Olifant Mk1B is a South African MBT, armed with a 105mm gun and improving over the previous Mk1A with better armor and the same engine, though with improved horsepower. It is designed to face off against T-55s, T-62s, and T-72s, some of the most likely opponents in Africa. I am suggesting this for the British tree, as I feel like being a Commonwealth nation and being a Centurion variant, it would fit with the British tree. I also feel like the British could use more MBTs in the early tier 6 area that can use APFSDS, the only things before 9.7 capable of firing this type of round being the Chieftain Mk 10 and Sho't Kal Dalet.
The Centurion MBT was taken into South African service in 1957, with its priority being to assist the UK in a war in Africa or the Middle East. But, when South Africa left the Commonwealth in 1961, its focus shifted towards its own security. A number of these were sold to Switzerland in order to create funds for Mirage fighter aircraft, and many of the tanks left were used for training or exercises. In 1972, a number of Centurions were fitted with the transmission and engine of the M48 Patton, but ultimately proved unsuccessful, consuming too much fuel and their poor operational range. These were designated as the Skoikaan.
Following a military incursion into Angola in 1975, tanks came into doctrine of the military once more. There were large numbers of Soviet T-54s in FAPLA service, along with T-34s and PT-76s, and many of the Centurions needed refurbishment, still being armed with the 20-pounder gun. United Nations Security Council Resolution 418 established an arms embargo on South Africa in 1977, meaning South Africa had to buy Centurions from India and Jordan, but with no armament or turret, just the hulls. The Olifant Manufacturing Company refurbished existing Centurions, giving them the 29-litre Continental turbocharged diesel engine and transmission of the M60. On top of this, they were also fitted with the 105mm L7 gun, and these modified tanks were then designated Olifant Mk1A.
In 1991, the Olifant Mk1B was introduced. Unlike the Mk1A, the Mk1B is a complete redesign, with development beginning 10 years earlier at the start of production for the Mk1. It kept the engine of the Mk1A, but featured a new automatic transmission called AMTRA 3.
It kept the main gun, the 105mm GT3B, but featured a new thermal sleeve and fume extractor. The tank fires the same rounds as the previous Olifant, rounds such as the M456 HEAT-FS, as well as APFSDS rounds. One of the largest changes, however, is the armor, featuring passive composite armour packages over the frontal glacis plate and turret, with a gap between the original turret and the composite armor to act as spaced armor for protection against HEAT.
- Crew: 4
- Mass: 59 tons
- Height: 3.04 m
- Length: 8.30 m
- Length with gun forward: 10.2 m
- Width: 3.43 m
- Engine: Continental 29 litre turbo-charged air-cooled V12 diesel engine, 850 – 950 hp
- Maximum speed: 58 kph on road, 30 kph off road
- Range on road: 350 km
- Main armament: 105mm GT3B rifled gun, 68 rounds
- Secondary armament: 7.62mm Browning machine gun, 2,000 rounds
- 118mm (4.64in.) glacis @ 60 degrees + add-on armour package
- 152mm (6in.) turret + add-on ceramic armour package
- 51mm (2in.) sides
- 40mm (1.57in.) top
- 31mm (1.22in.) rear
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