The M551 Sheridan was developed to provide the US Army with a light armoured reconnaissance vehicle with heavy firepower. The main armament consists of an 152mm M81 gun/missile launcher capable of fireing conventional ammunition and the MGM-51 Shillelagh antitank missile (20 conventional rounds and 8 missiles.
Initially produced in 1966, the M551 was fielded in 1968. 1, 562 M551's were built between 1966 and 1970. Due to problems with the gun-tube-launched antitank missile, the Sheridan was not fielded widely throughout the Army. As projectile tcehnology advanced the Sheridan's potential declined and it was phased out of the US inventory beginning in 1978. However, the M551 is still used by the 82nd Airborne Division and 330 "visually-modified" Sheridan represent threat tanks and armoured vehicles at the National Training Centre in Fort Irwin, California.
|Engine:||300 hp 6V53T diesel|
|Verticle Obstacle Climb:||49 in|
|Maximum Width Ditch:||108 in|
|Fording Depth:||48 in|
|Forward Speed:||45 mph|
|Main Gun||155mm Cannon/Missile Launcher|
|Coaxial Machine Gun||M240- 7.62mm|
|Commander's Machine Gun||M2-.50 cal|