|Place of origin|
|In service||1953–1990s (United States)|
|No. built||M48: ≈12,000|
|Variants||Many, see the variants section|
|Weight||M48: 49.6 |
|Length||9.3 m (30 ft 6 in)|
|Width||3.65 m (12 ft 0 in)|
|Height||3.1 m (10 ft 2 in)|
|Crew||4 (commander, gunner, loader, driver)|
|Upper Glacis: 110 mm (4.3 in) at 60° = 220 mm (8.7 in) LoS|
Turret Front: 178 mm (7.0 in) at 0°
750 hp (560 kW)
|Power/weight||16.6 hp (12.4 kW)/tonne|
|Transmission||General Motors CD-850-4A or -4B, 2 ranges forward, 1 reverse|
|Fuel capacity||200 |
|M48 and M48A1 113 km, M48A2 258 km, M48A3 463 km, M48A5 499 km (all on road)|
|Speed||M48A5: 30 mph (48 km/h)|
The M48 Patton is a
The M48 Patton tank was designed to replace the previous M47 Pattons and
In February 1951, the Army initiated the design of the new tank, designated the 90mm Gun Tank T-48 (the prefix letter "T" would be replaced by the prefix "X" beginning with the M60 series tank).
By January 1952 Army officials were considering whether the lighter
A deeper modernization than the M46 and the M47, the M48 featured a new hemispherical turret, a redesigned hull similar to the
In April 1952
Months later Chrysler underbid GM in the new round of proposals. In September 1954 the Army awarded Chrysler an exclusive $160.6 million contract to restart production. In November 1955 the Army awarded
In 1960 the
Nearly 12,000 M48s were built from 1952 to 1959. The early designs, up to the M48A2C, were powered by a gasoline 12-cylinder engine and a 1-cylinder auxiliary generator (called the "Little Joe"). The gasoline engine versions gave the tank a shorter operating range and were more prone to catching fire when hit. Although considered less reliable than diesel-powered versions, numerous examples saw combat use in
In February 1963, the US Army accepted the first of 600 M48 Patton tanks that had been converted to M48A3s, and by 1964 the US Marine Corps had received 419 Patton tanks. The A3 model introduced the diesel engine, countering the earlier versions' characteristic of catching fire. These Pattons were to be deployed to battle in Vietnam. Because all M48A3 tanks were conversions from earlier models, many characteristics varied among individual examples of this type. M48A3 tanks could have either three or five support rollers on each side and might have either the early or later type headlight assemblies.
In the mid-1970s, the vehicle was modified to carry the heavier 105 mm gun. The original program designation was XM736. The designation was subsequently changed to M48A3E1 and was finally standardized as M48A5. As many components from the
Based on Israeli experience in upgrading M48 series tanks, further changes were included starting in August 1976. These included replacing the M1 cupola with a low-profile "Urdan" type cupola that mounted an
In addition to the conversion of M48A3 tanks, an additional conversion process for bringing M48A1 tanks to M48A5 standard was also developed. By March 1978, 708 M48A5 tanks had been converted from the M48A1 model.
Work continued until December 1979, at which time 2069 M48A5's had been converted.
The vast majority of M48A5 tanks in service with US Army units were assigned to National Guard and Army Reserve Units. A notable exception was the
By the mid-1990s, the M48s were phased out of U.S. service. Many other countries, however, continued to use these M48 models.