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Light Tanks.

M8 AGS light tank.

The M8 is a light tracked armoured gun system which was designed by U.S. Company FMC Corporation, Ground Systems Division. Following an international competition, in mid-1992 the US Army selected the FMC Corporation, Ground Systems Division (now United Defense LP), to design and build its Armored Gun System (AGS) to replace the M551 Sheridan light reconnaissance vehicle uses mainly by U.S. airborne troops.

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Description

The M8 is a light tracked armoured gun system which was designed by U.S. Company FMC Corporation, Ground Systems Division. Following an international competition, in mid-1992 the US Army selected the FMC Corporation, Ground Systems Division (now United Defense LP), to design and build its Armored Gun System (AGS) to replace the M551 Sheridan light reconnaissance vehicle uses mainly by U.S. airborne troops. The M551 has now been retired from the US Army without replacement. A total of six prototypes were eventually built for the U.S. Army under the designation of the XM8 AGS. The M8 was later type-classified by the U.S. Army in late 1995 and initially slated for production in 1996. The M8 project was canceled in 1997 for funding reasons for other priorities of U.S. Army. The M8 also had the ability to be aidropped by military transport aircraft. A new version of the M8 under the project name of Light Expeditionary Light Tank was showed at AUSA defense exhibition in October 2015.

M8 variants:

No variants at this time.

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Technical Data

  • Armament

    Main armament of the M8 AGS consists of one 105 mm M35 gun is fully stabilised in both axes with an elevation of +20º and a depression of -10º through a frontal 270º arc. Turret traverse is a full 360º. Turret traverse and weapon elevation are hydraulic with manual controls for emergency use. The M8 is fitted with an automatic ammunition loader located in the left side of the turret with 21 rounds of 105mm ready to fire. With that type of system, the vehicle has a rate of fire of 12 rounds per minute. The gun can fire a full range of ammunition as APFSDS-T (Armor Piercing, Fin Stabilized, Discarding Sabot - Tracer), APERS (anti-personnel ammunition), WP (White phosphorus), HEAT (High explosive anti-tank) and HESH (High-explosive squash head). A 7.62mm machine gun is mounted to the right side of the main armament and one 12.7mm heavy machine gun is mounted on the commander's cupola. A bank of eight grenade launchers is mounted on each side at the front of the turret.

  • Design and protection

    The hull and turret of the M8 AGS are made on all-welded aluminium armour which provides a protection against firing of small arms and shell splinters. The vehicle can be also fitted with a modular armour to increase protection against anti-tank guided missile and IEDs (Improvised Explosive Device). The layout of the M8 is similar to a main battle tank with the driver position at the front, the turret in the middle and powerpack at the rear. The driver is seated at the front of the vehicle in the centre and has a single-piece hatch cover that lifts and then opens to the rear. The commander and gunner are located in the turret. The commander is seated to the rear of the gunner and has a rotatable cupola.

  • Mobility

    The M8 AGS is motorized with a six-cylinder Detroit Diesel Model 6V-92TA developing 550 hp at 2,400 rpm on JP8 fuel and 580 hp on DF2 diesel fuel fitted at the rear of the hull. The engine is coupled to a General Dynamics Land Systems HMPT-500-3EC hydro-mechanical transmission. The air inlets/outlets are in the roof of the engine compartment with the exhaust at the left. The torsion bar suspension of M8 AGS consists on each side of six dual rubber-tyred road wheels, idler at the front, drive sprocket at the rear and no track-return rollers. High-temperature shock-absorbers are provided at the first, second, third, fifth and sixth road wheel positions. The M8 AGS can run at a maximum speed of 72 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 450 km. The tank can fording water obstacle of 1.02 depth. The M8 can negotiate a gradient of 60% and side slopes of 30%. It can cross vertical obstacle of 0.81 m and trench of 2.06 m maximum.

  • Combat Equipment

    The M8 AGS is equipped with gunner sight including an Infra-Red Equipment (HIRE) which is a high-performance thermal imaging system consisting of three modular components, the sensor and gunner's display, commander's remote display and the power supply/electronics. The sight also incorporates the laser range-finder and the line of sight stabilisation platform. The tank is also equipped with digital fire-control computer coupled with wind sensors mounted on the turret roof.

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Specifications

  • Armament

    One M35 105mm, one 7.62mm coaxial machine gun, one 12.7mm heavy machine gun

  • Country users
  • Designer Country

    United States

  • Combat Equipment

    Thermal imaging night vision, laser range finder, computerized fire control,

  • Crew

    3

  • Armor

    Standard protection against firing of small arms and shell splinters, in option add-on armor

  • Weight

    18,052 kg empty with standard armour

  • Speed

    72 km/h 

  • Range

    450 km

  • Dimensions

    Length: 8.97 m; Width: 2.69 m; Height: 2.55 m

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