105mm Gun Tank M48A5 Patton III (Fluidic Gun Stabilizer Test Bed) - "Fluid Thinking"

Would you like to see the M48A5 with gun stabilizer in game?
  • Yes, as a tech tree vehicle
  • Yes, as a premium vehicle
  • Yes, as an event vehicle
  • Yes, as a squadron vehicle
  • No, I would not like to see the stabilized M48A5 in game.

0 voters


M48A5 for illustrative purposes. Like the M47E1, the primary differences of the specific vehicle being suggested are internal.


With an add-on stabilizer kit being developed for the M60A1, one could wonder why it wasn’t applied to the normal M60 or M48 as well. While that specific stabilizer system was never incorporated to these older models, one M48A5 did end up being the test bed for a new kind of gun stabilizer system - a fluidic gun stabilizer.

Before discussing the stabilizer system, it’s worth briefly going over the M48A5. The M48A5 was a conversion kit for M48A1 and M48A3 tanks carried out in the late 1970’s. It was intended to incorporate as many components from the M60A1 as possible, which not only provided commonality with the U.S.'s main service tank at the time, but enhanced various aspects of the M48. The most obvious changes were to the armament, with the 90mm M41 main gun being replaced by the 105 mm M68 and the .50 caliber commander’s cupola being replaced by a low profile design with an M60D machine gun. Various internal changes to the ammunition racks allowed 54 rounds of 105 mm ammunition to be carried and a ready rack to be installed in the turret.


As for the stabilizer, it was a new kind of stabilizer that used angular rate sensors along with the movement of a fluid (in this case, air) to compensate for motion as opposed to the M60A1 (AOS) which used an electrohydraulic system. It sounds rather complicated, and it is, but the simple explanation is that the fire control system sensed the way air was moving as it came out of a nozzle, and based on that information, it was able to keep the gun pointed towards its target. It was tested in 1980 and the system proved to be at the level of accuracy expected of the AOS kit. While some teething issues were discovered, it was mostly a success in establishing a base for this technology going forward.

The stabilizer system was not installed on any other M48A5s. Most likely, the test was a case of using what they had on hand. The M48A5 did use lots of M60A1 components, after all, and it was relatively close to early model M60s at the end of the day, so it was a decent substitute for an M60 as far as testing purposes were concerned. Unfortunately, I personally have no idea if this technology was carried forward and applied to modern vehicles, so if you know anything about that, feel free to comment.


M48A5 Patton III (Fluidic Gun Stabilizer Test Bed)

Crew: 4

Weight: 54 tons (49 metric tons)

Powerplant: Continental AVDS-1790-2D

  • 750 gross horsepower
  • 643 net horsepower

Power to weight ratio: 13.9 hp/ton gross (11.9 hp/ton net)

Maximum Speed: 30 mph (48 km/h)


  • Main Gun: 105 mm M68 cannon (54 rounds)
    • Rate of fire: 7 rounds /min
    • Traverse: 24 degrees/sec, 360 degree range
    • Elevation: 4 degrees/sec, + 19 / - 9 degree range
    • Ammunition types: APDS, APFSDS, HEP (HESH), HEAT-FS, Smoke
  • Coaxial machine gun: 7.62 mm M240 machine gun
  • Additional machine guns: 2 x 7.62 mm M60D machine gun (10,000 rounds total for all 7.62 mm machine guns)


  • Hull:
    • Upper glacis: 4.33 inches (110 mm) at 60 degrees
    • Lower glacis: 2.4 - 4 inches (61 - 102 mm) at 53 degrees
    • Side front: 3 inches (76 mm) at 0 degrees
    • Side rear: 2 inches (51 mm) at 0 degrees
    • Rear grill: 1 inch (25 mm) at 0 degrees
    • Lower rear: 1.2 - 1.6 inches (30 - 41 mm) at 30 - 60 degrees
    • Hull roof: 2.25 inches (57 mm)
    • Floor front: 1.5 inches (38 mm)
    • Floor rear: 1 inch (25 mm)
  • Turret:
    • Mantlet: 4.5 inches (114 mm) at 30 degrees
    • Turret face: 7 inches (178 mm) at 0 degrees
    • Turret sides: 3 inches (76 mm) at 0 degrees
    • Turret rear: 2 inches (51 mm) at 0 degrees
    • Turret roof: 1 inch (25 mm)

Additional equipment:

  • M17B1C Coincidence Rangefinder
  • Fluidic Gun Stabilizer system

Number produced: 1


As far as War Thunder is concerned, the differences between a fluidic gun stabilizer and an electrohydraulic gun stabilizer are not important, so this would basically just be a stabilized M48A5. In essence, this would be extremely similar to the M60A1 (AOS) in game, with a slightly inferior armor profile and no .50 caliber machine gun. Depending on what ammunition Gaijin decides to provide the vehicle with, I can imagine this M48A5 doing well as an event or squadron vehicle in the 7.7-8.0 range (RB). Provided Gaijin added the standard M48A5 to the game, this would follow as an easier addition.

I would include a photo of the actual tank used, but the DTIC scan did not retain the photographs. Thusly I have no indication whether the external appearance of this vehicle was altered by the inclusion of the stabilizer unit.



This would be a great tank to have. +1