War Thunder has released more development blog this week, featuring a new, yet familiar looking tank for Germany. Gaijin kicked off the release of shiny modern main battle tanks into high gear for the last several months. Now, it is shifting its attention back to World War II era vehicles again, starting with the VK 30.02 (M) medium tank.
At first glance, you might notice that the tank has quite an unusual name. Unlike the common German ground vehicles, the VK 30.02 (M) has a wholly different type of designation. A standard German tank would typically have a designation of “Panzerkampfwagen” followed by a serial number, such as the Panzer IV. This is not the case for the VK 30.02 (M), due to it being a prototype. A vehicle of this status would receive an initial designation known as “Versuchskampffahrzeug”, meaning “experimental combat vehicle”, in order to participate in trials to reach a certain level of acceptance for mass production.
However, the VK 30.02 (M) is still very recognizable, even for relatively inexperienced tankers. It looks virtually identical to the Panther medium tank, only painted with the early “Panzergrau” grey camouflage pattern. It is because the VK 30.02 (M) is actually a precursor of the Panther. In fact, most of its design features would make it to its successor. One notable feature is the deadly 7,5 cm KwK 42 L/70 high velocity cannon.
Being a prototype, there are some distinctions between the VK 30.02 (M) and the Panther. The most significant one is a lighter armor plating on the front hull armor. Instead of 80 mm of armored plate like the Panther’s front hull, it is just 60 mm. The reduced armor thickness may prove to be problematic against contemporary high performance anti-tank guns. On the positive side, it becomes a lighter tank than the Panther, improving the tank’s mobility.
The VK 30.02 (M) will join #WarThunder in the next major update, the prototype design of what would eventually become the legendary PzKpfw V ‘Panther’ tank!
👉 https://t.co/DPSzGZ91mW pic.twitter.com/5GAD7OEVR7
— War Thunder (@WarThunder) August 19, 2022
The VK 30.02 (M) will join the German ground forces in the upcoming major update. It will be a regular vehicle completing the line between the Panzer IV and the Panther located under the medium tank tech tree.