Olifant Mk.1A

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RANK VI USSR
T-72AV (TURMS-T) PACK
uk_olifant_mk_1a.png
GarageImage Olifant Mk.1A.jpg
Olifant Mk.1A
AB RB SB
8.3 8.3 8.3
Class:
Research:220 000 Specs-Card-Exp.png
Purchase:580 000 Specs-Card-Lion.png
Show in game

Description

The Olifant Mk.1A is a rank VI British medium tank with a battle rating of 8.3 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update "Ixwa Strike".

The Olifant is an early South African modification of the legendary Centurion tank. The vehicle received an increase in firepower and mobility from the earlier British series, to match the needs of extended cruising capabilities and long-distance skirmishes within the dusty and heated African environment. 

Fitted with a GT-3 cannon, the Olifant should be as persuasive as most NATO counterparts, due to the GT-3 being a variant of the popular British-made Royal Ordnance L7 gun.  On the weak side, the armour layout can be described as obsolete against HEAT and APFSDS, which are quite common at Olifant's rank. This lack of armour simultaneously with a notable slow turret traverse and below average top speed, commits the Olifant to use distance, uneven grounds and marksmanship skills to endure the battles.

General info

Survivability and armour

Smoke grenades
Creation of a smoke screen in front of the vehicle
Armourfront / side / back
Hull76 / 50 / 38
Turret152 / 89 / 89
Crew4 people
Visibility119 %

Describe armour protection. Note the most well protected and key weak areas. Appreciate the layout of modules as well as the number and location of crew members. Is the level of armour protection sufficient, is the placement of modules helpful for survival in combat? If necessary use a visual template to indicate the most secure and weak zones of the armour.

Armour type:

Armour Front (Slope angle) Sides Rear Roof
Hull ___ mm ___ mm Top
___ mm Bottom
___ mm ___ - ___ mm
Turret ___ - ___ mm Turret front
___ mm Gun mantlet
___ - ___ mm ___ - ___ mm ___ - ___ mm
Cupola ___ mm ___ mm ___ mm ___ mm

Notes:

Mobility

Speedforward / back
AB51 / 13 km/h
RB and SB46 / 12 km/h
Number of gears5 forward
2 back
Weight56.0 t
Engine power
AB1 431 hp
RB and SB750 hp
Power-to-weight ratio
AB25.6 hp/t
RB and SB13.4 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 51 13 56 1,162 1431 20.75 25.55
Realistic 46 12 663 750 11.84 13.39

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB3 500 → 5 208 Sl icon.png
RB3 450 → 5 133 Sl icon.png
SB3 990 → 5 937 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications176 600 Rp icon.png
300 000 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost2 600 Ge icon.png
Crew training170 000 Sl icon.png
Experts580 000 Sl icon.png
Aces2 100 Ge icon.png
Research Aces950 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
120 / 150 / 180 % Sl icon.png
220 / 220 / 220 % Rp icon.png
Modifications
Mobility Protection Firepower
Mods new tank traks.png
Tracks
Research:
7 500 Rp icon.png
Cost:
12 000 Sl icon.png
280 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank suspension.png
Suspension
Research:
11 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
17 000 Sl icon.png
410 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank break.png
Brake System
Research:
11 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
17 000 Sl icon.png
410 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank filter.png
Filters
Research:
12 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
19 000 Sl icon.png
450 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank transmission.png
Transmission
Research:
10 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
16 000 Sl icon.png
380 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank engine.png
Engine
Research:
10 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
16 000 Sl icon.png
380 Ge icon.png
Mods tank tool kit.png
Parts
Research:
2 300 Rp icon.png
Cost:
12 000 Sl icon.png
280 Ge icon.png
Mods extinguisher.png
FPE
Research:
3 300 Rp icon.png
Cost:
17 000 Sl icon.png
410 Ge icon.png
Mods tank reinforcement uk.png
Crew Replenishment
Research:
12 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
19 000 Sl icon.png
450 Ge icon.png
Mods smoke screen.png
Smoke grenade
Research:
10 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
16 000 Sl icon.png
380 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank horizontal aiming.png
Horizontal Drive
Research:
7 500 Rp icon.png
Cost:
12 000 Sl icon.png
280 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
105mm_us_M416_Smoke_ammo_pack
Research:
7 500 Rp icon.png
Cost:
12 000 Sl icon.png
280 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
105mm_usa_HESH_ammo_pack
Research:
7 500 Rp icon.png
Cost:
12 000 Sl icon.png
280 Ge icon.png
Mods tank cannon.png
Adjustment of Fire
Research:
11 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
17 000 Sl icon.png
410 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank vertical aiming.png
Elevation Mechanism
Research:
12 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
19 000 Sl icon.png
450 Ge icon.png
Mods tank laser rangefinder.png
Laser rangefinder
Research:
12 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
19 000 Sl icon.png
450 Ge icon.png
Mods art support.png
Artillery Support
Research:
10 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
16 000 Sl icon.png
380 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
105mm_usa_M735_APDS_FS_ammo_pack
Research:
10 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
16 000 Sl icon.png
380 Ge icon.png
Mods night vision device.png
NVD
Research:
10 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
16 000 Sl icon.png
380 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

Two-plane stabilizer
Reduces the swing of the gun in two planes while moving
Ammunition72 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
8.7 → 6.7 s
Vertical guidance-10° / 20°
Main article: GT-3 (105 mm)
105 mm GT-3 Turret rotation speed (°/s) Reloading rate (seconds)
Mode Capacity Vertical Horizontal Stabilizer Stock Upgraded Full Expert Aced Stock Full Expert Aced
Arcade 72 -10°/+20° ±180° Two-plane 11.4 15.8 19.2 21.2 22.6 8.71 7.70 7.10 6.70
Realistic 7.1 8.4 10.2 11.3 12.0

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
M152 HEATFS 400 400 400 400 400 400
M156 HESH 127 127 127 127 127 127
M111 APFSDS 337 335 330 322 314 306
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%
M152 HEATFS 1,173 10.5 0.05 0.1 1,270 65° 72° 77°
M156 HESH 732 14.85 0.05 0.1 4,310 73° 77° 80°
M111 APFSDS 1,455 3.79 N/A N/A N/A 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)
M416 730 11.4 20 5 25 50

Ammo racks

Full
ammo
1st
rack empty
2nd
rack empty
3rd
rack empty
4th
rack empty
5th
rack empty
6th
rack empty
Visual
discrepancy
72 __ (+__) __ (+__) __ (+__) __ (+__) __ (+__) __ (+__) __

Machine guns

Ammunition3 000 rounds
Belt capacity250 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
10.4 → 8.0 s
Fire rate500 shots/min
Main article: L3A1 (7.62 mm)
7.62 mm L3A1
Mount Capacity (Belt) Fire rate Vertical Horizontal
Coaxial 3,000 (250) 500 N/A N/A

Usage in battles

Describe the tactics of playing in the vehicle, the features of using vehicles in the team and advice on tactics. Refrain from creating a "guide" - do not impose a single point of view but instead give the reader food for thought. Describe the most dangerous enemies and give recommendations on fighting them. If necessary, note the specifics of the game in different modes (AB, RB, SB).

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Strong and accurate APFSDS & HEATs; similar ballistics to guns found on Rooikat MTTD and the Rooikat 105
  • Laser rangefinder and NVD for long-range/night operations + bonus of smoke screen and smoke shells
  • Excellent gun elevation and depression angles (-10°, +20°)
  • The machine gun area on the turret can bounce some carelessly aimed shells
  • Fuel tanks in the front and rear may protect the engine, crew and the ammo racks from HEAT shells
  • Acceleration is adequate once fully spaded; keeping similar instant mobility to the Centurion Mk 3 or Centurion Mk.5/1

Cons:

  • Very poor turret traverse, quick target acquisition is hard without steering the hull
  • Poor stock acceleration and top speed, compared to other MBTs at the BR; even inferior to the Chieftain Mk 5 when spaded
  • APFSDS is a tier 4 modification: early module research must be done with the more unreliable HEAT shells
  • Obsolete armour for the rank: unreliable against most APFSDS or HEAT rounds even with small calibre guns
  • The ammo rack to the right of the driver is a major weak spot

History

Predecessor: Olifant Mk.1

The Olifant Mk.1 was a South African conversion of Centurion Mk.3 tanks to a modified standard. Conversions began in 1979 and lasted until 1984; a total of 153 Olifant Mk.1s were converted from Centurion Mk.3s. Not long after the Olifant Mk.1 entered production, T-55 tanks were obtained and tested which revealed flaws in the Olifant Mk.1 by comparison. Fortunately for the SADF, an upgrade of the Olifant Mk.1 was already under development.

Olifant Mk.1A

The Olifant Mk.1A was an upgrade for the Olifant Mk.1 that began development in 1981. The main features were a new, fully stabilized 105 mm GT3B main gun, a new fire control system, and other improvements.

Design

General

The Olifant Mk.1A has a crew of four, the driver in the hull and the commander, gunner, and loader in the turret. It maintains the base of the Centurion but with overhauls in most important aspects such as mobility and firepower.

Mobility

The Horstman suspension of the Centurion was retained on the Mk.1A, having never been changed on the Olifant Mk.1 or Mk.1A. Propulsion was provided by a Continental 29-litre turbo charged air cooled radial V12 engine, which could produce 750 horsepower. In order to prevent the dust from the environment from interfering with the engine's operation, new dust filters were added. Additionally, a new rail system was implemented that allowed the engine to be replaced in only thirty minutes with a crane. A new transmission was fitted with two forward and one reverse gear. The Olifant Mk.1A had a horsepower to ton ratio of 13.39 hp/t and could achieve a maximum speed of 45 kilometers per hour.

The fuel supply was increased from 458 litres to 1,240 litres, allowing the range of the Olifant Mk.1A to increase to 350 kilometers at the maximum (the Centurion Mk.5 could only travel 190 km maximum). The reliability and ease of maintenance took precedence on the Olifant Mk.1A, reducing the amount of maintenance that needed to be done overall.

Armament

The main armament of the Olifant Mk.1A was a 105 mm L7 or GT3B rifled cannon, which was fully stabilized. The ammunition initially consisted of the L52A3 APDS, M456 HEAT and M156 HEAT rounds. In the mid-1980s, M111 APFSDS rounds were acquired for use on the Olifant Mk.1A as the primary anti-tank ammunition. The ammunition stowage was redesigned and as such the total amount of 105 mm ammunition was increased from 64 to 72 rounds.

The turret rotation and gun elevation mechanisms were replaced with an improved electrical model. Also, the main gun was fully stabilized. A new fire control system (FCS) was fitted. The gunner's 6x zoom sight was replaced with an Eloptro 8x zoom sight which included a laser rangefinder.

Secondary armament consisted of a coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun and a pintle-mounted 7.62 mm machine gun on the commander's cupola. At least 5,600 rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition were provided.

Protection

The Olifant Mk.1A retained the armour of the Centurion Mk 3. Needless to say, the Olifant Mk.1A was incredibly vulnerable to the T-54/55 and T-62 tanks it would face in combat, and also to RPG-7 infantry anti-tank weapons. The Olifant Mk.1A had two banks of four smoke grenades each mounted on each side of the turret for a total of eight launchers.

Production and Service

Production

The Olifant Mk.1A entered production in 1983 and entered service with the SADF in 1985. A total of 153 Olifant Mk.1As were converted from Olifant Mk.1s by the late 1980s and it was only adopted by South Africa.

Service

The first combat deployment of the Olifant Mk.1A was during the South African Border War which consisted of Operations Modular, Packer, and Hooper from 1987-1988. During these operations, South Africa came to the aid of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) who were at risk of destruction by the People's Armed Forces of Liberation of Angola (FAPLA), who were supported by Cuba and the Soviet Union (USSR).

Eight brigades and an auxiliary support force of the FAPLA (along with Soviet advisors) moved from Cuito Cuanavale to attack the UNITA forces at Jamba and Mavinga. The SADF sent Olifant Mk.1 and Mk.1A tanks in two squadrons - of 11 tanks and two command tanks each - to Angola to reinforce the Ratel 90 armoured cars that made up the rest of the anti-armour materiel there. During the conflict, Olifants and Ratel 90s faced off against 150 FAPLA T-54 and T-55 main battle tanks (MBTs) in a large-scale conventional war fought at incredibly close ranges of only 50 to 150 meters.

The Olifant Mk.1A saw its first combat with E-Squadron during Operation Modular in 1987. During that operation the tank crews preferred to load HEAT rounds rather than APFSDS rounds because HEAT rounds are effective against light and heavy armoured targets, though they could detonate prematurely upon contact with the brush. Additionally, HEAT rounds made a more noticeable visual indication of a hit on an enemy tank, and there was also a fear that APFSDS rounds would ricochet off of trees. Due to the thick brush, tank engagements occurred at very close ranges due to reduced visibility.

The first knock out of a FAPLA tank by an Olifant occurred during the Battle of Chambinga against the FAPLA 16th Brigade during Operation Modular, with a kill credited first to Lt. Hein Fourie's Olifant on 9 November 1987 followed by another credited to Lt. Abrie Strauss' Olifant.

The SADF began Operation Hooper on 2 January 1988, with F-Squadron under the command of Major Tim Rudman taking the offensive against the FAPLA 21st Brigade which was holding at the River Cuatir. During the operation, Cuban forces counterattacked in an action that resulted in the loss of several Olifant tanks; one was damaged in combat, two were detracked by anti-tank mines. The SADF mounted multiple attempts to recover the tanks but had to retreat under heavy attack by enemy guns and artillery. This left the amount of Olifants lost at three with one more damaged. Additionally, a Ratel armoured car was destroyed and four SADF soldiers were killed. The FAPLA lost 21 T-54/T-55 tanks and suffered 480 casualties.

The two detracked tanks were never moved while the third Olifant was taken by the FAPLA. It's turret was sent to the Soviet Union while the hull remains at Menongue Airport in Angola.[1]

Devblog

Centurion tanks entered service with the South African armed forces already at the start of the Cold War in the early 1950s when South Africa purchased a few hundred Centurion Mk.3 tanks from the United Kingdom. However, operating the Centurions in the warm South African climate quickly turned out to be problematic as the tanks were prone to overheating. As a result, South Africa sold off many of its Centurions to Switzerland during the 1960s in order to acquire other equipment while many of the remaining tanks were relegated to reserve roles.

With conflicts in the region flaring up during the '70s, the South African armed forces were reminded of the importance of their armoured units and several projects were initiated to modernize the Centurions in service. These projects resulted in the creation of two interim models of domestic Centurions - the Skoikaan and Semel. In parallel however, the South African government formed a company in the private sector to develop a proper modernization package for the Centurion.

Work on the project began in the mid '70s, with South African engineers taking inspiration from the Israeli Sho't Centurions and applying similar upgrades to what would eventually become known as the Olifant tank. The first prototype of the Olifant rolled out of the factory in 1976 and underwent testing. Shortly afterwards, the Olifant Mk.1 entered production service in 1978, with production lasting until 1984. In the early 80s, the Olifant was upgraded to the Mk.1A modification, which featured a domestic version of the L7 cannon as well as other upgrades.

The Olifant Mk.1A remained in service with SANDF into the 1990s before being succeeded by the Olifant Mk.2. In total, over 150 Olifant Mk.1As were produced, some seeing action during the conflicts with Angola in the early 1980s.

Media

Skins
Images

See also

Succeeded by
Vehicles with similar chassis
Related service history
Similar playstyle

External links

Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • other literature.

References


Britain medium tanks
Cromwell  Cromwell I · Cromwell V · Cromwell V (RP-3)
Based on Cromwell  Challenger · Avenger · Comet I · Comet I "Iron Duke IV" · Charioteer Mk VII
Centurion  Centurion Mk 1 · Centurion Mk 3 · Centurion Mk.5 AVRE · Centurion Mk 10 · Centurion Action X · FV4202
Chieftain  Chieftain Mk 3 · Chieftain Mk 5 · Chieftain Mk 10
Challenger  Challenger Mk.2 · Challenger Mk.3 · Challenger 2 · Challenger 2 (2F)
Valentine  Valentine I · Valentine IX · Valentine XI
Vickers  Vickers MBT · Vickers Mk.7
Foreign  Grant I (USA) · Sherman IC "Trzyniec" (USA) · Sherman Firefly (USA) · Sherman II (USA)
  A.C.IV (Australia) · ▄Strv 81 (RB 52) (Sweden) · Centurion Mk.5/1 (Australia) · Sho't Kal Dalet (Israel)
  Olifant Mk.1A (South Africa) · Olifant Mk.2 (South Africa) · TTD (South Africa)