Top 7 Best Light Tanks in the World

Leading nations around the globe are actively developing prototypes of light tanks.

17/08/2023 - 19:49

In the aftermath of the Second World War, there was a notable shift in the armament strategies of many nations. Light tanks were phased out of the standard equipment of most states. However, there has been a growing emphasis on reviving this category of weaponry in recent times., citing, presents an overview of the seven finest light tanks worldwide.

The Griffin Light Tank (USA)

In 2016, the American defense industry company General Dynamics unveiled the Griffin Light Tank, weighing in at 28 tons. It featured a 120mm XM360 gun, along with two M2 Browning machine guns and a 7.62mm M240. Subsequently, a version known as the Griffin II with a smaller caliber gun was developed, followed by a third iteration in 2018, where the introduction of a 50mm (XM913) gun reduced its weight.

Furthermore, the capacity to transport up to 6 infantry soldiers was incorporated. The Griffin is also equipped with the Iron Fist active protection system and the Switchblade drone defense complex. In 2022, the Griffin II Light Tanks were adopted by the United States military, with around 100 units ordered for the Marine Corps.

The "Sprut-SD" Tank (Russia)

Although classified as a light tank, the Russian "Sprut-SD" is essentially a self-propelled anti-tank gun mounted on a tracked chassis similar to the French AMX-10RC. Designed for the Airborne Troops, it can also serve as an amphibious vehicle. Production commenced in 2001, and today, 24 units of this armored vehicle are in service.

The "Sprut-SD" weighs 20 tons, with a length of 7 meters and a width of 3.15 meters. Its 510 hp diesel engine can reach speeds of 70 km/h on roads and 10 km/h on water. Armed with a 125mm ZA75 smoothbore gun and a paired 7.62mm machine gun, it accommodates a crew of three.

The Type 15 Tank (China)

In 2018, the first Type 15 Light Tank entered service with the People's Liberation Army Marine Corps of China. China led the way in producing such armored vehicles on a large scale. The tank's lightweight design allows it to be transported by air cushion landing craft aboard larger naval vessels. The Type 15 has a substantial weight of 33 tons, features a 105mm rifled automatic gun, and can reach speeds of 70 km/h.

The Kaplan MT Light Tank (Turkey)

Developed jointly by Turkey and Indonesia, the tank's production began in 2017 under the name Harimau for the Indonesian Armed Forces. The armored vehicle has a body length of 6.95 meters, a width of 3.36 meters, and a weight of 35 tons. It is equipped with a 105mm Cockerill rifled gun and a paired 7.62mm machine gun. Its crew consists of three personnel. Additionally, it is fitted with the active PULAT protection system, capable of defending against anti-tank guided missiles.

The K21-105 Light Tank (South Korea)

The light tank in service with the South Korean Army is based on the K21 infantry fighting vehicle, which has been in production since 2009. In 2014, South Korean defense companies CMI Defence and Doosan DST began production of the K21-105 Light Tank, armed with a 105mm gun and weighing 25 tons. Its primary role is to support infantry against both light and heavily armored vehicles.

The South Korean tank's armor, comprising ceramic and reinforced glass fiber, can withstand 30mm rounds from BMPs and endure hits from 155mm high-explosive fragmentation projectiles. The tank's gun is laser-guided up to 5 kilometers and can penetrate dynamic armor up to 550mm. Two machine guns are mounted on the tank: a paired 7.62mm machine gun and a roof-mounted 12.7mm machine gun.

The LC-08 Anders Light Tank (Poland)

Development of the "Anders" combat platform began in Poland in 2008, resulting in the creation of the infantry fighting vehicle and the LC-08 Anders Light Tank. This tank was showcased in 2010 at the MSPO exhibition in Kielce. The Polish light tank weighs 35 tons, has a length of 6.9 meters, and a width of 3.2 meters. It is equipped with a 120mm Ruag CTG gun, a 7.62mm UKM-2000C machine gun with a remote-controlled turret. The tank can achieve speeds of up to 80 km/h.

The ASCOD 2 Sabrah Light Tank (Israel)

Israel also embarked on the development of domestically designed light tanks. In 2020, Elbit Systems began work on the ASCOD 2 Sabrah tank, utilizing the tracked AFV ASCOD platform from American company General Dynamics. This tank is exclusively produced for export and is not part of the Israeli military's inventory.

A portion of the Israeli tanks was procured by the Armed Forces of the Philippines in 2022. Presently, this armored vehicle is solely in the service of that nation.

The Israeli tank weighs 30 tons and can reach speeds of up to 72 km/h. It is armed with a 105mm Elbit Systems Land rifled gun and a 7.62mm FN MAG machine gun.



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