The T54E1, officially 105 mm Gun Tank T54E1, is a premium rank V American medium tank with a battle rating of 8.0 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.81 "The Valkyries".
At first glance this tank looks very similar to the M48 and M103, since it's built on an M48 hull, but with a rather different turret. The reason for this is because it is an oscillating turret, like the ones found on contemporary french tanks like the AMX-50. The main feature which sets this tank apart from other Rank V American tanks is the automatic loader. This tank features a drum-type automatic loader, similar to the ones found on french tanks like the AMX-50 and Lorraine 40t.
Thus, the T54E1 inherits the hull armour of the M48, but combines it with a powerful 105 mm gun, and an automatic loader.
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||90 - 127 mm (0-65°) Turret front||64-127 mm (13-23°)||51 mm (0-80°)||25-100 mm|
|Cupola||64 mm||25 mm|
- Parts of the turret side armour are also protected by an additional layer of 64 mm
- The turret ring is 127 mm thick all-round
- The mantlet ring is 200 mm thick
- Suspension wheels are 15 mm thick, and tracks are 20 mm.
- Belly armour is 38 mm.
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
Modifications and economy
|105 mm T140E2||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)
|36||27 (+9)||17 (+19)||10 (+26)||1 (+35)||No|
- Shells are modeled individually and disappear after having been shot or loaded.
- Rack 4 (autoloader magazine) is a first stage ammo rack. It totals 9 shells.
- This racks gets filled first when loading up the tank and is also emptied first.
- As the T54E1 is equipped with an autoloader, manual reloading of the gun is not possible.
- Once the autoloader magazines has been depleted, you can't shoot until the loader has restocked the autoloader. The restocking time is longer than the normal reload time of the gun. Take this into account when playing.
- Simply not firing when the gun is loaded will move ammo from racks 1 to 3 into rack 4. Firing will interrupt the restocking of the ready racks.
- The depletion order at full capacity is: 4 - 1 - 2 - 3.
|12.7 mm M2HB|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
|7.62 mm M1919A4|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
Usage in battles
Since this tank is based on the hull of the M48, it inherits that tank's mediocre armour and top speed. But unlike the M48, this tank features a powerful 105 mm gun, meaning you'll have no problem penetrating the armour of enemy tanks. Unlike tanks with the 105 mm L7/M68 gun, this tank also has a powerful APBC round, which can be used to destroy opponents with weaker armour, like the Leopard I, or when shooting tanks from the side. This round, when it penetrates, is much more damaging than the HEAT-FS round because it creates much more spalling. For opponents with armour the APBC round can't pen, like the frontal armour on most Russian tanks, the HEAT-FS round is the most effective. Thanks to its very fast automatic loader this reloads almost twice as fast as most manually loaded tanks, meaning you'll be able to dish out serious damage in a very short time. It also means you're much better at recovering from a missed shot, since you'll be able to shoot again in just five seconds. You will have to make sure you won't empty the drum magazine of the automatic loader, since it takes more than 20 seconds to reload a single round from one of the other ammunition racks into the autoloader.
Knowing this, this tank is best played in a support role, destroying tanks for your teammates, but not actively participating in close-range brawls with enemy tanks. It can be used in a flanking role, but due to its mediocre top speed it's vulnerable to being flanked itself and isn't capable of reaching good ambush positions before the enemy does.
Pros and cons
- Very fast reload, thanks to its auto-loader this tank has a 5.0 second reload
- High-penetrating HEAT-FS plus a hard-hitting solid shot round
- Good acceleration
- The APDS round is slightly better than the ones found on the M60 and other 105 mm L7/M68 armed tanks
- Like most other American tanks, this tank is fitted with a 50 cal machine gun, which is effective against lightly armoured vehicles and planes
- Once the first-stage ammunition stowage has been depleted, the reload time increases drastically. This can be avoided by reloading at a capture point, since rounds replenished on a capture point automatically go into the first stage ammunition rack
- Mediocre top speed, most contemporary tanks outpace it
- The armour doesn't really protect against HEAT-FS and APDS, both of which it'll commonly face
- No stabilizer, making aiming while on the move difficult
- No thermal optics
In December 1950, the Army recommended that a 105 mm tank cannon was to be developed for possible use on a T48 hull. A project for the fitting of a 105 mm cannon on two different versions of a T48-based tank was officially started on 6 July 1951 by OTCM 33842. Both designs used the T48 hull but they had different turrets. The first version was to have a conventional turret design and was designated as 105 mm Gun Tank T54, the second was to have an oscillating turret design and was designated as the 105 mm Gun Tank T54E1.
The 105 mm gun developed for the project was designated as the 105 mm Gun T140, a derivative of the earlier 105 mm Gun T5E2. Compared to the T5E2, the T140 used single piece ammunition instead of two piece ammunition and it also had a lighter weight. The 105 mm T140 had an inverted breech that would open upwards and close downwards to allow use with automatic loading systems. When modified to be mounted in the oscillating turret of the T54E1 the gun was designated as the T140E2.
The United Shoe Machinery Corporation was given a contract for the production of two T54E1 pilot vehicles. The hulls were given to the United Shoe Machinery Corporation from M48 production lines.
No sooner than the M48 Patton began being issued to armored units, American engineers already started working on potential improvements to its design. In particular, engineers focused on upgrading the vehicle's firepower. This in turn, lead to the creation of the T54, a new vehicle based on the M48's chassis.
Initially, two versions of prototypes were planned, but a lighter and cheaper third one was proposed in 1952. All three versions of the T54 were armed with a modified version of the T5 105 mm gun, but featured different turrets and gun loading methods. The T54E1 was the second prototype, equipped with an oscillating turret similar to the ones found on contemporary French tanks, and a drum-fed autoloading mechanism with a capacity of 9 rounds.
By 1957, all three prototype versions had undergone comprehensive testing at Fort Knox and the Aberdeen proving grounds. However, as the interest of the Army shifted towards the more promising T95 project, the decision was made to cancel the T54 project in 1957. A total of less than a dozen T54s were constructed, of which two were T54E1s.
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.
|USA medium tanks|
|M3||M3 Lee · ▃Grant I|
|M4||M4 · Calliope · M4A1 · M4A1 (76) W · M4A2 · M4A2 (76) W · M4A3 (105) · M4A3 (76) W|
|M26 Pershing||T20 · T25 · M26 · M26 T99 · M26E1|
|M46/47/48 Patton||M46 · M46 "Tiger" · M47 · M48A1 · T54E1|
|M60||M60 · M60A1 (AOS) · M60A1 RISE (P) · M60A2 · M60A3 TTS|
|MBT-70||MBT-70 · XM-803|
|M1 Abrams||XM-1 (Chrysler) · XM-1 (GM) · M1 Abrams · IPM1 · M1A1 · M1A1 HC · M1A2 Abrams|
|Israel||▃Magach 3 · ▃Merkava Mk.1 · ▃Merkava Mk.2B · ▃Merkava Mk.3D|
|USA premium ground vehicles|
|Light tanks||LVT(A)(4) · M2A4 (1st Arm.Div.) · M3A1 (USMC) · ▃Stuart VI (5th CAD) · M8 LAC · M8A1 GMC|
|M18 "Black Cat" · Super Hellcat · T18E2 · T114|
|Medium tanks||▃Grant I · M4A5 · Calliope · T20 · M26 T99 · M26E1 · M46 "Tiger" · ▃Magach 3 · XM-1 (GM) · XM-1 (Chrysler) · T54E1|
|Heavy tanks||T14 · Cobra King · M6A2E1 · T29 · T30|
|Tank destroyers||T28 · T55E1|