a multipurpose completely armored combat vehicle (light tank) of high mobility, capable of negotiating any type of terrain and designed to serve airborne troops in the American, British, and other foreign armed forces. Airborne tanks are sometimes used as reconnaissance tanks in ground troop units. During World War II (1939–45), airborne tanks were built in the USA and Britain (mass 7–8 tons, with 37–40–mm cannon, armor up to 38 mm thick, and speeds of 55–60 km/h) but were not dropped by air because of the lack of appropriate means of transportation. Modern airborne tanks are equipped with cannon and machine gun armament, mounted in a fully rotating turret and capable of blasting armored targets and destroying or neutralizing enemy firepower and personnel. Airborne tanks feature bullet-proof protection of steel or aluminum armor, and some airborne tanks are amphibious. The tanks are delivered to the drop zone by air and are unloaded in a manner similar to airborne self-propelled guns.
L. V. SERGEEV