After The Storm. Iraqi Wrecks And Fortifications by Eric Micheletti

By Eric Micheletti

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None of these programs progressed beyond testing, as the 75mm gun had insufficient lethality against Soviet tanks while at the same time not having adequate high-explosive firepower for use against other targets. The Iranian embassy hostage crisis of the late 1970s prompted both the US Army and USMC to consider their future armored vehicle requirements for a Rapid Deployment Force (RDF) that was specifically configured for rapid insertion into hotspots around the globe, combining both armored firepower and a light logistical footprint.

This program was very shortlived and was cancelled in April 1985 after a study concluded that the Army lacked sufficient spare parts and that the cost would be too high to win Congressional support. After this setback, the Army restarted the light tank project under yet another name, XM4 Armored Gun System (AGS). Private industry proposed vehicles for this requirement, including the AAI RDF Light Tank, CadillacGage’s Stingray export tank, Teledyne-Continental’s TCM-20 AGS, and FMC Corp’s Close Combat Vehicle – Light (CCVL).

The Iranian embassy hostage crisis of the late 1970s prompted both the US Army and USMC to consider their future armored vehicle requirements for a Rapid Deployment Force (RDF) that was specifically configured for rapid insertion into hotspots around the globe, combining both armored firepower and a light logistical footprint. This deployment brief implied a light tank, and the Marine requirement was dubbed the Mobile Protected Weapon System (MPWS). qxd:NVG153 26/11/08 11:35 Page 45 105mm tank gun to the surplus Sheridan fleet, and a Sheridan was rebuilt by the Naval Surface Weapons Center Laboratory in Dahlgren, Virginia, in 1983 to test the concept; the program never received enough support to reach the production stage.

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