The main battle tanks of Western African States (Part 2) — Leopard 2

The main battle tank in Germany for many years has been "Leopard 2" and its different modifications. The development of this tank was one hundred percent completed by 1979, the same year the tank began to enter the army. Interestingly, during the development of the German engineers worked through two concepts — Leopard-2K with cannon armament and Leopard-2PK, armed with anti-tank missiles. In 1971, work on the creation of the tank missile was stopped, and the Leopard 2 has become the machine, which received the standard cannon armament. Since 1979, it produced about 3,500 tanks that are in service with many countries in the world.

Tank was designed according to the traditional scheme. Located in front office management, fighting compartment in the middle part of the tank, the engine-transmission compartment in the rear. In the driving compartment of the tank is the driver, the ammunition and the filter system. The workplace of the driver shifted to the right side of the tank, his seat can be adjusted in height and mounted in two positions in its stowed position — open hatches and in combat — with a closed hatch. To monitor the battlefield driver has three periscope observation devices.

In the development of the tank main attention was paid to its firepower, because the choice for the machine guns was quite painful. In parallel, considered two options with 105-mm rifled gun, it proved earlier, and with a 120 mm smoothbore gun. Ultimately, the choice was made in favor of the latter, and the "Leopard 2" became the first western tank, were armed with a 120mm smoothbore gun.

Main battle tanks of Western countries (Part 2) - Leopard 2

The main body of the tank is installed triple welded tower, to what are the commander, aimer and loader. The tower 120mm smoothbore gun Rh-120/L44. Articulation with the breech of the gun barrel manufactured using quick introduction pie thread. Installation and removal tools is a recess, without removing the turret. The center of mass of the oscillating guns placed in the axis of the pins. Gun has two symmetrically located recoil brake. In order to avoid significant load on the structure of the tower with the shot and, in particular, on the elements of the SLA, a large force of resistance to recoil at the level of the tank. Thanks to the significant weight of the gun, along with the mantle result (about 4290 lbs.) And the absence of dynamic shoulder, the impact of a shot at the deterioration of the accuracy of fire is minimized. According to this indicator, "Leopard 2" is considered one of the best tanks in the world.

Gun barrel made of glass equipped with a thermal jacket, closer to the breech ejector is installed in charge of the removal of the powder gases. The inner surface of the gun is made brilliant vitality of the barrel is designed for 500 shots. Tools for Rh-120 developed two main unitary shot with an iron pan and burned down a liner — DM23 armor-piercing projectiles (a core made of tungsten alloy, weight 18.6 kg.) And DM-12 shaped-charge fragmentation projectile (weight 23.2 kg ).

The "heart" of the tank is V-shaped 12-cylinder four-stroke diesel engine developing 873 MB at 2600 rev / min. power 1500 hp This engine applies to diesel engines and equipped precombustion type liquid cooling and turbocharging. Diesel has with 2 turbochargers and 2 charge air coolers plugged into the cooling system. The air supply for the diesel comes in 2 vozduhopoglotitelya, located on the roof of the engine compartment and covered with top niche aft turret, 2 air cleaner, which are fixed to the engine itself and the small pipes are connected to the turbocharger. Applied here hoods — two stage. In the role of the first stage cyclone is used in the role of second — replacement filter cartridge elements. Dust that is filtered at the first stage, then cleaned motor.

Main battle tanks of Western countries (Part 2) - Leopard 2
Leopard 2A4

The fire control system (FCS) developed by "Krupp Atlas — Electronic." LMS enables the tank to recognize and detect targets and to conduct fire on them day and night, in movement and space. MSA comprises:

— panoramic periscope sight-surveillance device of the tank commander PERI-R17;
— laser rangefinder sight gunner's EMES-15;
— auxiliary telescopic gunner's sight FERO-Z 18,
— stabilizer arms in 2 planes with an electrohydraulic drive WHA-H22;
— analog electrical ballistic computer;
— electronic system of synchronous communication tools with an eye;
— built-in test system functioning MSA;
— System-sight adjustment range finder.

LMS allows you to fire a gun, and the commander and gunner, with all this action by pointing the gun commander preference — they are a priority.

The main gunner's sight is equipped with an integrated laser rangefinder and has independent stabilization of the visual field in 2 planes, in one block with it the passive thermal imager, designed to work in the criteria for low-light or at night. On the first 200 tanks "Leopard 2" were installed thermal imaging PZB-200, the transmitting camera which was attached to the mask tool and monitoring device in the workplace gunner and commander. Then, together with the development of mass production sights, filled with thermal imaging, they were all released rehabilitated fighting vehicles, this modification of the tank has received the title of "Leopard 2A2".

Main battle tanks of Western countries (Part 2) - Leopard 2
Leopard 2A5

Optical channel Gunner has a 12-fold increase. Rangefinder sight has no mechanical connection to the gun. Used on the tank laser rangefinder enables simultaneous calculation of the range up to 2 goals that are in alignment of the beam with an accuracy of ± 10 m, the spectrum ranges from 200 meters to 10,000 meters. In order to protect the gunner's eyes from laser radiation in the optical channel filters are installed. In addition there is a special blind, which serves to protect the eyes from the flashes of their own shots, the shutter is activated after pressing the "shot". If, due to failure of the primary system will be released sight, gunner can use the auxiliary articulated telescopic sight FERO-Z18, which owns dependent stabilization of the field of view and increased 8-fold.

The commander enjoys panoramic periscope sight ERI-R17, owning independent stabilization of the field of view and a switchable rising — 2-fold or 8-fold. Commanding sight associated with the gunner's sight. Cupola on the tank is made motionless, but armed with six observational devices providing radial view.

"Leopard 2" is equipped with an automatic sprinkler system and the creation of excess air pressure inside the tank, which is used as a defense against weapons of mass destruction. On the sides of the tower closer to the back o
f the set of 8-propelled grenades, which are used to fire smoke and fragmentation grenades. Shooting grenades produces a tank commander, likely single shooting, or a group of all-propelled grenades at once.

As noted earlier version of the tank "Leopard 2A2" was obtained by the installation of new sights and infrared channels. Tank "Leopard 2A1" was different from the first modification of the new fillers in composite armor and more than a number of the highest reliability components and assemblies. Tanks "Leopard 2A3" got an improved parking brake, and new radios. The tank "Leopard 2A4" set a new digital ballistic computer, brand new system fire, and ammunition of the added a new shell. Until now, this version is the most massive in the middle of all issued. Since her tanks were three-color camouflage pattern, before they were painted olive or grayish monotone paint.

Main battle tanks of Western countries (Part 2) - Leopard 2
Leopard 2A6

Meanwhile, the main striking force of the German army are "Leopard 2A5" and "Leopard 2A6". The development of these software versions combat vehicle and pushed the creation of the event in the Russian Army T-80B. The modernization to the level of "Leopard 2A5" was launched in 1995. At present, the German army is 125 tanks, upgraded to this version, still 225 cars were upgraded to the version of "Leopard 2A6".

Tank in the A5 version has a new hatch of the driver has been improved its review, together with the weakening of the body fell into this place. Has been significantly upgraded turret: one hundred percent recycled mask tools, forehead and sides of the tower were covered modules spaced armor (presumably owning non-energy reactive qualities). Electro-hydraulic gun stabilization has been replaced by an electronic, more fireproof. The commander was independent thermal 2nd generation, integrated in a panoramic viewing device and the gunner — upgraded sight. Have been significantly improved properties stabilizer guns. In addition to everything else tank equipped with a navigation system GPS. These events have led to an increase in weight of the tank to 59,5-62 tons, depending on the set of armor.

The most modern version of the standing armed German army 2A6 received further enhanced booking tower and an additional mine protection of the bottom of the tank. But the main difference between the models is the introduction of guns Rhl 120/L55 with an increase of 11 gauge (1320 mm) long barrel. The use of a new instrument allowed to increment and a muzzle energy of the initial velocity of the projectile, which has a positive effect on the hitting range and armor penetration. Also on the tank was installed brand new tank management information system. The tank remained at the level of 62 tons.

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