|This page is about the medium tank M48A1 (China). For other versions, see M48 Patton (Family).|
- 1 Description
- 2 General info
- 3 Armaments
- 4 Usage in battles
- 5 History
- 6 Media
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
The ␗90 mm Gun Tank M48A1 Patton III , officially known as the M48A1戰車 and M48A3戰車* after engine refit, was the main composition of ROCA armored corps in 1970s until 1990s. As PLAGF and PLANMC have already acquired Type 59s for their armored brigades/divisions, ROCA saw the complications of their already obsolete fleet of US-built light tanks would be hopeless against the former; but this would be further hindered by the end of Mutual Aid Program with free aids, meaning any future equipment have to be purchased. By 1973, ROCA started to purchase M48A1 from US Army stocks under the Project Fire Bull (火牛專案) and has acquired 309 of them in 4 separated batches by 1980; due to the signature of Sino (Mainland China)-US treaties regarding to military sales to Nationalist Government, these tanks would be the main force until later purchase of M60A3TTS from US. Most M48A1s were then upgraded with new diesel engine with spare parts purchased from USA, while one of these tanks is experimented with a 105 mm M68 gun under the name Wancheng IV (萬乘四號) or M48A5; most of these tanks would be decommissioned by 1990s with the arrival of M60A3TTS and domestic rebuilt CM11 (M48H; based on M60A3TTS chassis and M48A5 turret), while 100 of these M48A1s would be modified with spare FCS from CM11 and refitted with M68A1 gun as the CM12. Due to the lack of spare parts from M48 series, these CM12 tanks were all in reserve until M1A2T eventually arrives in mid-2020s.
Introduced in Update 1.91 "Night Vision" alongside with the Chinese ground tech-tree, M48A1 performs identically to its US and Israeli counterparts with its huge profile while armed with a 90 mm cannon; while its huge size hinders its combat efficiency, with more advanced HEATFS and careful planning, players can still utilize M48A1 in a support role even at higher tier, while it will have no problem handling WWII tanks.
*ROCA refitted AVDS-1790-2DM from spare parts of US M48A3 tanks and enlarged the fuel tanks for their M48A1 fleet, thus naming M48A3 by ROCA
Survivability and armour
- Cast homogeneous armour (Hull, Turret)
- Rolled homogeneous armour (Rear - low, Roof)
|Armour||Front (Slope angle)||Sides||Rear||Roof|
|Hull|| 85-200 mm (59-74°) Front glacis
63-200 mm (13-60°) Lower glacis
| 76 mm (8-43°) Front
51 mm (0-43°) Rear
| 35 mm (26-32°) Top
25 mm (61-62°) Bottom
|Turret|| 127 mm (12-76°) Turret front
152 + 82 mm (17-26°) Gun mantlet
|69-100 mm (12-36°)||51-55 mm (2-71°)||25-69 mm|
|Cupola||70 mm||70 mm||70 mm||70 mm|
- Suspension wheels and tracks are 20 mm thick.
- Belly armour is 38 mm in the front and 25 mm in the rear.
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
Modifications and economy
|90 mm M41||Turret rotation speed (°/s)||Reloading rate (seconds)|
|Ammunition|| Type of
|Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)|
|10 m||100 m||500 m||1,000 m||1,500 m||2,000 m|
|Ammunition|| Type of
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
|Smoke shell characteristics|
| Screen radius
| Screen deploy
| Screen hold
| Explosive mass|
(TNT equivalent) (g)
|60||53 (+7)||42 (+18)||24 (+36)||17 (+43)||1 (+59)||No|
- Shells are modeled by sets of 2 and disappear from the rack after you've fired both shells in the set.
- Racks 4 and 5 are first stage ammo racks. They total 23 shells and get filled first when loading up the tank.
- These rack are also emptied early: the depletion order at full capacity is: 4 - 5 - 1 - 2 - 3.
- Simply not firing when the gun is loaded will move ammo from racks 1-3 into rack 5 then 4. Firing will interrupt the restocking of the ready rack.
|12.7 mm M2HB|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
|7.62 mm M73|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
Usage in battles
The M48A1 plays as a general medium tank, acting as a jack-of-all-trades in all of the tank's traits with average armour, firepower, and mobility.
The M48A1 front hull glacis and turret are the strong points of the tank and have the best chance on the tank to bounce off rounds. However, its lower glacis and side armour remain a significant weak point for the tank, so take extra caution when exposing those weak points.
One of the best ways to use this tank when a player does not have access to its HEATFS round is to refrain from using it as a brawler. This is because most of the shells that this tank has in its arsenal, do not have the ample firepower to eliminate most of the targets it faces at its BR. However, since the tank is incredibly mobile, it can be used as an excellent flanker. It can out-manoeuvre most of its medium tank rivals and expose their side armours.
Pros and cons
- Good firepower:
- Powerful HEATFS round, can generally penetrate everything it meets
- M82 APCBC shells have low penetration, but has good explosive mass
- .50 calibre machine gun is good for use against lightly-armoured vehicles and aircraft
- Has access to a rangefinder, allowing quick measuring of distances
- Decent armour:
- Good sloped frontal armour
- Strong hull roof armour of 57 mm
- Good gun mantlet, virtually immune to APHE rounds
- Good overall mobility
- Has neutral steering
- Armour can still be penetrated by the majority of the guns at this rank
- Large commander's cupola is a major weak spot, especially against APHE
- Turret roof is only 25 mm, can be penetrated by HMG armed aircraft
- Large profile
- Poor stock grind due to stock APCR round
- Gunner doesn't get access to NVD
Scavenging "Patton" from scrap
Due to the impact of the Vietnam War, the United States changed its military aid policy to Taiwan. The United States no longer provided its surplus armaments for free to the ROCA, and instead required the ROCA to purchase equipment in the form of military aid loans. As a result, the progress of the ROCA's upgrade to newer American-made equipment began to stagnate.
Major General Richard G. Ciccolella, Chief of the US Military Assistance Advisory Group, Taiwan, requested for free or low-cost access to military equipment from the US Asia-Pacific garrison under the US military's "Major Item Material Excess" (MIMEX) program and "Military Assistance Program Excess" (MAP EXCESS) program. Excess or discarded weapons and equipment could be handed over to the ROCA for them to repair and reacquire. The repair and reacquire program was formally implemented in 1968, and the ROCA called the plan a "Diligence" program. On the other hand, the ROCA had been responsible for the repairing of damaged equipment in the Vietnam War since 1967 as the US military elements stationed in Vietnam lacked the ability to overhaul tanks and other special purpose vehicles. Among these American equipment, the heavily damaged equipment that was too difficult to repair was recovered and acquired by the ROCA. This program is called the "Repair Assistance" program. These programs were the two main approaches for the ROCA to obtain American-made equipment at that time.
In 1973, the ROCA purchased 60 M48A1 "Patton" medium tanks from the United States in four batches through the program codenamed "Fire Bull". An additional 100 M48A1 tanks were purchased under the "Fire Bull I" program in late 1973. The first batch of 60 tanks is mainly equipped by the 711st Battalion, 1st Armored Brigade, and the additional 100 tanks purchased are spread across the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Armored Brigades. In 1977, the "Fire Bull II" project was implemented and 100 M48A1 tanks were purchased, these 100 tanks were equipped to the 51st Armored Brigade and the 64th Armored Brigade. Later in the same year, the last batch of 56 M48A2 tanks in US preserves were purchased. Before the purchase of M48A1 medium tanks, the ROCA was only equipped with a number of M41 light tanks, therefore these M48A1 medium tanks constituted the backbone of the ROCA's armoured forces.
(Fire Bull or "火牛", refers to a historical story of sneak raid that used bulls on fire as pioneer)
The ROCA upgrade project of M48
The Joint Logistics Command, ROCA launched a series of plans for self-developed tanks and armoured vehicles in 1975, codenamed the "Wan Sheng" project. The "Wan Sheng IV" prototype was built under such a background and, imitating the M48A5 medium tank introduced by the United States in 1973. The Army expected to improve the combat effectiveness of its M48 tanks up to the standard of the US M60A1 tank by upgrading the old M48A1 to M48A5 standard. Compared with the M48A1, the "Wan Sheng IV" prototype had enhanced equipment such as the M68 105 mm cannon, IR night vision optics, and an optical rangefinder, but retains the original hull structure without further modification. Therefore, the "Wan Sheng IV" prototype is not as capable as the standard M48A5 in terms of reliability, endurance and fire control system. Since the Army still hoped to purchase M60 medium tanks directly from the United States at the time, only one vehicle was modified under the "Wan Sheng IV" project and it never saw mass production.
In 1978, Mainland China and the United States issued the "China-US Announcement on Solving the Issue of US Arms Sale to Taiwan", while in the following year, Republic of China formally severed diplomatic relations with the United States and the Sino-US Mutual Defense Treaty also expired at the end of 1979. Therefore, Taiwan could no longer obtain new weapons from the United States in the close future.
In the meantime, the M48A1/A2 medium tanks equipped by the ROCA were very outdated and the Army was particularly dissatisfied with the M48's original AVSI-1790-6 gasoline engine, believing that its reliability and range could not meet the demand. As the result, the Army Ordnance Industry Development Center under the Joint Logistics Command purchased a batch of AV-1790-2DM diesel engines to upgrade the power components of the M48 in service. The ROCA designated these tanks as M48A3. However, this batch of tanks lacked the structural upgrade of the engine compartment like the standard M48A3. Not only did these tanks look different, their fire control systems and suspension systems were also inferior compared to the standard US M48A3 tanks. Therefore, the M48A3 tank modified by the ROCA is only a combination of the M48A1 and an upgraded power station.
(Wan Sheng or "萬乘", meaning "thousands of combat vehicles", is a Chinese allusion referring to a powerful army and therefore a strong nation)
CM11 and CM12
After the failed attempt by the ROCA to purchase M48A5 and "Magach 3" tanks from Spain, South Africa and Israel, the imitation and transformation project for a new tank was launched again in 1984. The ROCA's tank research and development center and General Dynamics jointly designed a second-generation main battle tank "Brave Tiger", designated as M48H (or CM11 later).
The "Brave Tiger" MBT is a hybrid of an enhanced M48 turret and a M60 chassis, equipped with a cutting-edge FCS that comes from the M1 Abrams. Therefore, "Brave Tiger" was designated as M48H (H for Hybrid). The Army Fighting Vehicle R&D Center purchased 450 M60 tank chassis for modification before the M60 production line ever shut down. The "Brave Tiger" tank began testing in 1988. It officially entered service in the ROCA on April 14th, 1990.
The Army Ordnance Industry Development Center transformed a total number of 550 turrets. After 450 M48H tanks were assembled on the CM11 "Brave Tiger", the remaining 100 turrets were assigned to the old M48A3 tanks. These upgraded M48A3 tanks are known as CM12 MBTs. The Army Ordnance Industry Development Center continued to carry out the transformation of the M48A3 tank, and a total of 250 CM12 tanks were produced.
After the Taiwan Strait Missile Crisis in 1996, in order to curb the CCP's attempt to invade Taiwan by force, the United States sold 450 M60A3 tanks to Republic of China. At present time, the armoured combat forces of the Republic of China Army are mainly equipped with CM11 "Brave Tiger" MBTs and M60A3 MBTs. Due to lack of reliability, most of the CM12 tanks are stored as reserve forces.
PLA's evaluation of captured ARVN M48A3
After North Vietnam and the Viet Cong defeated the Republic of Vietnam, the Vietnamese Defense Minister Võ Nguyên Giáp presented a personal gift of a batch of US-made weapons including M48A3 tanks and M113 APCs to Chinese Defense Minister Ye Jianying. After evaluating the M48A3 tank, the Armored Forces Technology Research Institute, which is responsible for the R&D of armoured vehicles in mainland China, believed that the M48A3 medium tank has many advantages over the Type 59 tank in service. With the advancement of the PRC's military industry, technical advantages of the M48A3 tank such as steering wheel control system, air-cooled engines, and hydraulic transmissions were rapidly absorbed by subsequently produced domestic tanks.
The captured ARVN M48A3 tank is currently on public display in the Family Courtyard No. 4, Huaishuling, Fengtai District, Beijing.
- Related development
Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:
- topic on the official game forum;
- other literature.
|M60||M60 · M60A1 (AOS) · M60A2 · M60A1 RISE (P) · M60A3 TTS|
|M1||XM-1 (Chrysler) · M1 Abrams|
|M48||M48A2 C · M48A2 G A2 · ␗M48A1 · Magach 1 · Magach 2|
|M60||␗M60A3 TTS · M60A1 "D.C.Ariete" ·|
|Note||Chrysler Defense was purchased by General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) in 1982.|
|China medium tanks|
|Type 59 · ZTZ59A · ZTZ59D1|
|Type 69 · Type 69-IIa · T-69 II G|
|ZTZ88A · ZTZ88B|
|ZTZ96 · ZTZ96A · ZTZ96A (P)|
|ZTZ99-II · ZTZ99-III|
|ZTZ99A · WZ1001(E) LCT|
|Other||Т-34-85 Gai · Object 122MT "MC"|
|Japan||␗Chi-Ha · ␗Chi-Ha Kai|
|USA||␗M4A4 · ␗M4A4 (1st PTG) · ␗M4A1 (75) W · ␗M48A1 · ␗M60A3 TTS|
|USSR||␗T-34 (1943) · ␗Т-34-85 (S-53) · T-34-85 No.215 · Т-62 №545|