Chieftain Mk 5 Guide

Forum for discussion relating to the Chietain MBT
Kevin Hunter
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Re: Chieftain Mk 5 Guide

Post by Kevin Hunter » Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:54 pm

If I may, a question for the experts / Stephen (1 and the same?? :oops: )………..

Did the Mk of Chieftain or change of radio fit between Larkspur & Clansman impact at all on position of antennae? The kit contains 2 aerial mounting bosses. One is positioned RH turret, forward of the commanders stowage bin and mounted on (what could be?) an ATU box. The other is mounted directly opposite, on the LH side of turret. Many photos of Chieftain show 2 aerials, opposite each other as described.

However, in John Clarke's photo above, there is a Clansman base fitted LH side of turret, behind the loaders hatch. The Duxford Chieftain also has a Clansman base fitted in this "aft" position.

Were there only ever 2 antennae per tank, or did some have a third - command vehicle perhaps?

Thanks in advance - and thanks to all other contributors for a number of very informative threads.

regards
Kevin

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Re: Chieftain Mk 5 Guide

Post by Stephen White » Thu Oct 10, 2019 1:56 pm

Kevin, you’ve got it. Standard radio fit for a gun tank was two sets, C42/B47 Larkspur or 2xPRC 353 Clansman. The command variant fielded three. All tanks had the fittings for a third set. Command tanks were issued on a scale of two per squadron and one in regimental (ie battle group) HQ. The latter had one secure installation (ie encrypted). This was on the days before secure, frequency hopping, spread spectrum radios were commonplace.

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Re: Chieftain Mk 5 Guide

Post by Kevin Hunter » Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:06 pm

Thanks for clarifying Stephen. Much appreciated.
Kevin

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Re: Chieftain Mk 5 Guide

Post by John Clarke » Thu Oct 10, 2019 3:22 pm

Nice one Kevin and Stephen,
I had noticed that are actually four Ariel mounts two at the sides and two at the back behind the loaders hatch.
I take it that there would only be up to three Ariel mounts maximum used at any one time?

At the rear there appears to be tow hook mounting plate, a electrical box and socket with weather cap for towing and I'm not sure what it is?
A rotary switch maybe or some form of illumination for convoy stripes. :?
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Re: Chieftain Mk 5 Guide

Post by Kevin Hunter » Thu Oct 10, 2019 5:33 pm

John - I think your "rotary switch" is actually a convoy light? Believe it could have either white or red illumination depending on how much, or how little, light one wanted to show the enemy.

Going back to antenna bases, I may be wrong but isn't the 4th one (ie:- the smaller pyramid shaped boss behind the loaders hatch in your earlier photo) for the yellow rotating beacon / hazard light used on public roads?

Kevin

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Re: Chieftain Mk 5 Guide

Post by Mark Heaps » Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:05 pm

You guys are learning fast. I think we could have made good tank crewmen out of some of you.

The "rotary switch" was indeed the armoured convoy light, small red lens on the top, wider white lens on the bottom to illuminate the convoy plate. Not adjustable, unlike the number plate light. What gives it the switch looking effect is actually the machined surface so you could get a spanner on it to remove the armoured cover to replace the bulb when needed.
The "4th radio mount" was indeed the winky pot stalk.

The electrical box with cover is a NATO standard trailer socket so the mount probably was for a tow hook but I never saw it fitted. Chieftain gun tanks never towed in my experience. They "pushed" the recovery vehicle. :lol:

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Re: Chieftain Mk 5 Guide

Post by Mark Heaps » Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:37 pm

In my experince, one radio was set to the squadron net, the other to the regimental net.
The third radio fit was to communicate with higher or other formations operating on different frequencies.
In the units I was attached to, the command variant tank in HQ squadron was not 11B, the Commanding Officer´s tank, but 22B, the 2IC´s tank. The 2IC would control the comms with other formations so that the CO could concentrate on fighting his regiment. The 2IC would filter the traffic and relay on only what was appropriate and needed.

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Re: Chieftain Mk 5 Guide

Post by Kevin Hunter » Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:04 pm

Thanks Mark.

Back to antennae (sorry). Was there a prescribed configuration or a matter of personal preference? To explain my meaning, I’m seeing pics of 1 RH side on ATU box with 1 opposite, ie forward LH on the small “step like” position, alternatively 1 Rh with a 2nd on the aft LH Mount behind loaders hatch. Could it be “either, or”?

There Are pics showing 3 mounted aerials but rarer, in keeping with lower number of command tanks.

How tall was the stalk for the winky pot? Found these but only in 1/8. Probably won’t be far out?

https://www.pistenking.com/shop/product ... n-1-8.html

Kevin

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Re: Chieftain Mk 5 Guide

Post by Mark Heaps » Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:56 pm

Hi Kevin,

I believe the standard or "correct" configuration for a gun tank was front right and rear left, front left was for the third set on the command tanks.
However I know from experience that tanks were re-roled when they went through base overhaul and command tanks could have been re-roled as gun tanks. Ammunition stowage and radio trays were different between the two so would have been changed, cable harnesses and external fittings were not removed if they were already fitted so front right and left whilst being unusual would not be incorrect. One of the gun tanks in a squadron I supported was a re-roled command tank and the crew used the front mounts. Made it easier when camming & de-camming.

Rubber base for the winky pot stalk was about 10 centimeter high, replaceable insert stuck up about 1.5 to 2 centimeters further out depending on who had fitted it. The left hand one of the two from the link you posted, straight shape rather than domed, is more correct but the base elements were white plastic rather than black, they were usually painted or black-nastied. Strip of black nasty on the side towards the loaders hatch would also be realistic. During a road move when the winky pot would be on, the loader would have been observing to the rear of the vehicle and could not do his job at the time if he was being constantly blinded.

Mark

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Re: Chieftain Mk 5 Guide

Post by Kevin Hunter » Thu Oct 10, 2019 8:31 pm

Once again, thankyou Mark.
Thought the winky pot was set much higher above the turret, 2ft - 3ft pole?

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Re: Chieftain Mk 5 Guide

Post by John Clarke » Fri Oct 11, 2019 5:27 am

While we're on a roll lads, how about these items. First the box shaped container found in the baskets. Some times bolted to the outside of the basket, some tanks have been seen with one in each basket, Inside it's divided into six sections.

Second, something behind a thin plate in front of the Cupola, probably mounted to the heavy lump bolted to the turret .

Last, Another large lump welded down to one side of the Cupola. it has a circular "hole" machined and welded to it. Could it have some thing to do with another circular hole piece welded on the other side in the picture full of water.

Still wondering what the little blocks of steel are dotted around the turret. There's one next the last unknown object.

If it's true designers were always looking for weight savers these blocks must have some importance, Optional extras? :roll:



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Re: Chieftain Mk 5 Guide

Post by Kevin Hunter » Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:49 am

John
Based on the stowage diagram (Stephen’s Chinese eye thread) I think the box in turret basket is for smoke grenades/bombs?
Sorry but I can’t help on the other bits.
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Re: Chieftain Mk 5 Guide

Post by Stephen White » Fri Oct 11, 2019 10:35 am

Kevin, right again! From left to right:

- stowage for six off Grenade, Discharger, Smoke Screening, L5. There you have it, the full description in Army-speak for the MBSGD grenades, not to be confused with hand thrown grenades. The MBSGD grenades also came in an L7 version (a natty green colour) and L8. They were phosphorous based and quite dangerous at the receiving end. We did fire them regularly on the ranges and they were very effective. The position of the bin allowed for rapid reloading but changed when the stowage for main armament ammunition was changed to accommodate the fin round (APFDS).

- protection for the commander's Sight AFV Periscopic L37 No 3 or No 4 washer jet. Behind that plate, there was a complicated junction box which fed water from the tank (see below) to the washer jet via a pump.

- filler cap for the commander's sight washer reservoir.

Re an earlier comment of Mark's:

In the units I was attached to, the command variant tank in HQ squadron was not 11B, the Commanding Officer´s tank, but 22B, the 2IC´s tank. The 2IC would control the comms with other formations so that the CO could concentrate on fighting his regiment. The 2IC would filter the traffic and relay on only what was appropriate and needed.

I served both as Second in Command of 4 RTR and Commanding Officer of 2 RTR. As you say, the primary role of the 2IC was to run battle group HQ and to be the voice of the battle group on the rear link to the higher formation, usually a brigade HQ. He was rarely in a tank, being tied mostly to whichever command vehicle had control of the battle group net. (We had two primary command vehicles - FV432s - which could provide a main HQ and a step-up or reserve. The two vehicles would alternate control of the net and the 2IC moved between them). The second command tank in BG HQ was usually commanded by a senior NCO and provided local defence for the BGHQ. As CO, I always had a secure radio link to brigade HQ and would always monitor that net in addition to commanding the Battle Group on its dedicated net. You had to keep you wits about you monitoring two (and sometimes three) nets simultaneously. Although the 2IC would handle routine reporting to brigade, when anything serious needed to be discussed, it was usually a direct conversation between the brigade commander and me. That said, we operated a doctrine from the late eighties of "mission command" which delegated a great degree of freedom of action and thus minimised the need for radio traffic. It took several years off my life as the doctrine developer at the Staff College getting the Army to adopt the new doctrine. In the earlier Larkspur era (seventies), we had so called Type 57 armoured regiments in which there was only one tank in battle group HQ.

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Re: Chieftain Mk 5 Guide

Post by Mark Heaps » Fri Oct 11, 2019 8:11 pm

Kevin Hunter wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 8:31 pm
Once again, thankyou Mark.
Thought the winky pot was set much higher above the turret, 2ft - 3ft pole?
Hi Kevin,
On some other vehicles, notably REME variants, the winky-pot was on a locally manufactured extension pole to clear the penthouse. For road safety, it was essential that any vehicle approaching us from front or rear had as much notice as possible of the hazard to them and could act accordingly. The mount was always at the highest point of a vehicle and an extension pole was only ever needed if some attachment was later fitted to the vehicle which would obstruct the required viewing angle. I was never attached to the Armoured Engineers but I believe the AVREs and AVLBs did have extension poles because of the bridges, fascines etc that they could have been carrying so they needed to get the winky-pot higher up.

The winky-pot stalk was occasionally used to power other items. During GW1 I was attached to an artillery battery and provided the 8 M109s with 8 foot cables to connect the drivers night sight to the winky-pot stalk. Whoever was on sentry duty during the night had the night sight with him up on top of the vehicle and could scan the surrounding area. Higher vantage point with night vision capability made more sense than them being further out in a slit trench.

Mark

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