In terms of design, an MBT should have an enclosed turret and a large gun, move on tracks and be equipped with armor that makes it resistant to most weapons. But some people in the terminology brouhaha believe that it should be acceptable to refer to other types of armored vehicles used in combat as tanks, even if they aren’t used in exactly the same way as an MBT.
“It’s a valid discourse as long as the counterargument isn’t: ‘It has treads and shoots, so it must be a tank,’” said Michael Akopian, a research assistant at the Center for a New American Security who specializes in defense. Akopian has no qualms with some vehicles besides MBTs, like the Bradley, being called light tanks.
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