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M47 Patton Main Battle Tank

The M47 was the U.S. Army's and Marine Corps' primary tank, intended to replace the M46 Patton and M4 Sherman medium tanks. The M47 was widely used by U.S. Cold War allies, both SEATO and NATO countries, and was the only Patton series tank that never saw combat while in US service.

Although roughly similar to the later M48s and M60s, these were completely new tank designs. Many different M47 Patton models remain in service internationally. The M47 was the last US tank to have a bow-mounted machine gun in the hull.

The M47 Patton was an interim solution developed during the Korean conflict, though it was a system that did not see action in that war.

The M47 Patton tank saw a short life in frontline service, being replaced promptly by the M48 Pattons as early as 1953 (the M47s entered service in 1951.
Because of their short life, they did not see any combat service in the Korean War, where only some M46 Pattons (200) saw service.

The M47's, much like their M46 Patton counterparts, served more as a stop gap than a final solution.

They would be replaced from frontline service as soon as the M48 Pattons became available. Unlike the M46 however (which was basically a modernized WW2-era M26 Pershing), the M47 held only a few of the M46/M26 features, and the beginning of the 'true' Patton series of tanks would have to wait for the introduction of the M48.
The M47 Patton featured a crew of five (later to be decreased to four after the assistant driver position was deleted), a 90mm main gun and increased ballistics protection for the crew.


A modernization program in the 1960's increased the life of the weapon system, more notably for the export nations that took on the US interim design.

The M47 Patton pictured above was used by the 1st Division Troops during the occupation of Germany after World War II.

Like the M46, the M47 is also named after famed World War Two US General George S. Patton, Jr.

Variants

  • M46E1 - pilot model, M46 hull with T42 turret, fitted with the M36 90 mm Gun, and was longer to incorporate a radio, ventilator, and featured a stereoscopic rangefinder; only one built
  • M47 - main production version, M46 hull modified with redesigned glacis, reduction from five to three track return rollers per side, longer mufflers on rear fenders; 8,576 built
  • M47M - The product of an improvement program started in the late 1960s, the M47M featured the engine and fire control elements from the M60A1. The assistant driver's position was eliminated in favor of additional 90 mm ammunition. Not used by the US; over 800 vehicles were produced for Iran and Pakistan
  • M47E - Spanish M47M austere version (kept original FCS).
  • M47E1 - Second Spanish upgrade batch with rearranged main gun ammunition storage and crew heater. Both new and upgraded M47Es. 330 converted.
  • M47E2 - 45 built. M47E1 with Rh-105 105mm gun and improved FCS (still electromechanical). Passive night vision for driver and commander. All M47 series MBT in Spanish service retired 1993.
  • M47ER3 - Spanish armored recovery vehicle. 22 built.
  • Sabalan - An Iranian upgraded version of the US M47M, It has side skirts and a newly built turret fitted with a 105-mm gun, laser range finder, new fire control system and communication equipment.


Designation: M47 Patton (Patton 1)
Classification Type: Medium Tank
Contractor: Detroit Tank Arsenal / American Locomotive Company, USA
Country of Origin: United States
Initial Year of Service: 1951.








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