The main gun and coaxial machine-gun were mounted in a powered turret, which also had a gun stabilizer installed to allow the gun to be fired when the tank was moving. They were both designated T9E1.
However, production difficulties and design changes caused this date to be delayed several times, and it was not until April that production on the T9 actually began.
However, neither unit saw combat, due to the US Army's lack of interest in using them in an airborne capacity. Similarly a report made on March 13, by elements of the 6th Airborne Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment complained that when a high-explosive shell was fired from the gun, the resulting shell-burst was so weak that observers had difficulty in seeing where it impacted.
There were also mechanical problems with the design, which caused it to be unreliable; the engine was also found to be underpowered, possibly due to problems with the torque characteristics of the engine or an inefficient transmission system. Overall the process took six untrained men 24 minutes, although it was believed this could be shortened with sufficient training.
A number of changes were made to the prototype during testing.
Its size limited the possible crew to three—a driver in the hull and a gunner and commander in the turret—which was found to be too few crew members to operate the Tetrarch effectively. These tests uncovered a number of faults and problems with the Locust.
A Hamilcar Mark I glider in flight.
A purpose-built airborne light tank was therefore required to replace the Tetrarch, but the decision was taken by the War Office not to produce the tank in Britain due to a lack of production capacity.
Although they were of the opinion that the M22 possessed a number of faults, the War Office believed it would perform adequately as an airborne tank. Development history The T9 had a crew of three and weighed 6.
Unloading was also a long process, taking approximately ten minutes; it was noted that the time it took to unload the M22 from a C on the battlefield meant that both the tank and aircraft would make excellent targets for enemy fire.
Plans to transport an airborne tank went through a number of revisions, but by May it was considered feasible for a tank weighing 5.
The turret and front of the hull were to have an armour thickness of between 40 millimetres 1. The US Army Armored Board released a critical report on the Locust in Septemberstating that it was inadequate in the areas of reliability and durability, and indicating that it would not be able to be successfully used during airborne operations.
The United States Ordnance Department was given the task of developing the proposed tank, and in turn requested designs from three American companies: In a conference held on January 16,it was decided that the General Aircraft Hamilcar, under development at the time, would be used to transport a single tank or two Universal Carriers.
However, the British still required the M22 as a replacement for the Tetrarch and the first prototype Locust was shipped to Britain in May for testing, followed by the second prototype T9E1 in July The loading took six men about twenty-five minutes, the unloading ten minutes.
A large, bulky glider with long wings in flight, coming in to land on a runway. The armor of the M22 in several areas was found to be so thin that it was incapable of even resisting the armor-piercing ammunition of a. Thus the tank received the official title of "Locust" and were shipped to Britain under the Lend-Lease Act.
Production of the T9 peaked at tanks produced per month between August and January ; however, this number rapidly declined when the results of the British and American testing programmes were reported to the Ordnance Department, and only T9s were ever produced.
The main change was the addition of supporting steel beams to improve and strengthen the suspension of the tank, which increased the weight to 7. Walter Christie and Marmon-Herrington.
Some 25 Locusts were ordered in April for use in the European Theater of Operations, and delivered by September; although a small number were sent to the United States Sixth Army Group in Alsace, France, for testing, they were never used in combat. Complaints were also made about the 37mm main armament, which was not powerful enough to penetrate the armor of most tanks used by the Axis powers.
The faults discovered with the design led to the Ordnance Department giving it the specification number M22, but classing it as 'limited standard'.
The front of the hull was altered from a stepped appearance to a more sloped profile, which would provide for a better ballistic shape; the two. Two new prototypes were ordered by the Ordnance Department in January and were delivered by Marmon-Herrington in November When officials at the War Office examined the equipment that would be required for a British airborne division, they decided that gliders would be an integral component of such a force.
M22 Locust front left view M22 Locust front right view M22 Locust rear left view M22 Locust rear right view Historical Info The Light Tank Airborne M22, also known as the Locust, began development in late in response to a request by the British military earlier in the year for an airmobile cheating girlfriend dating site tank which could be transported onto a battlefield by glider.
Hamilcars were used to transport the Locust into battle. No American combat units were equipped with the tank, although some of those produced were used for training purposes and two experimental units were formed and equipped with Locusts.
However, the T9 was of the correct shape, weight and size to be carried inside a Hamilcar glider, suggesting that these dimensions had been chosen deliberately so that the tank could be transported inside a glider if required. A heavy transport aircraft, the Fairchild C Packet, was developed to specifically carry the M22 inside its fuselage and unload it through a set of clam-shell doors, but it did not enter service until after the war had ended.
The st Airborne Tank Company was formed on 15 Augustdespite concerns that there would be insufficient transport aircraft to deliver the unit into battle, and the 28th Airborne Tank Battalion was also formed in December of the same year.
The st Airborne Tank Company remained in the United States, shuttling from base to base throughout the war, and the 28th Airborne Tank Battalion was refitted with conventional tanks in October The proposed tank was to have a primary armament of a millimetre 1.
A decision had recently been made by the War Office that light tanks were no longer to be generally used in the British Army; on the whole they had performed poorly during the Battle of France and were considered to be a liability.
However, it had not been designed specifically as an airborne tank or to be airmobile, and it also possessed several faults. These gliders would be used to transport troops and heavy equipment, which by was to include artillery and some form of tank.
This made it available for use by the airborne forces and it was chosen m22 locust matchmaking the War Office as the tank to be transported by glider. Fields can be seen behind it, and there are trees and bushes in the background.