The Nigerian Army currently operates more than 100 Vickers Mark 3s purchased from the UK between 1983-1995.

The Nigerian Army has received the latest VT-4 tanks from China, but it also has no plans to give up its old tanks. The Nigerian Army currently operates more than 100 Vickers Mark 3s purchased from the UK between 1983-1995. In Nigeria Vickers Mark 3 is known as Eagle. It is fitted with a solid thermal shroud around its gun barrel and uses a Nanoquest L23 gunner sight featuring a Simrad LV352 laser rangefinder.

The Vickers Main Battle Tank Mk. 3 is a main battle tank by Vickers, a development of the Vickers MBT, and introduced in 1975 for the export market. Currently the Vickers Mk. 3 are serving in Africa, including Kenya, Nigeria, and Tanzania. Although an outdated design but the Vickers has shown that it is readily adaptable to various upgrades to keep it relevant in the battlefield. The Vickers still fights on till this day even though it was developed in the 1960’s. This is largely due to the flexible designs and the ingenuity of the users. With further upgrades, this tank can still pose a serious threat to the enemy tank fleet.

Layout of the Vickers Mk.3 tank is similar to the Mk.1, but it has a new turret, offering better protection. Maximum protection is over the frontal arc of 60° on the welded hull and 45° on the cast turret. Elsewhere, protection is provided against near-burst medium artillery. Protection against mines is by means of additional floor patch plates.

Vicker weighs about 40 tons, length is 9.78 m with gun, width is 3.24 m, and height is 2.44 m. The crew of 4 includes commander, gunner, loader and driver.

The idea was initially to mount the heavier British 120 mm L11 gun on the Vickers tank, but this was abandoned because the 105 mm L7-series rifled gun was becoming the NATO standard, 120 mm ammunition was more expensive than 105 mm and was used only by the British Army in Europe, and the weight advantage of the Vicker’s tank would be reduced. The Mk.3 has a new fire control system, the Marconi Radar Control System SFC 600 computerized system, provides full weapon stabilisation. Secondary armament consists of a coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun, ranging 12.7 mm heavy machine gun and anti-aircraft 7.62 mm machine gun.

Vickers Mk3 is powered by Detroit Diesel 12V-71T turbocharged diesel engine, developing 720 horsepower. The suspension consists of torsion bars with smaller secondary torsion bars at wheel stations 1, 2 and 6. The tank can reach a maximum speed of 60 km / h, a range of 490 km.


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