Designed as an export platform, the Vickers Valiant MkIV showed much promise on paper. Ed Webster investigates what went wrong

The ATDU report showing the dead ground and limited vision of the driver

The Vickers Mk.IV tank, the Valiant, was the third vehicle and second tank made by Vickers-Armstrongs Ltd with that name. Designed from the outset as an export platform, it was never intended to replace the British Army’s Chieftain tank. And despite having some good features for its time, the Valiant was held back by design and development issues, although some aspects of its design would go on to be used in other vehicles.

The Vickers Mk.IV was first referenced in 1976 with some of the earliest surviving documents under enquiry No NE9012. In this, they draw parallels between the FV.4211 concept tank, a Chieftain tank with early Chobham armour, and a new proposal Vickers was working on.

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