I Can't Tell If This Certifiably Insane Tank Design Is Serious Or Not

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The craziest high-tech innovation to hit the battlefield in ages boasts millimeters-thick sheet metal, black powder time bombs, battering-blades and a heavy armament of bottle rockets. No—it isn’t the advanced replacement to the M1 Abrams battle tank, it’s the Ghanaian Kantanka and it’s laughably terrifying.

This wild development in tank technology comes from the Ghana Kantanka company, headed by the great Christian minister, owner of the Kantanka car company, and now tank designer, Dr. Kwadwo Safo.

The Kantanka company is notable for their surprisingly decent-looking trucks and SUVs, apparently produced and used for the government and people of Ghana and named after the company owner. Their wackiest creation, however, is a full-blown war machine, the likes of which the world has never seen—unless you’ve ever shot fireworks out of a trashcan.


A demonstration of the “tank” was uploaded to the Africa Redemption Magazine YouTube channel back in November 2013, but it’s still worth highlighting as a good ol’ throwback WTF:

The design was shown off for the Ghana military and what looks like anybody else who happened to be wandering by, showing off the tank’s many, uh, innovative features including (what looks to be):

  • a platform based on a small cart with four small trailer-like wheels
  • exposed sheet-metal paneling for optimal protection against wind and insulting expressions
  • 360 degree pivot movement, which looks to be incremental and extremely time consuming, for a full range of firing direction from a
  • permanently vertically-angled single cannon, which looks to be stuffed with fireworks for the demonstration
  • what the video description claims is a “in-built Kantanka CCTV” for navigation
  • battering-blades or wings which sprout from the sides of the vehicle
  • a fire hole which I’m assuming is intended to be a flame-thrower
  • exterior-mounted highly-advanced random-targeting bottle rockets which magically light themselves between the random jump-cuts of the video
  • and some genuinely terrifying “time bombs” that roll out from the tank and seem to just randomly go off after many, many minutes-nearly taking out half of the crowd
  • and finally, a totally-not-manually-operated flag of what looks to be a shaded Jesus holding up the peace sign that unravels after total victory on the battlefield

Being completely honest, this “tank” nailed the fear factor such a masterful battlefield weapon should posses. The design reminds me of two things: the PVC pipe camouflage tarp design me and my friends designed for our four-wheeler in the 8th grade, which in hindsight resembled a yellow dog running down the street with a camo grocery bag over its head, and also the “Dragon” tank from the first James Bond movie, Dr. No.


The video finishes with the quote, “Apostle Dr. Kwadwo Safo is truly the Star of Africa. Let us rally behind him for a better Africa.”

Yea, the part-time Christian minister, part-time weapons manufacturer in a tin tank sounds like the perfect guy to rally around.


Of course this whole thing may be some sort of festival or joke, and everyone seems to be having a blast, no pun intended. For fun or for war, it’s still fucking terrifying.

Photos, in order: Kantanka, Dr. No (1962)

Originally cited from Popular Mechanics, via Matthew Oomman on Facebook

Contact the author at justin@jalopnik.com or @WestbrookTweets.