"In landing operations, retreat is impossible, to surrender is as ignoble as it is foolish. above all else remember that we as attackers have the initiative, we know exactly what we are going to do, while the enemy is ignorant of our intentions and can only parry our blows. We must retain this tremendous advantage by always attacking rapidly, ruthlessly, viciously, and without rest." - General George S. Patton, Jr.
The United Defense M8 Armored Gun System was a light tank that was intended to replace the M551 Sheridan in the 82nd Airborne Division, as well as being expected to replace TOW-equipped Humvees in the 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment (2nd ACR). The M8 project was eventually canceled. Its role in the 2nd ACR was eventually taken by the Stryker. In the 1980s, the United States Army began looking for a replacement for their M551 Sheridan tanks. Several attempts over the years to update or replace them had proved unsuccessful. The Armored Gun System (AGS) competition was initiated and in 1992 FMC/United Defense's vehicle was selected.
A total of six prototypes were eventually built for the US Army under the designation of the XM8 AGS. The M8 was later type-classified by the US Army in late 1995 and initially slated for production in 1996.
United Defense had reportedly sought overseas customers, without success. In late 1997 they parted with FNSS_Defence_Systems to offer the M8 AGS to the Turkish Land Forces Command. As of 2006, Taiwan at one point expressed interest as a replacement for its fleet of M24 Chaffee/M41 Walker Bulldog light tanks but would not commit following cancellation by the US.
Type Light tank
Place of origin United States
Weight 19.25 tons (Level I Armor)
22.25 tons (Level II Armor)
24.75 tons (Level III Armor)
Length 8.9 m
Width 2.69 m
Height 2.55 m
Crew 3 (Commander, Gunner, Driver)
armament XM35 105 mm rifled gun (30 rounds)
armament 7.62 mm Coaxial MG (4500 rounds)
Commander: 12.7 mm M2 Browning (210 rounds)
Engine Detroit Diesel Corporation DDC 6V 92TIA
550 hp at 2400 rpm (JP-8),
580 hp at 2400 rpm (diesel)
Power/weight 29.1 hp/ton (32.1 hp/tonne) (Level I)
Fuel capacity 150 gal.
range 280 mi (451 km)
Speed Road: 45 mph (72 km/h)
Off road: 30 mph (48 km/h)