T110 – New Peak of American Tank Building

T110 – New Peak of American Tank Building

Recently World of Tanks developers team has announced the replacement of T30 (American Heavy Tank, 10 level) with the unknown T110 tank. The exchange of this high-level military vehicle is quite a remarkable affair; therefore, we''ve decided to devote the article to this tank’s history.

Historical reference

Realization of TS-31 project was laid on Chrysler Corp., and its blueprint was called “tank T110 with 120-mm cannon”. The progress of work on this war machine is a visual evidence of the vitality of “classic” design.

Firstly, the U.S. Army rejected the T110 project due to its size, which caused inability to pass a standard tunnel, and bad commander''s turret deployment. Then the corporation offered another variant of layout, where the turret was moved to the middle of the hull, but then transmission problem turned out - the mechanician''s cab was placed in the combat. This was inappropriate for the military and that change remained undone. After coordinating the project with Detroit tank arsenal, the engineers’ team moved the transmission to rear arrangement. Now it was necessary to leave behind the idea of implementing the commander''s turret in order to save the proper size of the tank. Besides that, it was demanded to use air cooling engine AOI-1490, 700 h.p., instead of common AV-1790, using same XTG-500 transmission. And the 120-mm cannon was replaced by a rigid structure. Right after that some new problems with the power plant service appeared – it was almost impossible to get to it. Thus, it was decided to wheel the engine out through the hatch in the stern using special rails, but this construction lowered rigidity of the hull significantly.

In the end, Chrysler presented the fourth variant of the project. Now the engine AOI1490 with transmission XTG-510 was put into the stern section of the hull. Although the length of the vehicle increased, many power plant problems disappeared. The 120-mm cannon was installed inflexibly in a mask that provided 15° horizontal firing angles and inclination angles from +20° to – 10°. This way, one of the problems of the project was the mask design. It had to be 230 mm thick and its weight was 2 tons. The front plate and the chart house had 127 mm armor inclined at the angle of 60°. Auxiliary armament consisted on a 7.62 mm machinegun coupled with the cannon and on 12.7 machine-gun in the commander''s turret. The telescopic sight Т156 was used for firing and as a subsidiary one there was М16А1 periscopical sight. The commander was supposed to have a range finder Т53 Optar on the roof of the chart house. That device was an optical range finder that used light impulses for ascertaining distances. Obviously, the thing being invented before laser couldn''t do its job well, for it suffered greatly from sunlight patches.

The driver''s seat was moved in this variant to the left side of the combat section – right to the cannon. This kind of driver''s and gun layer''s placement made designers avoid implying big angle of the front plate inclination. Therefore, it was necessary to increase thickness of the front armor. That became the main shortcoming of the stationary chart house usage instead of a common turret on a tank.

The next logical decision was to replace the chart house with a turret and it revealed to be totally possible considering the planned 50-tons mass of the tank. As a result, a new blueprint appeared of a classically arranged vehicle that included some already produced components. The project was very easy and cheap to produce. That escort tank became the fifth variant of Chrysler''s project. The 120 mm cannon was inflexibly fastened to the turret''s mask that had a standard 2.15 m base like tank M103. The main difference between that variant and standard arrangement was gun layer''s and commander''s placement – to the left from the cannon. One of loaders left the crew being replaced with a mechanical rammer; thus, the crew was cut up to four. The range finder Optar T53 was expected to be installed on the left wall of the turret to allow both commander and gun layer to use it. In comparison with previous variants, T110 managed better with firing and provided more efficient aimed bombardment. The project finally came to the final state when the mockup of the tank was produced and was presented to Detroit arsenal specialists. Yet by that time the project of heavy Т43 - Т43Е2 tank modernization had been approved; later on, it led to the cancellation of all works on T110.
Tank M60A1 on this photo looks very much like T110 which we will meet in the game

Opinions of Experienced Players

GoHa.Ru : Probably, the most important change for clan’s battles is the replacement of T30 with T110. What was the motivation of this change, in your opinion?

Moonkiss [RED] :
Maybe developers are trying to reanimate the Tank Destroyer (TD) tree with this move. The main disadvantage of TD so far was the absence of turrets. If developers will say that now T-30 belongs to TD tree, this will make TD much more appealing.
_Pastor_ [Steel alliance] :
Design faults at launch of top American Heavy Tanks Tree. It is not a secret that in 0.6.3patch, which introduced American tanks to the game, all tech tree of heavy tanks from T29 to T30 was, to put it mildly, mixed up. Reason for this is obvious – all these tanks are similar, with differences only in form of turret and installed cannon.
After the launch of the patch people started playing, bugs were fixed, and players were satisfied. But after that developers faced the dilemma – either they should leave everything as it is and forget about historical accuracy, or they should move T30 to its proper place among American tank destroyers, with T110 taking his place in the heavy tanks tree. The latter is obviously going to be implemented in the next patch 0.6.5, which, according to developers, will be launched in June.

GoHa.Ru: Many players are anxious about the 120mm cannon of T110, since it will be the smallest cannon caliber among currently existing level 10 heavy tanks. What do you think, how the developers are going to compensate this deficiency? Maybe, with a very high rate of fire or with additional precision?

Moonkiss [RED] : American cannons are known for their high DPS values and this one will not be an exception. Besides, skill is more important than the caliber. I am sure that a smaller caliber will allow higher speed of a shell, which should increase accuracy. Moreover, the high “arc” of T-30 will be absent.
You can also compare it to ST-9. The caliber of it is even smaller, but overall DPS is higher and the shooting is easier to handle.

_Pastor_ [Steel alliance] : Most likely with both. Currently, German cannons are undisputed leaders in rate of fire and accuracy, but a heavy American tank (taking into account wishes of European and American players) should be ranked higher among his Soviet and German counterparts.
Same to medium tanks, T110 should take place of a “support tank”, “tank of second breakthrough line”. For this reason it will be given a cannon with good precision, rate of fire, armor piercing… but with lower damage.

GoHa.Ru : Along with the small caliber cannon, the armor of T110 is also not really impressive. Moreover, released screenshots show a commander’s cupola on the turret, which, as we know, means a spot of practically 100% probability of piercing. Do you think that a smaller cannon and weaker armor can compensate for these weaknesses?

Moonkiss [RED] : First of all, the cannon’s elevation angle. American tanks can shoot from the top of a hill, while positioning themselves so that only a turret is visible. In this way, a “soft” body is hidden. If DPS of T110 is compared to that of the current T-30, it will be a good tank for a city rush. The enemy tanks will be popping up, unable to produce sufficient damage to stop the rush. In this scenario a cannon with higher rate of fire will be much more effective than the slower counterparts, since the 120mm gun can make at least two shots while the cannons of enemies are recharging.
Taking into account the significant advantage in DPS, the armor of attacking tanks doesn’t really matter. Another positive moment is that with the higher rate of cannon fire it will be much easier to knock down the enemy tank, there will be no wasted DPS that went into the almost dead tank.

_Pastor_ [Steel alliance] :
One can draw the analogy with the medium tanks tree. What is the advantage and peculiarity of M26 Pershing in comparison to T54 or Panther 2?
Its mobility. Its ability to cause damage and disappear immediately, avoiding the retaliation. Yes, face-to- face against Maus or IS-7 T110 will be most likely defeated (due to ricochets from the first one and due to weaker armor of the second one). Again – these are only suppositions. But taking into account more hit points than in M26 Pershing, and adding good rate of fire and good mobility, we see the tank that will be indispensable in clan wars as a “base defender” or a “support tank”.
On the other hand, it is well-known, that developers may add something special to this tank. And it will turn out only at 0.6.5 patch launch. (T110 will appear after the patch 6.5., Pastor has mistaken here)

GoHa.Ru : What is your opinion on running performance of T110? Speed and maneuverability are often as important as big cannon and thick armor.

Moonkiss [RED] :
Here one needs to take into account not only running performance of the tank, but also turning speed of the turret. For example, it is very hard to go-round a T30 on a middle tank. I think American tanks will be left with good acceleration on plain ground and maneuverability problems on rough terrain. I do not think the maximum speed will reach or exceed the speed of IS-7, but it would be nice.

_Pastor_ [Steel alliance] : As I have already said earlier – it will be on par with other American tanks. This means the maneuverability of T110 will be highest of all level10 HTs, but speed is lower in comparison with IS-7.

GoHa.Ru : Will the smaller size of T110 in comparison with other heavy tanks play any role?

Moonkiss [RED] :
This is definitely a plus – it makes him harder to hit and allows him to use a cover efficiently .

_Pastor_ [Steel alliance] :
Yes, of course. Other HT, for example, Maus, are very hard to hide from artillery fire or tank destroyers, especially on open maps. T110 has all chances to stop the sad tradition of heavy tanks being an “artillery training target”.

GoHa.Ru : Do you like the appearance of this pinnacle of American Tank designing? Many think its proportions are skewed.

Moonkiss [RED] :
Well, the phrase “A tank is a tower on tracks” describes precisely the American style of tank designing, both in appearance and in characteristics. T110 only reinforces this impression.

_Pastor_ [Steel alliance] :
Proportions may be skewed, but battle efficiency will be top notch. The turret is almost in the middle of the tank, plus high maneuverability, plus high turret rotation speed. This means that any tank, aiming at its front (and, in my opinion, sides as well), will not be able to pierce it or will ricochet away.
The battle efficiency must be high –T110 will not need a lot of place for maneuver, targeting and shooting are also fast. And as a result, you get burning tanks of its enemies. And the appearance is really of secondary importance. Many players dislike the look of Maus, ob.212, etc., but this does not make them less efficient than others.
Similar situation is with М4А3Е8 in the middle tanks tree. Good skills provided, this paper-thin vehicle will pierce all enemies of same level without problems. That’s what I expect here as well.

Screen of Т110 with different turrets (on the left is the one currently in consideration)

Developers response

GoHa.Ru : Probably, the most important change for clan’s battles is the replacement of T30 with T110. What has motivated you to make this change?

SerB : The reason is that in game T30 plays like anti-tank SPG, therefore we decided to move this vehicle to the Tank Destroyers Tree and exchange it with T110 tank in the Heavy Tanks Tree. At the same time, we remove T34 from the American Tree, and make it a premium tank. Its place within heavy tanks tree will be occupied by the famous M103.

GoHa.Ru : Many players are anxious about the 120mm cannon of T110, since it will be the smallest cannon caliber within currently existing level 10 heavy tanks. How the developers are going to compensate this deficiency? Maybe, with a very high rate of fire or with additional precision?

SerB :
As far as the 120mm cannon is concerned, this is a rather modern weapon with very good characteristics, including high armor piercing. The parameters of this cannon will be more than adequate.

GoHa.Ru : Along with the small caliber cannon, the armor of T110 is also not really impressive. Moreover, released screenshots show a commander’s cupola on the turret, which, as we know, means a spot of practically 100% probability of piercing. What do you think, will a smaller cannon and weaker armor compensate for these weaknesses?

SerB : Well, T110 is, actually, very similar to M103. Americans tried to make it smaller and equip it with better armor. New USA top heavy tank will be well armed, since it will possess no longer that hellish uber-cannon, but it will be better armored significantly. In short, now it will be a tank, not an SPG.
As far as the cupola is concerned, Americans liked to play with vehicle gun defense on tanks. But a similar cupola can be found on KV-5, for example. There is nothing we can do, we can only advise players to be very careful with it in battle.

GoHa.Ru : Will the running performance of T110 be good in the game? Speed and maneuverability are often as important as a big cannon and thick armor.

SerB : It will be very good, since, as I said earlier, it will be a smaller M103. Generally speaking, the handling of this vehicle will resemble that of IS-7 – it will be a relatively compact, mobile tank with solid armor.

GoHa.Ru : Will the smaller size of T110 in comparison to other heavy tanks play any role?

SerB : Without a doubt. Smaller vehicles are much harder to hit, therefore T110 will definitely be a much harder target than the current American top heavy tank.

GoHa.Ru : Do you like the appearance of this pinnacle of American Tank designing? Many think its proportions are skewed.

SerB :
The tank looks rather awkward with M103 turret, but with its own turret it looks OK. Most likely, we will make that turret the only choice for T110.

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