News — 2 years ago

How Does A Military Tank Work? We Explain

by Andy A.

Military Tank, How Does a Tank Work

How Does A Military Tank Work?

A military tank is an armored vehicle. The tank is designed for front-line combat. It is a fighting vehicle used for defense and offense with heavy firepower, strong armor, tracks and a powerful engine, to maneuver on the battlefield. Tanks were named from a diversionary tactic by the Allied forces.

Everyone's seen movies that feature tanks, like Saving Private Ryan or Fury. And we've all wondered how a tank works.  Does it run on normal fuel? Does it have features that a car does? What kind of experience would you need? - and more. Here are some of the features that give us an idea about how a tank works.

1. Engine.

Tanks have a massive engine. The M1 tank uses a 1,500 horsepower gas turbine engine to manoeuver with high mobility. These engines provide a lot of power without making the vehicle heavier. The light turbine lets the tank move faster. It can accelerate from 0 to 20 miles an hour in 7.2 seconds. It can also travel 30 miles per hour cross country. The tank uses a lot of fuel. It uses a gallon for less than a mile.

2. The gears.

Tanks do have gears. One of the most deployed tanks in the last two decades has been the M1 Abrams. It is a six-speed which is broken down into four forward and two reverse gear. The tanks are driven on uneven terrain and difficult terrains like mud, desert sands and jungles. So, it makes it easier to be able to shift between gears.

military tank

3. Armour

A popular tank, M1A1 is composed of steel plates that are in between a thicker protective material or rolled homogenous armor. The core of the armor is a Chobham armor, which is an arrangement of metal plates, ceramic blocks and open space. The ceramic material can absorb a lot of heat and withstand heavy blows. Tanks can avoid attacks by hiding from the enemy and using its two turret-mounted grenade discharger that launches smoke grenades in all directions.

4. Steering the tank

All tanks do have a steering mechanism.  It enables the driver to turn left and right. Each tank has a different steering mechanism. The Tiger I, a German made tank was one of the first tanks to have a steering wheel that sort of resembled a car steering. Other tanks like the Sherman tanks built by Americans used two stick to steer or maneuver. One stick would control the left tracks and the others one would control the left. In recent years, the M1A2 has a more simplified steer control. It comes with a complex auto-transmitter with a fly-by-wire joystick.

5. Space in the tank and the crew.

The M1 Tank is designed to fit a four-person crew. The section in front of the hull accommodates the driver, which is also directly under the main gun. The driver has to lean back in a reclining position to fit into such a confined space. It is said to be a very comfortable position. The commander oversees the operations in the tank and communicates with the rest of the tank commanders. The gunner's task is to identify enemy vehicles and bunkers. The gunner can fire the main gun. The loader pulls out rounds from the ammunition compartment and loads them into the main gun. The commander and loader may operate two machine guns loaded on the top of the tank.

6. Navigation.

The driver navigates by using three periscopes called vision blocks. A night vision sensor is activated in the night on one of the periscopes. The tank also has a digital instrument panel, which provides navigational data and information about the speed, fluid level and how the engine is performing.

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