T54 (American tank)

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This article is about the American tank. For the Paralympic classification, see T54 (classification).
Not to be confused with T-54, the Soviet main battle tank from the same era.
T54
Type Medium tank
Place of origin United States
Production history
Designer Rheem Manufacturing Company, United Shoe Machinery Corporation, Detroit Arsenal
Designed 1952 to 1957
Manufacturer Rheem Manufacturing Company, United Shoe Machinery Corporation, Detroit Arsenal
Variants T54E1, T54E2
Specifications
Weight Combat loaded: 110,000 lb (50 t)
Unstowed: 103,000 lb (47 t)[1]
Length Gun forward with fenders:
450.2 in (11.44 m)[1]
Width 143 in (3.6 m)[1]
Height 121.8 in (3.09 m)[1]
Crew 4:[1]
Commander, Gunner
Driver, Loader

Armor Upper glacis: 110 mm (4.3 in) at 60°
= 220 mm (8.7 in) LoS[1]
Main
armament
T54: 105mm L/67.3 T140
T54E1: 105mm L/67.3 T140E2
T54E2: 105mm L/67.3 T140E3[1]
Secondary
armament
Cupola mount: .50 cal HB M2 on
Coaxial: .30 cal M1919A4E1[1]
Engine AV-1790-5B[1]
810 gross hp
704 net hp[1]
Power/weight T54 13.6 gross hp/ton
T54E1 12.5 gross hp/ton
T54E2 13.8 gross hp/ton[1]
Suspension Torsion bars
Operational
range
70 mi (110 km)[1]
Speed 27 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 original T54 had a conventional turret with an autoloader, while the turret on T54E1 was of an oscillating design with an autoloader and the one on T54E2 was conventional 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.[2]

Development[edit]

In December 1950, the Army Equipment Development Guide recommended that a 105mm tank gun be pursued. By the 6 of July 1951, OTCM (Ordnance Technical Committee Minutes) 33842 officially initiated the development project with two new vehicles designated: the 105mm gun tank T54, and the 105mm gun tank T54E1. The T54's 105mm T140 gun was a lighter version of the 105mm 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 105mm gun T140E2.[3]

Variants[edit]

  • T54: armed with a 105mm T140 in a conventional turret with an autoloader[3]
  • T54E1: armed with a 105mm T140E2 in a oscillating turret with an autoloader[3]
  • T54E2: armed with a 105mm T140E3 in a conventional turret without an autoloader[4]

References[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Hunnicutt, R.P. (1984). Patton: A History of the American MBT. Presidio. pp. 430–432. 
  2. ^ Ogorkiewicz (1991), p. 48, p. 391
  3. ^ a b c Hunnicutt, R.P. (1984). Patton: A History of the American MBT. Presidio. p. 126. 
  4. ^ Hunnicutt, R.P. (1984). Patton: A History of the American MBT. Presidio. p. 134. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • 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.