List of main battle tanks by generation

List of main battle tanks by generation

As of now there have been three generations of main battle tanks.

Tanks are sometimes classified as belonging to a particular generation, although the actual definition and membership in these generations is not clearly defined. Soviet and Russian military planners organize tanks into a generation of tanks up to 1945, and four generations of main battle tanks, [“The Soviets saw tank generations in this manner: 1920-1945, first generation; 1946-1960, second generation; 1961-1980, third generation; and 1981-present, fourth generation. Since the last really new tank design, the T-80, came out in 1976, they feel that they have not produced a true Fourth Generation Tank Design. In comparison, they count the M1, Challenger, and Leopard 2 as Fourth Generation and the LeClerc as Fifth Generation.” —Sewell 1988, note 1.] while Canadian strategists organize main battle tanks into three generations. [“The Canadian Directorate of Land Strategic Concept defines three generations of Main Battle Tanks. The first generation of post World War II Main Battle Tanks includes the U.S. M48/M60, the German Leopard 1 and the British Centurion and Chieftain. The second generation includes most of the 120mm Main Battle Tanks such as the American M1A1, the German Leopard 2 and the British Challenger. As for the third generation Main Battle Tank, they include the latest ‘digital’ tank such as the French Leclerc and perhaps the American M1A2 and the German Leopard 2A5.” —Lamontagne 2003, pp 7–8.] The military of the People's Republic of China also recognizes three generations of its own tanks.

First Generation

* T-44
* A41 Centurion [ 1] ]
* T-10
* T-54
* M46 Patton
* M47 Patton
* M48 Patton
* FV214 Conqueror
* T-55
* M-103
* Type 59
* Stridsvagn 74
* Type 61
* Sho't
* Magach 3/5
* Type 69
* Tiran-4/5
* Type 79

econd Generation

* T-62 [ "softland"] ]
* M60 Patton
* FV 4201 Chieftain
* Leopard 1
* AMX 30
* Stridsvagn 103
* T-64
* T-72
* Tiran 6
* Type 74
* Type 80
* T-55AM "Merida"
* M-84
* Type 85
* Type 88
* Ramses II MBT
* Lion of Babylon
* Ch'onma-ho
* Magach 6/7
* Zulfiqar tank
* M-2002
* Merkava Mark I/II

Third generation

* Leopard 2 [ 2] ]
* T-80
* T-90
* T-84
* Zulfiqar tank
* M1 Abrams
* FV4030/4 Challenger 1 [ Vademecum] ]
* K1/K1A1
* Type 90
* Type 98
* Type 99
* FV4034 Challenger 2
* AMX-56 Leclerc
* PT-91
* C1 Ariete
* Arjun MBT
* Al-Khalid (MBT 2000)
* Merkava Mark III/IV
* M-2001
* M-95 Degman
* Sabra
* M-60 2000
* Type 96

Under development

Tanks that are currently under development by some countries, not in service.

* Black Eagle (prototype demonstrated for export)
* K2 Black Panther
* T-95 (rumoured)
* Type 10

ee also

* Armoured fighting vehicle
* List of main battle tanks by country


* Note to the pancerni website source: Translation of most important parts of 1st, 2nd, 2.5 and 3rd generation MBTs characteristics: "The first generation MBTs are tanks made immediately after WWII. The second generation MBTs have better sights in comparison to the first generation MBTs. Also second generation MBTs were the first ones to use laser sights and APFSDS rounds. The third generation consists of tanks armed with high caliber and velocity guns like M1A1 Abrams. Third generation tanks also use composite armour as well as armour made out of highly resistant sintered ceramic materials. Third generation tanks also have full stabilization system for the main gun. There tanks between second and third generations, like Soviet T-72 which has powerful gun which would classify it as a third generation MBT but at the same time the stabilization system is much too primitive for it to a third generation MBT. It also lacks engine power to be a third generation MBT and has ammunition with less quality."


* Lamontagne, J.G. Pierre (2003). " [ Are the Days of the Main Battle Tank Over?] ". North York, Ontario: Canadian Forces College. ( [ PDF] )
* Sewell, Stephen ‘Cookie’ (1998). “ [ Why Three tanks?] ”, in "Armor" vol 108, no 4, p 21. Fort Knox, KY: US Army Armor Center.

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