • T54E1: armed with a 105 mm T140E2 in an oscillating turret with an autoloader.[3]
  • T54E2: armed with a 105 mm T140E3 in a conventional turret with a human loader.[4]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Hunnicutt, pages 430–432
  2. ^ Ogorkiewicz (1991), p. 48, p. 391
  3. ^ a b c Hunnicutt, page 126
  4. ^ Hunnicutt, page 134


  • Ogorkiewicz, Richard M (1991). Technology of Tanks. Jane's Information Group Limited. pp. 48, 391. ISBN 0-7106-0595-1.
  • Hunnicutt, R.P. (1984). Patton: A History of the American MBT. Presidio. ISBN 0891412301.