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Leopard Tank

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An Australian Army Leopard Tank
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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.

  • length: 6.94m (hull), 8.17 m (gun to rear) 9.54 m (gun fwd), width: 3.25m or 3.37m with "skirts", height: 2.4m (turret top), 2.62m (cupola)
  • weight: 40,500kg empty, 42,500kg loaded
  • engine: MTU MB 838 Ca M500 multi-fuel, V-10, 4 valves/cyl, 820 hp (380 DIN) at 2200
  • speed: 65kph, fuel capacity: 980L, range: 600km
  • armament: 105mm gun with 60 rounds, 2 x 7.62mm machine guns, 2x4xsmoke-grenades
  • crew: driver, commander, gunner, radio operator/loader
  • variants:
    Armoured recovery vehicle (taurus), with 35,000kg winch, crane with 20,000kg maxlift.
    Armoured engineering vehicle (badger).
    Armoured bridge layer (beaver)

Leopard 2

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.

  • length: 7.73m (hull), width 3.72m, height 2.5m (turret top)
  • weight: 51,500kg loaded
  • MTU MB 873 KA500, multi-fuel, 1500hp at 2600
  • speed: 78kph
  • armament: 105mm or 120mm smooth-bore gun, 2 x 7.62mm machine guns, 2x4xsmoke-grenades
  • crew: 4

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