M9 Hunter

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M9 Hunter
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An M9A2 Hunter with active protection system (top) and M9A3ESAP (Enhanced Situational Awareness Package) (above).
Type Main battle tank
Place of origin
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United Republic
Service history
In service 1982 — present
Used by United Republic Army
United Republic Marine Corps
See Operators
Production history
Designer Johnson Defense (now Defense Dynamics)
Designed 1974 — 1982
Unit cost In FY2012 dollars:
  • M9A2: UR$8 million
  • M9A2ESAP: UR$8.5 million
  • M9A3: UR$9.5 million
Produced 1982 — present
Number built 5,000+
Variants See variants
Specifications
Weight
Length Gun forward: 10.81 m (35.5 ft)
Hull length: 6.87 m (22.5 ft)
Width 3.71 m (12.2 ft)
Height 2.53 m (8.3 ft)
Crew M9: 4 (commander, gunner, loader, driver)

M9A1, M9A2, M9A3: 3 (commander, gunner, driver)


Armor Armor modules
Main
armament
Cannon module
  • 105 mm rifled cannon (M9)
  • M205 120 mm L/55 smoothbore cannon (M9A1, M9A2) with 38 rounds
  • M351 "lightweight" 120 mm L/55 smoothbore cannon (M9A3) with 38 rounds
Secondary
armament
1 × .50-caliber (12.7 mm) M302 heavy machine gun (roof-mounted)
1 × .50-caliber (12.7 mm) M302 heavy machine gun (coaxial)

or 1 × 20 mm autocannon (coaxial) (M9A3 only)

Engine Modular replaceable powerpack
  • Assad UTE9000 multi-fuel turbine (M9, M9A1)
  • Assad DHE4040 8-cylinder diesel hyperbar (M9A2, M9A3)
    1,500 shp (1,120 kW) (M9A2)
    1,600 shp (1,190 kW) (M9A3)
Power/weight 26.13 hp/t (19.51 kW/t) (M9A2)

26.85 hp/t (19.97 kW/t) (M9A3)

Transmission Automatic
Suspension Torsion bar (M9)

Hydropneumatic active suspension (M9A1, M9A2, M9A3)

Fuel capacity 1,300 L (340 US gal)
Operational
range
M9A2: 550 km (341 mi)
Speed M9A2:
Road: 72 km/h (44 mph) (governed)
Off-road: 50 km/h (31 mph)


The M9 Hunter (also marketed as the Al Sayyed) is an Emmerian third-generation main battle tank designed for armored ground warfare by the United Republic. The tank is named after General Thomas V. Hunter, the U.R. Army Chief of Staff during the Nazali War.

Designed to engage other armored vehicles, the M9 is heavily armed and armored for mobile ground warfare. The tank was developed starting in 1974 following the cancellation of the XM825 main battle tank, a joint venture between the U.R. and Arthurista, due to cost overruns, budget-related delays, and mechanical complexity. Initially designated the XM841, the tank was redesignated XM9 following the beginning of operational testing.

Replacing the M5 tank, the M9 entered service in 1982 and served a vital role in Emmerian armored warfare doctrine. Four versions of the M9 have been deployed: M9, M9A1, M9A2, and M9A3. Each successive variant has incorporated an expanded armament, improved armor, and a more sophisticated electronics suite. The latest version, the M9A3, is a fully networked mounted combat system, integrating a vast array of advanced sensors into a sophisticated sensor fusion engine designed by Southard-Eckerman, and serves as the principal main battle tank of the United Republic Army and Marine Corps. Southard-Eckerman is known for its work on the sensory and avionics systems of the F-29 multirole fighter.

History

Conception

XM825 main battle tank

Development

M9 production version

M9A1

M9A2

M9A3

Design

Variants and upgrades

  • XM9-FSED: Preproduction Full-Scale Engineering Development test model. 15 vehicles were produced 1975-79.
  • M9: First production variant, produced primarily by Johnson Defense and Vanderbilt (under contract), 1980-1987.
    • M9UA (Up-Armor): Up-armored version, featuring thicker armor, new turret, and other reconfigurations, produced 1982-1987.
  • M9A1: Production began in 1980 and continued through 1990. Significant redesign. New hydropneumatic suspension system, new turret and crew compartment with an autoloader (requiring only 3 crew instead of 4), pressurized CBRN system, storage components built into turret and a bustle rack in the rear. New 120 mm smoothbore cannon.
    • M9A1DUSP (Depleted Uranium Strike Plate): Addition of depleted uranium strike plate. Many tanks were upgraded with 1st generation or 2nd generation DU up-armor.
    • M9A1DEP (Digital Enhancement Package): Digital enhancement package, featuring new digital control system, commonality features for Army and Marine Corps tanks, and 2nd generation depleted uranium armor.
    • M9A1SIP (Sensory Integration Package): Large-scale modernization effort to restore older units to zero-hour conditions. Additions include 3rd generation depleted uranium armor, advanced electronic components, forward looking infrared, and other features to improve situational awareness.
    • M9A1VMP (VisMod Package): A tank visually modified to resemble Anikatian, Rodarian, and Estovakivan tanks. Also fitted with laser engagement system and Hoffman device. Used for training purposes.
    • M9A1 Nagta: The Anikatian government acquired 300 surplus M9A1s from the United Republic Army to supplement the Anikatian Ground Force, it is known locally as the Nagta (낙타) which means "Camel" in Anikatian. This variant is based on the M9A1(SIP) configuration but were bought with the guns or powerpacks removed and were then modified and refurbished for Anikatian service, with a number of changes made to suit local conditions along with a greater use of Anikatian produced components such as replacement of the main gun with a locally sourced 125mm TGI CM125-1D/L52 smoothbore tank gun and the turbocharged liquid cooled Kyoungcho KGI-V12H-6D5 four-stroke V12 multifuel engine and Kyoungcho KGI AHT-16B-6F1R hydromechanical automatic transmission (6 forward gears, 1 reverse gears) in a powerpack from the Type 86 Amsalja-ho IM which produces 1,450 hp (1,081 kW). Also features the same modernization of the M9A1SIP such as 3rd generation depleted uranium armor, advanced electronic components, forward looking infrared, along with a number of features from the M9A2ESAP to improve the situational awareness.
  • M9A2: Production version from 1991 to 2008. Significant upgrade, featuring a new Assad DHE4040 8-cylinder diesel hyperbar engine, 4th generation depleted uranium armor (or, for some export versions, tungsten strike plates), and numerous digital improvements. Also features an improved autoloader.
    • M9A2ESAP (Enhanced Situational Awareness Package): Urban warfare upgrades including gunshot detection, Integrated Dual Active Protection System (hard-kill and soft-kill modules), radar and other situational awareness upgrades. Also features infantry telephone and Explosive Reactive Armor. Designed as a stopgap measure in preparation for the M9A3.
  • M9A3 (baseline): Current production version, since 2010. Integrates radar, IDAPS hard-kill and soft-kill APS, and a redesigned electronic suite. Features heavier armor with a titanium disulfide nanocomposite strike plate, new Assad DHE4040-B diesel hyperbar engine producing 100 more horsepower, and an additional commander's thermal sight to allow for hunter-killer capability. Also features new, "lightweight" 120 mm gun and a system capable of launching almost all existing 120 mm rounds as well as the guided M250 Intermediate Munition. A number of weight-reduction measures are integrated, using high-performance lightweight materials and replacing older electronics with modern, integrated systems operating through fiber optics.
  • M9A4: Proposed upgrade, with the Army currently reviewing potential requirements. May feature additional roadwheels, improved suspension, improved durability, possibly an unmanned turret, and other changes. Development expected to begin around the 2018-2020 timeframe.
  • M9FMBT (Future Main Battle Tank): Defense Dynamics prototype featuring unmanned turret with 120 mm ETC gun and new mechanical autoloader. Intended to serve as a technology demonstrator for possible future tank requirements. Many of its features are expected to become integrated into the eventual M9A4 requirements expected by 2018.
    • M9FMBT-LR (Future Main Battle Tank-Low Risk): Defense Dynamics prototype with similar characteristics as the M9FMBT, but with a traditional 140 mm cannon instead of 120 mm ETC. Intended as a lower-risk option with reduced lower needs for technological maturation. Intended to serve as a technology demonstrator for possible future tank requirements. Many of its features are expected to become integrated into the eventual M9A4 requirements expected by 2018.

Operators

  •  Anikatia: M9A1 Nagta main battle tanks with active protection system and tungsten strike plate, bought to help replace older Type 65 Bohoja-ho tanks.
  • ? Erucia
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    Belhavia: The Imperial Armed Forces have over 4,300 M9 variants in service to date.
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      Imperial Army
      • 1,650 M9A1 SIP variants
      • 1,700 M9A2ESAP variants
      • 500 M9A3 variants
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      Imperial Marine Corps
      • 350 M9A1 SIP variants
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    Kalenia: M9A2ESAP Hunter main battles tanks
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    United Republic: Since the M9 Hunter entered service in 1982, the United Republic Army and Marine Corps have received over 8,000 M9, M9A1, M9A2, and M9A3 tanks.

See also