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Detroit Arsenal
M47 Patton
The M47 Patton was developed as an interim design given the need for a replacement for the M26/M46 medium tanks that had been the backbone of the US Army's tank strength since the end of World War II. The outbreak of the Korean War resulted in a rush to put a new tank into service, and this was accomplished by fitting the turret of the T42 (then under development) into a modified M46 chassis, retaining the 90-mm gun that was to remain standard until the 1960s. The resulting tank was of all-cast construction and was also notable for being the last US tank with a bow mounted machine gun. Despite a large production run lasting just three years, the M47 was soon relegated from active service once the M48 became more widely available. As a result, most US M47s were exported to a total of 18 countries, including NATO allies Belgium, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, West Germany, and Turkey, along with other Asian clients, many of which incorporated local enhancements such as an infra-red searchlight and even 105-mm guns. The M47 was never used in combat by US forces, missing out on the Korean War, but otherwise saw action in the Suez Crisis, Indo-Pakistani war of 1965, the Six Day War, Iran-Iraq War, and even as recently as the civil war in Yugoslavia.

Only one M46 had the T42's turret installed before production of the initial M47 began just months later. This accounted for the full US production run. An Iranian-produced version was known as the M47M and was developed in the 1970s. Spanish variants were known as the M47E, and featured various upgrades over the years including a 105-mm gun in the M47E2. Similar improvements have been offered privately by France and Italy. Non-combat versions include the M102 Combat Engineer Vehicle.

M47 Patton
Datafile
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DesignM47
NamePatton
Code Name-
TypeMedium Tank
Year1951
Crew5
90-mm
M36
Rifled
Traverse360°
Elevation-5° / 19°
Penetration0 mm @ 1 km
Rounds71
1 x 12.7-mm (c)
1 x 12.7-mm (b)
1 x 12.7-mm
1 x 7.62-mm
Length Overall8.51 m
Length6.36 m
Width3.51 m
Height2.95 m
Loaded46,170 kg
Ground Pressure0.94 kg/cm²
Power/Weight17.54 hp/t
SuspensionTorsion bar
Engine1 x 810hp
Continental
AV-1790-5B
FuelGasoline (V12)
Range130 km
Speed48 km/h
AmphibiousNo
Fording1.22 m
Vertical Obstacle0.91 m
Trench2.59 m
Gradient60%
ArmorSteel
Thickness19 - 114 mm
Max Effective203 - 229 mm RHAe
Hull Upper Front101.6 mm / 60°
Hull Lower Front88.9 mm / 53°
Hull Upper Sides76.2 mm
Hull Lower Sides50.8 mm
Hull Rear19.05 mm / 62°
Hull Top22.23 mm
Hull Bottom25.4 mm
Turret Mantlet114.3 mm / 60°
Turret Front101.6 mm / 40°
Turret Sides76.2 mm / 30°
Turret Rear76.2 mm / 3°
Turret Top25.4 mm
Production8,676
Total9,000
Gallery