The article below is written by Mizutayio – the best Swiss Tank historian. Most sincere thanks go to him for letting us share it.
After a long time I finally went to the archives again to find more about that mysterious tank that would very likely become the Tier 9 and 10 Swiss heavy tanks.
First of all this was a project by the Swiss military in order to replace the faulty Panzer 68. Development on the Panzer 74 project began in 1969 and the concept was known as the VZ 67 which stands for Versuchsfahrzeug 67. A later version is called the VZ 71 (1971) and is the VZ 67s hull and the Panzer 68s turret (this version is likely to be the Tier 9’s stock configuration) and would be armed with a licence built RO L7 105 mm gun.
There were multiple guns initially planned to be equiped on this tank, the German smoothbore 105 mm and 120 mm guns. The British 110mm rifled gun, the famous British L11 120mm gun, a French 140mm gun and the American XM150 152 mm gun.
In the end the project continued with the L11 120 mm gun.
There were also multiple variations planned.
2 different hulls:
- Variante T with Torsion Bar suspension;
- Variante H with Hydropneumatic suspension;
and 6 Turrets:
- Variante A: Large Turret with fire control systems from AEG.
- Variante B: Proposal from Honeywell.
- Variante C: Large Turret with weapon control systems from Marconi.
- Variante D: Small turret with weapon control systems from SABCA and AEG.
- Variante E: Small turret with weapon control systems from Wild-Bofors and AEG.
- Variante F: Turret like Variante A but fitted with an autoloader.
As you can see there would be a good variety of turrets, however all that really matters in-game are the Variante A, Variante D or E, and Variante F.
Requirements for this tank called for sufficient frontal armor thickness and sloping to protect itself against armor piercing shells like APDS and APCR, which is why the frontal armour should be very good and well sloped. However, the turret armor is more or less given in the shape of a drawing. Since there was no nominal thickness given, we had to estimate the turret thickness and came up with a Frontal turret thickness of around 200 mm with good sloping which makes the effective thickness very good, in addition we estimated the gun mantlet to be roughly 400mm.
Overall this tank can be compared to the Chieftain MBT. It has better armour though, the same or better firepower depending on gun options, but with better mobility.
Sideshot of the VZ 67:
Here are the stats (note that there were also multiple proposals for modules):
Length with gun forward: 9.71 metres.
Chassis Length: 7.06 metres.
Width: 3.35 metres.
Height: 2.32 metres.
Weight (fitted with 120mm L11): 46 tonnes.
Weight (fitted with 105mm L7): 45 tonnes.
Main Armament: 120mm L11 (Variante A + D: Single shot, Variante F: Autoloader).
Ammo Count: 64 Rounds.
Secondary Armament: Coaxial: 12.7mm Machine Gun.
Secondary Armament: Commander’s cupola: 7.5mm MG 51.
Horizonal gun traverse: 360°;
Elevation – 120mm gun: -10°, +21°.
Elevation – 105mm gun: -12°, +21°.
Engine options (two documents give two different hp ratings for the MT883 so we have two options depending on which version we use):
- MT 883, 12 cyl V-Diesel 1000hp – 21.7 hp/tonne;
- MT 883, 12 cyl V-Diesel 1200hp – 26 hp/tonne;
There is also this engine which was intended to be fitted to the Panzer 58 for testing purposes but was not done.
- MBX 833 RA-500 6 cyl V-Diesel: 750 bhp → 16 hp/tonne;
(this engine was to be equiped on the Panzer 58 for testing purposes, so expect to see the tier 9 medium to be equipped with a completely over the top engine)
Also an option which can be used for balance reasons (great firepower and armor) is a 500 bhp Saurer Engine which would give it a heavy tank feeling.
Top Speed: 68 km/h;
Crew: 4 (Commander/Radio Operator, Gunner, Loader, Driver);