"Always make the enemy think you know more than you really know."
- – Gen. Phillip Sheridan
The M551 Sheridan was an American
Light Tank Airborne Assault Vehicle that was rushed into service to meet the demand for armored vehicles in Vietnam. Unique for its time, the 152mm main gun was able to fire anti-tank guided missiles FROM THE BARREL. Although these were not used in Vietnam and were ultimately replaced with the more ubiquitous BGM-71 TOW missile launcher. Instead, the Sheridan was primarily an infantry support vehicle, using its low-velocity cannon to fire HE Shells.
In Team Yankee
The Sheridan is the only tank that you can take as part of the Huey Infantry Combat Team since it was the only tank you could throw out of the back of an airplane where the airborne needed it most.
The M81 152mm gun is an interesting weapons system. At close ranges (out to 16") it uses a HEAT shell with AT 21 and a firepower of 1+. Yes, you can one-shot T55s from the front, and with the brutal rule infantry and other units without an armour save have to reroll their successful saves. Unfortunately, you only have a ROF of 1 when moving or halted and with a stabilizer, you don't get +1 to hit for moving. For ranges in excess of 16" (because you physically cannot shoot it less than that), you can use the MGM51 Shillelagh (Shill-lay-lee) Guided Missile. The Shillelagh is AT 22 firepower 3+ missile that can smack targets out to 48" away. However, you can't fire the Shillelagh on the move.
Now since the difference between AT is negligible, and the firepower disparity is the difference between killing a target 2/3rds of the time and killing it every time, you might wonder why would you ever use the Shillelagh. Well, it mostly comes down to defences. The M551 only has a front armour of 4, so basically, any AT weapon is going to cut right through it like it wasn't even there, and 30mm autocannons from the BMP-2 and the Scimitar will shred you, but 4 armor might suffice against NATO IFVs in field exercises. However, you should keep the enemy at an arm's length and use concealment to avoid taking fire: it might be stronger than an M113 but it dies when tanks look at it funny. This method will extend the lifetime of your Sheridan, but you can't utilize the HEAT shell.
You also get a pair of MGs for dealing with infantry, of which the .50cal can be used for air defense.
The M551 Sheridan is the cheapest NATO tank weighing in at only 2 points per vehicle and can be taken in platoons ranging from 2 to 5 tanks.
The Sheridan served as a machine gun pillbox in Vietnam, as its ATGM was buggier than an iPhone and never destroyed anything other than a few pillboxes in Iraq. Its gun was such a high caliber for its size, that every time it fired, the vehicle bucked backward and all the fucking electronics had to go through a full reboot. Hilariously, when the Sheridan was retired from active service, the National Training Center picked up a couple and dressed them up as Soviet Bloc vehicles (T-72s, T80s, and BMPs) to help train US servicemen in identifying possible enemy tanks.
In their stupidity the US Army retired the Sheridan during the 90's without a proper replacement. Today the Army is holding a competition for a new Light Tank. With the big three(General Dynamics,BAE Systems and Raython) offering up their own platforms for the program. As the Stryker based M1128 Mobile Gun System isn't up to the task.
|US Forces in Team Yankee|
|Tanks:||M1 Abrams - M60 Patton - M551 Sheridan|
|Transports:||M113 Armored Personnel Carrier - UH-1 Huey - AAVP7 - Bradley Fighting Vehicle|
|Troops:||US Mech Platoon - Marine Rifle Platoon - Huey Rifle Platoon - HMMWV Machine Gun Platoon|
|Artillery:||M106 Heavy Mortar Carrier - M109 Howitzer - LAV-M|
|Anti-Aircraft:||M163 VADS - M48 Chaparral - M247 Sergeant York - HMMWV SAM|
|Tank Hunters:||M901 ITV - HMMWV-TOW - LAV-AT|
|Recon:||M113 FIST- M113 Scout Section - HMMWV Scout Section - LAV-25|
|Aircraft:||A-10 Warthog - AH-1 Cobra Attack Helicopter - AV-8 Harrier|