M48 A1/A2 Patton Main Battle Tank

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The M48 Patton is an American first generation main battle tank (MBT) introduced in February 1951. It was designed as a replacement for the M26 Pershing, M4 Sherman variants and M46 Pattons used in the Korean War, and as the successor to the M47 Patton.[8] Nearly 12,000 M48s were built, mainly by Chrysler and AlCo, from 1952 to 1961. The M48 underwent many design modifications and improvements during its production life. This led to a wide variety of suspension systems, cupola styles, power packs, fenders and other details among individual tanks. The early designs, up to the M48A2C, were powered by a gasoline engine. The M48A3 and A5 versions used a diesel engine, however gasoline engine versions were still in use in the US Army National Guard through 1968 and through 1975 by many West German Army units. Numerous examples of the M48 saw combat use in various Arab–Israeli conflicts and the Vietnam War. Beginning in 1959, most American M48A1s and A2s were upgraded to the M48A3 model.

The M48 Patton-series saw widespread service with the United States and NATO until it was superseded by the M60 tank as well as being widely exported. The tank's hull also developed a wide variety of prototypical, utility and support vehicles such as armored recovery vehicles and bridge layers. Some M48A5 models served into the mid-1980s with US Army National Guard units, and were used as targets for weapons and radar testing into the mid-1990s. Many M48s remain in service in other countries though most of these have been highly modified and had their firepower, mobility and protection upgraded to increase their combat effectiveness on the modern battlefield. The Turkish Army has the largest number of modernized M48 MBTs, with more than 1,400 in its inventory. Of these, around 1,000 have been phased out, placed in storage, or modified as armoured recovery vehicles.

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