Semel

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Spoiler

Screenshot 2024-05-28 121008

Introduction:
During 1953 South Africa acquired 87 Mk3 and 116 Mk5 Centurion tanks from Great Britain, however by 1964 the UN enacted a voluntary arms embargo on South Africa which made it difficult to obtain the necessary equipment and parts necessary for the upkeep of the tanks, especially for the V-12 Rolls Royce Meteor engines which was prone to overheating in the African climate. In addition to this the rocky terrain was also taking a toll on the Centurion’s road wheels and suspension. In 1973 ARMSCOR would acquire several V-12 Continental engines used in the M46/47 Patton tanks. With some creative modifications, these engines were installed on the Centurion tanks, however the new engines were far from perfect as they consumed a ridiculous amount of fuel and limited the operational range. In addition to the new engines being installed the tiller bars used for driving the tanks were replaced by a steering handlebar system. In total 9 Centurion Mk3’s received the modification, with all 9 being pushed into service as an interim measure and receiving the name Skokiaan. When the Skokiaan were pushed into service, the same modification was also made on 35 Centurion Mk5 tanks in 1974, later known as the Semel, on which we will focus for this post. In addition to receiving the Continental engine the Semel also received redesigned steering and brakes which made use of hydraulics, an increase in fuel capacity, and the air filters being repositioned to avoid getting clogged.

Spoiler

Screenshot 2024-05-28 120838

Specifications:
Main armament: 20-pdr (84 mm)

Shell types: APCBC, APDS, HE

Secondary armament: 1x 7.62mm BMG

Smoke launchers: Yes (12x Smoke Grenade)

Hull Armour: (front) 76mm, (side) 60mm, (rear) 38mm

Turret Armour: (front) 152mm, (side) 89mm, (rear) 89mm

Crew: 4 (commander, gunner, driver, loader)

Engine: Continental-AVl-l790-9 (12 cylinder)

Horsepower: 810hp

Top speed: 50 km/h

Transmission: Alison-CD-850-5

Spoiler

Screenshot 2024-05-28 120911

Sources:
-VEG: https://pantser.cmvo.org.za/docs/VEG%20Issue%203%20-%20Centurion%20Mk5,%20Skokian%20and%20Semel.pdf

-Tank Encyclopedia: https://tanks-encyclopedia.com/coldwar/south_africa/olifant_mk.i

-SA Armour Museum: https://www.saarmourmuseum.com/centurion-mk-5-skokiaan-britainrsa

-South African Armour History written by Dr Dewald Venter (p49)

5 Likes

+1, Yes please

1 Like

Seems like the Olifant but trading the bigger gun for better mobility, will be interesting to play if we get it. :)

2 Likes

+1 Very nice

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