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Two tanks deployed into battle.

A tank is a tracked, armored fighting vehicle designed for front line combat which combines operational mobility and tactical offensive and defensive capabilities. Firepower is normally provided by a large-caliber main gun in a rotating turret and secondary machine guns, while heavy armor and all-terrain mobility provide protection for the tank and its crew, allowing it to perform all primary tasks of the armored troops on the battlefield.

Around the 1970s, various militaries considered adopting a honeycomb design into tank armor, due to it being one of the strongest.[1]

FV4030/4 Challenger 1

The Challenger 1 is a British main battle tank. It was developed in 1986 after the fall of the Shah of Iran as well as the failure of the MBT80 project. The Challenger 1 was utilized by Zanzibar Land as part of its Tactical Army's Heavy Tank division.[2]


Main article: Goliath

During the Zanzibar Land Disturbance, a Goliath heavy tank was developed in Zanzibar Land as part of the country's Tactical Land Army.[3]

Objekt 279

Objekt 279 in Groznyj Grad, in 1964.

In 1964, a large number of prototype Soviet Objekt 279 heavy tanks were stationed in Groznyj Grad, Tselinoyarsk. This unusual tank was designed with double tread units and a lozenge-shaped hull to prevent it being flipped over by the blast of a tactical nuclear weapon. The four treads widen the traction area and increase friction with the ground, while the disk-shaped shield deflects the blast above and below the vehicle. The tank is armed with a 130 mm cannon and had a 1000 horsepower diesel engine, giving it a decent top speed.

The Objekt 279 supposedly proved too expensive for the Soviet Union to mass-produce, though Colonel Volgin of GRU was able to use the colossal resources at his disposal to continue the tank's development.[4][5] However, these tanks were largely destroyed during the Shagohod's pursuit of Naked Snake and EVA, before they were ready for deployment.

Outer Heaven tanks

A main battle tank used by Outer Heaven.

In the early 1990s, Outer Heaven utilized a main battle tank equipped with a 125 mm main gun, and two 7.62 mm bow machineguns on either side.[6] During the Outer Heaven Uprising, one of these tanks was deployed to Desert 1, which Solid Snake fought and destroyed using landmines.

Outer Heaven also utilized another tank variant, many of which where stationed in the Building 1 hangar of the main fortress.[7]

Peace Sentinel tanks

In 1974, Big Boss and the Militaires Sans Frontières encountered several tanks that were owned by Peace Sentinel: the MBTk-70 and KPz 70 in the Bananal Fruta de Oro, as well as T-72A and T-72 Ural tanks in the El Cadalso railroad station.[8]

The MSF's first encounter with one of Peace Sentinel's tanks was at El Cadalso. While investigating a train that had been transporting nuclear weapons, Big Boss was spotted by a T-72 Ural, which fired a shell towards him. Although he narrowly avoided being killed, the attack sent the train car flying into a supply tunnel, blocking it off. Unable to follow the truck to which the nukes had been transferred, Big Boss was forced to fight the Ural and its armed escort.

A Peace Sentinel tank formation.

The Militaires Sans Frontières also captured several T-72 Urals/T-72As, MBTk-70s, and KPz-70s, for their ever expanding resources. These various tanks were also employed by various hotspots in the world, both by the MSF and the unit they have to fight.

T-72 Ural

The original design of the T-72 deployed in 1973. The T-72s were developed in Soviet Russia as a further development of the T-62, and incorporating various elements of the T-64A. In fact, it was designed to be an "economic model" of the T-64 because of the latter tank's high cost in production. Peace Sentinel managed to procure some of these tanks via Vladimir Zadornov.[9]


The T-72A was a further improvement upon the original T-72 Ural. It was equipped with Explosive Reactive Armor (ERA) as well as a 12.7mm machine gun replacing the 7.62mm machine guns, and included a spotlight for detecting enemies nearby in dark environments, as well as electronic control and laser rangefinders, among other enhancements. Prototypes were supplied to Peace Sentinel via Zadornov, and were eventually mass-produced and released into the Soviet military in 1979.[9]

KPz 70

The KPz 70, also known as the Kampfpanzer 70, was the Western German version of a joint project between the West German Army and the United States Army to develop a new main battle tank to replace the aging Leopard 1 tank arsenal for the West Germans. It was equipped with the latest advancements in tank technology, with spaced armor, an automatic reloading system, and nightvision equipment. In addition, it was armed with 20mm anti-aircraft gun as well as a 120mm softbore gun. Despite these advancements, however, it was cancelled in 1969 in favor of the Leopard 2, as well as various complications in testing and the high costs in production. Peace Sentinel later utilized various KPz 70s.[10]

MBTk 70/MBT 70

The MBTk 70, more commonly referred to as the MBT 70, was the American version of a joint project between the West German Army and the United States Army to develop a new main battle tank to both replace the aging M60 Pattons as well as to give a tank powerful enough to have a chance against the newly deployed Soviet T62 tanks. The MBT(k)70 had additions of fireproof bulkheads and a heavy blowout section on the ammo chamber to increase defense; its crew was housed entirely in the turret. In addition, it carried a 152mm XM-150 main gun that was able to fire both fire conventional shells as well as Shillelagh missiles. Despite these inherent advantages, however, the project was cancelled in 1971, namely due to Congress's irritation at the delays, as well as the enormous costs to mass-produce the weapons. Peace Sentinel later utilized various KPz 70s.[10]

1980s tanks

Main articles: TT77 NOSOROG and M84A MAGLOADER

Russian tanks in Afghanistan.

In 1984, The Red Army made use of a tank variant known as TT77 NOSOROG (Rhinoceros) with a 125mm canon during its occupation of Afghanistan. Venom Snake encountered some during his mission to rescue Kazuhira Miller, as well as during his group, the Diamond Dogs, various missions there. They were known to go into battle accompanied by HP-48 Krokodils

Similarly, various PFs stationed in Africa made use of another tank variant, the western designed M84A Magloader which while only possessing a 105mm canon proved to be more than a match to its Soviet counterpart thanks to its ceramic chobham armor granting it superior durability. Snake and the Diamond Dogs encountered these tanks during their missions in Africa.

Behind the scenes

Tanks appear throughout the Metal Gear series and are often fought by the player during boss battles.

Metal GearMetal Gear Solid

A tank boss first appears in the original Metal Gear, which the player must destroy by placing land mines in its path. In the non-canon sequel Snake's Revenge, a tank guards the entrance to the enemy's main fortress, and must be destroyed in the same way. The Goliath heavy tank, which appears in Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, was originally to have been fought by the player, but was cut from the final version.

Similar to the original Metal Gear, Metal Gear Solid has the player fight a tank after passing through a minefield, between the first and second buildings. Unlike the original Metal Gear, however, blowing up the treads with landmines only slows down the tank, so the player has to throw grenades at the gunners seat in order to destroy it. In The Twin Snakes, the player can simply defeat the gunner directly by using First Person View to either shoot or tranquilize the gunner(s).

The key artwork for the Metal Gear Original MSX2 Video Game Soundtrack showcased a tank (presumably intended to be the same one Snake fought against), with it resembling the T-72A.

Metal Gear Acid 2

In Metal Gear Acid 2, SaintLogic possessed an arsenal of tanks. They were mainly used in an attempt to silence Thomas Koppelthorn after he rebelled against the company to gain the Lucinda File, although the majority were destroyed by Koppelthorn via Metal Gear Chaioth Ha Qadesh. Army tanks were also used in the ending to blast Metal Gear as it prepared to launch an apparent nuclear attack.

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker

Hind D and MBTK 70s pass through Los Cantos in a trailer for Peace Walker.

In Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, players can capture enemy tanks and use them in Outer Ops. During tank battles, shooting and destroying the fuel containers on its back will temporarily stall the vehicle, buying some time to damage the vehicle without worrying about being attacked. The Bananal Fruta de Oro map in Versus Ops features a tank in the center, which can be used as cover from enemy fire.[11]

In various promotional spots prior to the game's release, there are various scenes in which tanks and other vehicles are shown, including: approximately six MBTK-70s and three LAV-type Cs crossing Los Cantos, with a Hind D flying overhead; several MBTK-70s, at least one LAV-type C, and several soldiers traveling through a field; and at least ten MBTK-70s stationed at the Mine Base's mining pit, although most of these do not appear in the final game.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Tanks make a return in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Similar to in Peace Walker, enemy tanks can be captured by players to be used in various dispatch missions. Unlike in Peace Walker, however, the player can proceed to use tanks directly in the area of operations if they request for them, either during the mission sortie or by placing a delivery request.



See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Kojima Productions (2010).
    Briefing Files > Miller > Mother Base > Offshore plant > New plant
  2. ^ These tanks are not seen in the game itself, but the Metal Gear 2 manual states that they did utilize them.
  3. ^ Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake - User's Manual, Konami Corporation (1990).
  4. ^ This is implied in the scene depicting Granin's description of the Legacy, where a blueprint for the Objekt 279 was seen
  5. ^ The mass development of tanks in Groznyj Grad by Volgin, as well as their developmental history, were stated by Sigint in an optional radio conversation.
  6. ^ Metal Gear - User's Manual, Konami Corporation (1987).
  7. ^ The tank variant in question resembled the M60 Patton, although it is unknown whether it was intended to be such
  8. ^ The T-72 A was first deployed during 1979. Since the T-72 A appears in 1974 in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, it is likely implied to be a prototype version.
  9. ^ a b Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Kojima Productions (2010).
    Vladimir Zadornov: I brought the technology. You [Hot Coldman] provided the money and land. TSENTR alone could never have accomplished so much in so little time.
  10. ^ a b It is never explained whether they received the tanks via Vladimir Zadornov, who claimed that he had supplied Peace Sentinel with their technology, or if they procured them elsewhere
  11. ^
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