M551 Sheridan Light Reconnaissance Tank
 
 
 
M551 Sheridan light reconnaissance tank vehicle technical data sheet specifications information description intelligence identification pictures photos images video information U.S. Army United States American defence industry military technology
 
Description
The M551 Sheridan is a light reconnaissance tank which was developed by the American Company General Motors in May 1960 under the designation XM551. In November 1965 approval was given for the type classification of the XM551 as Limited Production and a four-year production contract was awarded to the Allison Motor Car Division of General Motors Corporation. In May 1966 the Sheridan was classified as Standard A and by this time production was well under way with the first production vehicle being completed in June 1966. Production continued until 1970 by when 1700 M551S (or General Sheridans) had been built, of which 1570 were still in service with the US Army in 1970. The role of the M551. as originally conceived, is to function as the main reconnaissance vehicle for armour, infantry and airborne operations and arms teams not employing main battle tank. Late in 1978, it was announced that the M551 would be phased out of service and replaced by the M60A1 MBT, apart from those vehicles allocated to the 82nd Airborne Division (57) and Arkansas National Guard (12), 330 have been assigned to the National training Center at Fort Irwin, California. These are essentially basic M551s but with visual modifications to the outside to disguise them as "OPFOR force" vehicles such as BMP-1 and ZSU-23-4.
 
Variants:
- M551A1: Upgraded M551 with AN/VVG-1 laser rangefinder.
- M551 ARMVAL: modified M551 used by the US Marine Corp with new engine 8V537T, new cooling system, gunner with German fully stabilised sighting system with daylight TV and integral laser gun simulator.
- M551 with 75mm ARES cannon: new turret with 75mm ARES automatic cannon.
 
Technical Data
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Armament
The M551 Sheridan main armament consists of one M81 (formerly the XM81E12) 152mm gun/launcher which can fire the Shillelagh missile or a number of conventional rounds with a combustible cartridge. The Shillelagh missile is designated the MGM-51A and was designed by the United States Army Missile Command and the Philco-Ford Corporation from 1959. with production beginning in 1964. The missile was also launched from the M60A2 main battle tank. The missile has a maximum effective range of 2,500 m against moving targets and 3,000 for stationary targets. The Shillelagh warhead is of the HEAT type. The 152 mm gun launcher can also fire a number of conventional rounds which have a combustible cartridge case consisting of two parts, a base and a body, which are made of felted nitro cellulose. The M551 Sheridan can fire a full range of ammunition as the HEAT-T-MP M409 , the WP M410, and the TP-T M411. A 7.62mm coaxial machine gun is mounted to the right of the main gun. A 12.7mm machine gun is mounted on the commander's cupola as anti-aircraft weapon with an elevation from +70° to -15°.
Design and protection
The hull of M551 Sheridan is made in all-welded aluminium armour divided into three compartments with the driver s at the front, fighting compartment in the centre and the engine at the rear. The driver is seated at the front of the vehicle and is provided with a single-piece hatch cover which, when he is driving with his head out is swung inside the vehicle to his rear. The turret is of all welded steel armour with the commander and gunner seated on the right and the loader on the left. The commander's cupola is provided with a split hatch cover that opens left and right. The loader has a single-piece hatch cover that opens to the left. A large wire stowage basket is provided at the rear of the turret and some machine gun ammunition is stowed in ammunition boxes strapped to the sides of the turret, nine boxes on the left and six on the right.
Mobility
The M551 Sheridan is motorized with a Detroit 6-cylinder water-cooled turbo-charged Diesel engine Model 6V53T developing 300 hp. at 2,800 rpm. The engine and the transmission are at the rear of the vehicle with the aluminium cross-flow radiator mounted in the forward part of the engine compartment from the fighting compartment. The torsion bar suspension of M551 Sheridan consists of five dual road wheels with the idler at the front and the drive sprocket at the rear. There are no track return rollers. The first and last road wheel stations are fitted with a hydraulic shock absorber. The M551 Sheridan can run at a maximum speed of 70 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 600 km.
Accessories
Standard equipment of M551 Sheridan includes a heater, extraction fan in the turret roof, diesel cooker and an NBC system that pipes fresh air to the crew's face masks from a central unit. The engine compartment is equipped with a fire suppression system which can be operated by the driver, or from outside the vehicle. Night vision equipment is provided for the commander, gunner and driver and most vehicles now have an infra red searchlight fitted to the left of the main armament. Commander, driver and loader have day vision periscopes. The center periscope of the driver can be replaced by an M-48 infra-red periscope for night vision. The commander is also provided with a portable night-vision device with a magnification of x4. The gunner is seated to the front and below the commander and has an M129 telescope Iinked to the main armament with a magnification of x8 and an 8° field of view. For engaging targets at night the gunner has an infra-red roof-mounted sight M44 with a x9 magnification and a 6° field of view through one eyepiece and x1 daylight viewing window.
 
Specifications
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Armament
One 152mm gun, one coaxial 7.62mm machine gun and one 12.7mm anti-aircraft machine gun
Country users
United States OPFOR vehicles
Designer Country
United States
Accessories
Night vision, heater, extraction fan in the turret roof, diesel cooker and an NBC protection system.
Crew
4
Armor
Aluminium armour which provides protection against firing of small arms and artillery shell splinters
Weight
13,589 kg empty - 15,830 combat weight
Speed
70 km/h
Range
600 km
a
Dimensions
Length: 6.29 m; Width: 2,81 m; Height: 2,94 m
 
Details View
 
M551 Sheridan light reconnaissance tank vehicle technical data sheet specifications information description intelligence identification pictures photos images video information U.S. Army United States American defence industry military technology
 
M551 Sheridan light reconnaissance tank vehicle technical data sheet specifications information description intelligence identification pictures photos images video information U.S. Army United States American defence industry military technology
M551 Sheridan light reconnaissance tank vehicle technical data sheet specifications information description intelligence identification pictures photos images video information U.S. Army United States American defence industry military technology
   
M551 Sheridan light reconnaissance tank vehicle technical data sheet specifications information description intelligence identification pictures photos images video information U.S. Army United States American defence industry military technology
M551 Sheridan light reconnaissance tank vehicle technical data sheet specifications information description intelligence identification pictures photos images video information U.S. Army United States American defence industry military technology
 
Pictures - Video
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