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Tank Mark IX

United Kingdom (1918)
Picture of Tank Mark IX Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) / Armored Fighting Vehicle (AFV)
Picture of Tank Mark IX Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) / Armored Fighting Vehicle (AFV) Picture of Tank Mark IX Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) / Armored Fighting Vehicle (AFV)
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The Mark IX tank is recognized as the first operational, purpose-built Armored Personnel Carrier anywhere in the world.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Tank Mark IX Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) / Armored Fighting Vehicle (AFV).  Entry last updated on 6/23/2016. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

The Mark IX tank was classified as an armored personnel carrier - effectively the world's first of its kind anywhere in operation service. The system was designed to a purpose-specific requirement needing an armored vehicle capable of transporting combat-ready troops or supplies to the front under protection. A wrinkle in the specifications, however, complicated early design as the Mark IX would also have to be made "tank-ready" meaning the design should serve as an APC but allow for conversion to a tank where the existing APC hull could be fitted with side sponsons sporting offensive-minded armament. This additional requirement stemmed from the fear that another armor project - the Mk VIII, a purpose-built armored fighting vehicle (AFV) - might not live up to expectations. As such, the back-up plan of using a multi-purpose hull was deemed necessary in the Mark IX design.

Based on the previous (and existing) Mark V tank design, the Mark IX was rushed onto the drawing boards. The engine of the Mark V was flipped with the gearbox, sending the engine forward and the gearbox to the rear. Crew accommodations consisted of four standard operating personnel with a utilitarian cabin space for up to 30 soldiers. The crew was made up of a commander, driver, mechanic and the machine gunner. The cabin space offered up no comforts whatsoever, not so much as seating for personnel or a compartment separating their area from the noise, grease and smoke from the operating engine - and facilitated the dual-use ability of the vehicle to carry people or supplies aboard without the need for conversion. Self-defense was basic with two 7.7mm Hotchkiss type anti-infantry machines guns with one held in a forward position and the other at rear, operated through nothing more than hatches. The passengers could jump into the fray as well for each side contained eight rounded hatches for which the business end of a rifle could be passed through and fired on the enemy. Power was derived from a single Ricardo 6-cylinder gasoline engine of 150bhp. Combined with the armor, this gave the vehicle a top speed of nearly 3.5 miles per hour in optimal road and weather conditions.

Externally, the Mark IX tank fit the role. It was featureless with the exception of the four noticeable rounded crew cabin doors (two to a side). The hull and attached superstructure was nestled in-between the track assemblies with the tracks taking on the trapezoid shape consistent with tank designs of the Great War. The large rearward area of the upper hull could be used to carry equipment and supplies in addition to what was held in the interior hold and total supply hauling capabilities topped 10 tons. Armor thickness reached 10 millimeters and, surprisingly, no type of suspension was provided.

Construction was under way in September of 1917 though only some 30 or so systems were actually produced before the end of the war in November of 1918. They were still considered of sound design and used for a time thereafter, though eventually done in by the general progression of armored vehicle designs and more purpose-built systems developed after the war. Regardless, the Mark IX proved to be a proper conversion of an existing design with haste necessitated by the calls of war. Its troop-carrying and supply-moving capabilities surely made up for any design-related drawbacks and rudimentary crew/passenger comforts.

The Mark IX was affectionately known as "The Pig" due to its distinct front-end shape. Construction was handled by Armstrong, Whitworth & Company of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.


Picture of the Tank Mark IX Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) / Armored Fighting Vehicle (AFV)
Picture of the Tank Mark IX Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) / Armored Fighting Vehicle (AFV)



Any available statistics for the Tank Mark IX Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) / Armored Fighting Vehicle (AFV) are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering initial year of service, country-of-origin, manufacturer and total production numbers. Other qualities showcased are related to structural values (namely dimensions), installed power and standard day performance figures, installed armament and ammunition carried, global users (from A-to-Z) and model variants in the series.


Supported Mission Types:
Tank-vs-Tank
Recon/Scouting
Troop Transport
Infantry Support
High Mobility
Tank Destroyer
Special Forces
Towed Artillery
Self-Propelled Artillery
Rocket Artillery
Anti-Armor
Airspace Denial
Engineering
Logistics
Prototype/Development
Special Purpose
Amphibious
National Flag Graphic
Origin: United Kingdom
Year: 1918
Type: Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) / Armored Fighting Vehicle (AFV)
Manufacturer(s): Armstrong, Whitworth & Company / Marshall, Sons, and Company - UK
Production: 34
Global Operators:
United Kingdom
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Operating Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Tank Mark IX model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
4


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
32.09 ft


Meters
9.78 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
13.48 ft


Meters
4.11 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
8.66 ft


Meters
2.64 m


Operating
WEIGHTS


Tons (US Short)
30 t


Kilograms
26,950 kg


Pounds
59,415 lb

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x Ricardo 6-cylinder gasoline engine developing 150 horsepower.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
3 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
5.63 kph


Maximum Road
RANGE


Miles
20 mi


Kilometers
32 km

Armament and Ammunition:

1 OR 2 x 7.7mm Hotchkiss machine gun(s)

Ammunition:
Not Available.
Optional Systems / Capabilities:

Nuclear-Biological-Chemical (NBC) Protection: None
Nightvision (NV) Equipment: None
Variants: Series Model Variants
• Mark IX - Base Tank Designation; 34 examples produced.
• Mark IX Ambulance - Proposed Armored Battlefield Ambulance Conversion; single example.
• Mark IX Amphibious - Proposed Amphibious Tank; single example.