Author Topic: T92 Light Tank  (Read 12315 times)

Offline Rickshaw

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T92 Light Tank
« on: April 11, 2014, 06:34:12 PM »
The T92 came between the M41 Walker Bulldog and the M551 Sheridan.  It was an innovative small, light tank that featured a split turret with an auto-loader for it's gun.  The commander and the gunner each had separate MG cupolas.   It fell to the sudden fad (upon discovery of the Soviet PT-76's abilities) for amphibious vehicles.  The T92 was on the verge of being adopted when everybody started clamouring for an amphibious light tank, to counter the Soviet PT-76.



Does anybody know of a model in 1/35 of the T92?  I can find reference to an old 1/50 or 1/55 scale Tamiya motorised kit from the early 1960s but apart from that, nothing.   :(

Offline Volkodav

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Re: T92 Light Tank
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2014, 07:31:05 PM »
I remember reading up on them a while ago, nothing on kits though but I would love one too.  That is one cool looking vehicle, the twin .50 cal turrets would have been useful in Vietnam and I imagine the auto loader would have been filled with HE and canister.

Offline uncle les

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Re: T92 Light Tank
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2014, 08:46:28 PM »
Looks a bit Frenchy..   I had a look around and can't find anything out there save for the aforementioned Tamiya kit..
http://tamiyablog.com/2008/06/1962-tamiya-us-army-t92-destroyer-remote-controlled-one-of-the-first-plastic-tamiya-tank-kits/

It's got my attention nonetheless..   :)

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: T92 Light Tank
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2014, 03:15:19 AM »
I would suggest your best bet for something new in 1/35 might be Commander Models - maybe try contacting them and suggesting it?
« Last Edit: April 12, 2014, 03:17:49 AM by GTX_Admin »
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Offline Jeffry Fontaine

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Re: T92 Light Tank
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2014, 03:28:29 AM »
Does anybody know of a model in 1/35 of the T92?  I can find reference to an old 1/50 or 1/55 scale Tamiya motorised kit from the early 1960s but apart from that, nothing.   :(
Looks a bit Frenchy..   I had a look around and can't find anything out there save for the aforementioned Tamiya kit..http://tamiyablog.com/2008/06/1962-tamiya-us-army-t92-destroyer-remote-controlled-one-of-the-first-plastic-tamiya-tank-kits/It's got my attention nonetheless..   :)
There was another company by the name of Rico that produced a model of the T-92 but I do not recall the scale.  Long out of production and rare to find build or in the box.  Only remember the name as it came up during a discussion on the T-92 many years ago on Armorama and one of the members confessed to owning an example of the kit.  The Tamiya T-92 is new information to me, did not know of the kit before finding that Tamiya blog entry.  Interesting bit of Tamiya history. 
« Last Edit: April 12, 2014, 03:30:38 AM by Jeffry Fontaine »
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Offline Volkodav

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Re: T92 Light Tank
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2014, 03:42:21 AM »
Now we are discussing it someone here will start a scratch build and then it will appear in plastic and resin within 48 months  ;D

Offline elmayerle

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Re: T92 Light Tank
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2014, 10:04:31 AM »
Nitto did a small one (1/48?) years ago (back in the 1960's was when I picked it up) with "Engrish" instructions and, even earlier, ITC did a 1/24 scale one (I was lucky enough to catch one on Ebay some year back for a reasonable price - rubber-band tracks and motorized, but a good starting point).  Any suggestions as to how to get more accurate tracks fo the ITC kit?

Offline Dr. YoKai

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Re: T92 Light Tank
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2014, 03:00:48 AM »
 I think I saw one of the ITC kits at the Austin show four or five years ago - I was tempted, but by that time I'd
 already spent my budget for the show :-[ One thing I remember is that even for the scale, it wasn't that large
 a kit. I wonder if it could have taken a Shillelagh? ( Maybe in a cleft turret?)

Offline Jeffry Fontaine

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Re: T92 Light Tank
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2014, 05:29:22 AM »
I think I saw one of the ITC kits at the Austin show four or five years ago - I was tempted, but by that time I'd
 already spent my budget for the show :-[ One thing I remember is that even for the scale, it wasn't that large
 a kit. I wonder if it could have taken a Shillelagh? ( Maybe in a cleft turret?)
Firing the M13/MGM-51 Shillelagh was never an issue with the M551 Sheridan.  The problem with the M81 rifled 152mm gun and missile launch system on the M551 Sheridan was the horrible recoil from the conventional ammunition that was fired from the same tube.  The Shillelagh guided missile never required much powder/propellant to get through the launch process and out the muzzle.  It was kind of like a "cold launch process" used with many modern missile systems with just enough propellant to clear the muzzle of the gun tube at which time the rocket motor starts up and propels the missile at a velocity of 1,060 feet (320 m) per second.  This is evidenced in the few images showing the Shillelagh being fired/launched from the Sheridan and other vehicles equipped with this weapon system.  The conventional ammunition contained a much larger propelling charge which resulted in the front of the Sheridan lifting off the ground during firing this same violent action would also damage or otherwise cause the electronics for the Shillelagh to fail.  Any problems to be encountered in the T-92 would have been more of an ergonomics issue as the turret (cleft or normal) would not provide you with very much room to maneuver a large projectile shape within the confines of the turret.  The complete missile with propellant charge included was 44.0" (1.11 m) in length and just under 6.0" (152 mm) in diameter and the complete missile weighed approximately 60 lbs (27 kg).  The T-92 would be unable to carry a useful ammunition load to service targets and support the infantry during the fire and maneuver phase or in the defense against the opposition it was envisioned to face in a cold war conflict.  The html links within my comment will provide you with additional information on the Shillelagh if you are interested in learning more about this weapon. 
"Every day we hear about new studies 'revealing' what should have been obvious to sentient beings for generations; 'Research shows wolverines don't like to be teased" -- Jonah Goldberg

Offline Dr. YoKai

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Re: T92 Light Tank
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2014, 10:08:57 AM »
 Appreciate the links, Jeffry - I knew about the recoil effect of the cannon, but I'd never really considered the
 problem the Sheridan would have had with ammo storage, and its easy to see the T-92 would have had even
 less space.

Offline Rickshaw

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Re: T92 Light Tank
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2014, 04:43:06 PM »
In Australian trials with the Sheridan they were rather alarmed to see the Sheridan's not only lift but the entire vehicle move backwards a metre, with brakes hard on, when firing forwards.  They refused to fire it athwartships, fearing the entire vehicle would flip.   The Sheridan was seriously over gunned.  When the gun fired conventional ammunition it used to shake the missile optics out of alignment as well, in the early days, which meant the missile system couldn't be re-used.

On top of that, because the conventional rounds used a fully combustible cartridge case, made of cardboard, there were problems in the early days of the cases swelling from moisture, which meant they couldn't be loaded.  They were also prone to splitting and spilling powder inside the vehicle.  This was partly fixed by issuing the rounds in a large plastic sleeve, which the crews used to nickname "Elephant Condoms", which they had to strip just before loading.  There were also problems with the cartridge cases not being properly and completely consumed during firing, leaving essentially still burning fragments in the chamber and barrel, leading to the danger of premature detonations possibly even turret fires from the spilt powder, already mentioned..  That was cured by adding a compressed Nitrogen (initially) and later a compressed air scavenging system which basically blew all the still burning remnants out the barrel, after a round was fired, before the breech was opened.

There were trials with 76mm, 90mm and 105mm guns and howitzers in place of the 152mm gun/missile launcher but none were proceeded with beyond trial installations and the 152mm gun/missile system was persisted with.  When it worked properly, it was a good system but it was hard to maintain and use to that standard.  Most rounds fired out the gun were conventional, rather than missiles.  Even then, it had a remarkably short barrel life, measured in only 200 rounds because of the massive erosion the "key way" which was used to align the missile in the barrel suffered from the conventional rounds.

Offline Silver Fox

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Re: T92 Light Tank
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2014, 01:27:34 PM »
Fascinating about the Sheridan!

I've been an avid fan of David Drake's "Hammer's Slammers" series for decades and often wondered where he get the idea of scavenging the breech of his tanks with nitrogen after each firing... well now I know. His Vietnam experience included the Sheridan tank and he obviously knew enough about them to know of the system. :)

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: T92 Light Tank
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2014, 02:46:32 AM »
A good photo of the T-92:

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Offline Volkodav

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Re: T92 Light Tank
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2014, 07:30:14 AM »
Looking at the T-92 you have to wonder if it would have provided better service than the Sheridan.  Its conventional gun, two MG turrets and low profile all make sense and would have fit well with the ACRs.

Offline Rickshaw

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Re: T92 Light Tank
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2014, 09:31:28 AM »
Looking at the T-92 you have to wonder if it would have provided better service than the Sheridan.  Its conventional gun, two MG turrets and low profile all make sense and would have fit well with the ACRs.

But *GASP* it couldn't swim!  Mr. President, I believe we have an amphibious reconnaissance tank gap developing here...  ;D ;D

The PT-76 was what was aspired to.  Of course it was a bogeyman - the PT-76 had paper thin armour, it's engines overheated with prolonged swimming (the Indians had to tow theirs across the Ganges delta when invading East Pakistan in 1971) and it's gun couldn't penetrate very much but it COULD SWIM!

So the T92 which was about to enter service was dropped.  I think they should have kept the turret and just given it a new hull which could swim.

As it was, the amphibious capability of the Sheridan was dropped as it's weight increased during it's life so it really was all for nothing...


Offline Volkodav

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Re: T92 Light Tank
« Reply #15 on: May 14, 2014, 12:34:39 PM »
Rule of thumb, if it can swim an RPG, M-72 or Carl Gustav can kill it, easily.  A burst from a GPMG at the side or rear could ruin its day, waste of space time and money.  The amount of time and effort it took to do a swim ex with our M-113s made me wonder if it was worth the effort considering the compromise required for it to swim at all.  I think I would have preferred a lower profile, thicker armour and a decent sized gun in a turret that actually had a sight.  APCs were bad enough but a light tank, what a joke, they don't need to swim they need to fight and being able to swim compromises everything else.

Offline dy031101

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Re: T92 Light Tank
« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2014, 12:51:43 PM »
Why not just a turreted mobile gun or even ATGM launcher version of the AAV-7 if they want something that can swim and has a big gun?

At least AAV-7 would seem like the minimum size to actually have some protection in mind as far as a basis goes......
« Last Edit: May 14, 2014, 01:17:01 PM by dy031101 »
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Offline Volkodav

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Re: T92 Light Tank
« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2014, 01:02:28 PM »
Why not just a turreted mobile gun version of the AAV-7?

Why not indeed!