The Heavy Tank T29 and Heavy Tank T34 were an American heavy tank project started in March 1944 to counter the new German heavy tanks. The T26E3 Medium Tank (that entered service as the M26 Pershing), weighing around 45 tonnes, was not considered heavily enough armed or armored to counter the Tiger II, which weighed closer to 70 tonnes. The T29 was not ready in time for the war in Europe, but it did provide post-war engineers with opportunities for testing the engineering concepts in artillery and automotive components. The T29 was based upon a lengthened version of the T26E3 hull and featured heavier armor, an upgraded Ford GAC engine providing about 770 bhp (570 k) gross, 650 bhp (480 k) net, more comfortable controls for the driver, and a massive new turret incorporating the high velocity 105 mm gun T5. It weighed approximately 132,000 lb (60 t) unstowed and 141,000 lb (64 t) combat loaded. Its maximum armour thickness was 279 mm compared to 180 mm on the German Tiger II while its 105 mm gun was 7.06 m long compared to the 6.29 m of the Tiger II's 88 mm.Other trial models had Allison V1710 V12 engines. The final variation of the T29 concept, the Heavy Tank T34, mounted a 120mm gun based upon the then-current 120mm anti-aircraft gun. This gun was designated as the 120 mm T53, which could achieve a maximum rate of fire of 5 rpm with two loaders. With solid shot weighing 50 pounds, it had a muzzle velocity of 3150 feet per second. A lightweight HVAP round with a muzzle velocity of 4100 feet per second was in development. In order to balance out the longer and heavier cannon, an additional of armour was welded on the rear of the turret bustle. There were only two prototypes, one converted from one of the T29 pilot models and one converted from a T30. Once again, the end of the war curtailed further development, but the experience gained with the T34 was valuable in the development of the M103 heavy tank.
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