Thursday, January 23, 2014

Blast from the Past: RDF Light Tank

Blast from the past:


Somehow history repeats itself. Nowadays, US Army has begun investigating a light tank for the airborne corps.

In the early 1980's the same requirement was again under consideration and Aircraft Armaments Inc. - AAI has started an initiative to develop a Rapid Deployment Force Light Tank.

Enter RDF:

AAI developed more than one variant of this light tank with:

- 3 crew: 2 in the turret (Cmdr & Gnr) + 1 in the hull (driver)
- 3  crew: 1 in the turret (Gnnr) +2 in the hull (Cmdr & Driver)
- 2 crew: 2 in the hull (Cmdr & Driver) + unmanned turret

Vehicle was around 15 tons with a 350 HP Detroit Diesel engine coupled to an Allison X200 transmission.

RDF was initially armed with a 76mm cannon and a subsequent prototype was armed with a Rapid Fire Caseless 76mm cannon having 'burst' capability. So the gun can quickly send 5 76mm rounds to the same target to guarantee penetration at the target. 

The vehicle with the low profile Unmanned Turret is futuristic even by today's standards. 

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