The Centurion was the first proper British main battle tank developed in the wake of World War II, although the initial design actually dated back to 1943. Full production began in November 1945, and the tank entered service with 5th Royal Tank Regiment in December of the following year. Its combat debut with the British Army was in 1950 during the Korean War, where it operated in support of UN forces. Despite its age, the Centurion continued to serve with many armies around the world well into the 1990s. During the 1965 Indo-Pakistani War, it fought against US supplied M47 and M48 Pattons, and it served with the Royal Australian Armoured Corps in Vietnam. Arguably the main overseas user of the Centurion has been Israel; designated ‘Sho’t’, the tank was widely employed by the IDF during the 1967 Six Day War, the 1973 Yom Kippur War, and the 1982 invasions of Lebanon.
Of the many production variants, one of the most influential was the Mk.3, which was introduced in 1948. Since this was a more powerful and efficient version than its predecessors (Mk.1 and Mk.2), these latter two marks were withdrawn from service as battle tanks, and either converted to the Centurion ARV Mk.1 (for use by the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers) or upgraded to Mk.3 standards. The main armament in the Mk.3 was the Ordnance QF 20pdr rifled gun, supplemented by a coaxial 7.92mm Besa machine gun. Powered by a RollsRoyce Meteor 650hp engine, the tank h