VK 3002 (M)
The VK 3002 (M) is a medium tank prototype created for the German Wehrmacht during World War II by the Maschinenfabrik Augsburg-Nürnberg (MAN) in response to a proposal by the Ministry of Armaments and War Production for a 30-ton tank to be used by the German Army in 1941. Daimler-Benz also created its project, known as the VK 3002 (DB), as a competitive prototype. Germany expected to face a weaker opponent when it attacked the Soviet Union in June 1941. The Wehrmacht was taken by surprise by the T-34's sloping armour and the heavily armoured KV-1. German Generaloberst Heinz Guderian first proposed that a direct replica would be the most efficient way to combat the T-34. The Army Weapons Department rejected this due to difficulty in creating sufficient quantities of diesel engines and steel alloy. The Daimler-Benz VK 3002 (DB) was first ordered into production with an initial goal of 200 tanks, mainly due to Hitler's preference for the design. The Waffenprufamt 6 committee, on the other hand, preferred the more traditional (in terms of German design and engineering) MAN VK 3002 (M) and placed orders for it in May 1942, before secretly cancelling the VK 3002 (DB) order. While the VK 3002 (DB) could have been less expensive and easier to construct, the Waffenprufamt 6 committee preferred the MAN VK 3002 (M)'s roomier turret and more cutting-edge suspension. The MAN VK 3002 (M) also used the same engine as the Tiger I heavy tank, making production and maintenance easier. It also had larger tracks, which would aid in ground pressure on soft terrain. The VK 3002 (M) was built but never saw combat.
Introduced in Update "Drone Age", the VK 3002 (M) is the prototype for what would ultimately become the iconic Panzerkampfwagen V Panther medium tank family for the German Army during World War II. The VK 3002 (M) tank was designed ahead of its time and includes various advanced features, such as overlapping road wheels that disperse pressure more evenly when going over soft terrain. When compared to Allied tanks, the VK 3002 (M) has unrivalled firepower and precision thanks to its long-barrelled 75 mm Kampfwagenkanone (KwK) 42 L/70 tank gun. However, since the turret is cranked by hand, the traverse speed is poor, and close-quarters battles with enemy tanks in towns are not encouraged. To make the most of this tank's powerful main gun, use it as a long-range sniper.
Survivability and armour
The armour layout is very similar to a standard Panther, though significantly weaker for the front plate (60 mm instead of 80 mm thick) and the turret (80 mm for the turret front and 50 mm for the mantlet instead of the 100 mm on the Panther A). It is adequate against low-velocity projectiles, but its armour should not be relied upon much, unless the distance between you and the target is large. Unlike the Panther A, angling on the VK 3002 is helpful, angling some 15-20 degrees will make the hull almost entirely immune to Soviet 85 mm cannons, which the tank will commonly face. The same procedure goes against most American cannons. Of course, if they aim at the turret, you'll end up penetrated, but the good thing is that this prototype shares the same good post-penetration survivability of a Panther, due to the driver and machine gunner being far from the turret, even the Soviet 85 mm APHE rounds will not usually knock it out from a turret penetration.
Despite having thick armour, the VK 3002 (M) is not impenetrable. It has a very powerful upper front armour plate, yet an experienced player will rarely approach one from the front. Instead, they'll attempt to flank the vehicle, which is exceptionally easy when the VK is attacking alone. The tank's frontal armour, as powerful as it is, can still be penetrated at short distances by well-aimed shots from tanks commonly seen at its BR, such as the T-34-85 or the IS-1. However, it can deflect most rounds fired at it from afar, further improving the VK 3002 (M)'s long-distance combat capabilities.
- Rolled homogeneous armour (hull, turret)
- Cast homogeneous armour (cupola)
|Armour||Front (Slope angle)||Sides||Rear||Roof|
|Hull||60 mm (55°)|| 40 mm (40°) Top
40 mm Bottom
|40 mm (30°)||10-16 mm|
|Turret|| 80 mm (12°) Turret front
99-158 mm (7-56°) Gun mantlet
|45 mm (21°)||45 mm (25°)||16 mm (5°)|
|Cupola||110 mm||110 mm||110 mm||16 mm|
The VK 3002 (M) has reasonable forward mobility, but sharp turns cause it to slow down significantly. Furthermore, the neutral steering found on Panther tanks is absent, and the reverse speed is subpar. Because close quarter mobility is not a strong point with this tank, you should aim to keep your distance from the enemy. Otherwise, enemy medium and light tanks will flank you easily since your turret traverse speed is also too slow to allow you to react.
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
Modifications and economy
The VK 3002 (M)'s 75 mm cannon grants the vehicle an edge over most other vehicles seen at its BR, especially at longer ranges thanks to its high shell velocity and low projectile mass. The characteristics of this gun, paired with its relatively long reload and the VK 3002 (M)'s poor turret rotation speed, render the vehicle a powerful opponent on longer ranges, but a lacklustre tank in close combat due to its lack of flexibility most other mediums at its BR have. The stock reload speed of 9.6s and turret rotation speed of 7.9°/s allows the VK 3002 (M) to be easily flanked by more agile opponents, and destroyed due to its thin side armour. The player's ammunition load should be composed of mostly the stock APCBC shells, with a few HE rounds in case one meets a vehicle vulnerable to them.
|75 mm KwK42||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)
|79||76 (+3)||70 (+9)||64 (+15)||58 (+21)||51 (+28)||45 (+34)|
|41 (+38)||31 (+48)||21 (+58)||11 (+68)||1 (+78)||No|
- Shells are modeled individually and disappear after having been shot or loaded.
- If you pack 21 (+58) shells, it will keep most of the hull empty of ammo.
|7.92 mm MG34|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
Usage in battles
The VK 3002 (M) serves as a proper and useful introduction to the Panther line. Its lacklustre reload speed and poor turret traverse speed restrict it to a more passive playstyle, while the high muzzle velocity and low projectile mass allow it to excel at long-distance engagements. However, most maps will force the player to fight in tight, often urban environments. On those maps, the VK 3002 (M) works best when used as a support vehicle, owing to its low versatility yet high frontal armour and a powerful cannon. Staying close to teammates allows the VK to fight without the fear of being flanked, which should be the player's main concern. Leading an assault or pushing deep behind enemy lines should generally be avoided, unless the match is close to being over and the player has to act fast in order to score any more points.
When fighting a VK 3002 (M), the player should try to avoid frontal engagements and use the opponent's poor mobility to flank the vehicle and destroy it with what is usually a single shell to the 40 mm thick side armour, enough to detonate the ammunition magazine. When driving a Heavy Tank with limited mobility, the player should instead attempt to hit the VK's gun mantlet, which in most cases will immediately knock out all three crew members manning the turret, rendering the VK 3002 (M) defenseless. If that's impossible, a single shell to the commander's cupola will knock out two, and occasionally all three of the turret crew. Heavy Tanks with powerful enough cannons, such as the Tiger H1 can usually penetrate the VK 3002 (M) directly from the front, knocking out most if not all of the tank's crew members with ease. In a medium tank, the player can generally allow themselves to attempt a flanking attack, which is significantly easier in RB, thanks to the player's invisibility on the minimap. In urban environments, most medium tanks are at an advantage of speed and agility, which as a result lets the player get behind the VK, allowing it to take out its turret crew with one shot, then follow it up with a round to the side armour, detonating the ammunition. In a light tank or SPAA, the player's high mobility allows it to easily flank the VK, provided they have the element of surprise, and attack its thin side armour to knock out the vehicle. If that's impossible, the player should destroy the VK 3002 (M)'s gun barrel with continuous fire, then its track, after which they should either look for a way to attack the enemy from the side and rear, or back away.
A frontal engagement against the VK 3002 (M) should be started with the element of surprise, as the VK's long 75 mm can easily knock out most tanks at its BR with only one shell to the front. Ensuring that the enemy player driving the VK 3002 (M) is not currently paying attention to your position, or is preferably fighting another ally, can solve this problem.
Pros and cons
- High speed on flat terrain and satisfactory agility
- Deadly cannon with 192 mm maximum penetration, can frontally penetrate any tank it can face (e.g. IS-2, M4A3E2, Churchill VII, etc)
- 75 mm cannon has flat trajectory and high shell velocity, beginner-friendly for long range engagements
- Frontal armour is immune against some lower-tier tanks like T-34-76, 75 mm M4, M24, etc.
- Has smoke grenades, helpful to conceal the tank
- Has big and tall silhouette of the Panther family, very easy to get hit
- Frontal armour can still get penetrated by most common foes (e.g. T-34-85, Avenger, M36, M18, etc)
- Poor -4 km/h reverse speed can prevent the player from retreating into cover
- Side & rear armour are flat and thin (~40 mm), easily penetrable by SPAAs and light vehicles (e.g. ZSD63, M24, etc)
- Slow turning ability (no neutral steering)
- Slow turret traverse
The VK 3002 (M) was MAN's attempt at designing a breakthrough medium tank, which was needed at the time due to the Pz. III and IV's inability to effectively combat the T-34. On May 13th, 1942, the tank's design, alongside with Daimler-Benz's version, were submitted to the Ministry of Armaments and War Production. Despite the Daimler-Benz prototype's lower cost, the MAN design was chosen due to the more spacious turret and more modern suspension. Furthermore, the MAN variant used the same engine as the Tiger H1, which helped with production and maintenance. The newly chosen design was slightly modified, and then entered production under the official designation - Pz. Kpfw. V Panther D.
- Related development
|Maschinenfabrik Augsburg-Nürnberg Aktiengesellschaft (MAN AG)|
|Panther||VK 3002 (M) · Panther A · Ersatz M10 · Panther D · Panther F · Panther G · Panther II|
|Germany medium tanks|
|Pz.III||Pz.III B · Pz.III E · Pz.III F · Pz.III J · Pz.III J1 · Pz.III J1 TD · Pz.III L · Pz.III M · Pz.III N|
|Pz.IV||Pz.IV C · Pz.IV E · Pz.IV F1 · Pz.IV F2 · Pz.IV G · Pz.IV H · Pz.IV J · Pz.Bef.Wg.IV J|
|Pz.V||VK 3002 (M) · Panther A · Panther D · Panther F · Panther G · Ersatz M10 · Panther II|
|M48 upgrades||M48A2 G A2 · M48 Super|
|Leopard 1||Leopard I · Leopard A1A1 · Leopard A1A1 (L/44) · Leopard 1A5 · C2A1 · Turm III|
|Leopard 2||PT-16/T14 mod. · Leopard 2K · Leopard 2AV|
|Leopard 2A4 · Leopard 2 (PzBtl 123) · Leopard 2 PL · Leopard 2A5 · Leopard 2 PSO · Leopard 2A6|
|Trophies||▀M4 748 (a) · ▀T 34 747 (r)|
|Other||Nb.Fz. · KPz-70|
|USA||mKPz M47 G · M48A2 C|