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T95E8 DELTA: US Army’s Experimental Dart

warthunder 5 - T95E8 DELTA: US Army's Experimental Dart

After the cancellation of the T95 project and the acceptance of the M60, the remaining T95s were regulated to support the development of future tank technologies from automotive power packs to hydropneumatic suspension to advanced missile and projectile development. One part of the T95's history was that of the T95E8 DELTA in supporting the development of 120mm APFSDS projectiles.

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T95E8 DELTA was a T95E8 registration number 9B1052 hull mounting a modified
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T95E7 turret armed with the new (as of 1962-1965)
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120mm DELTA gun. Weighing at 2856 lb, it was similar to the
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T254 which would later be the M68 when standardized. It was lighter than the comparable 90mm T208 found on the T95/T95E1 (3282 lb), the 105mm T210 found on the T95E4 (4456 lb), and the "lightweight" 120mm T123E1 found on the T95E6 (4551 lb). If the T254 was stabilized on the T95E7, the 120mm DELTA may have also been stabilized. It uses a rotating chamber breech firing combustible case ammunition similar to the XM81 found on the M551 and M60A2. Considering the 120mm DELTA to be similar to the preceding T210 (in projectile) and XM81 (in propellant and breech design) I would guess the fire rate to be 5, optimistically 6 rounds per minute.

At the time of the DELTA program, the T95E8 was equipped with 12V71T diesel engine outputting 570 hp (10 hp more than the AOI-1195) at 2300 rpm, although in testing it was governed to 2400 rpm (more output?). Originially paried with the
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XTG-410 (Hunnicutt may have misread the image caption) in 1959-1960, the T95E8s were modified to the XTG-411-3 or
TM 9 2520 234 35 - T95E8 DELTA: US Army's Experimental DartXTG-411-4 transmission with 4 forward and 2 reverse gears. Steering was clutch brake in first reverse and first, and geared elsewhere (no pivot steering in neutral). The T95E8 had a maximum speed of 35 mph forward and 8 mph in reverse (using the XTG-411-4). Post 1961, the T95E8s were equipped with the improved
T127 24 in wide tracks from the 21 in wide T114. With the slight increase in engine power, improved transmission, wider tracks (lower ground pressure), and lighter armament, the T95E8 perhaps saw a marked improvement in maneuverability in comparison to the preceding T95s (actual weight figure not known).

The armor is nearly identical to the T95E7, only that the
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gun shield has been
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modified to fit the 120mm and the shield cap has been removed.

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The biggest enigma is the gun. With many documents not available online, I have to talk about its direct predecessor first, the 105mm T210. What little data will come from
903789 - T95E8 DELTA: US Army's Experimental Darthere. The goal of the T210 was to penetrate 6 in @60 degrees obliquity at 2000 yards. It was a 105mm with a 40mm tungsten carbide core. There were 7 slightly different variants of ammo tested: T346E17, T346E17 Mod 1 through 5, and a final Mod 8 in 1961. In testing, the ammo was "capable of penetrating more than 5 inches of armor plate at 60 degrees obliquity at a range of 2000 yards or 6 inches at 60 degrees at ranges up to 500 yards." However, the T346E17 Mod 4 had "an inability to obtain a complete penetration" "against 6-inch plate at a range of 2000 yards". With the end of the T95 program, APFSDS development moved from the 105mm T210 and into the 120mm DELTA. The biggest difference between the two were the earlier ARROW pull sabot and the DELTA push sabot. The 120mm DELTA was a 120mm with the same 40mm core, but based on
this it seems to have a
Tank Ammo Sec 107 JUN 1980 Fig1 - T95E8 DELTA: US Army's Experimental Dart
60mm body.

The 120mm DELTA saw 13 different projectiles, Mod 6 and 7 of the earlier ARROW type and Mod 9 through 20 of the DELTA type. Hunnicutt quotes a 17.6 lb projectile weight (including sabot) and a 5300 f/s muzzle velocity, however it is not know which Model that would apply to. Directly from the text: "Protection ballistic limits of 5169 and 5175 fps for 6-inch, 60 degree, rolled homogeneous armor were determined for Delta shot, Mod 9 and 10, respectively. A PBL of 4750 fps for the Delta Mod 9 shot was determined against a modified medium tripte tripartite armor. However, the Mod 10 could not effect a complete penetration of this target. Loss of fins because of setback loads prevented the Mod 9 shot from obtaining a PBL against the heavy triple tripartite armor target." Range isn't stated, but it helps determine the ballistic capabilities of the ammo.

With a bit of number guessing and pixel estimation, I got ~180mm of penetration at 10m @60 degrees using the Odermatt calculater, but it's just an estimate. Real data would come from the Picatinny Arsenal Technical Report 4605, titled "Penetration Results for 105mm and 120mm APFSDS Delta Projectiles" by Richard P. Davitt, 1974, but I don't have access to that. Other data would include:

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"Development of Shot, 120/40-mm, APFSDS Model 6 and 7" Aberdeen Proving Ground Report No. DPS-472 (confidential report)

"Research Test of Shot, APFSDS, Delta, Models 11 and 12 (Armor Penetration Phase)" Aberdeen Proving Ground Report No. DPS-1109 (secret report)

"Research Test of 120-mm Delta System (with Prototype Gun)" Aberdeen Proving Ground, Report No. DPS-1326 (secret report)

"First Report on Ammunition Development for the US/FRG Main Battle Tank – Feasibility Study of the 120mm Delta Shot" Picatinny Arsenal Technical Report 3249 (secret report)

WHY I WANT IT IN GAME I love prototypes, and I think this is a cool one. Not everyone may agree, but I'd like a bit of variation in the tech tree. While the T95E4, T95E6, T95E7 are also cool, those vehicles were never completed so I chose this one. I think it would fit right after the T95E1 at 8.7 if it had 6 rpm and a stabilizer, 8.3 if 5 rpm or no stabilizer. There is also an argument for a premium as it is a one off prototype like the Leopard 1/L44, but I'd rather have it in the tech tree.

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