Chrysler TV-8 Nuclear-Powered Tank

Chrysler TV-8 Nuclear-Powered Tank

In the 1950s, Chrysler, U.S automobiles company, came up with the design of Chrysler TV-8, which was envisioned to be a nuclear powered tank capable of land and aquatic combat.

The tank design business was a time of upheaval in the 50’s. There was so much concern over the possibility of contending with nuclear war, how to make the tanks lighter, yet more efficient, and finally, concerns over the strategic dispersion and the reduction of deployed troops.

Using an unconventional tank design, TV-8 tank located the entire crew, engine and ammunition storage within a pod-shaped turret mounted above a lightweight chassis which could be separated for air shipment. A nuclear fission-powered vapor-cycle power plant was proposed to be put towards the rear of the main compartment.

The tank was armed with a 90mm T208 gun with a hydraulic ramming device mounted in the turret, with ammunition stored in the rear turret behind a steel bulkhead separating from the crew. Two co-axial .30 caliber machine guns and one remote controlled .50 caliber machine gun on top of the turret were also included. Closed circuit television was implemented as a measure to protect crew from the flash of tactical nuclear explosions and improve field of vision.

The design of the tank was intended to allow it to float, with the turret being watertight and fitted with water jet pumps in the rear to allow for propulsion while in water. The turret consisted of two layers, namely an inner and outer shell, with the outer section acting as spaced armour protecting the inside.

Because it was never mass-produced. The TV-8 was presented in a proposal by Chrysler Corporation subsequent to the ASTRON meeting. Following review, it was concluded that the TV-8 design did not prove to have significant advantages over conventional tank design to warrant further development, and on 23 April 1956, the TV-8 and three ASTRON proposals were effectively terminated.