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Vickers MBT (VMBT)

Main Battle Tank Armored Tracked Combat Vehicle

The Vickers Main Battle Tank was developed with the budget-conscious export market in mind.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Edited: 5/21/2018
National Flag Graphic


Year: 1965
Manufacturer(s): BAE Systems Land Systems - UK / Avadi Company - India
Production: 2,331
Capabilities: Engineering; Tank vs Tank; Main Battle Tank (MBT); Frontline;
Crew: 4
Length: 32.09 ft (9.78 m)
Width: 10.37 ft (3.16 m)
Height: 10.14 ft (3.09 m)
Weight: 43 tons (38,700 kg); 85,319 lb
Power: 1 x Detroit Diesel 12V-71T turbocharged diesel engine developing 720 horsepower at 2,500 rpm.
Speed: 31 mph (50 kph)
Range: 304 miles (490 km)
Operators: India; Kenya; Kuwait; Nigeria; Tanzania
The Vickers Main Battle Tank series was created with export customers in mind. It was soon discovered that foreign operators of the Centurion would find its successor - the Chieftain - too expensive to procure and effectively too expensive to maintain. As such, the Vickers company began work on a cost-effective export design to secure those future orders. As it turned out, India was in the market for a full-service, new main battle tank to add to its armories. This match would secure orders and license production for years to come.

The Vickers series of tanks were highly conventional. They were fielded with the tried and proven L7 105mm rifled main gun with a ranging 12.7mm (.50 caliber) machine gun along with some of the internal components already found in the Chieftain series. The result was a capable tank produced in number locally and abroad.

The Vickers was seen in two Mark series that included the Mk 1 and the upgraded Mk 3. The Mk 2 was never put into production. The Mk 3 series varied from the Mk 1 in that a new Leyland 60 powerplant was fitted along with a welded-turret construction. The production of the Vickers tank produced several variants utilizing a similar chassis that included the VABV bridgelayer counterpart and an armored recovery vehicle. A further interesting variant of note is the 155mm self-propelled howitzer that can be converted from the MBT.

Production in India was handled by the Avadi Company (resulting in the Vijayanta, based on the Mk 1, model of 1965). By the end of its production run in the mid 1980's, over 2,000 had been produced under license. Additional export customers included Kuwait, Kenya and Nigeria. As expected, the general Vickers tank can be fitted with several options to suit the buyer including an air filtration system, night vision equipment and fire extinguisher systems.


1 x 105mm Main Gun
1 x 7.62mm machine gun in coaxial mount
1 x 7.62mm anti-aircraft machine gun at commander's cupola.
1 x 12.7mm ranging heavy machine gun
12 x Smoke Grenade Dischargers

50 x 105mm projectiles
700 x 12.7mm ammunition
2,400 x 7.62mm ammunition
12 x Smoke Grenades

Variants / Models

• Vickers VMBT Mk 1 - Initial Production Model Series
• Vickers VMBT Mk 1 "Vijayanta" - Indian Production Model.
• Vickers VMBT Mk 2 - Never produced.
• Vickers VMBT Mk 3 - Upgraded Production Model Series; fitted with Leyland L60 powerplant and constructed with a welded turret.
• Vickers VABV - Armored Bridgelayer
• Vickers ARV - Armored Recovery Vehicle
• Vickers MBT 155mm - Self-Propelled Howitzer
• "Vijayanta" - Local Indian production of Vickers Mk 1; introduced in 1965.
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