VFM 5: Private Venture

The VFM 5 was a light tank developed by the British Vickers company during the 1980’s based on a previous American project. Soon, tankers in War Thunder can look forward to driving this unique Anglo-American hybrid as it becomes available as a new top light tank in the British ground forces tree in the upcoming major update!

Briefly: A light tank developed on the basis of the experimental American CCVL and featuring a Vickers turret sporting a modified version of the 105mm L7 cannon.

VFM 5, light tank, Britain, VI rank.

Pros

  • The renowned 105mm L7 cannon
  • Good mobility

Cons

  • Lightly armoured
History

In 1985, Vickers formed a consortium with the American FMC company in order to develop a modern, yet cost-effective light tank for the export market. To achieve this, development and production costs had to be kept as low as possible. As a result, the decision was made to combine the CCVL hull developed by FMC for the US Army’s AGS project with a Vickers-built turret, housing a modified low-recoil version of the widely used L7 cannon.

The first prototype was built in 1986 and subsequently revealed to the public at the British Army Equipment Exhibition that year. However, despite its modern equipment, excellent mobility and low weight thanks to the wide use of aluminum alloys, the VFM 5 failed to attract any attention from potential international operators at first.

However, testing and further refinement of the vehicle’s design continued into the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, just at that time negotiations were held with Malaysia to supply the tank to the national armed forces, but it ultimately never came to a production agreement. In the end, only a single prototype of the VFM 5 was ever constructed.

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In War Thunder, the VFM 5 will be a new addition to the top ranks of the British ground forces tree, which will soon further expand its roster of highly mobile light vehicles. However, unlike some of the more recent additions, the VFM 5 gives British tankers access not to a wheeled vehicle, but to a proper traditional light tank instead!

The VFM 5 is primarily armed with a modified version of the 105mm L7 cannon - a weapon which should be most familiar not just to British tankers at the higher ranks. Featuring no noteworthy differences from that standard version of the weapon, the VFM 5’s cannon fires the usual set of standard NATO ammunition, including a number of sub-calibre and chemical rounds. Additionally, the vehicle also comes fitted with a 7.62mm coaxially mounted machine gun as well as a heavier roof-mounted M2 Browning .50 cal to combat low flying aircraft and particularly daring helicopter pilots.

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However, as is the nature with light combat vehicles, the VFM 5 only features very light aluminium protection and only in the frontal area of the vehicle the armour received additional steel plates. As a result, the VFM 5 can effectively shrug off anything up to autocannon calibres of incoming fire at distance, while more powerful weapons will have no trouble overmatching the vehicle’s armour. 

On the other hand, being lightly armoured and thanks to its mostly aluminium construction, the VFM 5 only has a combat weight just short of 20 tons. This, coupled with the vehicle’s 560 horsepower diesel engine, allows the VFM 5 to reach a blistering speed of 44.7 mph (72 km/h) on roads, while the excellent power-to-weight ratio of 28.3 hp/t promises equally good mobility in more challenging terrain. As a result, aspiring commanders of this machine should have no trouble outflanking even the most modern MBT on the battlefield, dealing devastating blows to the enemy’s flanks or providing their allies with valuable intel on the enemy’s movements.


The War Thunder Team

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