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The M551 Sheridan was an American light tank from the Cold War period. The first prototypes of the vehicle were built in 1965, and serial production continued in the years 1966-1970, ending with the production of about 1700 examples of this tank. The M551 Sheridan was powered by an engine General Motors 6V-53T with 300 HP. It was armed with a single 152mm M81 cannon / launcher, 1 Browning M73 7.62mm machine gun and 1 12.7mm M2HB machine gun.
The M551 Sheridan was developed as the successor to the M41 Walker Bulldog light tank. The new US Army light tank was primarily characterized by a completely innovative armament, which was based on the M81 cannon-launcher and MGM-51 Shillelagh guided missiles. They were to allow a light tank such as the M551 to engage in equal combat with Soviet MBTs such as the T-62 or T-64. However, when the M551 vehicles were delivered to the US troops fighting in Vietnam, it turned out that they were highly emergency, hardly maneuverable in the field, and did not have ammunition capable of fighting enemy infantry. They were also vulnerable to anti-tank grenade launchers due to their relatively weak armor. After the modernization, some of these flaws were removed, but the combat performance of the M551 was still far from what it was intended for. In 1978, they were withdrawn from service, with the exception of some airmobile and airborne subunits. The M551 Sheridan took part in the Persian Gulf War (1990-1991), after which it was completely withdrawn from service in the US Army.
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Valmistaja: Rye Field Model
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