How to Complete the Tank Mission in "Grand Theft Auto Vice City"
By James Holloway
Updated September 22, 2017
When Joan Cortez asks you to steal "a piece of military hardware" for him in the mission "Sir, Yes Sir!" in "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City," he doesn't mention that he's talking about a Rhino tank. You can complete this mission using stealth and trickery or with an all-out assault. You'll need to complete the mission "Phnomh Penh '86" to unlock "Sir, Yes Sir!," and purchasing the Hyman Condo safehouse before the mission starts will help you grab a tank of your own. As with any "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City" mission, be sure to stock up on ammo and armor before attempting this difficult task.
Drive to the "C" icon in Ocean Bay Marina and walk into the light to speak with Colonel Cortez. He'll tell you about his growing suspicions of Ricardo Diaz and ask you to do a favor for him. Cortez wants you to rob a military convoy.
Head toward the location of the convoy, marked by a yellow icon on your map. The convoy is proceeding south through Little Havana toward Fort Baxter.
Decide how you want to deal with the convoy. You can ambush it or try to steal the tank while it's unguarded. Either method will have the same result -- it's simply a matter of which you prefer.
Set up your ambush if you've decided to take the tank by force. You can use rockets or machine-gun fire to destroy the Barracks trucks and Patriot SUVs, but the only soldier you really have to kill is the gunner in the tank's machine-gun turret. Once he's dead, the driver will abandon the tank and you can climb in.
Lie in wait for the convoy to stop if you don't want to fight a squad of heavily-armed soldiers. The convoy will be stopping for donuts at the deli just north of the police station in Little Havana. Park there and wait for the driver to climb out and go into the deli. While he's distracted, run up to the tank, climb in and drive away. You can also make the driver get out of the tank by blocking the road with a parked vehicle.
Drive as fast as you can to your destination, Cortez's garage in Little Haiti, because the tank is going to blow up: As soon as you get in the tank, a self-destruct protocol engages. If you don't make it to the garage before the blue timer in the upper right part of the screen expires, the tank will explode. Stealing the tank will also automatically get you a three-star wanted level, but this is much less of a threat than an exploding tank.
Drive onto the pink marker in front of the garage. The doors will open, allowing you to drive the tank inside. Climb out and head away from the garage. Your wanted level will disappear and you'll receive the mission reward of $2,000.
If you want a tank of your own -- and who wouldn't? -- you can store it in the first bay of the west garage at Hyman Condo. The tank will blow up -- be as far away as possible while still remaining in line of sight when this happens. Simply restart the mission and deliver the tank to Cortez on your second try. Even though your tank exploded, it will appear in the Hyman Condo garage
Law enforcement pursuit isn't much of a threat, since they lack the firepower to stop the Rhino. Do keep moving, however; not only is the clock ticking, but you will be vulnerable to getting grabbed by police on foot.
Dr James Holloway has been writing about games, geek culture and whisky since 1995. A former editor of "Archaeological Review from Cambridge," he has also written for Fortean Times, Fantasy Flight Games and The Unspeakable Oath. A graduate of Cambridge University, Holloway runs the blog Gonzo History Gaming.