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Leopard 1 Main Battle Tank


Leopard 1 Main Battle Tank Equipment
West Germany's Leopard 1 MBT has also been used by the armies of Australia, Belgium, Canada, Greece, Italy, Libya, the Netherlands, Norway, and Turkey.
West Germany's Leopard 1 MBT has also been used by the armies of Australia, Belgium, Canada, Greece, Italy, Libya, the Netherlands, Norway, and Turkey.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

The Leopard 1 Main Battle Tank carries a maximum armor of 2.75 inches and a minimum of .33 inch on the top of the hull. Turret armor ranges from 2 inches on the front to 2.4 inches on the sides and rear.

The turret mantlet, which furnishes additional armor protection for the turret front, is also 2.4 inches thick.

An 830-horsepower Daimler-Benz V-10 diesel engine gives the Leopard 1 Main Battle Tank a power-to-weight ratio nearly equal to the French AMX-30 MBT, even though the latter is 4.4 tons lighter.

The Leopard 1 is capable of sustained road speeds of 40 miles per hour and has a range of 372 miles. The engine is designed so that it can be extracted and replaced in the field within 20 minutes.

The Leopard's main armament is the British 105mm L/7 main gun, which can fire an armor-piercing projectile at nearly 4,500 feet per second. The tank also carries two 7.62mm NATO machine guns, one coaxial and one mounted on a ball pivot atop the turret for antiaircraft use.

The coaxial machine gun, originally intended for estimating range for the main gun, was later replaced by an optical gun sight.

The Leopard 1A3 MBT wears a new, all-welded, spaced-armor turret. Note the wedge-shaped mantlet, distinguished from
The Leopard 1A3 MBT wears a new, all-welded, spaced-armor turret. Note the wedge-shaped mantlet, distinguished from
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

There have been four models of the basic Leopard 1 Main Battle Tank. The first was the Al, fitted with a gun stabilization system, new tracks, and a thermal heat sleeve on the main gun. This version was later modified to A1A1 standards with the addition of bolt-on, or appliqué, armor.

The Leopard 1A2, the second model, has a stronger cast-steel turret, an upgraded nuclear-biological-chemical protection system, and night vision image intensifier equipment.

The third model, the 1A3, was fitted with new spaced armor and an integral storage bin at the rear of the turret. The new turret armor comprised a series of sloped planes and had a distinctive wedgelike mantlet.

The final model of the Leopard 1 was the 1A4, which was given a new fire control system.

The Leopard 1 Main Battle Tank was also manufactured in Italy by OTO Melara. Nine other countries -- Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, and Turkey -- have also used the Leopard 1.

A total of 6,325 Leopard 1 tanks of all configurations, including armored recovery vehicles, armored engineer vehicles, bridge layers, antiaircraft vehicles, and training vehicles, were built, 3,602 for West Germany alone.

To learn about Leopard 1 Main Battle Tank specifications, see our final section.

For more information about tanks and the military, see: