Craig Allen reports on the US Army’s new light tank
The concept of a light tank has been around US Army circles for a long time, beginning with the M3 Stuart in World War Two. The Stuart was employed for both infantry support and reconnaissance and was eventually replaced by the M24 Chaffee.
It went on to serve with US Forces in Korea and with the French in Vietnam. Ten M24s famously took part in the battle of Dien Bien Phu, where they were brought in by air in pieces then reassembled on the battlefield. In the late 1960s, the aluminium armoured Sheridan was developed and went on to see extensive service in Vietnam. Later these light tanks were relegated solely to airborne units and were finally retired in 1997 with no obvious successor.