Armored Warfare - Silentstalker

In our previous article, we have unveiled our plans for Update 0.30 Battalion improvements, one of them being the improved Battalion Recruitment and Search feature. Today, we’d like to tell you more about it.

As we stated in our previous article, it consists actually of two features that complement each other:
  • A tool for Battalions to find new members (Recruitment)
  • A tool for solo players to look for suitable Battalions (Battalion Search)
The Recruitment part will mostly be useful to Battalion leaders – they will newly be able to issue an invitation for new recruits using their Battalion UI with the following options:
  • Modifiable recruitment text where additional conditions can be set (for example “Looking for American players, 30+ age restriction”)
  • Battalion time zone (for example, 18:00 to 22:00 CEST)
  • Battalion vehicle Tiers (for example, 7 to 9)
  • Preferred Battalion activities (fighting other players, completing missions)
Additionally, the invitation can be open (anyone fitting the restrictions can accept and join automatically as long as it is open) or limited (Battalion leader must manually approve each applicant).

It’s worth noting that upon applying to a Battalion with limited application, the approving Battalion leader or officer will always see the applicant’s dossier, even if it is set to “private” – there will be no cheating in this application process! A Battalion leader or officer can also close the invitation at any time.

Additionally, if a Battalion is inactive (its members have stopped playing), its open invitation will close automatically.

The Battalion Search feature is the Recruitment’s mirror counterpart on the solo player side. Using this new feature, players without Battalions will be able to see a list of Battalions with open invitations and sort them by their:
  • Activity (default setting – the amount of active players during the last 30 days)
  • Name
  • Size
  • Ranked Battle standing
Only the Battalions that have active invitations will appear on the list. If the invitation is open, the player can join right there and then. If the invitation is limited, an approval of the Battalion leader (or an officer) is required.

Limited invitation applications can also be withdrawn (however, upon doing so, another application to the same Battalion can be submitted only after 24 hours have passed). Limited applications can also be submitted to multiple Battalions – however, as soon as one is accepted by a Battalion leader or officer, all the other ones get withdrawn automatically.

We hope that these features will help you find new friends and teammates in Armored Warfare because, as we all know, friendship is magic! Next time, we’ll tell you more about the special reward vehicle that will arrive in Update 0.30. But until then:

See you on the battlefield!
Armored Warfare - Silentstalker

You already know about some of the features that are coming in Update 0.30 – new vehicles or the planned updates to PvE AI pool. These are, however, just the taste of what’s coming as we haven’t begun to unveil the most exciting content yet, be it vehicles or new mechanics. We’d like to change that today by telling you more about one of the cornerstones of the upcoming season – the improvements that we are making to Battalions.

Let’s talk about the biggest thing first and get it off our shoulders. One of the criticisms we’ve kept receiving a lot was that the Battalion Ranked Battles and the Battalion Contract Mission system had no good incentives. There are the Hades Premium vehicles, the camouflages and other perks but nothing truly unique.

We are going to change that in Update 0.30. A new prize – an exclusive Tier 10 Premium AFV – – awaits you as a Battalion Contract Missions reward. It will be difficult to obtain and even more difficult to master, but absolutely deadly in the hands of skilled players. We’re going to unveil it in a separate article but for now, let us say that it will definitely find its spot in high-Tier PvP.

With that being said, we’re fully aware of the fact that smaller Battalions as well as solo players will have tougher time getting their hands on it. We aren’t of course interested in restricting the vehicle to top Battalions only – that is why we are not going to make it a reward for the top Ranked Battles slots, for example. Any Battalion will have a shot at obtaining this coveted reward.

At the same time, however, we do want to reward cooperation. Larger Battalions will therefore, much like in other Battalion Contracts, obtain this reward vehicle faster. Having friends to lend you a hand pays off, which is why the second improvement that we are working on will help you find new ones!

We are preparing a Recruitment and Search system that will help you find the Battalion of your dreams. It will actually consist of two parts:
  • Recruitment (a tool for Battalion leaders to issue an invitation of new members)
  • Search (a counterpart for the Recruitment tool for players without Battalions to look for those that are accepting players and fit their desired profile)
Very simply put, an open Battalion issues an invitation for new members and solo players can then search for or browse these to find the Battalion that suits them the most. After all, as an example, for a dedicated PvE player to apply to a dedicated PvP Battalion would make neither side happy. This feature will also be described in a dedicated article.

And this, finally, brings us to the last feature of our major improvements trio. Once you are a part of Battalion, you will work together with the other members on obtaining the coveted top prize we’ve mentioned above. But what if you need some help? What if some members are progressing faster by contributing more or you can’t always be there for each Battalion Contract?

No worries, we’ve got you covered there. That’s where the new mechanism that will allow items to be traded between Battalion members comes in.

The feature does pretty much exactly what it says above. Battalion members (and ONLY Battalion members within the same Battalion) will have the opportunity to trade specific items – most notably the blueprints needed to assemble the abovementioned reward vehicle – between each other using a new UI element directly in the game.

This trade mechanism, however, will face some restrictions. Most notably, it will not be possible to trade items outside of your Battalion and if you leave a Battalion with tradable items, they will immediately become bound to your account. After all, our goal here is not to create a marketplace or a full-fledged player economy, but to allow players within a Battalion to effectively help each other in their endeavors.

We do hope that you will enjoy these changes as things are about to get very exciting in Armored Warfare.

Stay tuned for more information and we’ll see you on the battlefield!
Armored Warfare - Silentstalker

Nothing says “summer” like a barbeque with your friends and family and now’s the right time to fire up that grill and win some pretty hot Armored Warfare prizes in the process in our Grilling Time contest.

The contest is really simple. Make a photo of your own barbeque along with a paper with your in-game name on it so that we know it’s you and post your photo in our dedicated Discord channel until August 26, 20:00 CEST.

It can be any barbeque, really – sausages, burgers or kebabs – we won’t judge your taste, but how tasty does your food look. The submitters of three tastiest looking barbeques will receive equally tasty prizes:
  • First place: Centauro 120 Wolf Tier 9 Premium TD
  • Second place: BMPT Prototype Reaper Tier 8 Premium TD
  • Third place: T-80U Shark Tier 7 Premium MBT
Your photo does not need to contain you, only your food and a piece of paper with your in-game nickname on it. Please make sure to include your nickname, though – if you don’t, we’ll swiftly remove your kebab from the premises!

Please pay attention to the following rules:
  • This contest ends on August 26, 2019, at 20:00 CEST (21:00 MSK, 11 AM PDT)
  • Only one submission per user is allowed
  • The winners will be decided by the Armored Warfare Community Manager team
  • The submission must not be in breach of Armored Warfare Terms of Service and of Discord rules – offensive and otherwise unacceptable submissions will be disqualified
  • members of staff reserve the right to refuse any submission at their discretion
We hope that you will enjoy the contest and will see you on the battlefield!
Armored Warfare - Silentstalker

They’re smart, they’re gentle, and, under pressure, they often produce most amazing things out of nothing. We are, of course, talking about orangutans. We celebrate the Orangutan Day in order to bring awareness to the diminishing populations of orangutans all around the world. Celebrate with us by receiving and installing a cool orangutan decal we’ve prepared for you!

Between August 15 and August 22, 2019, the following bonuses will be available:
  • 300% Experience income bonus (x4) for the first victory of the day for the PvP mode
  • 30% bonus to Credit income for every battle
Additionally, for the duration of this event, you can also pick up a gift on MyLoot in the Chest section of the web page. This gift contains:
  • 1 day of Premium Time
  • 1 Orangutan Day decal
  • 1 Heart of Gaming decal
Please note:
  • This event starts on August 15, 16:00 CEST (7 AM PDT, 17:00 MSK)
  • This event ends on August 22, 16:00 CEST (7 AM PDT, 17:00 MSK)
We’ll see you on the battlefield!
Armored Warfare - Silentstalker

Another round of weekly discounts is here. This week, we’ve prepared two cool Chinese vehicles for you:
  • Type 96B with Red Dragon skin
  • Type 59-IIA Legend
The following bundles are available between August 15 and August 22, 2019:

Type 96B Red Dragon

The Type 96B MBT, as its name suggests, is an evolution of the Type 96A, featuring such elements as an upgraded fire control system and a much more powerful engine, resulting in considerably better mobility and speed. Unlike the Type 96A, however, the Type 96B is a prototype, designed for the Chinese military team to use during the annual Tank Biathlon event in Russia. In 2017, the Chinese team won the second place, being defeated only by Russia. You can learn more about its history in our dedicated article!

In Armored Warfare, the Type 96B is a Tier 8 Premium Main Battle Tank. Gameplay-wise, it’s very agile and fast for its class and uses advanced ammunition, making it highly suitable for players who prefer mobility over armor protection, even though it can take a lot of punishment as well.

This vehicle is available alone with a discount with its gorgeous Red Dragon skin available separately. Additionally, the following bundles are available:

Improved Bundle with 33% discount, containing:
  • Type 96B Tier 8 Premium Main Battle Tank
  • Red Dragon skin for Type 96B
  • 30 Gold Loot Crates
  • 25 Gold Crew Insignia tokens
  • 25 Gold Commander Insignia tokens
  • 25 Gold Reputation Insignia tokens
  • 25 Gold Credits Insignia tokens
  • 25 Gold Experience Insignia tokens
  • 2.500 Gold
Prime Bundle with 50% discount, containing:
  • Type 96B Tier 8 Premium Main Battle Tank
  • Red Dragon skin for Type 96B
  • 30 Platinum Loot Crates
  • 50 Platinum Crew Insignia tokens
  • 50 Platinum Commander Insignia tokens
  • 50 Platinum Reputation Insignia tokens
  • 50 Platinum Credits Insignia tokens
  • 50 Platinum Experience Insignia tokens
  • 5.500 Gold

Type 59-IIA Legend

The Type 59-IIA is one of the evolutions of the Type 59 Main Battle Tank, which in turn is a Chinese T-55 copy from the 1950s. The Type 59 was produced in very large quantities but eventually became obsolete, leading to a number of attempts to upgrade its performance. This variant features a 105mm rifled gun as well as a suite of modern western electronics.

In Armored Warfare, the Type 59-IIA Legend is a Tier 4 Premium Main Battle Tank. It’s a well-rounded machine and is very suitable for players who enjoy the low-Tier Chinese MBT gameplay. It offers a mix of good protection, firepower and mobility and comes with a unique camouflage.

Aside from the standalone offer, it is available in the following bundles:

Improved Bundle with 30% discount, containing:
  • Type 59-IIA Legend Tier 4 Premium Main Battle Tank
  • 5 Gold Loot Crates
  • 5 Gold Battlefield Glory 12-hour Boost tokens
  • 15 Gold Crew Insignia tokens
  • 15 Gold Commander Insignia tokens
  • 15 Gold Reputation Insignia tokens
  • 15 Gold Credits Insignia tokens
  • 15 Gold Experience Insignia tokens
Prime Bundle with 47% discount, containing:
  • Type 59-IIA Legend Tier 4 Premium Main Battle Tank
  • 7 Platinum Loot Crates
  • 7 Platinum Battlefield Glory 12-hour Boost tokens
  • 20 Platinum Crew Insignia tokens
  • 20 Platinum Commander Insignia tokens
  • 20 Platinum Reputation Insignia tokens
  • 20 Platinum Credits Insignia tokens
  • 20 Platinum Experience Insignia tokens
Both vehicles are also available in the Heart of Gaming Bundle with 55% discount, containing:
  • Type 96B Tier 8 Premium Main Battle Tank
  • Red Dragon skin for Type 96B
  • Type 59-IIA Legend Tier 4 Premium Main Battle Tank
  • 50 Platinum Loot Crates
  • 10.000 Gold
  • 3 Heart of Gaming decals (FREE BONUS)
  • Heart of Gaming player avatar (FREE BONUS)

Please note:
  • This offer starts on August 15 at 16:00 CEST (7 AM PDT, 17:00 MSK)
  • This offer ends on August 22 at 16:00 CEST (7 AM PDT, 17:00 MSK)
  • If you already owned a bundle vehicle, you will instead receive its Compensation Value in Gold instead
Enjoy the offer and see you on the battlefield!
Armored Warfare - Silentstalker
On the 14th of August 2019, starting from 8:00 CEST (13th of August, 11 PM PDT), the server will not be available for 3 hours due to the application of Update 0.29.5642.

Please note that for an hour or two after the launch of the update, you might experience PvP matches with smaller teams than usual. Reduced teams (10v10 or larger) may also appear from now on during hours with lower activity than usual.

List of Update 0.29.5642 Changes

Special Operations Improvements

We’ve prepared a number of fixes and improvements for the Moscow Calling Special Operation missions.

For the Hardcore difficulty (up to Tier 8):
  • Moscow Calling Special Operation 4: increased the time available to capture rocket turret shells from 2 minutes to 3 minutes
  • Moscow Calling Special Operation 4: reduced the number of AI opponents attacking your forces during the phase where you transport Magnus Holter to the commandeered Enigma warship
For the Extreme difficulty (Tier 9 and 10):
  • Moscow Calling Special Operation 4: increased the amount of rocket turret hitpoints from 4.500 to 5.000
  • Moscow Calling Special Operation 4: increased the time available to capture rocket turret shells from 1 minute to 1.5 minutes
  • Moscow Calling Special Operation 4: increased the time available to capture the control point objective to 3.5 minutes
Both difficulties:
  • Moscow Calling Special Operation 1: fixed a rare issue that caused Magnus Holter’s tank to sometimes not spawn
  • Moscow Calling Special Operation 3: fixed the missing voiceover in some sections
  • Moscow Calling Special Operation 3: fixed an issue that caused the cargo delivery objective circle and its icon to sometimes disappear
  • Moscow Calling Special Operation 4: the “Protect Convoy” objective will now automatically mark itself as completed upon the successful completion of the mission
General Changes
  • Fixed the infamous mobility issue that caused tracked vehicles to accelerate much slower than intended and to have trouble going uphill or over rough terrain
  • Fixed an issue that could cause the game to crash when shooting at an enemy
  • Fixed an issue that caused the T-72AV MBT to go missing from your Garage
  • Leclerc: stock smoke grenades no longer have better properties than the improved ones
  • Leclerc T40: this vehicle can now deploy smoke all around it (360 degrees smoke grenade launchers)
  • M8 Buford: fixed an issue that caused the tank to take too long to stop after stopping to press the forward button
  • M-95 Degman: improved its mantlet thickness, roof and hull armor in such a way that it is no longer possible to fire HE shells at it to for a full damage roll
  • Type 85-IIM: fixed an issue that caused Flags to not appear on this vehicle
  • Changed the shade of the base color rewarded for the Moscow Triumph achievement because it was resembling a another base color too much
  • Since ammo costs are no longer a thing in Armored Warfare, we have removed shell costs from the Garage UI
Armored Warfare - Silentstalker

The Abrams is, without any doubt, one of the most iconic tanks in the world and, today, we are excited to inform you that another version of this mighty vehicle is coming to Armored Warfare. Although, it actually isn’t an Abrams in the strictest sense of the word, but rather an image of what the Abrams could have become if the Soviet Union hadn’t collapsed. It is a technology demonstrator based on an Abrams hull and it is called Tank Test Bed or, in short, TTB.

We’ve covered the history of the Abrams itself in our article series:
Let us therefore jump directly into the story of this particular vehicle.

As the Abrams production ramped up in the 1980s, the Americans were looking for new ways of making the tank much stronger in order to face the next generation of Soviet supertanks.

Aside from upgrading the base vehicle to the M1A1 standard (which was referred to as Block II), the idea was to introduce a radically different next generation of the Abrams MBT, which was in turn referred to as Block III Abrams (or, sometimes, M1A3).

When it came to increasing its protection, simply adding armor to the standard Abrams wouldn’t cut it because such additions come at a price in the form of additional weight. In the 1980s, many tanks were already reaching the limit of what was actually deemed practical from the logistics point of view and it was clear that the process of significantly improving MBT protection levels would have to include a radical tank re-design. After all, the Soviets were of the same opinion and sometimes took it to extremes.

One such radical approach was to replace the conventional Abrams turret with an unmanned one and put the crew to the front of the vehicle. This concept was explored in a series of paper proposals and technology demonstrators with the 1980 Tank Test Bed one being amongst the best known.

In this modified Abrams hull, the entire crew of three sat in front (where only the driver would normally be), quite safely hidden behind the thickest armor. Fuel tanks were removed to make place for the extended crew compartment. The crew would use advanced cameras to aim the tank’s weapon systems that were installed in an unmanned turret, located where the standard Abrams turret would normally be.

This unmanned turret would be armed with the standard Abrams weapon (although quite modern at that time), the M256 L/44 smoothbore cannon. The gun would be fed automatically from a 44-round carousel magazine under it. It’s worth noting that, unlike on the Soviet design of the era, the 120mm shells were single-piece, which meant that considerable space had to be reserved for the mechanism alone. The shells would be stored vertically (tip down) and would be picked up and rammed into the gun by a loading arm.

The engine – the same 1500hp Avco Lycoming AGT-1500 turbine as on the standard M1 Abrams paired with a X1100-3B automatic transmission – powered the TTB, offering the test bed same basically the same mobility the normal M1 Abrams had with its maximum speed being somewhere around 70 km/h (albeit, without the speed governor, an Abrams was rumored to go as fast as 100 km/h).

Unlike other upgrade concepts, the TTB was actually built and tested, including its potential parts. The autoloader was trialed thoroughly, going over 60 thousand cycles without breaking down.

But the TTB was only the first of several stages of development that took place during that decade. Another similar vehicle called SRV (Surrogate Research Vehicle) was built as well without a turret. Its goal was to test different crew layouts and it was followed by the third phase, which was called ATD. Where the TTB and SRV used the power train of the standard Abrams, the ATD phase (Automotive Technology Demonstrator) would be used to test potential new propulsion solutions, including:
  • Cummins XAP-1000 diesel engine
  • New General Electric turbine called LV/100 AIPS
Both engines were built successfully and each of them significantly improved the tank’s fuel economy (by up to one half) while taking a lot less space than the standard Abrams turbine engine. Another tested component was a new hydropneumatic suspension that would take significantly less space inside the tank, allowing for a lower design but with the same automotive properties.

This mid-1980s research would then transform into a number of Block III proposals that featured additional radical ideas such as a larger caliber gun or modular armor, which would offer 35 percent more frontal protection and 48 percent more side protection. Other prototypes with conventional turrets were built as well, but that is a story for another time.

In Armored Warfare, the TTB will be a Tier 9 progression Main Battle Tank, unlockable from the M1A2 Abrams. Unlike the previous Oscar Faraday vehicles, the Update 0.30 ones will be unlockable directly from other vehicles of a different dealer, usually either related in playstyle or otherwise interesting.

One thing to note about the TTB in Armored Warfare is that it’s not going to be strictly realistic – more like our take on how a Block III Abrams would have looked like if it was produced in the 1980s and upgraded today to match the needs of modern battlefields the same way the Americans are upgrading the existing M1A2 series. As such, it will, for example, feature an APS. But first things first.

As MBTs go, the TTB will be somewhat akin to the Armata – a combination of good mobility with a relatively well-protected hull and an unmanned turret. The turret will be armed with an upgraded, automatically loaded 120mm smoothbore gun – in game terms this means that the tank will have no loader, but a six-round Ready Rack.

The armor will, of course, be composite, but – unlike on the real vehicle – its protection levels will be possible to seriously upgrade with the following items:
  • TUSK v3 Explosive Reactive Armor set
  • Improved smoke grenades
  • AN/VLQ-8A soft-kill APS
  • Trophy hard-kill APS (available as a part of additional vehicle progression for the most dedicated of TTB players)
  • Armored Crew Capsule (decreasing the damage to your tank’s crew by 50%)
The mobility of this tank will be comparable to (if slightly better than) the M1A2 Abrams with two different engines available at start:
  • MTU 883 Ka-500 diesel engine
  • LV/100 AIPS turbine engine
Both of them will nominally produce the same 1500 horsepower (not bad for some 49 tons!) – the difference will be in their behavior. The diesel engine will offer higher maximum speed (70 km/h) but lower acceleration past 32 km/h. The turbine engine will offer good acceleration across the board at the cost of lower maximum speed (60 km/h). Additionally, for the truly dedicated TTB players, an advanced feature will be available for unlocking: hydraulic suspension, allowing the vehicle either tilt forward or backward or get into the “hulldown mode”, increasing stealth and aiming time at the cost of mobility.

And then there is the firepower. The default M256A2 120mm smoothbore will be upgradable to the cutting edge XM360E1 120mm smoothbore. This gun will come with advanced shells with more penetration as well as an improved autoloader that will increase the carried ammo capacity by 16 rounds.

There are two more things you should probably know about this vehicle. For one, much like the M113 Hellfire, it will allow you to unlock a new retrofit that is coming in Update 0.30. Secondly, it will have access to the Engine Overdrive active ability, allowing you to accelerate better and drive faster for a short period of time at the cost of camouflage.

But, please note that, much like with the M113 Hellfire:

These numbers are very preliminary as the vehicle has not been properly tested. They are sure to change and should only be discussed as an indicator of how we’d like to set the vehicle up.

We hope that you’ll enjoy it and will see you on the battlefield!
Aug 12
Armored Warfare - Silentstalker

If you’re into western Cold War “what if” military documentary TV shows or Youtube videos like we are, you are probably familiar with a sight of Soviet armored units advancing through Europe, each under the vigilant protection of a pair of Shilkas – the dreaded four-barrel self-propelled anti-aircraft guns. Their turrets sweep around, looking for NATO helicopters and aircraft to take down with rapid fire autocannon bursts, but not shying away from peppering buildings and other places where their opponents might be hiding using their combined rate of fire of 4.000 rounds per minute.

In these movies, the Soviet column is confronted by a platoon of American Abrams tanks, covered by the American AA system called.... no, that’s not how this usually goes. The Americans have no dedicated anti-aircraft vehicles that would act as Shilka counterparts – and for a good reason. Self-propelled anti-aircraft vehicles (or the lack thereof) have been a thorn in the side of American armored forces for a very long time and in today’s article, we’re going to take a look at a specific part of the American AA design evolution – the DIVAD program.

But, let us start at the beginning. Armored self-propelled anti-aircraft guns (SPAAG) started popping up during the second half of WW2, when the militaries that were involved in the fighting realized that assault aircraft posted serious threat to ground forces – after all, the typical howl of Junkers Ju-87 Stuka became one of the symbols of German Blitzkrieg. The Allies, naturally, developed their own ground attack planes, the most famous of them being the Soviet Sturmovik or the American Thunderbolt, which would wreak havoc on retreating German formations.

The standard tactics used by such aircraft would be either precise dive bombing or direct fire either by powerful cannons or by rockets. Even though their efficiency was routinely overestimated for a number of reasons (from destruction misidentification to simple pilot bragging), these attack runs were quite dangerous, especially to poorly protected truck-borne infantry, horses and other soft targets.

Of course, it’s not like the ground forces were entirely defenseless. Both static and towed AA guns existed even before the war since pretty much every army dreaded fighting enemy bombers. Massive static emplacements were constructed around major cities and other valuable targets, consisting of batteries of large guns, designed to hurl explosive shells to high altitude in order to ward off even large aerial assaults. These were constructed to fire en masse though, with shrapnel doing the dirty work – hitting anything smaller was mostly a matter of luck.

The thing was, the assault planes were small, so such strategic defenses weren’t really effective against them. Towed medium caliber AA guns (20-40mm) were better, but they had to be deployed first and preparing them to fire took some time. In other words, they weren’t perfect for protecting mobile formations on the move. That is why pretty much all sides started putting these guns on some suitable chassis – from tracks to modified tank hulls – and so the first mobile AA was born.

Mind you, these contraptions weren’t really all that effective at downing enemy aircraft. Hitting a small target by aiming a gun with just rudimentary optics wasn’t very common, but then again, that wasn’t their primary purpose. The primary purpose was to scare the marauders off and nothing scares off a pilot sitting in basically an unarmored coffin like a huge cloud of tracer rounds coming his way. Especially during the final years of the war with allied air supremacy being nearly total, the Germans found out that mounting several (former aircraft) machineguns on a halftrack and just firing in the general direction of an attack often simply worked and the attacker would fly away.

Plus, these guns could have easily been turned on ground targets – this is how the American contribution to this vehicle category, the M16 MGMC (armed with four .50 caliber heavy machineguns) earned its grizzly nickname – “meat chopper.”

And that’s how the war ended for the Americans – with the M16 in service as the main short range AA vehicle. Larger vehicles were being developed in the U.S.A., but – much like other advanced weapons – came too late to be shipped to Europe or the Pacific. After the end of the war, with the de-escalation, many projects were de-funded and abandoned, but the short range mobile AA research was recognized as critical and continued until the Korean War really kicked things up a notch.

One of the late war weapons that never got deployed, the M19, finally saw action on Korea. It consisted of two interesting elements – the wartime light tank chassis from a M24 Chaffee and the turret with two 40mm Bofors guns, giving it much longer reach than machinegun-armed the M16. The chassis was obsolete (and the M19 was phased out right after the war in the U.S. forces) but the 40mm guns turned out to be really, really effective against human wave-style Chinese attacks. It wasn’t pretty to watch, but definitely did the job.

But this was the true beginning of a jet era and even the early jets were too fast for simple optical acquisition, making such weapons as the M19 obsolete, which was why the Americans started to work during the Korean War on its replacement that would later be produced in thousands – we are, of course, talking about the M42 Duster (the name was unofficial but is so common today that we’ll continue to use it for this article).

The Duster was initially supposed to be paired with a radar system helping to aim its twin 40mm Bofors guns that turned out to be so effective before, but this feature was scrapped during the development process as too expensive and the Duster crews had to rely on its manual sights only. The vehicle was based on the M41 Walker Bulldog Light Tank and essentially had only very basic anti-bullet protection. The turret was also open-topped and, in summation, the Duster was deemed obsolete very quickly with its production run ending in 1960, the vehicle itself being phased out of service in 1963 and partially sold off to other, unsuspecting countries.

Now, to some of you familiar with Vietnam War military photographs, this part might seem a little strange because the vehicle was clearly deployed there. But how could it have been deployed if it was long-phased out by then?

As many of you are already guessing, that was a part of a rather interesting situation. By the late 1950, the Atomic Age was in full swing with all sorts of interesting ideas taking root within the U.S. Army. One of these ideas, partially logical at the time but not exactly brilliant in hindsight, was the notion that anti-aircraft guns (both on the ground and on warplanes) were obsolete and that guided missiles such as the Hawk or the Sidewinder would take care of everything. After all, American scientists were working on helping astronauts to find their way in space – surely that would be more complex than helping a missile to find its way into a communist backside.

You can probably see where this is going. The Americans were too optimistic about the capabilities of early missile systems, which led to a number of bad decisions mostly on the Air Force side and eventually would spawn the abomination that was the F-104 Starfighter, one of the most lethal fighter jets in history (but only to its own pilots). On the ground side, as we mentioned above, the Duster production was stopped in 1960, but other promising SPAAG projects – such as the T249 Vigilante with its massive 37mm Gatling gun – were canceled as well.

Their replacement was supposed to be the MIM-46 Mauler system that would fire beam-riding missiles at its target, but the program ran into such serious issues that it was canceled in 1963 with the focus shifting on less experimental solutions that were, however, more readily available. This turned out to be a combination of two platforms – one covering longer distances and one covering short ones.

The reason why this combination was chosen was rather simple. New Soviet ground attack planes were entering production and developing a joint platform for both tasks would take too long, so an interim solution was required. This essentially required the use of existing weapon systems. There was an older idea to push early Sidewinder missiles into a SAM (surface-to-air missile) role, but there was a major drawback to that concept.

While offering considerable range, these missiles were infrared-guided, targeting the aircraft engine heat. Apart from the abovementioned problems with early missiles in general (older Sidewinders got easily confused by other heat sources, even the sun), the system required a lot of time to lock on, making it therefore unusable at short distances. To compensate for that issue, a second platform with a gun would be introduced.

These two platforms became the MIM-72 Chaparral and the M163 VADS (also known under the name Vulcan after its main weapon). The Chaparral, using an M113 suspension, would fire missiles derived from the Sidewinder while the VADS was basically an M113 hull armed with a single 20mm Vulcan rotary cannon. While effective, the cannon had limited range only and had to rely on Chaparral’s support at long distances (and vice versa). But, more importantly, both systems would not be ready for the Vietnam War that was just picking up steam.

And the result of a decade of anti-aircraft research? Old mothballed Dusters were dusted off and sent to Vietnam. Luckily for the Americans, their air superiority was practically uncontested and these venerable machines were never really tasked with serious anti-aircraft protection duties. Instead, they were used as infantry support vehicles with their twin 40mm guns being just as deadly against Vietcong as they were against the Chinese two decades prior. Despite being generally obsolete and difficult to keep running, the Dusters performed admirably and broke many a Vietnamese ambush. They were finally phased out for good after the end of the conflict.

Still, starting from the late 1960s and the early 1970s, the Vulcan/Chaparral combo became the main American mobile anti-aircraft means. On paper, it was a good, if rather expensive, combination (after all, you have two separate platforms to maintain), but another problem loomed on the horizon – helicopters. The Americans used attack helicopters such as the AH-1 Cobra to great effect during the Vietnam War and the later concept of AirLand battle emphasized the helicopter tank-killing ability (using guided missiles) as one of the key aspects of their use.

The thing was, the U.S. Army realized rather quickly that the Soviets would follow suit and would use their own helicopters (most notably their deadly Mi-24, also known under the nickname “flying tank”) in the same manner.

One popular helicopter tactic involved peeking from behind cover, firing a missile and then quickly getting in cover again. When using an advanced weapon system such as the 9K114 Shturm (that became available in the mid-1970s), a Soviet helicopter would make the Chaparral/Vulcan combination uniquely ineffective because:
  • The launch of the Shturm missile was possible at 5km, which was well beyond the effective range of the Vulcan
  • The time window between the launch and taking cover was way too short for a successful Chaparral missile lock and launch
In other words, under some circumstances (that the Soviets would surely exploit), American units in Europe were, when not under the protection of some static SAMs, left completely vulnerable to a Soviet helicopter onslaught.

As we stated before, the Chaparral/Vulcan combination was always considered as an interim measure and was planned to be replaced in the 1970s by a unified weapon system that would also have the following characteristics:
  • The ability to target helicopters as well as low-flying planes at higher effective ranges than the Vulcan could
  • Advanced targeting capabilities – the rudimentary radar of the Vulcan would just not cut it
  • The ability the keep up with American armored formations, which essentially required a sturdy tracked chassis
  • The ability to engage both ground and air targets
  • Closed turret to address the vulnerabilities of the M42 Duster in ground attack role
And so, in the mid-1970s, a program was launched to provide the U.S. Army with just that. The program was called Division Air Defense (DIVAD).

The very first question that came up when evaluating the previous performance of the Vulcan was that of its caliber. Twenty millimeters were just not going to cut it – despite its declared maximum range of roughly five kilometers, the gun was only effective at two at best. The shells were just too light and would fly all over the place afterwards.

On paper, increasing the caliber of an anti-aircraft weapon would produce much longer effective range, which was why 30mm to 40mm calibers were looked at. Burst capability was also a must due to the extremely limited time window the target is exposed to your gun, so you can’t go all that crazy with gun calibers, but something bigger than the Vulcan was deemed a must.

As a result, the authorities responsible for the program specified several weapons that would do the job and would be considered. These included:
  • 30mm Mauser autocannon (still in development at the time)
  • 35mm Oerlikon twin guns (still in development at the time, used for the German Gepard)
  • 30mm GAU-8A Avenger (yes, the same gun the A-10 Thunderbolt II uses)
  • 35mm Gatling gun of the same type Sperry used for its T249 Vigilante
  • 40mm Bofors twin L/70 guns (being the most conventional candidate)
A request was made in April 1977 for military companies to submit their proposals for the program. The following companies were contacted:
  • Ford
  • General Dynamics
  • General Electric
  • Raytheon
  • Sperry
The specified goal of the proposals was to use as many existing parts as possible in order to make it cheap and readily available. Two best proposals would then get a prototype contract with a deadline of 29 months and would be provided with a modified M48A5 tank chassis to mount their turrets.

Raytheon proposed to mount the chassis with what was basically a modified German Flakpanzer Gepard turret armed with two 35mm Oerlikon guns. This was an interesting solution because the system already existed and was in Dutch service under the name CA-1 Cheetah – and Raytheon was licensed to produce it for U.S. purposes. On the other hand, using foreign equipment was never terribly appealing to the Americans.

General Electric produced what was perhaps the coolest DIVAD proposal. They proposed a turret armed with the 30mm Avenger rotary cannon and guided by advanced radar. The Avenger, as you know, is a beast of a gun, doubling the effective range of the Vulcan and dwarfing it in sheer size and firepower.

Sperry, the original developer of the ill-fated T249 Vigilante, based its entry on the previous design and armed the DIVAD proposal with a massive Gatling gun, scaled down to 35mm to fire standard NATO ammunition. As massive as the Avenger, the Sperry gun required a large turret made of aluminum to save some weight. This turret would be then fitted with advanced radars and electronics, including an IFF system. As an interesting feature, the gun would operate in two modes – an anti-aircraft one with 3000 rounds per minute rate of fire and an anti-ground one with 180 rounds per minute, which was deemed sufficient to destroy soft targets.

General Dynamics used the same weapon system as Raytheon (twin 35mm KDA guns), but that’s where the similarity ended. The turret was designed as brand new and its Fire Control System was derived from that of the Phalanx, another (static) anti-aircraft system that had already been in production at that point.

And, last but (unfortunately) not least, Ford came up with a proposal they called the Gunfighter with twin 40mm Bofors guns in an enclosed turret. These guns didn’t fire as fast as the other ones on the list (600 rounds per minute), their shells were, however, much bigger with fragments covering wider area. Ford effectively traded volume of fire for lethality. The radar was derived from the system used on F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jets.

All these proposals were evaluated and, in 1978, Ford and General Dynamics were declared as winners with each company given the promised contract for a prototype. The General Dynamics prototype would be known as the XM246 while the Ford prototype received the XM247 designation.

This would start one of the most infamous chapters in the U.S. Army history – the story of XM247 Sergeant York. But that is a story for another time as we will cover the conclusion of the program in a different article.

And since this is a website about Armored Warfare, we are happy to inform you of the following:

One or more of the DIVAD program vehicles will appear in the game in Update 0.30.

Which one would you like to see the most? Let us know on Discord.

Stay also tuned for more info we’ll see you on the battlefield!
Armored Warfare - Silentstalker

Another round of weekly discounts is here, but this time also along with something new. Here’s what we’ve prepared for you:
  • Three historical Canadian camouflages
  • PTZ-89 and Merkava Mk.2D with SAW skins
Please note that unlike the previous sales, we are now offering the SAW vehicles and skins independently.

The following bundles are available between August 7 and August 15, 2019:

Canadian Camouflages

We’ve prepared three historical Canadian camouflages for you that are based on real life patterns. You can read more about them in our dedicated article.

These camouflages are available:
Please note that each of these camouflages can be installed on any vehicle that has the camouflage customization feature available (any vehicle with the exception of vehicles with permanent skins) and that each of these camouflages can be used in all three environments.

Merkava Mk.2D SAW

The Merkava IID (also known as Mk.2D) is an advanced version of the standard Mk.2 Merkava, upgraded with a modular “Dor-Dalet” composite armor kit. It’s a tough and unyielding vehicle, featuring a number of battle-proven components such as its 105mm rifled cannon. The first version of the Merkava Mk.2 entered service in 1983 and the last vehicles were phased out in 2016 after thirty long years.

In Armored Warfare, the Merkava Mk.2D is a very tough vehicle. It is not equipped with an explosive reactive armor kit, but is, nevertheless, a very tough customer due to the introduction of the additional armor, allowing it to take a lot of damage. Additionally, the tank is equipped with a Ready Rack mechanism, significantly increasing the rate of fire for the first four shots.

Aside from the standalone offer, it is available in the following bundles:

Improved Bundle with 35% discount, containing:
  • Merkava Mk.2D Tier 7 Premium Main Battle Tank
  • SAW skin for Merkava Mk.2D
  • 15 Gold Loot Crates
  • 10 Gold Battlefield Glory 12-hour Boost tokens
  • 30 Gold Crew Insignia tokens
  • 30 Gold Commander Insignia tokens
  • 30 Gold Reputation Insignia tokens
  • 30 Gold Credits Insignia tokens
  • 30 Gold Experience Insignia tokens
Prime Bundle with 51% discount, containing:
  • Merkava Mk.2D Tier 7 Premium Main Battle Tank
  • SAW skin for Merkava Mk.2D
  • 15 Platinum Loot Crates
  • 10 Platinum Battlefield Glory 12-hour Boost tokens
  • 40 Platinum Crew Insignia tokens
  • 40 Platinum Commander Insignia tokens
  • 40 Platinum Reputation Insignia tokens
  • 40 Platinum Credits Insignia tokens
  • 40 Platinum Experience Insignia tokens


Lacking any advanced main battle tanks in the 1980s as well as proper funding, China resorted to more creative means to destroy enemy MBTs, including gun-equipped tank destroyers. The PTZ-89, or Type 89, is one such vehicle. It was developed in the 1980s, but was only ever produced in small numbers. It was armed with an indigenous 120mm smoothbore gun with loading assistant. Its firepower was judged to be inferior to the Soviet 125mm smoothbore and the caliber was discontinued in the 1990s along with the production of this vehicle.

In Armored Warfare, the PTZ-89 Tier 7 Premium Tank Destroyer is an excellent tracked sniper. What it lacks in armor, it more than makes up for in its firepower, delivering lethal blows at long distances. It is quite mobile and easy to operate, a perfect addition for any vehicle collection.

Aside from the standalone offer, it is available in the following bundles:

Improved Bundle with 35% discount, containing:
  • PTZ-89 Tier 7 Premium Tank Destroyer
  • SAW skin for PTZ-89
  • 15 Gold Loot Crates
  • 10 Gold Battlefield Glory 12-hour Boost tokens
  • 30 Gold Crew Insignia tokens
  • 30 Gold Commander Insignia tokens
  • 30 Gold Reputation Insignia tokens
  • 30 Gold Credits Insignia tokens
  • 30 Gold Experience Insignia tokens
Prime Bundle with 51% discount, containing:
  • PTZ-89 Tier 7 Premium Tank Destroyer
  • SAW skin for PTZ-89
  • 15 Platinum Loot Crates
  • 10 Platinum Battlefield Glory 12-hour Boost tokens
  • 40 Platinum Crew Insignia tokens
  • 40 Platinum Commander Insignia tokens
  • 40 Platinum Reputation Insignia tokens
  • 40 Platinum Credits Insignia tokens
  • 40 Platinum Experience Insignia tokens
Both SAW vehicles are also available in the SAW Bundle with 55% discount, containing:
  • Merkava Mk.2D Tier 7 Premium Main Battle Tank
  • SAW skin for Merkava Mk.2D
  • PTZ-89 Tier 7 Premium Tank Destroyer
  • SAW skin for PTZ-89
  • 55 Platinum Loot Crates
  • 25 Platinum Battlefield Glory 12-hour Boost tokens
  • 25 Platinum Armored Warfare 12-hour Boost tokens
  • Purple Heart decal (FREE BONUS)

Please note:
  • This offer starts on August 7 at 16:00 CEST (7 AM PDT, 17:00 MSK)
  • This offer ends on August 15 at 16:00 CEST (7 AM PDT, 17:00 MSK)
  • If you already owned a bundle vehicle, you will instead receive its Compensation Value in Gold instead
Enjoy the offer and see you on the battlefield!
Armored Warfare - Silentstalker

Today, we’re celebrating the Purple Heart Day in recognition of the American soldiers who were wounded in service to their nation. The Purple Heart award was created in 1782 by George Washington himself, although its common use as an award for soldiers who were wounded in battle only dates back to 1932.

Nearly two million of these awards have been given out since, a testament to the bravery of American troops and their willingness to get in harm’s way to protect their country, their comrades in arms and the western way of life.

Between August 7 and August 15, 2019, the following bonuses will be available:
  • 300% Experience income bonus (x4) for the first victory of the day for the PvE mode
  • 50% bonus to Crew Experience income for every battle
Additionally, for the duration of this event, you can also pick up a gift on MyLoot in the Chest section of the web page. This gift contains:
  • 1 Battle Path boost token (increases your Battle Coin income by 900% for two hours)
  • 1 Purple Heart decal
  • 3 Elephant Day decals
We’ve decided to add the Elephant Day decals as a bonus to the gift since the world is also celebrating the World Elephant Day on August 12. We hope you’ll enjoy them too!

Please note:
  • This event starts on August 7, 16:00 CEST (7 AM PDT, 17:00 MSK)
  • This event ends on August 15, 16:00 CEST (7 AM PDT, 17:00 MSK)
  • The bonus Battle Coins obtained by using the free boost token are only usable after obtaining the Age of Rage Battle Path access
We’ll see you on the battlefield!

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