ARL 44

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ARL 44

Icon
France Heavy Tank Tier VI
Battle Tiers
123456789101112
Totals
Cost 925,000  Credits
Hit Points 780820 HP
Weight Limit 46.5/4747.18/50.5 t
Crew
Commander
Gunner
Driver
Radio Operator
Loader
Mobility
Engine Power 575750 hp
Speed Limit 37 km/h
Traverse 1820 deg/s
Power/Wt Ratio 12.3715.9 hp/t
Pivot NoNo
Armor
Hull Armor 120/50/50 mm
Turret Armor100/60/60110/30/30 mm
Armament
Damage 86.3-143.8180-300 HP
Penetration 96-160159-265 mm
Rate of Fire
15.79100% crew: 16.47 rpm
+ Vents: 16.84 rpm
+ BiA : 17.21 rpm
+ Food: 17.95 rpm
6100% crew: 6.26 rpm
+ Vents: 6.4 rpm
+ BiA : 6.54 rpm
+ Food: 6.82 rpm
r/m
Accuracy
0.43100% crew: 0.41 m
+ Vents: 0.4 m
+ BiA : 0.39 m
+ Food: 0.38 m
0.38100% crew: 0.36 m
+ Vents: 0.36 m
+ BiA : 0.35 m
+ Food: 0.33 m
m
Aim time
2.3100% crew: 2.21 s
+ Vents: 2.16 s
+ BiA : 2.11 s
+ Food: 2.02 s
3.4100% crew: 3.26 s
+ Vents: 3.19 s
+ BiA : 3.12 s
+ Food: 2.99 s
s
Turret Traverse
20100% crew: 20.86 deg/s
+ Vents: 21.33 deg/s
+ BiA : 21.8 deg/s
+ Food: 22.74 deg/s
22100% crew: 22.94 deg/s
+ Vents: 23.46 deg/s
+ BiA : 23.98 deg/s
+ Food: 25.02 deg/s
deg/s
Gun Arc 360°
Elevation Arc -10°/+15°-10°/+15°
Ammo Capacity 7050 rounds
General
Chance of Fire 2020 %
View Range
320100% crew: 320 m
+ Vents: 326.86 m
+ BiA : 333.71 m
+ Food: 347.43 m
330100% crew: 330 m
+ Vents: 337.07 m
+ BiA : 344.14 m
+ Food: 358.29 m
m
Signal Range
400100% crew: 417.14 m
+ Vents: 426.57 m
+ BiA : 436 m
+ Food: 454.86 m
750100% crew: 782.14 m
+ Vents: 799.82 m
+ BiA : 817.5 m
+ Food: 852.86 m
m
Parent Contour-France-BDR G1 B.png
Child
Contour-France-AMX M4 (1945).png47,590 XP
Research
RT-France-ARL 44.jpg
Values are Stock - click for Top
France-ARL 44.png

The ARL 44 is a French tier 6 heavy tank.

Heavy tank developed during closing stages of World War II by Atelier de Construction de Rueil (ARL) on the basis of the pre-war B1 Bis. A combination of an obsolete 1930s chassis and a heavily armed turret proved unsuccessful. A total of 60 vehicles were manufactured since 1946.

Referred by players as "the barn" due its incredibly large and house-shaped stock turret, the ARL 44 has decent sloped frontal armor but a weak turret and paper-thin side and rear armor. As such, it is quite prone to fires and internal module damage when hit from anywhere but the front. However, the ARL boasts much-improved mobility over its predecessors, great gun depression and elevation values, and an excellent gun selection. There is a choice between a harder-hitting 105mm gun or a smaller 90mm DCA 45 gun with extremely high penetration - comparable to the German 88mm L/71. The ARL 44 is the most powerful tier 6 tank in terms of penetration and thus is an effective sniper and remains effective even in Tier 8 battles.

The ARL 44 leads to the AMX M4(1945).


















Modules

Turret
TierNameArmorTraverse SpeedTraverse ArcView RangeXP CostPriceWeight
05V FCM F1 0100 100/60/60 mm
20100% crew: 20.86 deg/s
+ Vents: 21.33 deg/s
+ BiA : 21.8 deg/s
+ Food: 22.74 deg/s
20100% crew: 20.86 deg/s
+ Vents: 21.33 deg/s
+ BiA : 21.8 deg/s
+ Food: 22.74 deg/s
d/s
360°
320100% crew: 320 m
+ Vents: 326.86 m
+ BiA : 333.71 m
+ Food: 347.43 m
320100% crew: 320 m
+ Vents: 326.86 m
+ BiA : 333.71 m
+ Food: 347.43 m
m
0------ 8,3508,350 Credits 7,000 7,000 kg
Guns compatible with this Turret:
Gun
TierNameAmmoDamagePenetrationShell PriceRate of FireAccuracyAim TimeElevationXP CostPriceWeight
06VI 76 mm Gun M1A1 70 115/110/185 HP 128/177/38 mm 96 Credits/7 Gold/68 Credits
15.79100% crew: 16.47 rpm
+ Vents: 16.84 rpm
+ BiA : 17.21 rpm
+ Food: 17.95 rpm
r/m
0.43100% crew: 0.41 m
+ Vents: 0.4 m
+ BiA : 0.39 m
+ Food: 0.38 m
m
2.3100% crew: 2.21 s
+ Vents: 2.16 s
+ BiA : 2.11 s
+ Food: 2.02 s
s
-10°/+20° --- 50,33050,330 Credits 1,567 1,567 kg
07VII 90 mm DCA 30 50 240/240/320 HP 135/175/45 mm 255 Credits/12 Gold/255 Credits
6.98100% crew: 7.28 rpm
+ Vents: 7.44 rpm
+ BiA : 7.6 rpm
+ Food: 7.93 rpm
r/m
0.4100% crew: 0.38 m
+ Vents: 0.38 m
+ BiA : 0.37 m
+ Food: 0.35 m
m
2.3100% crew: 2.21 s
+ Vents: 2.16 s
+ BiA : 2.11 s
+ Food: 2.02 s
s
-10°/+20° 9,300 64,00064,000 Credits 2,050 2,050 kg

Turret
TierNameArmorTraverse SpeedTraverse ArcView RangeXP CostPriceWeight
06VI ARL 44 0110 110/30/30 mm
22100% crew: 22.94 deg/s
+ Vents: 23.46 deg/s
+ BiA : 23.98 deg/s
+ Food: 25.02 deg/s
22100% crew: 22.94 deg/s
+ Vents: 23.46 deg/s
+ BiA : 23.98 deg/s
+ Food: 25.02 deg/s
d/s
360°
330100% crew: 330 m
+ Vents: 337.07 m
+ BiA : 344.14 m
+ Food: 358.29 m
330100% crew: 330 m
+ Vents: 337.07 m
+ BiA : 344.14 m
+ Food: 358.29 m
m
6,1006,100 20,43020,430 Credits 6,500 6,500 kg
Guns compatible with this Turret:
Gun
TierNameAmmoDamagePenetrationShell PriceRate of FireAccuracyAim TimeElevationXP CostPriceWeight
06VI 76 mm Gun M1A1 70 115/110/185 HP 128/177/38 mm 96 Credits/7 Gold/68 Credits
15.79100% crew: 16.47 rpm
+ Vents: 16.84 rpm
+ BiA : 17.21 rpm
+ Food: 17.95 rpm
r/m
0.43100% crew: 0.41 m
+ Vents: 0.4 m
+ BiA : 0.39 m
+ Food: 0.38 m
m
2.3100% crew: 2.21 s
+ Vents: 2.16 s
+ BiA : 2.11 s
+ Food: 2.02 s
s
-10°/+15° --- 50,33050,330 Credits 1,567 1,567 kg
07VII 90 mm DCA 30 50 240/240/320 HP 135/175/45 mm 255 Credits/12 Gold/255 Credits
6.98100% crew: 7.28 rpm
+ Vents: 7.44 rpm
+ BiA : 7.6 rpm
+ Food: 7.93 rpm
r/m
0.4100% crew: 0.38 m
+ Vents: 0.38 m
+ BiA : 0.37 m
+ Food: 0.35 m
m
2.3100% crew: 2.21 s
+ Vents: 2.16 s
+ BiA : 2.11 s
+ Food: 2.02 s
s
-10°/+15° 9,300 64,00064,000 Credits 2,050 2,050 kg
07VII 90 mm F3 50 240/240/320 HP 170/248/45 mm 255 Credits/12 Gold/255 Credits
6.82100% crew: 7.11 rpm
+ Vents: 7.27 rpm
+ BiA : 7.43 rpm
+ Food: 7.75 rpm
r/m
0.39100% crew: 0.37 m
+ Vents: 0.37 m
+ BiA : 0.36 m
+ Food: 0.34 m
m
2.9100% crew: 2.78 s
+ Vents: 2.72 s
+ BiA : 2.66 s
+ Food: 2.55 s
s
-10°/+15° 15,000 87,00087,000 Credits 2,200 2,200 kg
07VII 105 mm Canon 13TR 40 300/330/360 HP 165/223/54 mm 270 Credits/10 Gold/280 Credits
5.61100% crew: 5.85 rpm
+ Vents: 5.98 rpm
+ BiA : 6.11 rpm
+ Food: 6.38 rpm
r/m
0.41100% crew: 0.39 m
+ Vents: 0.38 m
+ BiA : 0.38 m
+ Food: 0.36 m
m
3.4100% crew: 3.26 s
+ Vents: 3.19 s
+ BiA : 3.12 s
+ Food: 2.99 s
s
-10°/+15° 16,350 94,35094,350 Credits 2,400 2,400 kg
08VIII 90 mm DCA 45 50 240/240/320 HP 212/259/45 mm 255 Credits/12 Gold/255 Credits
6100% crew: 6.26 rpm
+ Vents: 6.4 rpm
+ BiA : 6.54 rpm
+ Food: 6.82 rpm
r/m
0.38100% crew: 0.36 m
+ Vents: 0.36 m
+ BiA : 0.35 m
+ Food: 0.33 m
m
3.4100% crew: 3.26 s
+ Vents: 3.19 s
+ BiA : 3.12 s
+ Food: 2.99 s
s
-10°/+15° 18,500 121,250121,250 Credits 2,750 2,750 kg

Engine
TierNamePowerFire ChanceTypeXP CostPriceWeight
06VI Maybach HL 230 0575 575 hp 020 20 % Gasoline --- 26,00026,000 Credits 0700 700 kg
08VIII Maybach HL 230 P 45F 0750 750 hp 020 20 % Gasoline 18,800 55,00055,000 Credits 0750 750 kg

Suspension
TierNameLoad LimitTraverse SpeedXP CostPriceWeight
05V ARL 44 46.9646.96 t 01818 d/s ------ 8,6008,600 Credits 14,200 14,200 kg
06VI ARL 44 bis 50.550.5 t 02020 d/s 4,9304,930 15,42015,420 Credits 14,200 14,200 kg

Radio
TierNameRangeXP CostPriceWeight
06VI SCR 508
400100% crew: 417.14 m
+ Vents: 426.57 m
+ BiA : 436 m
+ Food: 454.86 m
400100% crew: 417.14 m
+ Vents: 426.57 m
+ BiA : 436 m
+ Food: 454.86 m
m
0--- --- 21,60021,600 Credits 0100 100 kg
10X SCR 528F
750100% crew: 782.14 m
+ Vents: 799.82 m
+ BiA : 817.5 m
+ Food: 852.86 m
750100% crew: 782.14 m
+ Vents: 799.82 m
+ BiA : 817.5 m
+ Food: 852.86 m
m
9,000 9,000 54,00054,000 Credits 0080 80 kg

Historical Info

During the German occupation some clandestine tank development took place in France, mostly limited to component design or the building of tracked chassis with either an ostensible civilian use or with the Kriegsmarine in mind. These efforts were coordinated by the CDM (Camouflage du Matériel), a secret Vichy French army organisation trying to produce matériel forbidden under the Armistice conditions, with the ultimate goal of combining these components into the design of a possible future thirty-ton battle tank, armed with a 75 mm gun. The projects were very disparate, including those for a trolleybus, the Caterpillar du Transsaharien (a regular cross-Sahara track and rail connection) and a tracked snow blower for the Kriegsmarine to be used in Norway. The firms involved were Laffly and Lorraine; a military design team in occupied France, headed by Maurice Lavirotte, was also active. When in August 1944 Paris was liberated, the new provisional government of France did its utmost to reclaim the country's position as a great power, trying to establish its status as a full partner among the Allies by contributing as much as possible to the war effort. One of the means to accomplish this was to quickly restart tank production.

Before the war France had been the world's second largest tank producer, behind the Soviet Union. However, French prewar light and medium designs had by that time become completely outdated, and there was no way to quickly make up for the time lost. It was thought possible, though, to compensate for this with sheer size. A large and well-armed vehicle might still be useful, however obsolescent its individual parts were, especially as the British and Americans seemed to be behind Germany in heavy tank development, having no operational vehicles that could slug it out with the PzKpfw VI Tiger Ausf. B (better known as the "King Tiger"). An important secondary goal of the project was also to ensure that France would in the future have a sufficient number of weapons engineers; if these couldn't be employed now, they would be forced to seek other occupations and much expertise would be lost.

Consequently, it was decided to produce 600 heavy tanks, to be designed by the Direction des Études et Fabrications d'Armement (DEFA) in which engineers from the former APX (the French Army's Atelier de Puteaux) and AMX (the Atelier de Construction d'Issy-les-Moulineaux state factory) design teams were concentrated, and built by the Atelier de Construction de Rueil (ARL), the army workshop. The tank was named the ARL 44. The specifications were not at first overly ambitious and called for a 30-ton vehicle with 60 mm of armour and armed with a new 75 mm Long 44 gun, rendering a penetration of 80 mm steel at 1000 metres and developed by the engineer Lafargue from the Canon de 75 Contre-Avion mle. 1932 anti-aircraft gun, conforming to the earlier CDM requirements.

As France had been rather isolated from tank engineering developments in the rest of the world, the designers based themselves on types they already knew well, mainly the Char B1, the Char G1, and the FCM F1 heavy tanks. It was at first attempted to use the components developed between 1940 and 1944, though most soon proved to be incompatible. As a result of the reliance on older types, the ARL 44 was to be fitted with a very old-fashioned suspension system with small road wheels and used the same track as the Char B1, limiting maximum speed to about 30 km/h. Suggestions to use a more modern foreign suspension system were rejected, as it would have compromised the tank's status as a purely French design. A Talbot 450 hp or Panhard 400 hp engine was envisaged to be fitted. Progress was very slow as there was a lack of resources and much infrastructure in the Paris region had been destroyed. Even finding paper and drawing materials was difficult.

In February 1945, a meeting took place between the engineers and the Army. The tank officers quickly pointed out that building a tank according to the original specifications was pointless, as such a vehicle would be inferior to even an M4 Sherman, which could be obtained for free from the Allies in any numbers so desired. It was therefore decided that the ARL 44 would be fitted with 120 mm of sloped armour, bringing the weight, which even in the conceptual stages had already grown to 43 metric tons, to 48 tons. The armament would consist of the most powerful gun available: either the American 76 mm M1A1 or, with some luck, the British 17-pounder; 90 mm guns had not been made available by the Allies.

Only a wooden mock-up had been completed by an engineering team headed by Engineer General Maurice Lavirotte when the war ended. However, the end of hostilities did not mean the end of the entire project. To maintain some continuity in French tank design and bolster national morale, it was decided to build sixty vehicles, even though there was no longer any real need for them. In March 1946 the first prototype could be tested. The Atelier et Chantiers de la Loire built the ACL1 turret, fitted with the American 76 mm M1A1 gun; this was later replaced by a Schneider turret based on the one designed for the FCM F1 and fitted with the 90 mm DCA 45 naval anti-aircraft gun, which had a muzzle velocity of 1000 m/s (AP: 1130 m/s HE) and a muzzle brake — the ARL 44 was thus the first French tank to feature this item. Firing trials began on 27 June 1947; the gun often proved to be more accurate than that of a Panther used for comparison.

Mainly due to the change in armament, the development and production of the turret would be drawn out; it was not until 1949 that turrets could be fitted to hulls produced in 1946 and placed into storage. Forty hulls had been completed by FAMH and a further twenty by Renault. They were fitted with captured German Maybach HL230 600 hp engines (real output 575 hp), brought back by a mission headed by General Joseph Molinié in the summer of 1945, repeating the course of events with the Char 2C, which after the previous war had also received captured Maybach engines.

Description

The ARL 44 was fairly closely based on earlier French heavy tank design. The hull is long, over 9 metres, but relatively narrow, just as a vehicle meant to cross wide trenches. The covered suspension, with its many small road wheels that had already become outdated in the 1930s, is the most obvious sign of its basic Char B1 ancestry; it is in essence identical to that of the Char B1 ter. The ARL 44 has often been compared to the many "Super Char B" projects from before the war. Its speed is likewise limited, the lowest of any 50 ton tank built after the war. This was also partly due to the lack of a sufficiently strong engine; it had originally been intended to compensate for this by using a more efficient petro-electrical transmission. This kind of transmission has a major drawback in that it very easily overheats and the ARL 44 as a result was fitted with an impressive and complex array of ventilators and cooling ducts; the engine deck was made to extend behind the track to accommodate them all. The hull glacis plate was 120 mm thick and inclined at about 45°, giving a line-of-sight thickness in the horizontal plane of about 170 mm. This made the ARL 44 the most heavily armored French tank until the Leclerc, which came much, much later. Within the glacis, low on the right side, a 7.5 mm machine-gun is fitted in a fixed position.

The turret was the most modern looking part, but it too was also an obvious makeshift solution, somewhat crudely welded together, made necessary by the simple fact that Schneider as yet couldn't produce complete cast turrets large enough to hold a 90 mm gun. The turret front was a single cast section though. As the turret was positioned near the middle of the tank, even when pointing to the back the long 90 mm DCA 45 gun would have a large overhang; in order to facilitate transport it was therefore made retractable into the turret. The turret was rotated by a Simca 5 engine.

In all, the ARL 44 was an unsatisfactory interim design, afterwards often called the "Transitional Tank", whose main function was to provide experience in building heavier vehicles. The main lesson learned was for many engineers that it was unwise to construct too heavy types and this opinion was reinforced by the failure of the tank project that the ARL 44 formed the transition to: the much more ambitious heavy AMX 50. Only after a gap of sixteen years France would in 1966 again build a main battle tank, the AMX 30.

Operational history

The ARL 44s equipped the 503e Régiment de Chars de Combat stationed in Mourmelon-le-Grand and before the end of 1950 replaced seventeen Panther tanks used earlier by that unit. In service the ARL 44 was, at first, an unreliable vehicle: the brakes, the gear box and the suspension were too frail. A special improvement program remedied most of these shortcomings. The ARL 44 made only one public appearance, when ten vehicles participated in the Bastille Day parade on 14 July 1951. When the American M47 Patton became available, which also had a 90 mm gun, they were phased out in 1953 and used as targets. The rumour that most ARL 44s were exported to Argentina is unfounded.

Three ARL 44s survive today. An ARL 44 can be seen in the Musée des Blindés in Saumur; another one at the 501-503e Régiment de Chars de Combat, Mourmelon-le-Grand, a third is a wreck on the technical zone of the base of the 2nd Dragoon Regiment at Fontevraud. It is relatively complete but the gun is dismounted from the turret.

Historical Inconsistencies

  • The stock ARL 44 turret (the "ARL 44 experimentale") is the large turret from the FCM F1 heavy tank. There is no documentation indicating that this turret was ever mounted on the ARL 44, nor was that turret ever fitted with the 76 mm Gun M1A1, which was fitted historically to the Loire ACL1 turret.
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