|Gordon Main Battle Tank|
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Artist's conception of Gordon MBT
|Type||Main battle tank|
|Place of origin||Prestonia|
|Designer||Chatham Heavy Industries Ltd|
|Manufacturer||Chatham Heavy Industries Ltd|
|Unit cost||$6.5mn URD|
|Weight|| 64.3 tonnes (Basic)|
67 tonnes (Combat)
|Length|| 8m (w/o gun) |
11.7m (w/ gun)
|Crew||3 (Commander, gunner, driver)|
|Armor||Laminated steel/ceramic/composite mixture along with modular armor packages|
|x1 Coleman Armaments L52/R81 130mm smoothbore cannon|
|x1 12.7mm MG2 General Purpose Machine Gun, or GMW-40C grenade launcher|
|Engine|| Chatham Heavy Industries CMC-1600-BD Liquid Cooled V-12 Diesel|
1600bhp @ 2600 rpm
|Transmission||Manual; 6 forward, 2 reverse|
|Fuel capacity||1,400 ℓ (1,700 ℓ with fuel drums)|
|500 km (640 km with fuel drums)|
The Gordon Main Battle Tank is a Prestonian third-generation main battle tank and the primary tank in service with the Imperial Armed Forces of Prestonia. Named after Bloody Century era general George Gordon, the Gordon MBT was designed for armored ground warfare and was developed to replace the Goliath. It entered service in 1988, following four years of development and testing. Since entering service, the Gordon has received three major upgrade packages, leading some foreign observers to designate them as Gordon I, Gordon II, and Gordon III. The most recent of these, undertaken in 2006, significantly upgraded the electronics and targeting suite, though the Defence Ministry continues to characterise the vehicle as a continuation of the original Gordon line.
Approximately 550 Gordons have been produced since production began in 1988; they have more or less completely replaced the older Goliath, though some Goliaths exist in reserve storage. While offered for sale to numerous countries, as of 2015 the Gordon MBT had not been adopted by any foreign nation.
Design work on the Gordon MBT began in 1984 following a Defence Ministry request for new concept designs to replace the Goliath, which had entered service in 1964 and was beginning to show its obsolescence despite numerous technical upgrades. While prospective designs from Emmeria, Belfras and Belhavia were considered, these were ultimately deemed unsatisfactory and the Defence Ministry ultimately awarded the initial contract to Chatham Heavy Industries Ltd. Development lasted four years, the bulk of which was devoted to the development of a new ceramic composite armour in place of the traditional rolled homogeneous steel which had previously made up the bulk of vehicle armour. The completed vehicle made its first appearance at the 1988 Trooping of the Colours in celebration of the Emperor's birthday, at which it was given the name Gordon. The name follows the typical Prestonian nomenclature for armored vehicles (G standing for General purpose tank, i.e. a main battle tank) and is the first vehicle in the modern Army to be named for a person. The first completed units were delivered to their military units in late-1988.
The armour structure of the Gordon is based around a four-layer composite developed in conjunction with Forsythe Defence Industries and thusly nicknamed Forsythe Armour. The base antispalling layer is comprised of kevlar and depleted uranium, layered throughout the interior of the tank as a crew protection measure against shrapnel from incoming hits. The base outer layer consists of a sheet of rolled homogenous steel augmented with depleted uranium rods which run perpendicular to the entire structure of the armour package itself. Atop this lays a specialised compound of ceramic armour whose composition is proprietary and classified, and serves as an abrasive layer to degrade and defeat enemy projectiles. An additional layer of steel-dU composite lays atop this and forms the outermost layer of the armour compound.
Primary armament for the Gordon MBT is a 130mm smoothbore cannon developed by Coleman Heavy Industries and designated L52/R81 by the Defence Ministry. Its muzzle velocity averages approximately 1,500 metres per second, contemporary with probable-adversary tanks of its generation. The main gun is operated by electrical traverse with manual backup, and fed through an autoloader at an average of 12 rounds per minute. This gun is equipped to fire armour-piercing fin-stabilised sabot rounds as its primary armament, with additional capabilities for standoff antitank munitions (STATM) and antipersonnel canister rounds for engagement of light vehicles and infantry buttoned up in buildings or in situations where secondary weaponry is unsuitable.
Secondary armament consists typically of the Prestonian-developed MG2 12.7mm general purpose machine gun, mounted on the commander's cupola; this mounting position can also take a GMW-40C grenade launcher, though this is less-commonly deployed. Since the Gordon II, this mount has been automated via the URSA automation system and is controllable from the commander's position without the need to turn out from the vehicle itself. The mount can also be configured to accept non-native weaponry if necessary, such as that from allied nations of OSEN.
For countermeasures and cloaking, the Gordon mounts six 40mm smoke grenade launchers, controlled from within the commander's position.
The Gordon's standard crew comprises driver, gunner and commander, with loading duties being delegated to the autoloader in lieu of a fourth crewman. Crew comfort was and is a priority in the Gordon series of tanks; as such, all seats recline to at least 60 degrees excepting the driver who's seat is already reclined. Seat cushioning is optimised to reduce back pain following prolonged periods in the vehicle, in light of complaints on the matter from Goliath crewmen. The vehicle is considered to be spacious enough to permit relatively-comfortable sleeping, should the need arise, and includes a portable waste disposal unit as well as tea and coffeemaker in accordance with long-standing Imperial standard.