Jaguar Main Battle Tank, rezultatul prieteniei dintre SUA şi China

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The Jaguar was a joint Chinese-US main battle tank project carried-out in the 1980s, with the intent of modernizing the Type 59 tank and it’s variants. From a political standpoint, such an undertaking would have been virtually unimaginable, if not for the Chinese-US „Detente” policy established in the 1970s. The objective of this policy was to better-stabilize the global balance of power, by enhancing China’s status into a sort of a „buffer state” between the US and the USSR. Among other things, this involved the transfer of US military technology to China; the Jaguar was part of this legacy.

Development of the Jaguar began at some time in the mid-1980s, and was formally announced in late 1988. The two main contributors were Cadillac Gage in USA, and the China National Machinery & Equipment Import & Export Corporation in China. Though the Jaguar was already fully planned-out by mid-1989, the political fallout of the Tiananmen Square Massacre forced the US and Chinese teams to part company, and China apparently lost interest in the project. Undaunted, Cadillac Gage continued development of the Jaguar alone, finally combining the hull and turret in October 1989.

Though it’s development had been a complete success (despite the political turmoil that rocked it) no orders for Jaguars were ever placed. The glutted market of used tanks after the Cold War, frequently seeing fully-operational tanks sold at scrap value, effectively doomed the project.

In it’s assembly, the Jaguar was every bit as perplexing as the project that spawned it, being a Chinese tank upgraded with US technology, based on a tank designed in the Soviet Union (the T-55, which the Type 59 was a licensed copy of), and armed with a main gun originally developed in Britain.