Upgraded Leopards

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Posted by Matt Fisher from Manassas VA USA on March 30, 2021 at 18:49:22:

Does anyone have any info on the effects of the Leopard applique armour upgrades?

Have there been any modifications to the engine/transmission and suspension components of the Leo. so as to compensate for the extra weight of the armour package?

What is the estimated level of protection that the armour upgrade provides? Does the package provide protection from HEAT rounds or include protection from kinetic energy/sabot as well?

It's kind of interesting to see the CF's evolution with the Leo.

Back in 1977 when the government decided to purchase the Leopard, the German Bundeswehr leased to the CF's in Germany a quantity of Leopard 1A1's with the roundish cast iron turret.

These leased Leopards were replaced with the Leopard 1A3/4 which was significantly visually different from the leased tanks, in that the turret was an angular/welded model, developed to provide an increased level of protection than that which the A1 turret provided. It was estimated that the 100mm gun of the T-54/55 was able to penetrate the turret from a range of approximately 1500 metres.

Yet in order to upgrade to include a thermal imagery capability the CF's opted to obtain a quantity of surplus German A1 cast iron turret (with lower protection levels of the A3 turret).

While the improvements in the Fire Control System with the "new" turrets are substantial, would not an alternate and possibly better route have been to obtain the General Dynamics/Teledyne Continental Low Profile 105mm Turret?

With this system the need for an applique armor package that would severely tax the powerpack and suspension (resulting in more vehicle breakdowns, higher fuel/overall operating costs) would be greatly reduced to only having to uparmour the chasis sections of the tank in addition to the overall reduced vehicle weight by ommission of the conventional turret.

Additionally, the crew would be reduced to three, as the modified L7/M68 105mm gun is fed by an autoloader. The reduction in salaries for loaders needed to be paid could also be transferred to other funds such as training budgets.

Canada is already considering using the General Dynamics Low Profile Turret on the LAV chasis...incorporating it onto the Leopard as well would only make sense.

Just my opininon though...

Any thoughts?

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