After the unsuccessful joint MBT-70 project, the American Congress approved funding for the development of a cheaper version of the MBT-70, called the XM803. Although it failed to save the concept of the MBT-70, fans of US ground vehicles can look forward to the introduction of the XM803 to the game with War Thunder’s upcoming update 1.79!
In short: this prototype was based on developments in the MBT-70 project, sporting spaced armour, a 152mm cannon combined with launcher capabilities, firepower of both conventional and ATGM munitions, and an slightly less powerful engine.
Once it became apparent that the MBT-70 project was doomed to fail in the early ‘70s due to high costs and reliability issues, the U.S. Congress decided to cut their losses on the project by cancelling the MBT-70, and instead, diverted funding to the development of a new project called XM803.
In War Thunder, the XM803 will make its way to the game as part of the upcoming update 1.79 as a brand new researchable MBT, available to all tankers at the sixth rank of the American ground forces tree. By inheriting many characteristics of his predecessor, players who have already unlocked and played the MBT-70 will unlikely find new surprises with the XM803. Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean that the XM803 doesn’t have its own set of unique attributes that differentiate it from the MBT-70.
Interestingly: The main reason for the closure of the MBT-70 project was its incredibly high cost, with each individual unit coming in at the equivalent of about 7 million USD with modern conversion rates. The XM803 wasn’t able to save much in terms of budget - production costs were only about $100,000 less.
As the general layout and design was mostly derived from the previous MBT-70, players can expect comparable protection and mobility levels from the XM803. However, although both the XM803 and the MBT-70 use the same engine, the former had its power output reduced by 100 horsepower, resulting in a total power output of 1250 hp. As a result of this, future commanders of the XM803 can still expect to reach top speeds of around 40 mph (64 km/h), but the time it will take to reach that top speed will be slightly slower than that of the MBT-70.
In terms of firepower, the XM803 still retains the XM150 gun/launcher system as found on the MBT-70, firing identical ammunition choices. However, if you consider yourself a fan of the MBT-70’s roof-mounted 20mm cannon, then we’re afraid there’s some bad news ahead. As an additional measure to reduce the MBT-70’s complexity and production cost, engineers decided to remove the retractable 20mm roof-mounted cannon and replaced it with a simpler remote controlled .50 caliber turret above the commander’s cupola on the XM803.
Be sure to take control of the final iteration of the MBT-70 design coming to War Thunder as part of the upcoming update 1.79. Until then, stay tuned to the news for the latest information on War Thunder’s next major update. At ease, tankers!
To see more of the new vehicles and aircraft previously announced for the upcoming update 1.79, check out our previous posts under the War Thunder category.
Source: War Thunder News Portal
Join us on Discord!
Join our friends in the World of Tanks Discord!
Check out the awesome content made by more of our friends!