Calculate Turret Traverse Speed

Turret traverse measures how fast the turret travels in a circle.

Whether you’re trying to create an accurate tank simulation game or just playing trivia at a bar, it can be handy to know the traverse speed of a turret. Turret traverse measures how fast the turret travels in a circle. Calculating turret traverse speed is relatively straightforward, although keep in mind that if a tank’s turret rotation depends on power takeoff (PTO) from the main engine — for instance, as some older German tank models do — traverse speed will vary with engine RPM.


1. Start the tank’s engine and allow it to warm up. Use this time to power on any needed hydraulic systems in the turret.

2. Look through the turret’s sight and pick a distant, immovable object like a tree, house, road sign, or landmark feature. Center the tank’s sight on this object.

3. Depress the turret’s rotational controls fully to turn the turret at maximum speed. At the exact same time as you do this, start the stopwatch. Rotate the turret swiftly, and do not vary the elevation.

4. Watch for the reference object to reenter the turret’s sight. When it is once again centered, stop the turret’s rotation and the stopwatch at the exact same time.

5. Divide 360 by the number of seconds it took for the turret to complete a full rotation. This will give you the turret’s traverse speed in degrees per second. Using the approximation of 6400 mils in a circular rotation, multiplying the number you obtained by 17.78 will give you the turret traverse in mils per second.