Military fuel tanks provide a storage facility for liquids such as gasoline, diesel and heavy fuel that are used to power tanks and armored vehicles, light utility and other land vehicles, aircraft and helicopters, vessels, and a range of military equipment.
External Military Fuel Tanks
Fuel tanks may be found inside a vehicle or aircraft itself, or they may be a standalone external unit that can be used to dispense fuel as needed. External fuel tanks are available in a wide variety of sizes, from small wheeled or trailer-mounted tanks to large units that need to be transported by cargo aircraft, truck or railway.
Integral Fuel Tanks & Military Fuel Bladders
Internal fuel tanks fall into three main categories – integral, rigid removable, and fuel bladders. Integral fuel tanks are part of the structure of the vehicle or aircraft, whereas rigid removable fuel tanks fit into a specially designed compartment and can be taken out for inspection, replacement, or repair. Fuel bladders are rubberized flexible units that are easy to repair and replace, but can work-harden over time, thus becoming brittle.
Auxiliary Fuel Tanks
Some aircraft and vehicles have auxiliary fuel tanks, designed to provide an additional fuel capacity that can be used after the main tank has been emptied, or can be used as a backup in case the main tank is damaged. Aircraft may have auxiliary tanks designed as a “drop tank” that can be easily jettisoned in an emergency.
Armored & Self-Sealing Fuel Tanks
Military fuel tanks can be made out of plastic, although such tanks are typically used only for short-term storage, as the fuel can saturate the plastic over time. Fuel tanks for more durable military fuel storage applications are typically constructed from metal. Military fuel tanks may also be armored to protect against various ammunition calibers, and may also be designed to be blast-proof or crash-proof.
Self-sealing fuel tanks are designed to minimize fuel leakage in the event of puncture, and this is usually achieved with a layer of rubber or other material that swells on contact with the escaping fuel and blocks the hole.
Fuel tanks and dispensing systems may incorporate a number of ancillary components that can be repaired or replaced separately, including fuel hoses, pumps, valves, filters, gauges and heaters.