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The Centurion wis the primary Breetish main battle tank o the post-Warld War II period. Introduced in 1945, it is widely considered tae be ane o the maist successfu post-war tank designs, remainin in production intae the 1960s, an seein combat in the front lines intae the 1980s. The chassis wis an aw adapted for several ither roles, an thir hae remained in service tae this day.

Centurion
Centurion cfb borden 1.JPG
Centurion Mk3
Teep Main battle tank
Place o oreegin United Kingdom
Service history
In service 1946–present (derivatives still in service)
Wars Korean War
Suez Crisis
Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
Six-Day War
Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
War of Attrition
Yom Kippur War
Vietnam War
South African Border War
Operation Motorman (AVRE)
Falklands War (BARV)
Gulf War (AVRE)
Production history
Unit cost £35,000 (1950), £38,000 (1952)[1]
No. biggit 4,423[2]
Specifications
Wecht 51 long tons (52 t)
Lenth Hull: 25 ft (7.6 m)
Overall: 32 ft (9.8 m) with 20pdr
Weenth 11 ft 1 in (3.38 m) with side plates
Hicht 9 ft 10.5 in (3.01 m)
Crew 4 (commander, gunner, loader, driver)

Airmour 51–152 mm
Main
airmament
105 mm L7 rifled gun
20 pdr (84mm) rifled gun
17 pdr (76.2mm) rifled gun
Seicontar
airmament
Co-axial .30 cal Browning machine gun
Ingine Rolls-Royce Meteor; 5-speed Merrit-Brown Z51R Mk. F gearbox
650 hp (480 kW)
Pouer/wecht 13 hp/t (9.2 kW/t)
Suspension Horstmann suspension
Grund clearance 1 ft 8 in (50.8 cm)
Operational
range
50 miles (80 km) Mk 2/Mk 3[3]
Speed 22 mph (35 km/h)

Development o the Centurion began in 1943 wi manufacture beginnin in Januar 1945. Six prototypes arrived in Belgium less nor a month efter the war in Europe ended in May 1945.[4] It first entered combat wi the Breetish Airmy in the Korean War in 1950, in support o the UN forces. The Centurion later served in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, whaur it focht against US-supplied M47 an M48 Patton tanks an it served wi the Royal Australian Armoured Corps in Vietnam.

Israel uised Centurions in the 1967 Six-Day War, 1973 Yom Kippur War, an during the 1978 an 1982 invasions of Lebanon. Centurions modified as armoured personnel carriers war uised in Gaza, the West Bank an on the Lebanese border. The Royal Jordanian Land Force uised Centurions, first in 1970 tae fend off a Syrian incursion within its borders during the Black September events an later in the Golan Heights in 1973. South Africa deployed its Centurions in Angola during the South African Border War.[5]

It became ane o the maist widely uised tank designs, equipping armies aroond the warld, wi some still in service until the 1990s.[6] As recently as the 2006 Israel–Lebanon conflict the Israel Defense Forces employed heavily modified Centurions as armoured personnel carriers an combat engineering vehicles. The South African National Defence Force still employs ower 200 Centurions, which war modernised in the 1980s an 2000s as the Olifant.

Between 1946 an 1962, 4,423 Centurions war produced,[7] consisting of 13 basic marks an numerous variants. In Breetish Airmy uise it wis replaced bi the Chieftain.

ReferencesEedit

  1. Emrys, Hughes. "Mr". millbanksystems. millbanksystems. Archived frae the oreeginal on 17 June 2016. Retrieved 21 May 2016. 
  2. "Centurion (A41) - Main Battle Tank - History, Specs and Pictures - Military Tanks, Vehicles and Artillery". Archived frae the oreeginal on 28 November 2014. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  3. Simon Dunstan, "Centurion Universal Tank 1943–2003" Archived 27 Februar 2015[Date mismatch] at the Wayback Machine., Osprey Publishing, 2003, p. 5, 14.
  4. Dunstan & Sarson, Centurion, p. 8
  5. Scholtz, Leopold (2013). The SADF in the Border War 1966–1989. Cape Town: Tafelberg. ISBN 978-0-624-05410-8. 
  6. Antill, P. (23 February 2001). "Centurion tank". historyofwar.org. Archived frae the oreeginal on 6 February 2012. Retrieved 23 October 2011. 
  7. Dunstan & Sarson, Centurion, p. 22