Jaguar MBT

Would you like to see the Jaguar in-game?
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Hello! Welcome to the suggestion for the Jaguar MBT. This was a Sino-American upgrade project to be applied to the Type 59 and similar tanks in the late 1980s and 1990s, upgrading the transmission, armament, engine, and (slightly) armor of the basic Type 59. If you have any corrections, information, or additional pictures and discussion to add, feel free! Let’s find out a bit more about the Jaguar.

Note: I’ve tagged this topic under Chinese ground forces as I feel it would be best suited there, however if you disagree and would like it in the US tree, would like it for both trees, or not be in-game at all, you’re welcome to state your opinion.

History

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A parade of Type 59s in northern China, autumn 1981.

In the 1980s, the United States and the People’s Republic of China were arguably at their closest in terms of relations. This included cooperation for companies of both countries as well. In 1984, the Cadillac Gage Textron company, partnered with China National Machinery & Equipment Import and Export Corporation (CMEC), envisioned a low-cost tank upgraded with modern Western technology. The tank they had in mind was the Type 59, a Chinese produced version of the Soviet T-54A. It had served with the PLA for two decades at this point, and saw a number of exports to other nations. Due to this, it was agreed to start a Sino-American project under the name of Jaguar, 美洲虎 (měizhōu hǔ) in Chinese.

Development began subsequently, and it was agreed that the two companies developing the Jaguar would provide 40% of the components, with the rest sourced from outside sources. Since it was meant to be an economical upgrade, the price cap would be set at around $1,000,000 per unit, with the profits being split between the two companies. For comparison, the dominant arms exporter of China, NORINCO, offered its Type 59 and Type 69 tanks for around $650,000 per unit, meaning that for only a few hundred thousand dollars more, a country could get a far superior tank.


The first Jaguar prototype, likely during trials in Nevada in December of 1988.

The Jaguar was officially revealed to the world in October 1988 at an arms exhibition in Athens, Greece, to much surprise. Since the Type 59 chassis the Jaguar used was closely related to the T-54 and T-55, the Jaguar upgrade could be applied to these as well. This opened a massive market for developing nations to upgrade their tank fleets at a lower cost than buying modern tanks. The team was very ambitious, with Cadillac Gage stated its intention to have all Type 59s, T-54s, and T-55s in East Asia to be replaced or upgraded with the Jaguar. Not only this, but CMEC intended to submit the Jaguar to the PLA to do the same to its existing Type 59s.

Work on building a prototype began in late 1988 after CMEC provided Cadillac Gage with two Type 59s. The resulting prototype underwent testing in the desert of Nevada, with mobility trials in December, and firing trials the following month in January. With the results of these trials, the development team intended to follow up on noted flaws and ideally begin production in 1990 or 1991, provided that the vehicle received interest and the vehicle passed its trials.


One of the pictures of the prototype at a Cadillac Gage factory, without its driver’s seat, showing the ammunition stowage area for the front of the hull, as on the Type 59.

Much of the Jaguar’s interior was similar to the Type 59 in terms of layout, with an ammunition rack at the front right of the vehicle, next to the driver, and a three man turret. Despite this, a large number of components were replaced, such as the original 520 hp Type 1215L being replaced by a 750 hp 8V-92TA, increasing its power-to-weight ratio, resulting in a top speed of 55 km/h. The transmission was replaced by an Allison XTG-411 with four forward gears, and two reverse gears. Armament wise, the Jaguar received the 105 mm M68, an American licensed variant of the famous 105 mm L7 gun, allowing the Jaguar to use any NATO standard 105 mm tank rounds. Other improvements were a British Marconi DFCS (Digital Fire Control System) which included a laser rangefinder and day/night sights, as well as a two-axis electro-hydraulic stabilization system from Cadillac Gage. Armor remained much the same, however steel appliqué plates were fitted to parts of the tank. Naturally, nearly all of these components could be swapped out per a customer’s request.

Unfortunately, things fell apart quickly, as in April of 1989, the events following protests at Tiananmen Square caused a rift between the US and China, resulting in the US government enacting an embargo on Western arms sales to China. All American personnel working on the Jaguar in China were called back, and CMEC dropped out of the program. No orders or interest had been shown in the Jaguar, and Cadillac Gage revised the program to be a retrofit for Type 59s, T-54s, and T-55s for countries considered friendly to the United States. Ultimately, this was not to be either due to a lack of interest following the end of the Cold War, as well as an estimated up to $2,400,000 unit price for a production Jaguar. By 1998, all marketing for the Jaguar had ended, and the project was scrapped. In 2021, the Jaguar prototype was sighted rusting in a Cadillac Gage Textron facility in Slidell, Louisiana, reigniting interest for the vehicle by tank enthusiasts of both countries. Even though the project has been canned, the Jaguar can be remembered as a better time in relations between the US and China, times we can only hope may return.


The Jaguar prototype at the Cadillac Gage Textron facility in Slidell, Louisiana.

Specifications

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  • Crew: 4
  • Length: 6.80 m (hull) 9.59 m (with barrel)
  • Width: 3.27 m
  • Height: 2.63 m
  • Combat Weight: 46.32 t
  • Step: 80 cm / 2.62 ft
  • Trench: 2.7 m / 8.86 ft
  • Slope: 30%
  • Gradient: 60%
  • Fording: 1.1 m
  • Main armament: 105 mm M68
  • Main armament ammunition: 34 rounds
  • Main armament elevation angles: 17° /–4°
  • Secondary armament: 7.62 mm machine gun (3,500 rounds) & 12.7 mm M2HB (600 rounds) & 8× electrically operated smoke dischargers
  • Fuel Capacity: 902 L
  • Powerplant: 750 HP 8V-92TA diesel engine @ 2,300 RPM
  • Maximum Speed: 55 km/h
  • Maximum Range: 540 km
  • Suspension: Torsion Bar or Optional Cadillac Gage Textron Hydropneumatic Suspension
  • Transmission: General Motors Corporation XTG-411 (four forward gears, two reverse gears)
  • Power-To-Weight Ratio: 16.19 hp/t

Sources

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Gallery

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download (2)

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3 Likes

+1
Perfect for a Chinese event/premium vehicle, likely at 8.3

Looks like a cross between Abrams and ZTZ-59

1 Like

+1
why do I always feel like these suggestions have been suggested before? Have those old ones been deleted?

I think both China and the US can obtain it. Just like those vehicles in Germany and France

Because Gaijin considered much of the old suggestions not fullfilling latest requirements

Due to us changing forums, we decided to make the suggestion a clean slate.
So we opened up suggestions we have already considered in the past.
This would allow new people to make suggestions with possibly more new info available.

You can read more about it here

+1 could potentially come for both nations like the SK105 did for France and Germany. Seems like both nations had a fair part in development, though in the end it is still a Type 59 upgrade ofc.

okay, I understand now

france still hasn’t received the DF 105…

1 Like

During the development of jaguar MBT, two options actually emerged. What is known now is TA-1 dominated by American, and TA-2 dominated by Chinese. TA-2 has only a few pictures,only angular style fenders can tell that this is jaguar.
TA2

1 Like

Belongs in the game for sure. It is a unique and interesting vehicle from a peculiar moment in time of Chinese and American collaboration! +1

I’m quite shocked that this hasn’t been added yet
+1 for China onlu

1 Like

+1 but I’m curious as to why they didn’t accept my suggestion for it that I made months ago, nor the one for the CM32 Yunpao. I wrote both just as detailed, with every source, pictures, specs, and its role in the game, etc. Hmmm…sus

Feels kind of disappointing to spend over half an hour on something and then have it deleted / not accepted without even being told why.

1 Like

I have similar experience in the past, but if you ask one of the suggestion moderators, they will generally answer you why it was not accepted.

1 Like

+1 for both tech tree, preferably as researchable, especially for the US which is heavily lacking in (usable) 8.7-9.3 vehicles