The Cold War period drove a large amount of weapons design due to the constant threat of all-out nuclear or conventional war between the West and the Soviet Union. This led many of the major American services to entertain all manner of battlefield solutions no matter how over-the-top or unreachable a concept might have initially appeared. The Chrysler TV-8 concept was entered for consideration as a new medium tank for the United States Army and involved a self-propelled weapon system capable of amphibious operation and lightweight enough so as to be air-droppable over European hotspots. It relied on a unique arrangement which sat hull over a tracked drive component. The hull section doubled as the turret and housed the major combat components as well as the engine and four-man crew. While originally drawn up with a conventional engine fit, it was thought that the TV-8 would also one day be powered by a nuclear fission-based unit.
The TV-8 was only briefly considered and canceled when it was realized that the unique concept offered little advantage over existing tank designs. Its end came on April 23rd, 1956.
This hull/turret section was to carry a 90mm T208 main gun armament which proved effective against most Soviet armor of the period. A hydraulically-powered ramming arm would feed 90mm projectiles into the gun's breech. Beyond this armament fit were a pair of 0.30 caliber machine guns buried within the rounded surface of the hull (coaxial mounts). Atop the hull was a turreted pair of 0.50 caliber heavy machine guns and this would be controlled remotely from within the vehicle.
The tracked chassis component was to feature four road wheels to a hull side with the drive sprocket fitted forward. Drive power stemmed from an in-house Chrysler V8 unit of 300 horsepower output and this was to be tied to a pair of electric generators driving a pair of motors which were linked to the drive sprockets themselves. The engine was fitted to a compartment at the rear of the hull.
Engineers estimated an overall weight for the TV-8 of 25 tons of which at least fifteen tons would be allocated to the hull/turret structure and ten tons to the tracked drive section. The built-in amphibious capability included self-sustained floating and water jets used to propel the vehicle when approaching the beach.
Dimensions of the vehicle showcased a length of 8.9 meters, a width of 3.4 meters and a height of 2.9 meters.