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High Survivability Test Vehicle — Lightweight
General characteristics
3 peopleCrew
88 %Visibility
front / side / backArmour
0 / 19 / 25Hull
25 / 25 / 25Turret
20.5 tWeight
1240 hp650 hpEngine power
60.5 hp/t31.7 hp/tPower-to-weight ratio
93 km/h forward
18 km/h back
84 km/h forward
16 km/h back
75 mm XM274 cannonMain weapon
26 roundsAmmunition
6 roundsFirst-order
1.5 sReload
-17° / 45°Vertical guidance
1600 roundsAmmunition
8 / 10.4 sReload
200 roundsBelt capacity
750 shots/minFire rate
1600 roundsAmmunition
8 / 10.4 sReload
200 roundsBelt capacity
750 shots/minFire rate
390000 Rp icon.pngResearch
1020000 Sl icon.pngPurchase
Sl icon.png3880 / 6180/5000 / 7965/2620 / 4173Repair
290000 Sl icon.pngCrew training
1020000 Sl icon.pngExperts
2100 Ge icon.pngAces
232 % Rp icon.pngReward for battle
130 % Sl icon.png130 % Sl icon.png110 % Sl icon.png


GarageImage HSTV-L.jpg

The High Survivability Test Vehicle — Lightweight is a rank VII American light tank with a battle rating of 9.7 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update "Starfighters".

General info

Survivability and armour

Armour Front (Slope angle) Sides Rear Roof
Hull 38 mm (80°) 19 mm Top
38.1 mm Bottom
25.4 mm 5 - 19 mm
Turret 25.4 mm Turret front
25.4 mm Gun mantlet
25.4 mm 25.4 mm 25.4 mm
Cupola 25.4 mm 25.4 mm 25.4 mm 25.4 mm

The HSTV-L is a very lightly-armoured vehicle. The HSTV-L also has hull break, if any "solid" module were to get hit (e.g. gun breech or engine/transmission) the vehicle will be hull broken. Depending on where you get shot you might lose 1 crew member but you will still be alive. If you get shot on the left side of the vehicle from the front, the chances of your ammo rack detonating greatly increases. Best case scenario for this vehicle is to not get hit in the first place.


Game Mode Max Speed (km/h) Weight (tons) Engine power (horsepower) Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)
Forward Reverse Stock Upgraded Stock Upgraded
Arcade 93 18 20.5 1,007 1240 49.12 60.49
Realistic 84 16 575 650 28.05 31.71

The HSTV-L has a very good power-to-weight ratio making the vehicle decently fast. The vehicle utilizes a 648 HP gas turbine engine. The HSTV-L is very manoeuvrable due to the gas turbine engine and can get to flanking spots early in the game.


Main armament

Main article: XM274 (75 mm)
75 mm XM274 Turret rotation speed (°/s) Reloading rate (seconds)
Mode Capacity Vertical Horizontal Stabilizer Stock Upgraded Full Expert Aced Stock Full Expert Aced
Arcade 26 -17°/+45° ±180° Two-plane 54.3 75.1 91.2 100.9 107.3 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5
Realistic 33.9 39.9 48.5 53.6 57.0


Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
10 m 100 m 500 m 1,000 m 1,500 m 2,000 m
XM885 APFSDS 276 269 262 252 243 234
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
Mass (kg)
Fuse delay
Fuse sensitivity
Explosive Mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
0% 50% 100%
XM885 APFSDS 1,463 2.2 N/A N/A N/A 78° 80° 81°

Ammo racks

rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
rack empty
26 __ (+__) __ (+__) __ (+__) __ (+__) __ (+__) __ (+__) __

Machine guns

Main article: M240 (7.62 mm)

The HSTV-L has 2 M240 machine guns. One is fixed to the gun mantlet and the other is mounted on the Commander's cupola. These machine guns can be used to mark enemies for your allies and can also be used to shoot down some lighter aircraft, but be careful as shooting them will give away your location and can result in them strafing and destroying your vehicle.

7.62 mm M240
Mount Capacity (Belt) Fire rate Vertical Horizontal
Coaxial 1,600 (200) 750 N/A N/A
Pintle 1,600 (200) 750 __° 190°

Usage in battles

The HSTV-L is a light tank with a quick ready-rack reload, making it adept at dealing with multiple enemies in ambush situations. It can achieve a very good top speed thanks to its light weight and has a similarly good turning ability. With this mobility (which is on par with that of top MBTs), the HSTV-L can achieve desirable early-game positions and move quickly around the map when necessary.

Like most light tanks, this vehicle is lacking in the protection department. It has thin armour in all directions, which is not backed up by any spaced or composite protection, and is susceptible to hull-break. In some situations, the armour may be thin enough that kinetic rounds overpenetrate and pass straight through the vehicle without causing much damage. The highly-angled armour can also sometimes bounce shots. In most cases though, the HSTV-L cannot be counted on to sustain heavy fire.

This tank is fairly unique in that it is equipped with an autoloader with a 6-round ready-rack. This means that the first 6 shots fired from the HSTV-L can come in very rapid succession--the reload time for these shells is a mere 1.5 seconds. After these first rounds, the ready-rack is empty and the reload time increases dramatically. The player must take this into account when deciding which enemies to engage. The HSTV-L can pull off short bursts of high firepower, but needs time to replenish its ready-rack. The shell itself, an APFSDS round, is decent, but may have trouble penetrating the frontal armour of top MBTs. This combined with the vehicle's poor armour means that head-on attacks are rarely advisable.

The HSTV-L is better suited to firing at enemies without their noticing--from ambush positions, from the flanks, and from behind corners. The vehicle's great mobility will aid with this playstyle. Indeed, its mobility is what makes the HSTV-L great on urban maps. Furthermore, in ambush situations the tank is able to easily deal with multiple enemies thanks to its fast ready-rack reload. This tank has a 45 degree gun elevation and a 17 degree gun depression. This gun depression is extremely powerful, and makes the vehicle very effective at hill camping and at firing from behind ridgelines. A thermal sight in both gunner and commander/binocular views makes the HSTV-L a great scouting vehicle. It is recommended to use the vehicle's high mobility to aid in scouting enemies for teammates to locate and destroy.


Tier Mobility Protection Firepower
I Tracks Parts Horizontal Drive
II Suspension Brake System FPE Adjustment of Fire Airstrike
III Filters Crew Replenishment Elevation Mechanism Laser rangefinder Smoke grenade
IV Transmission Engine Artillery Support Improved optics NVD

Pros and cons


  • The cannon has a very good ROF with a 1.5s reload
  • Due to its light armour, some kinetic rounds may over penetrate, leaving it untouched
  • Excellent urban fighting vehicle as in up-tiers, side shots are much more effective
  • Internal 30 mm armour can help protect crew
  • Thermal sight for both gunner and commander = Great scouting vehicle
  • Up to 45° elevation and -17° depression.
  • Very good gun handling


  • As with all light vehicles, it is susceptible to the "Hull Break" mechanic
  • Commander's cupola can be penetrated by heavy machine gun fire
  • Limited ammo, at only 26 rounds
  • Extremely poor ammo selection; can only fire APFSDS
  • APFSDS round has problems penetrating frontal armour of later MBTs
  • The APFSDS shell is designated as short-rod, causing minimum damage after penetration
  • The cannon has relatively low penetration
  • Average mobility even with 32hp/t and low ground pressure


Describe the history of the creation and combat usage of the vehicle in more detail than in the introduction. If the historical reference turns out to be too long, take it to a separate article, taking a link to the article about the vehicle and adding a block "/History" (example: https://wiki.warthunder.com/(Vehicle-name)/History) and add a link to it here using the main template. Be sure to reference text and sources by using <ref></ref>, as well as adding them at the end of the article with <references />. This section may also include the vehicle's dev blog entry (if applicable) and the in-game encyclopedia description (under === In-game description ===, also if applicable).



See also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the series of the vehicles;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.

External links

USA light tanks
  M8 · M22 · T18E2
LVT  LVT(A)(1) · LVT(A)(4)
M2  M2A2 · M2A4 · M2A4 (1st Arm.Div.)
Stuart  M3 Stuart · M3A1 Stuart · M3A1 (USMC) · M5A1 · M5A1 (5th arm.div.)
M24  M24 · M24 (TL)
Post-war  M41A1 · T92 · M551 · M3 Bradley · HSTV-L