Missile Tank

Category: Term of the day

Merkava main battle tank fires a missile

A missile tank is an armoured fighting vehicle fulfilling the role of a main battle tank, but using only guided missiles for main armament. Several nations have experimented with prototypes, notably the Soviet Union during the tenure of Nikita Khrushchev (projects Obiekt 167, Obiekt 137Ml, Obiekt 155Ml), but only the West German Jaguar 2 saw service as a standard vehicle, although the Soviet IT-1 missile tank also saw limited service.

The term is sometimes applied more loosely to conventional main battle tanks which are capable of launching anti-tank guided missiles, to supplement their main gun for very long-range fire. Examples of these are the U.S.-German prototype MBT-70, the defunct U.S. M551 Sheridan and French AMX-13, and several Soviet, Russian, and Ukrainian tanks: T-64, T-72, T-80, -80U, T-80UD, T-84, BM Oplot, and T-90. The Israeli Merkava main battle tank is believed to have a missile fire and guidance capability.

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