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1 September 2017
T114 BAT: Giant Slayer
The T114 BAT is an American experimental lightly armoured vehicle, armed with a 106mm recoilless gun, intended to support the Army’s anti-tank battalions. Although unsatisfactory testing results prevented the vehicle from going into mass production and seeing any real combat, War Thunder players will soon be able to evaluate the vehicle’s combat performance themselves in the upcoming 1.71 update!
In the early 1950s, the US Army started work on developing a new generation of lightly armoured vehicles, such as APCs. General Motor’s Cadillac division proposed two versions of their T114 armoured vehicle to support infantry and anti-tank battalions, respectively. One version would to be armed with a single high caliber machine gun in a full rotatable turret, which would support the infantry battalions, whilst the other would be equipped with a 106mm recoilless gun, serving among the ranks of anti-tank battalions. In 1960, six prototypes of the T114 were built; four armed with machine guns and two armed with the recoilless gun, the latter being named BAT (Battalion Anti-tank) for a short period of time.
The first out of the two T114 BAT prototypes was being tested at Aberdeen proving ground between December 1960 - January 1961, whilst the other prototype remained with the manufacturer for factory tests. Due to unsatisfactory results during testing, all work on the T114 BAT stopped by 1961, with the 2 single prototypes being later converted into the machine gun-armed versions, of which a simplified version would later enter service with the US Army as the M114.
In War Thunder, the nimble T114 BAT is one of the first rank V premium vehicles. Here it will put its speed and mobility to good use by performing stealthy flanking attacks and scouting out the enemy’s locations and movements. As with all lightly armoured vehicles, the T114 BAT does not rely on its armour protection to help him complete his mission, but instead, takes advantage of its great speed and maneuverability in combination with its low profile, to surprise the enemy by appearing suddenly and without warning. That being said, the 8 ton T114 is able to reach a maximum speed of 46 mph (58 km/h) on roads, thanks to its 8-cylinder 160 horsepower engine. With a height of only 6.9 ft (2.1 meters), the T114 can either make good use of foliage scattered across the battlefield, by hiding behind various bushes and low trees, or can go into an effective hull-down position behind certain obstacles.
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As mentioned before, the vehicle’s armour is not sufficient to protect internal modules and the two-man crew from anything larger than rifle-caliber shots and shrapnell. However, despite the fact that it usually takes only a single hit to knock the T114 out of the battle, the vehicle is far from helpless. Its 106mm M40A1 recoilless gun is assisted by a loading mechanism, that automatically reloads the gun three times, before a new three-round clip has to be inserted into the mechanism by the gunner. This allows for an effective rate of fire of up to 6 rounds/minute, which when used to it’s full potential, can really spoil the day of the T114’s opponents. However, aspiring commanders of the T114 will have to bear in mind their relatively limited ammunition load of just 26 rounds. Though it might sound like a respective ammo capacity, these reserves are quickly spent in the heat of battle, thus it will be vital for commanders of the T114 to always keep an eye on their remaining ammo reserves, unless they discovered a new way of destroying a tank, in which case ammo is an optional part of the equipment.
Meet the new and improved T114 BAT in the upcoming update 1.71 for War Thunder!
See you there!
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The War Thunder Team