The Leopard C1 --> tank was developed in Germany in the 1960s. The first production Leopard was built in 1965. Low maintenance was a major factor in its design. The tank is supported on seven sets of main road wheels per track, the idler is at the front and the drive-sprocket is at the rear. Suspension is by torsion-bars which pass across the hull. With preparation, the Leopard has deep-fording capabilities. It can be sealed for nuclear and biological warfare. There are four series of the basic battle tank, A1 to A4. The A4 gained a new turret with spaced armour.
Leopards have been sold to at least the following countries: Australia, where they replaced Centurions from 1978, Belgium, Canada, Greece, Italy, Netherlands and Norway.
A revised Leopard 2 was trialed in the 1970s. It sported a larger and heavier hull with spaced armour for greater resistance to ant-tank weapons. 105mm and 120mm smooth-bore main guns were developed.
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