The Rapid Deployment/Light Tank was developed by AAI Corporation to meet a specification requested by the US Army in 1980. The first RDF/LT shown in the brochure was fitted with a high velocity 76mm cannon similar to the one fitted to the M-41 Walker Bulldog. The nexts version was fitted with an AAI developed cannon that fired caseless telescoping 75mm rounds that could be fired in burst and had an extreme elevation for engaging slow moving aircraft or helicopters. AAI claimed that 75mm cannon could defeat modern main battle tanks by hitting them with a five round burst in the same area of the armor. Three versions of the RDF/LT with the ultra modern full auto 75mm cannon were developed. The first two color photo shows the first model. It had a crew of three with one in the hull and two in the turret. The second version had only a crew of two with both in the hull and the turret unmanned. The last version was a combined antiarmor and antiair fitted with two pods that carried four Stinger missiles each. The RDF/LT was never seriously considered by the US Army because they wanted any so called "light tank" to mount the same cannon as was fitted to most modern main battle tanks.
The hull of the RDF/LT is made of all-welded aluminium armour with the driver sitting at the front of the hull on the left and the commander/gunner to his right. Both crew members have a single piece hatch cover that opens outwards and has three integrated periscopes. Between the driver and commander/gunner, in the upper part of the glacis plate, is the hull-mounted auxiliary sight. The main armament consists of a 75 mm ARES cannon mounted in the centre of the hull behind the crew. The 75 mm ARES cannon is fed from an automatic magazine holding 60 rounds of APFSDS and multi-purpose ammunition and when used for indirect fire has a maximum range of 12000 m. The 75 mm APFSDS-T round is designated the XM885 and has armour penetration characteristics equivalent to the 105 mm APFSDS M774. The HE round is designated the XM884. To the right of the main armament there is a coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun. Mounted above and behind the main armament is the stabilised rotary head which is the primary sight. The main armament is fully stabilised and the fire control system includes a digital computer. The fire control system is similar to that of the HSTV(L). The engine and transmission are mounted at the rear of the hull and the complete powerpack is on extensible rails to facilitate maintenance in the field. The torsion bar suspension consists of five dual rubber-tyred road wheels with a drive sprocket at the rear, idler at the front and one return roller. Applique steel armour can be fitted to the RDF/LT for increased protection.