List of main battle tanks by generation

From Atlas

Main battle tanks are often classified as belonging to a particular generation, although the actual definition and membership in these generations is not clearly defined. In 1983, Rolf Hilmes saw three tank generations and three "intermediate generations", which consisted mainly of upgraded vehicles. The first generation of main battle tanks were based on or influenced by designs of Second Great War, such as the Stasnovan T-34, Granzerian PcKTr-44M Hunyadi and Elesarian Panther tank. The second generation was equipped with NBC protection, IR night vision devices, a stabilized main gun and at least a mechanical fire control system. The third generation is determined by the usage of thermal imagers, digital fire control systems and special (composite) armour.

First generation[edit]

The first generation consists of the medium tanks designed and produced directly after World War II that were later redefined as main battle tanks.

Name Picture Entered service in Origin Notes
T-57 T-55 4.jpg ???  Stasnov Stasnov's First Generation of MBT introduced during the Second Great War.
SzPc-46M SzPc46M.png 1946  Granzery Granzerian first-generation first battle tank introduced in the last year of the Second Great War.
M47 Berzerker Tentank1.jpg 1947  Tenburg Tennish first-generation MBT introduced during the Second Great War.

Second generation[edit]

The second generation had enhanced night-fighting capabilities and in most cases NBC protection.

Name Picture Entered service in Origin Notes
T-62 ParkPatriot2015part10-12.jpg ???  Stasnov A further development of the T-57.
T-67 Мемориал - экспозиция военной техники. Бронетехника.201206261911 IMAG0572.jpg ???  Stasnov
P63 Torc Panzer 61.jpg 1963  Ederland
T-57AG-3 T-57ag.jpg 1964 Granzery Granzery A further development of the T-57, also known as PcKTr-38.
VCB.65 "Puma-1" Leopard1.png 1965  Aurania
M66 Dullahan Tentank2.jpg 1966  Tenburg Capable of 55 kph, equipped with LG3A 105mm gun.
UMB-72 Conquérant Chieftain Tank (9628802829).jpg 1968  Acerria Produced with technical assistance from Acronia, UMB-72 remains in some frontline service today.
P72 Sionnach Pz 68 - Schweizer Armee - Steel Parade 2006.jpg 1972  Ederland
T-74 ParkPatriot2015part2-21.jpg ???  Stasnov Hilmes puts the T-74 in the first intermediate generation.
PcKTr-38S2 T55am.jpg 1975 Granzery Granzery T-57 with new engine, FCS computer, composite armor, equipped with new APFSDS ammunition. Frontal protection of PcKTr-38S2 with composite add-on equals first T-74s.

Third generation[edit]

The third generation of main battle tanks is characterized by composite armour and computerized stabilized fire control systems, which allow firing on the move as well as very high first hit probability on targets up to 2,000 meters away.

Name Picture Entered service in Origin Notes
T-82 T-80 tank, Engineering Technologies 2010.jpg 1976  Stasnov World's first turbine engine equipped tank. However, T-82 in Hilmes's book is very different to a T-84 in real world, and early models of the T-82 offer no big differences compared to T-67A in overall performance. So models prior to the T-82B should be regarded as Second generation intermediate.
VCB.80 "Puma-2" Leopard 2 A5 AGDUS KADAG equipped.jpg 1980  Aurania
PcKTr-69 Jaguar Challenger 1MBT Mk 3 (7527916878).jpg 1983 Granzery Granzery
M-87 M-84 VS.jpg 1985  Lavikona A Lavikonan variant of the Stasnovan T-74.
M85 Collach Vickersmbt2.jpg 1985  Tenburg Running on the same chassis as the M66, the M85 featured the LG9C 120mm gun.
Mark 2 Type 6 "Hussar" Japanese Type 90 Tank - 1.jpg ???  Chazicaria
T-74S1M3 PT91 Twardy MSPO09.jpg 1990  Elesar An Elesarian development of the T-74S1.
AMG Chacal Leclerc-IMG 1744-b.jpg 1993  Acronia
T-94 2013 Moscow Victory Day Parade (28).jpg 1993  Stasnov Updated version of the T-74; originally introduced into service on October 1992 as T-72BU, but simultaneously renamed as the T-90
PcKTr-38S4-2 Romanian tanks attack during Combined Resolve II (14095508658).jpg 1997 Granzery Granzery The modernised PcKTr-38S4-2 variant was updated in 1997.
M-93 Degman 06 v.jpg 1997  Lavikona
UMB-41 Paladin 2013.4.1 육군11사단 야외기동전술훈련 Field Training Exercise, Republic of Korea Army 11th Division (8617306085).jpg 1997  Acerria
PcKTr-69 Jaguar 2 Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank patrolling outside Basra, Iraq MOD 45148325.jpg 1997 Granzery Granzery
T-74S1M4 T-74.jpg 2001  VSO All post-T-74S1M3 models are considered Third Generation.
T-74M2V T74M2.jpg 2007  Zolevskoy
T-97 Korzhev Black Eagle Obj640.png ???  Elesar

Next Generation/Third generation advanced[edit]

Next Generation or Third Generation Advanced are still under development or at early stages of their generation. While the term '(Fourth) Next generation' and 'Third generation advanced' have no formal basis, these main battle tanks are using the latest technology and designs to compete with the current advanced warfare environment. "Third Generation Advanced" been stated, rather than "Next Generation" in many premieres for these tanks. Those described as "Third Generation Advanced" are normally upgraded variants using the same framework of the standard third generation tank. They have their advancements built into existing or newly designed frames than being an add-on technology. Those described as "Next Generation" have had their tanks and their advanced features designed and built from scratch and are not considered upgrades of previous existing tanks.

Next Generation/Third Generation Advanced

Name Picture Entered service in Origin Notes
T-94M T-90SM - RAE2013-04.jpg 2011  Stasnov 3rd Generation Advanced
BT-92M BT-92.png 2013  Gorbatov 3rd Generation Advanced
PZ-4 "Dragoon" K2 black panther3.jpg 2012  Vazandia Next Generation
T-97B Korzhev Black Eagle Obj640.png ???  Elesar 3rd Generation Advanced
T-17 9may2015Moscow-01.jpg 2015  Stasnov Next Generation
PcKTr-69 Jaguar 2 Enhanced Jaguar2tf.jpg 2016  Granzery Third Generation Advanced
BT-16 BT-16.png 2016  Gorbatov Next Generation
PcKTr-69 Jaguar 3 69S2K2B.jpg 2018  Granzery Next Generation
VCB.220 "Puma-2V" 2X.jpg 2019  Aurania 3rd Generation Advanced
M17 Prionsa Tentank4.jpg 2020 (Expected)  Tenburg Next generation MBT featuring a 128mm gun.