World War season “Road to the West” begins on July the 1st.
M60 AMBT (Event Vehicle)
In 2011, the Turkish company StandartBio proposed a large-scale modernization program for outdated M60 tanks. The program was called the Affordable Main Battle Tank (AMBT) and was aimed to increase combat effectiveness of M60 tanks to a level roughly equivalent to modern main battle tanks. The main changes of this modernization were a new 1200 hp diesel engine, a modern fire control system with a ballistic computer and independent stabilization of the aiming line through a digital gunner’s sight, as well as a new smooth-bore M256 120-mm gun. The tank’s protection also increased slightly by installing solid hull side screens and tower slat screens. In addition, the tank received an electric turret drive, new surveillance optics, and a 25-mm automatic cannon in the commander’s turret. The AMBT modernization program was designed entirely for foreign operators of the M60 from several countries in Africa and Southeast Asia.
In War Thunder, the M60 AMBT will be the main prize in the new season of the World War. M60 AMBT will join the ranks of the modernized M60 in the game and will become the most advanced modification of this tank. By some parameters, the tank came close to the top-tier MBTs - it has the same gun as the M1A1 Abrams, a new powerful diesel engine makes the tank noticeably more agile and fast, the tower’s electric drive and stabilizer allow shooting on the move at short and medium distances. The tank's protection, although improved compared to the base M60, is still inferior to most MBT of the VII rank. The tank does not have dynamic protection either, which means that you need to be careful about the impact of ATGMs and chemical energy tank shells, especially in the hull.
The M60 AMBT is perhaps the best prize tank that has ever appeared in the game. In fact, in everything except security, this “budget MBT” can be compared with the American “Abrams” of the first production series. A powerful gun in combination with modern fire control system, and good dynamics are the main advantages of this modernization of the elderly, but still capable M60. Come play World War mode and get great prizes, they are worth the effort!
IL-2 (M-82) (Premium Aircraft)
In early July of 1941, due to the rapid advance of German troops into central Russia, there was a threat of a reduction in the supply of IL-2 AM-38 aircraft engines. Anticipating possible issues, Sergey Ilyushin suggested adapting the Sturmovik engine to the more common M-82 engine to the Soviet military aviation authorities. In a very short time, the aircraft engineers in the Ilyushin design bureau built a prototype attacker aircraft for testing with the new engine. The prototype also featured a much anticipated defensive turret with a position for an air gunner, the need for which became evident after the first IL-2 sorties in WWII. Unlike the production version, the IL-2 with the M-82 engine did not have engine compartment protection - the armored capsule was shortened and ended with an armored plate between the pilot and the engine. The new engine also required the installation of an updated propeller. The gunner’s seat was positioned to the rear of the cockpit, where a blister turret with a 12.7mm UBT machine gun with armored glass was located. Tests of the new version of the attack aircraft demonstrated that such a design does not have critical problems despite its inferior speed to the regular IL-2. By the spring of 1942, a prototype with the M-82IR engine appeared, which was better suited for low altitudes, from which the attack aircraft was operating most of the time. Flight characteristics have been improved, but by that time the production of native AM-38 engines was normal and there was no need to modify the IL-2 with M-82 engines any more.
IL-2 (M-82) will appear in the game as a prize aircraft in the new season of World War and will become a premium rank II attack aircraft in the USSR aviation research tree. It differs from the IL-2 version (1941) by a slightly lower speed and lack of engine protection, however there is a defensive turret so necessary in battles. The offensive and mounted weapons are similar to the earlier version of the Sturmovik: 2x20mm ShVAK + 2x7.62 ShKAS, and a huge variety of combinations of missile and bomb mounts, up to 2x250 kg of bombs. The IL-2 (M-82), like the rest of the attacker aircraft of the series, will become one of the best vehicle of this class at its rank. IL-2 capable not only to effectively damage ground targets, but also able to nail down an enemy aircraft with dense fire of its autocannons and MGs. Surely, IL-2 lacks the speed and maneuverability for a full-fledged dog fights, but a heavy machine gun will help to break away from the pursuit, and a large wing area will allow the attacker to reach targets at a tree-top height. In addition, the IL-2 (M-82) is a coveted model in the collection of Soviet attacker aircraft: it is a real “child of war” created in the conditions of the unstoppable onslaught of the enemy, as well as the first factory modification of the IL-2 with the workplace of an air gunner.
In a word, Ilyushin’s experimental attack aircraft is an excellent prize for World War II enthusiasts who will get the most stubborn and skillful fighters. Go for it!