90mm Gun Tank M47 Patton 471-15

M47: General
Date of first acceptance June 1951 Total acceptances 8,576
  • Detroit Tank Arsenal
  • American Locomotive Co.
5 men:
  • Commander in turret right rear
  • Gunner in turret right front
  • Loader in turret left rear
  • Driver in hull left front
  • Assistant driver in hull right front
M47: Dimensions
Combat weight 101,800lbs
Height over AAMG 131"
Length without gun 250.3"
Gun overhang forward 84.7"
Width over fenders 138.3"
Tread 110.0"
Ground clearance 18.5"
Fire height ~81"
Turret ring diameter 73.0"
Ground pressure, zero penetration 14.7psi
M47: Armament
Type Mount Ammunition Traverse Max traverse rate Elevation Max elevation rate
90mm Gun M36 M78 in Turret 71 rounds
(11 ready)
(manual and electric-hydraulic)
24°/sec +19° to -10°
(manual and electric-hydraulic)
.50cal M2HB MG Flexible in turret AA mount 1,700 rounds 360°
-- Manual --
.30cal M1919A4E1 MG Coaxial to 90mm gun 11,150 rounds
(750 ready for coaxial gun)
(manual and electric-hydraulic)
24°/sec +19° to -10°
(manual and electric-hydraulic)
.30cal M1919A4E1 MG Ball mount 7351999 in right bow Manual -- +24° to -10°
Night vision
Infrared periscope M19 for driver
Stereoscopic M12
M47: Armor
Rolled and cast homogeneous steel
Location Thickness Angle from vertical
Upper front 4.0"
Lower front 3.5" to 3.0"
8.9cm to 7.6cm
Front sides 3.0"
Rear sides 2.0"
Upper rear 2.0"
Lower rear 0.75"
Top 0.88"
Front floor 1.0"
Rear floor 0.5"
Cast homogeneous steel
Location Thickness Angle from vertical
Gun shield 4.5"
Front 4.0"
Sides 2.5"
Rear 3.0"
Top 1.0"
M47: Automotive
Engine Continental AV-1790-5B, -7, or -7B; 12 cylinder, 4 cycle, 90° vee gasoline
Horsepower Net: 704@2,800rpm
Gross: 810@2,800rpm
Torque Net: 1,440 ft-lb@2,000rpm
Gross: 1,610 ft-lb@2,200rpm
Fuel capacity 232gal
Transmission General Motors CD-850-4, 2 ranges forward, 1 reverse
Steering Mechanical, wobble stick
Brakes Multiple disc
M47: Suspension
Type Road wheels Track return rollers
Torsion bar 6 independently sprung dual/track 3 dual/track
Drive sprockets Idlers Shock absorbers
13-tooth rear drive Dual compensating at front of track;
dual track tension wheel behind last road wheel
On first 2 and last 2 road wheels/track
M47: Track
Center guide, double pin, rubber backed steel
Width 23"
Pitch 6"
Shoes/track 86 Ground contact length Left side: 148.8"
Right Side: 152.6
Left side: 378.0cm
Right Side: 387.6cm
Center guide, double pin, rubber chevron
Width 23"
Pitch 6"
Shoes/track 86 Ground contact length Left side: 148.8"
Right Side: 152.6
Left side: 378.0cm
Right Side: 387.6cm
M47: Performance
Max level road speed 30mph
Max trench 102"
Max grade 60% Max vertical obstacle 36"
Min turning diameter Pivot Max fording depth 48"
Cruising range ~80mi

The M47 was essentially an M46 fitted with the narrow turret from the T42 tank prototype. The front hull had a sharper slope, however, and the rotoclone blower placed between the drivers on the M46 was deleted. The turret had a long bustle which housed the radio and a ventilator. The "eyes" of the gunner's stereoscopic rangefinder protruded from the top sides of the turret. Production issues with the rangefinder led to the first fifty-one tanks being delivered without the unit, and the rangefinder's turret apertures in these machines were blanked off. Early tanks were armed with a 90mm gun featuring a single-baffle muzzle brake, and late tanks had a T-shaped blast deflector. Most M47s, however, were produced with a cylindrical blast deflector. Later tanks also had a taller .50cal MG pintle placed farther forward on the roof compared to earlier vehicles.

The tank was originally nicknamed Patton II, but the name was changed to Patton 47 a few weeks later. On 9 November 1950, the US Army changed the basis of its tank designation system from weight to the caliber of the vehicle's main gun. The M47, which would have been a medium tank previously, therefore became a 90mm gun tank.

An upgrade program for the M47 was started in the late 1960s and resulted in the M47M. M47M used the engine and fire control system from the 105mm gun tank M60A1. The engine, Continental's AVDS-1790-2A supercharged diesel, had its exhaust vented through rear louvres like on the M60, replacing the M47's fender-mounted mufflers. The transmission used was the CD-850-6A. The assistant driver was eliminated in favor of a 22-round 90mm ammunition rack, and the small track tension idler wheel was deleted as well. To compensate for the location of the new engine's oil pan, the rear road wheel was moved 3.8" (9.7cm) to the rear. The tank's shock absorbers were also dropped in favor of friction snubbers. Five hundred forty-seven M47s were modified to M47M standard by Bowen-McLaughlin-York, Inc., in a factory built in Iran for M47M production. The improved tank was used by Iran and Pakistan.

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  1. Hunnicutt, R.P. Patton: A History of the American Main Battle Tank, volume 1. Navato, CA: Presidio Press, 1984.
  2. TM 9-718A 90-mm Gun Tank M47. Washington, DC: Department of the Army, 9 January 1952.
  3. Manuscript of TM 9-718A C1. Washington, DC: Office of the Chief of Ordnance, April 1952.
  4. FM 17-78 Tank, 90-mm Gun, M47. Washington, DC: Department of the Army, 15 April 1955.
  5. ORD 9 SNL G-262 List of All Service Parts of Tank, 90-mm Gun, M47. Washington, DC: Department of the Army, 23 December 1953.
  6. ORD 9 SNL G-262 List of All Service Parts of Tank, Combat, Full-tracked: 90-mm Gun, M47. Washington, DC: Department of the Army, 1 April 1957.
  7. TM 9-6067 Ordnance Maintenance Range Finders M12 and T41. Washington, DC: Department of the Army, 14 December 1954.
  8. Crismon, Fred W. U.S. Military Tracked Vehicles. Osceola, WI: Motorbooks International, 1992.
  9. Icks, COL (Ret.) Robert J. M47 Patton. Ed. Duncan Crow. Windsor, England: Profile Publications, Ltd., Dec 1972.
  10. Sola, Samuel, Vincent Bobkowski, and Kara Crocker. Weapon Mounts for Secondary Armament. Santa Monica, CA: G. O. Noville & Associates, Inc., April 1957.
  11. Miller, David. The Illustrated Directory of Tanks of the World. Osceola, WI: MBI Publishing Co., 2000.
  12. Decker, Oscar C. "The Patton Tanks: The Cold War Learning Series." Camp Colt to Desert Storm: The History of U.S. Armored Forces. Eds. George F. Hofmann, Donn A. Starry. USA: University Press of Kentucky, 1999.
  13. Foss, Chris. Modern Tanks. Glasgow: HarperCollins Publishers, 1995.
  14. Hunnicutt, R.P. Sheridan: A History of the American Light Tank, volume 2. Navato, CA: Presidio Press, 1995. Reprinted with permission from Sheridan, R.P. Hunnicutt ©1994, available from Presidio Press, 505B San Martin Drive, Suite 160, Navato, CA 94945.
  15. Hilmes, Rolf. Main Battle Tanks: Developments in Design since 1945. Trans. Richard Simpkin. London: Brassey's Defence Publishers, 1987.

Last updated 20 Aug 2023.
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