Hobby Master 1-72 Ground Power
HG3513 Australian Centurion Mk.5/1 169039, C Squadron, 1st Armd. Rgt., RAAC, Vietnam, 1971

The Centurion tank arrived too late for service in WWII but became the back-bone of the post-war British Army because of its thick armor, adaptability of the chassis. The tank went on to serve admirably in Korea, the Middle East, South Asia and Vietnam. The Mk. 5 with its stabilized L7 105mm gun was a huge improvement over any of the earlier marks. The L7 became the benchmark until the L44 120mm gun was developed and used on the Leopard II and M1A1/2.

Australia had ordered the Centurion tank in 1949 but due to the Korean War these tanks weren’t available until 1952. By 1961 the Australian Centurions had been upgraded to Mk.5 standards and in 1967 they began another upgrade that saw the introduction of the infrared night vision system. The RAAC sent 3 Centurion M.5s to Vietnam between 1968 and 1971 to provide armored support for its ground troops. One of the tanks was 169039 called “Pussy Eater” assigned to C Squadron, 1st Armoured Regiment of the RAAC (Royal Australian Armoured Corps).

Specifications Centurion Mk. 5 MBT
Manufacturer: Vickers
Production period: 1955 -1958
Number produced: 221
Crew: four
Length: Hull only - 24 ft 9.5 in (7.55 m) Length: Hull and gun - 32.33 ft (9.85 m) Width: 11.12 ft (3.39 m) Height: 9.87 ft (3.00 m)
Combat weight: 111,966 lb Power plant
Engine: Rolls-Royce Mk IVB 12-cylinder liquid-cooled petrol producing 650hp at 2550rpm Fuel capacity: 273.9 US gal (1,037 l) Range: 118 miles (190 km) Maximum speed: 21.12 mph (34 km/h)
Armour: 17mm – 152 mm
Primary: Quick firing 20 pounder (83.4 mm) main gun 64 rounds Secondary: 0.30 in Browning MG belt fed, air-cooled. ROF 425-450 rounds/minute 0.30 in Browning MG belt fed, air-cooled. ROF 425-450 rounds/minute (commander’s cupola) 2 x 6 smoke grenade discharger's