Although it has yet to see major combat the Tigris Main Battle Tank is a formidable new addition to the Carthaginian war machine, based on the best of both Soviet and NATO tank designs.
In 1980 with the arrival of the German Leopard 2 and the US. American M1 Abrams main battle tanks it soon became clear to the Carthaginian government that its Soviet built MBTs were not up to the challenge of facing NATO armor.
Initial designs of a MBT began in 1981, but with the release of the UK's Challenger 1 in 1983 the design was overhauled to meet this new threat.
The new design was dubbed 'Tigris'. Prototypes were tested in the Libyan desert in 1987. Numerous mechanical problems were observed especially in the turret mechanisms. The engines and other moving parts of the tanks were not sufficiently protected against blowing sand. The original gas turbine engine was powerful but subject to breakdowns and used up inordinate amounts of fuel. The Tigris was sent back to the drawing board where its treads were redesigned, a diesel turbine replaced the gas one, and the engine was given far greater protection. In 1989 testing began again and numerous new problems surfaced, this time tactical and not mechanical.
The tank's low profile was deemed advantageous but its gun had a poor range of gun depression, meaning that it could not move into hull-down position, a defensive/ambush stance that would be vital in a tank designed to outclass those of NATO. Other problems included poor targeting, a propensity for the gun to overheat, poor periscope placement which made made it necessity for the commander to leave the turret to guide the tank.
The Tigris was postponed in favor of upgrading existing MBTs. The arrival of the T-90 to Carthage in 1994 made the cancellation of the Tigris a possibility but it was decided that the T-90 was only an intermediate design, a stop-gap and that the Tigris had overcome most of its earlier flaws.
The Tigris project was restarted in 1996, and then overhauled again to outclass the British Challenger 2 which was put into service in 1998. The new Tigris is to enter production in 2010 and service in 2012.
According to the Punic analists and developers, it is believed to be the best MBT in the world.
|Length||8.3 m (27 ft 3 in) 11.50 m (37 ft 9 in) with gun forward|
|Width||3.5 m (11 ft 6 in) 4.2 m (13 ft 9 in) with appliqué armour|
|Height||2.5 m (8 ft 2 in)|
|Crew||4 (commander, gunner, loader/operator, driver)|
|Armour||(Classified) Steel, Titanium, with NERA|
|152 mm rifled tank gun
with 52 rounds
|Coaxial 7.62 mm L94A1 EX-34 (chain gun),7.62 mm L37A2 Commander's cupola machine gun|
|Engine||Perkins CV-12 Diesel1,200 hp (890 kW)|
|Power/weight||19.2 hp/t (14.2 kW/t)|
|Transmission||David Brown TN54 epicyclic transmission (6 fwd, 2 rev.)|
|450 km (280 mi)|
|Speed||71 km/h (44 mph) 59 km/h (37 mph) off road|