Hi everyone, today I would like to suggest another high tier SPAA for the british tree, the Chieftan Sabre. This radar equipt SPAA is perhaps the best gun based SPAA that could be added to the british tech tree in game, as it offers both increased ammunition load over the Marksman (750 rpg), as well as having more versitile belts, as unlike the 35mm KDA cannon’s on the marksman with their emacited apds secondary belts , it would have 1/4 its belt loaded with APDS like in the falcon, with the added bonus of having a radar to help it engage air targets. Because of this i think the Chieftan Sabre is a worthy suggestion for the british tech tree .png “:)”)
The Sabre SPAAG system was a project between RO and Thompson CSF in the 1980’s to convert Chieftain and Centurion MBT’s into a 3 man Self Propelled Anti-Aircraft Gun offering low level air defence at an operational level. Primary targets were helicopters and low flying fast attack jets, although the weapons were able to tackle ground units if needed.
Chieftain and Centurion Sabre was equipped with twin 30mm Oerlikon or 27mm Mauser cannons with an effective range of 3000 meters and a ROF of 1300 to 1700 rounds per minute. The 30mm cannons had a either a semi-automatic to fully automatic modes with optimum burst settings of 5 to 15 rounds with a MV of 1080m/s in a 750 round magazine containing either SAPI or HE self-destructing rounds.
The reaction to target destruction time was 6 seconds and primary tracking was via the Thompson CSF Electronics system and built in “Œil Vert” radar that had Omnidirectional Doppler tracking ranges between 7km and 15km. Once detected the enemy would be tracked by the commander while the IFF kit informed him of target identification. The data was relayed via the Sabres Fire Director Equipment which provided an image to an automatic TV tracking coupled with an early digital FCS that would adjust the shot fall while the LRF gave an acute target distance to the gunner.
The Sabre turret was designed to fit both Centurion and Chieftain with no structural changes however due to Chieftain’s poor sales record and Centurion approaching obsolescence in many nations; the Sabre did not get put into production and instead remains as a single proof of concept.
In terms of preformance this vehicle is basically a Chieftan with a falcon turret, with an increase in ammunition capacity to 750 rpg, giving it significantly longer combat endurance than the Falcon with its more meagre ammunition load.
- Dimensions (L-W-H) 35’4″ (24’6″ without gun) x 11’5″ x 9’5″ ft.in, (10.79m (7.51m) x 3.5m x 2.89m)
- Total weight, battle ready 55 tons (11000 Ibs)
- Crew 3 (commander, driver, gunner).
- Propulsion British Leyland diesel BL 40, 450-650 bhp, later BL 60, 695 bhp
- Speed 48/30 km/h road/cross-country (29.82/18.64 mph)
- Range/consumption 500 km (310.68 mi)
- Armament 2x HSS 831L (30 mm) 750 rpg
- Armour glacis 4.72in, sides 1.37in (120/35 mm)
- Tank Encyclopedia - The Online Tank Museum (Listed in the variants)
- Chieftain Sabre SPAAG | Secret Projects Forum
- Chieftain and Beyond (History of the project is here)
- Chieftain MBT (Mentioned in passing as a variant near the end)
- La tourelle SABRE dans tous ses états (par Jérôme Hadacek) - MAJ 12/02:19 - (in french but overlays the entire project, including original program pictures)