MARS 15

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fr_mars_15.png
GarageImage MARS 15.jpg
MARS 15
AB RB SB
8.3 8.3 8.3
Class:
Research:135 000 Specs-Card-Exp.png
Purchase:380 000 Specs-Card-Lion.png
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Description

The MARS 15 is a French light tank prototype that was designed and built by Creusot-Loire Industrie with the support of Renk, SAM, Valeo, and Baudouin cooperations between the 1980s and 1992. It was originally intended for export to replace the now-obsolete AMX-13 light tanks, one of the best-selling tank series in the world with 35 client nations between 1953 and 1985, and forty years of service and remarkable success in France and abroad due to their simplicity and versatility. The MARS 15 was originally shown at the Satory 90 exhibition and then again at Eurosatory in 1992, with an upgraded variant for the final time. However, the MARS 15 failed to meet expectations and was never mass-produced on a large scale, despite having several advantages, such as modularity, and failed to gain international popularity, much like the AMX-40 main battle tank. As a result, the project was eventually cancelled.

Introduced in Update "Ixwa Strike", the MARS 15 is an excellent scouting vehicle. Given its high mobility and low profile, it is easy to flank and scout the opponent for your allies. Close-quarters engagements are not encouraged, as the inadequate armour does not provide sufficient protection against other vehicles. An effective way to play MARS 15 is to focus on flanking the adversary and engaging the enemy from flanking positions on the sides. If players find themselves in a dangerous situation, the MARS 15 carries four smoke grenades that can provide an effective means of evading danger and repositioning.

General info

Survivability and armour

Smoke grenades
Creation of a smoke screen in front of the vehicle
Armourfront / side / back
Hull15 / 10 / 10
Turret12 / 10 / 10
Crew3 people
Visibility88 %
MARS 15 Armour Heatmap

At first sight, the MARS 15 might look like it lacks any real armour, with its pitiful 11 mm thick top glacis armour. However, these 11 mm are quite adequate at stopping rounds from autocannons and small-calibre rounds, thanks to the glacis' steep angle of 80°. This is overall boosted by the internal plate that separates the crew compartment and the front of the tank. As an added protection, the transmission, engine block and the radiator are placed in front of the tank, which help with stopping HEAT rounds.

However, all of this added protection won't help the tank survive an APFSDS round as most of the time it will have no problems penetrating the front of the tank and due to the crew placement and because only 3 crew members are inside of the vehicle, most APFSDS rounds will destroy the tank with a single hit. A major weak spot is the left part of the driver's optics. A shot trough these optics will result in the incapacitation of the driver and most of the time either the gunner or the loader. If the user survives a shot like this, another problem would be the 5-round rack back left part of the tank, however the user can bypass this issue by loading only 14 rounds. This way, only the ammo rack on the right side of the tank will have rounds stored inside, boosting the chance of survival slightly.

As mentioned above, holding more than 14 rounds might be a problem for some. But due to the overall low survivability of the tank itself, taking 19 rounds might be an optimal way to play. Taking more than 19 rounds will result in the rounds being placed on the racks on both sides of the tank, which might make the user very susceptible to side shots, but the rounds will also start storing inside of the bottom and the back of the turret (not counting the first stage ammo rack which is on the left side of the turret).

While you might stop a HEATFS round that has been flung your way, or you might shrug some 20 mm autocannon rounds, aircraft will be the bane of your existence. Due to the thin roof, pretty much any aircraft can quickly wipe you out by just using its guns. Sadly, the only reliable protection is to try to find some cover, either indoors or hide behind a sufficiently high object. If none of these options are available, the only option left is to pray that your team has an AA or a friendly jet roaming around that just might save you.

Armour type:

  • Rolled homogeneous armour (Hull, Turret, Internal plate)
Armour Front (Slope angle) Sides Rear Roof
Hull 11 mm (80°) Top Glacis
15 mm (40°) Bottom Glacis
5 mm (20°) Top
10 mm Bottom
10 mm (10°) 8-11 mm (80-90°)
Turret 10-15 mm Turret front
10 mm Gun mantlet
8-12 mm (0-30°) 8-10 mm 10-12 mm
Cupola 10 mm (5-90°) 10 mm (12-75°) 10 mm (61°) 10 mm (58-85°)

Notes:

  • The torsion bars, suspension wheels and the tracks are 15 mm thick.
  • The internal plate protecting the crew compartment is 10 mm thick.

Mobility

Reverse gearbox
Forward and backward movement is possible at the same maximum speed
Speedforward / back
AB84 / 84 km/h
RB and SB76 / 76 km/h
Number of gears6 forward
6 back
Weight16.0 t
Engine power
AB763 hp
RB and SB400 hp
Power-to-weight ratio
AB47.7 hp/t
RB and SB25.0 hp/t
Game Mode Max Speed (km/h) Weight (tons) Engine power (horsepower) Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)
Forward Reverse Stock Upgraded Stock Upgraded
Arcade 84 84 16 620 763 38.75 47.69
Realistic 76 76 354 400 22.13 25

The MARS 15 is a very mobile and nimble tank, with a pretty small profile. The user should expect around 48 km/h on off-road terrain and roughly -24 km/h reverse speed. It takes roughly 13 seconds for the tank to fully do a 360° rotation with neutral steering, however if the user gets some speed before turning, it will do the 360° rotation roughly 50% faster. It is powered by a Baudouin GF12SRY diesel engine, producing 400 hp for a top speed of roughly 75 km/h.

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB2 959 → 4 953 Sl icon.png
RB3 353 → 5 612 Sl icon.png
SB4 094 → 6 853 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications119 100 Rp icon.png
201 600 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost2 300 Ge icon.png
Crew training110 000 Sl icon.png
Experts380 000 Sl icon.png
Aces1 400 Ge icon.png
Research Aces830 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
120 / 160 / 200 % Sl icon.png
208 / 208 / 208 % Rp icon.png
Modifications
Mobility Protection Firepower
Mods new tank traks.png
Tracks
Research:
6 300 Rp icon.png
Cost:
10 000 Sl icon.png
260 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank suspension.png
Suspension
Research:
4 800 Rp icon.png
Cost:
7 600 Sl icon.png
200 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank break.png
Brake System
Research:
4 800 Rp icon.png
Cost:
7 600 Sl icon.png
200 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank filter.png
Filters
Research:
6 300 Rp icon.png
Cost:
10 000 Sl icon.png
260 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank transmission.png
Transmission
Research:
6 900 Rp icon.png
Cost:
11 000 Sl icon.png
290 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank engine.png
Engine
Research:
6 900 Rp icon.png
Cost:
11 000 Sl icon.png
290 Ge icon.png
Mods tank tool kit.png
Improved Parts
Research:
1 900 Rp icon.png
Cost:
10 000 Sl icon.png
260 Ge icon.png
Mods extinguisher.png
Improved FPE
Research:
1 400 Rp icon.png
Cost:
7 600 Sl icon.png
200 Ge icon.png
Mods tank reinforcement fr.png
Crew Replenishment
Research:
6 300 Rp icon.png
Cost:
10 000 Sl icon.png
260 Ge icon.png
Mods smoke screen.png
Smoke grenade
Research:
6 900 Rp icon.png
Cost:
11 000 Sl icon.png
290 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank horizontal aiming.png
Horizontal Drive
Research:
6 300 Rp icon.png
Cost:
10 000 Sl icon.png
260 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
90mm_CN90_Smoke_ammo_pack
Research:
6 300 Rp icon.png
Cost:
10 000 Sl icon.png
260 Ge icon.png
Mods tank cannon.png
Adjustment of Fire
Research:
4 800 Rp icon.png
Cost:
7 600 Sl icon.png
200 Ge icon.png
Mods airstrike.png
Airstrike
Research:
4 800 Rp icon.png
Cost:
7 600 Sl icon.png
200 Ge icon.png
Mods night vision device.png
NVD
Research:
4 800 Rp icon.png
Cost:
7 600 Sl icon.png
200 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank vertical aiming.png
Elevation Mechanism
Research:
6 300 Rp icon.png
Cost:
10 000 Sl icon.png
260 Ge icon.png
Mods scouting.png
Improved optics
Research:
6 300 Rp icon.png
Cost:
10 000 Sl icon.png
260 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
90mm_CN90_APDS_FS_ammo_pack
Research:
6 300 Rp icon.png
Cost:
10 000 Sl icon.png
260 Ge icon.png
Mods art support.png
Artillery Support
Research:
6 900 Rp icon.png
Cost:
11 000 Sl icon.png
290 Ge icon.png
Mods tank laser rangefinder.png
Laser rangefinder
Research:
6 900 Rp icon.png
Cost:
11 000 Sl icon.png
290 Ge icon.png
Mods scout streak.png
Scout UAV
Research:
6 900 Rp icon.png
Cost:
11 000 Sl icon.png
290 Ge icon.png

Armaments

Laser rangefinder
Reduces the error and increases the maximum measurable distance of the rangefinder
Night vision device
Improves visibility by enhancing natural light or active illumination.

Main armament

Ammunition30 rounds
First-order10 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
6.5 → 5.0 s
Vertical guidance-8° / 15°
Main article: CN90 F4 (90 mm)
90 mm CN90 F4 Turret rotation speed (°/s) Reloading rate (seconds)
Mode Capacity Vertical Horizontal Stabilizer Stock Upgraded Full Expert Aced Stock Full Expert Aced
Arcade 30 -8°/+15° ±180° N/A 22.8 31.6 38.4 42.5 45.2 6.50 5.75 5.30 5.00
Realistic 14.3 16.8 20.4 22.6 24.0

Ammunition

Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
10 m 100 m 500 m 1,000 m 1,500 m 2,000 m
OCC 90 F2 HEATFS 320 320 320 320 320 320
OE 90 F1 HE 18 17 16 15 13 13
OFL 90 F1 APFSDS 271 267 253 235 218 201
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Velocity
(m/s)
Projectile
mass (kg)
Fuse delay
(m)
Fuse sensitivity
(mm)
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
Ricochet
0% 50% 100%
OCC 90 F2 HEATFS 950 8.95 0.05 0.1 877.7 65° 72° 77°
OE 90 F1 HE 750 10.45 0.2 0.1 945 79° 80° 81°
OFL 90 F1 APFSDS 1,275 2.33 - - - 78° 80° 81°
Smoke shell characteristics
Ammunition Velocity
(m/s)
Projectile
mass (kg)
Screen radius
(m)
Screen deploy
time (s)
Screen hold
time (s)
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
OFUM 90 F1 750 10.2 13 5 20 50

Ammo racks

Ammo racks of the MARS 15
Full
ammo
1st
rack empty
2nd
rack empty
3rd
rack empty
4th
rack empty
5th
rack empty
6th
rack empty
Visual
discrepancy
30 29 (+1) 21 (+9) 19 (+11) 14 (+16) (+21) (+29) No

Notes:

  • Shells are modeled individually and disappear after having been shot or loaded.
  • Rack 6 is a first stage ammo rack. It totals 8 shells and gets filled first when loading up the tank.

Machine guns

Ammunition2 000 rounds
Belt capacity100 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
10.4 → 8.0 s
Fire rate900 shots/min
Main article: A-A-F1N (7.62 mm)

The A-A-F1N is largely ineffective at taking out any armoured target and its only real use comes to play against vehicles with exposed crew members. Thanks to the large fire rate, one can dispatch such tank with relative ease. It can also be used to "ping" enemy targets for your teammates or to destroy environmental objects such as fences.

7.62 mm A-A-F1N
Mount Capacity (Belt) Fire rate Vertical Horizontal
Coaxial 2,000 (100) 900 N/A N/A

Usage in battles

The MARS 15 is effective as a scout vehicle. Because of the good mobility and low profile, it is easy to flank the enemy and scout them for your team. Engaging in brawls is not recommended as the mediocre armour does not provide adequate protection against other vehicles that the MARS will face. Focusing on flanking the enemy and/or engaging the enemy from vantage points from the sides is an adequate way of playing the MARS. If for some reason the user finds themselves in a tough spot, the MARS has 4 smoke grenades that can provide a reliable way of escaping danger and repositioning.

Although the user has access to an APFSDS round, using it is rather questionable and situational. The power of it is rather average at best, but on the flipside, it provides quite a boost to the round velocity. A good tactic is to take both HEATFS and APFSDS if the user plans on sniping but also flanking. The APFSDS should be used at longer ranges where the target might be moving too fast for the HEATFS to be reliable, or in case environmental objects such as bushes are in front of the user as hitting these with HEAT rounds will most likely detonate them, giving away the user's position.

If the user prefers to snipe crew members or the enemy tank's ammo racks, the APFSDS is good enough to fulfill that role, but spare HEATFS rounds should always be carried in case the user needs some extra penetration power.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Low profile
  • Good mobility
  • Access to a laser rangefinder
  • Access to night vision

Cons:

  • No gun stabilization
  • Very light protection
  • Because of the OFL 90 F1, rather weak penetration power and below average spalling, one-hit kills are unreliable

History

Devblog

In the early 1980s, the French Creusot-Loire Industrie company began work on developing a new family of tracked combat vehicles which share a common chassis. Initiating work under a private venture, Creusot-Loire Industrie aimed to produce the vehicles for customers on the export market who already used the widely used AMX-13 light tank.

Full-scale development only began in 1988 and several variants of the vehicle were developed, ranging from light tank modifications over APCs and IFVs to SPAAs and SPHs as well as a number of other variants. However, many of these planned variants never passed the drawing board stage. Of the few that did, the light tank modification stood out as it aimed to build upon the popular characteristics of the AMX-13 and expand upon them by incorporating modern technologies.

This light tank modification featured a small and extremely nimble chassis while being armed with a 90 mm cannon and promising low maintenance efforts. The first and only prototype of this variant was shown off in 1990, along with the IFV modification. After its reveal, the vehicle received the designation MARS 15.

In 1991, another prototype armed with a 105 mm cannon was shown off which would also become the last of the series. In fact, the expected response from potential foreign customers never materialized as the end of the Cold War in the early 1990s diminished the demand for new tanks while simultaneously surplus MBTs were being taken out of storage and sold. As a result of this development, the MARS vehicles never left the prototype stage and were ultimately abandoned.

Media

Skins
Images

See also

External links


France light tanks
AMC.34/35  AMC.34 YR · AMC.35 (ACG.1)
H.35/39  H.35 · H.39 · H.39 "Cambronne"
AMX-13  AMX-13 (FL11) · AMX-13-M24 · AMX-13 · AMX-13 (SS.11) · AMX-13-90 · AMX-13 (HOT)
Wheeled  AML-90 · AMX-10RC
AMD.35  AMD.35 · AMD.35 (SA35)
E.B.R.  E.B.R. (1951) · E.B.R. (1954) · E.B.R. (1963)
Other  FCM.36 · R.35 (SA38) · Char 25t · MARS 15 · VBCI-2 (MCT30)
Austria  SK-105A2
Great Britain  ▄Crusader Mk.II
USA  LVT-4/40 · ▄M3A3 Stuart