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On 10.12.2017 at 8:25 PM, Serge said:

What is the main difference between the A7 and A7V standards ?

  • additional armor module on the hull front
  • improved torsion bars with a maximum qualified weight of 70 metric tons
  • L55A1 gun (only some tanks)
  • changed final drive ratio (slightly lower top speed, but higher acceleration)
  • third gen thermal imager with high resolution integrated into the gunner's sight
  • improved laser rangefinder with greater range
  • new air conditioning system with integrated NBC protection system (the air conditioning adopted with the 2A7 upgrade requires a separate NBC protection system; however the old NBC protection system is kept to serve as air conditioning system for the driver)
  • new ammo racks to hold the heavier DM11 HE-ABM ammo (on 2A7 this ammo could only be stored in certain racks)
  • total refurbishment of all engines

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1) There's three thicker plates behind the funky shaped one at the front, whereas it looks like two in the original image

2) in the original configuration the thicker side plates end at the same point as the extra armour on the side of the hull, whereas on the new tank the thicker skirting plates appear to extend behind the armour on the hull side

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On 15.12.2017 at 11:29 PM, Serge said:

Is-there a project to change the Leopard-2 powerpack ? 

Something more compact, lighter...

 

The Leopard 2A6EX was fitted with the MTU 883 engine.

 

europowerpack.jpg

 

As already said, Germany is interested in adopting a 1,200 kW engine on a follow-up upgrade to the Leopard 2A7V. In theory this could be a MTU 883 or an even more compact 893 engine.

 

 

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On 17/12/2017 at 11:44 AM, SH_MM said:

The Leopard 2A6EX was fitted with the MTU 883 engine.

 

europowerpack.jpg

 

As already said, Germany is interested in adopting a 1,200 kW engine on a follow-up upgrade to the Leopard 2A7V. In theory this could be a MTU 883 or an even more compact 893 engine.

So it can be interesting to introduced a new hull with two possible designs (according Army needs) :

- a shorten hull to keep focussing on weight reduction ;

- a same length rearranged hull with the move of the ammo rack to a rear segragated compartment (an Abrams like compartment). So, at the front, we can have two options :

   - move the pilote to the center to improve its protection ;

   - add a left modular volume to accept mission kit or a fifth crewman.

 

Whatever the configuration, the suspension would be hydro-gaz to have better IED protection 

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4 hours ago, Serge said:

So it can be interesting to introduced a new hull with two possible designs (according Army needs) :

- a shorten hull to keep focussing on weight reduction ;

- a same length rearranged hull with the move of the ammo rack to a rear segragated compartment (an Abrams like compartment). So, at the front, we can have two options :

   - move the pilote to the center to improve its protection ;

   - add a left modular volume to accept mission kit or a fifth crewman.

 

Whatever the configuration, the suspension would be hydro-gaz to have better IED protection 

Leopard-2-koncpecja.jpg

 

You could also use the large space taken up earlier by the ballistic computer and hydraulic aggregate. 

The hydraulic traverse and elevation mechanism is replaced by electric motors, and the ballistic computer is digitized and miniaturized to the size of a laptop.

 

Removing it and removing the firewall dividing it in two. Restructure the inside so that you essentially has a bustle rack similar to the M1.
pataJy6.png

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18u8onK.jpg

 

On 3.1.2018 at 5:12 PM, Serge said:

So it can be interesting to introduced a new hull with two possible designs (according Army needs) :

- a shorten hull to keep focussing on weight reduction ;

- a same length rearranged hull with the move of the ammo rack to a rear segragated compartment (an Abrams like compartment). So, at the front, we can have two options :

   - move the pilote to the center to improve its protection ;

   - add a left modular volume to accept mission kit or a fifth crewman.

 

Whatever the configuration, the suspension would be hydro-gaz to have better IED protection 

 

I don't consider such a large rework of the Leopard 2's design a realistic option.

 

If you shorten the hull, the track area will be reduced and the ground presssure will rise. So it really depends on how much weight can be saved by installing a new powerpack and shortening the hull. Given that the armor at the engine compartment is the thinnest of the hull, the reduction in combat weight would be rather small in relation to the reduction in track contact area.

So essentially to negate a potential loss of mobility, the overall weight of the tank also should be reduced at other places. This might mean a ligher armor package (not ideal) or reducing the overall size of the tank, for example by using a new low-profile turret. However then you are changing so much, that you could instead buy a new tank for the same money (specifically if the suspension is also replaced by a decoupled running gear with hydro-struts).

 

 

Moving the ammunition rack to the rear of the hull will cause more issues. In case of the Abrams, having a small (six rounds) ammo compartment in the rear also required adding two further armored skirt modules to the right side of the hull, which increases weight. Given that the Leopard 2's heavy ballistic skirts are shorter but thicker than the ones used on the Abrams, there need to be added even more; i.e. there is no weight saved by replacing the engine, only a new crew place is added.

 

19 hours ago, Xoon said:

You could also use the large space taken up earlier by the ballistic computer and hydraulic aggregate. 

The hydraulic traverse and elevation mechanism is replaced by electric motors, and the ballistic computer is digitized and miniaturized to the size of a laptop.

 

Removing it and removing the firewall dividing it in two. Restructure the inside so that you essentially has a bustle rack similar to the M1.

 

The Abrams' turret bustle has much thicker side armor than the one of the Leopard 2 - in fact the side armor of the Abrams' turret bustle is even thicker than the side armor of the crew compartment. So the Leopard 2 would need a lot of add-on armor for the turret rear, otherwise a single hit could leave the tank without ammo.

rk30w9.jpgabramsturretsidearmor.jpg

 

 

The hydraulics are already replaced on later variants, but the place is occupied by more electronics. I.e. on the Leopard 2A7 the SOTAS-IP radios from Thales are located in the old place of the hydraulic pump.

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Quote

I don't consider such a large rework of the Leopard 2's design a realistic option.

[...]

However then you are changing so much, that you could instead buy a new tank for the same money (specifically if the suspension is also replaced by a decoupled running gear with hydro-struts).

My purpose was the following : I believe Leopard-2 tanks will remain in service by 2060 or even latter. 

So the chassis hull change can be an option to try :

- to reduce the weight to keep fuel consumption low and so the operating cost ;

- to improve the mine/IED protection.

 

In a way, it’s like the Stryker DVH introduction. But here, the test is to pass from the « gained » protection level to a native one.

 

Quote

Moving the ammunition rack to the rear of the hull will cause more issues. In case of the Abrams, having a small (six rounds) ammo compartment in the rear also required adding two further armored skirt modules to the right side of the hull, which increases weight. Given that the Leopard 2's heavy ballistic skirts are shorter but thicker than the ones used on the Abrams, there need to be added even more; i.e.

I didn’t realised right Abrams skirt was different because of the ammo compartment. 

Even with this :

abramsskirtcross.jpg

 

Quote

there is no weight saved by replacing the engine, only a new crew place is added.

 

 Is their a way considered to reduced Leo-2 weight ?

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28 minutes ago, Serge said:

I believe Leopard-2 tanks will remain in service by 2060 or even latter. 

If you think about it, it's quite a scary thought.

It's like seeing Russia keeping the T-34 in service until 2020.

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You’ve missed something. We have seen a break with the introduction of Abrams and Leopard-2 MBT. 

They are armored, fast enought and (most important) they have large internal volume and energy production. So they do have very good basics and plenty of capabilities.

The Leclerc will disappear earlier because it was not produced at large scale. The Challenger-2 is badly organised. 

 

And, if you quote T-34, look at this :

olifant_mk2.jpg

So Leopard-2 have a multi-decades life expectancy.

 

Ask yourself : did the Mk4 introduction discredit the Merkava Mk3 ? I don’t think so.

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@Serge: GDLS did more than just add "special armor" skirt to protect that hull area. They thickened the hull sides, and that extra thick slab of steel is noticeably longer on the right side, to cover the hull ammo compartment.

 

a0ooCo2.jpg

 

I thought I had on my HDD a pic of the right-hand side of the hull but I can't seem to find it, so I'm afraid I'll have to make do with the next two pictures, which are comparisons of Abrams hulls by different model kit makers (I have the 1/35th M1A2 SEP TUSK v2 by Meng, btw).

 

3Q47swdl.jpg
 
kSRf9Ofl.jpg

 

 

You'll note that the hull armor is longer on the right side, by two torsion bars, so to speak.

 


Leo doesn't seem to have this extra hull protection - thickness appears rather uniform.

 

NMgbGkv.jpg

 

RPTe40Y.jpg

 

 

EDIT: why the fuck did the forum software decide to post this without my permission? I wasn't done typing...

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8 minutes ago, Renegade334 said:

@Serge: GDLS did more than just add "special armor" skirt to protect that hull area. They thickened the hull sides, and that extra thick slab of steel is noticeably longer on the right side, to cover the hull ammo compartment.

 

a0ooCo2.jpg

[...]

You'll note that the hull armor is longer on the right side, by two torsion bars, so to speak.


Leo doesn't seem to have this extra hull protection - thickness appears rather uniform.

It’s clear on the sketch section.

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Readyness depands on maintenance and spares. 

Both maintenance and spares are costs. At this point, this is not a problem of age. 

If the German army is introducing a new engine, they will need a new gear-box and modified rear compartment. Chassis will be like new.

The long term problem will come from the hull fatigue. 

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14 hours ago, Serge said:

My purpose was the following : I believe Leopard-2 tanks will remain in service by 2060 or even latter. 

So the chassis hull change can be an option to try :

- to reduce the weight to keep fuel consumption low and so the operating cost ;

- to improve the mine/IED protection.

 

Well, if you want to keep the tank around for an additional 42 years, I guess then investing into a deeper modernization of the Leopard 2 makes sense. However by 2030-2035 a proper next-generation main battle tank should be available.

 

14 hours ago, Serge said:

 Is their a way considered to reduced Leo-2 weight ?

 

There are quite a few options, I just wouldn't consider them to be financially financially sensible for most users. Dipl.-Ing. R. Hilmes suggested - as a fully hypothetical upgrade - to install a low profile turret and a MT883 engine into a Leopard 2 for a major reduction in size and weight. This then would require to add an autoloader (in best case one would eliminate one crew member, but theoretically one also could keep a fourth crew member and give him another role). One also could use a next-generation engine based on the MT890 family as used in the Puma. A V12 variant of the Puma's MT892 would be 50% smaller (in terms of volume) and reduce fuel consumption by 10%.

 

mm5z1Nn.png

 

This low-profile turret was designed in the 1980s, but it was never used due to issues with the NBC protection system. I.e. to keep a high gun depression, the gun needed to move through the roof, which would mean that a much stronger NBC protection system is required (a larger opening means more clean air will exit the vehicle, so more air has to be filtered by the NBC protection system and moved into the vehicle to create an overpressure).

1YwAifn.png

Leopard 2 hull (shortened, only six roadwheels + MT883 engine and Renk HSWL 295TM) with such a loow profile turret.

 

W9gzmyJ.jpg


Same as above, but with Leopard 2A5-style add-on armor. Length of the hull is reduced by ~1 metre, height of the turret by ~20-30%. However the price for such an upgrade would be probably close to buying brand new Leopard 2 tanks.

 

A more radical upgrade would involve using a two-men crew located in the hull - i.e. remove the ammo rack and use this spot for a combined commander/gunner. Then put an unmanned turret with autoloader onto the turret ring. Germany experimented with 2 men crews during the 1980s and 1990s for their next generation MBT (i.e. first the PzKpfW 2000, then the NGP), before the programs were canceled. Tests involved using special containers with three seats (two for the crew, one for a person who observes the tests and documents the results) on a Leopard 2 hull. The crew was assisted by modern optics and electronics, which would automatically detect targets, etc.

In theory with more modern technology this also could involve automated driving (setting a waypoint on a GPS map, then letting the tank drive to the coordinates) and automatic target engagement (let the tank detect, aim and fire at enemies all by itself).

 

9695995996_7e5192cc6e_b.jpg

 

 

 


leo_vt_krc-01.jpg

leo_vt-05.jpg

leo_vt_02.jpg

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4CXcZpeQFDyXKlLbdx8a6xVs73aGFvjFJlotvK3e

4CXcZpeQFDyXKlLbdx8a6-xM08cj1AZfW_Tm7DU2
 

 

 

Last but not least there is the aspect of armor protection. It really depends on what is required for the Leopard 2 in the 2040s, 2050s and 2060s. Rheinmetall claims, that the AMAP armor package used on the Leopard 2 Advanced Technology Demonstrator and the Leopard 2 Evolution provides the same level of frontal protection as the Leopard 2A7(V), while also including roof armor and side armor modules for turret and hull, that are not part of the basic 2A7(V) configuration. So by using this AMAP armor kit without roof and side armor, one could probably already save 1-2 metric tons over the current 2A7(V) tank. More modern armor technology available in the 2030s/2040s/2050s would enable further weight savings while staying at the same level of protection - if a higher level of protection is desired, the weight savings would go away.

The United States of America (with the Future Combat Systems) and the IDF (with the Carmel vehicle) both have at least played with the idea of reducing passive armor in favor for active protection systems. So in the future one could remove some ~10-15 metric tons of composite armor and instead install one or multiple types of APS, if this is considered acceptable.

 

13 hours ago, Renegade334 said:

Leo doesn't seem to have this extra hull protection - thickness appears rather uniform.

 

No, the Leopard 2 does have extra armor in the frontal section of the hull. However it is less obvious.

 

First of all on the original hull design for the Experimentalentwicklung Keiler (1969) and the Leopard 2K (1972) were designed with a higher level of protection along the whole crew comparment.

KPz_Leopard_ExperimentalEntwicklung.png

The frontal section of the Keiler was designed to have 40 mm cast steel armor at the lower section or two sloped plates (10 mm rolled steel at 45.5° + 35 mm cast steel at 30°) at the upper section. Engine compartment armor was only 29 mm rolled steel (lower section) or 12 + 22 mm steel (upper section).

 

fZS5J_LzhyU.jpg

Leopard 2K continued this design with changed thickness. Frontal section has 12 + 30 mm spaced armor at 45.45° (upper section) or 10 + 29 mm (lower section), while the engine compartment has only 8 + 10 mm spaced side armor at 45.45° (upper section) or 10 + 19 mm (lower section).

 

I cannot tell if the series production variant of the Leopard 2 (1979) has the same armor scheme, hower it was still present on the Leopard 2AV prototypes (1976-1977). I've heard that the side armor layout has been altered in certain batches, but I cannot confirm that this is true. At least on the Leopard 2A7Q and the Strv 122, the frontal most section of the hull - i.e. the section in which the driver sits and the hull ammo is located - includes a special armor array (some 150-200 mm thick).

SoYqB6W9ZbM.jpg

Note the opening that extends from the front to the center of the turret ring. There composite armor modules will be inserted.

1408217823-1mveg.jpg

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On 4.1.2018 at 7:10 PM, SH_MM said:

The Abrams' turret bustle has much thicker side armor than the one of the Leopard 2 - in fact the side armor of the Abrams' turret bustle is even thicker than the side armor of the crew compartment. So the Leopard 2 would need a lot of add-on armor for the turret rear, otherwise a single hit could leave the tank without ammo.

The idea would be to use the space for extra ammunition. Meaning, adding for example 15 more rounds. By separating them with a firewall into 2-3 sections, you could avoid heavily armoring the bustle and losing all your ready ammunition. This would weight up for the lost rounds in the mine protection kit.

 

On 4.1.2018 at 7:10 PM, SH_MM said:

 

The hydraulics are already replaced on later variants, but the place is occupied by more electronics. I.e. on the Leopard 2A7 the SOTAS-IP radios from Thales are located in the old place of the hydraulic pump.

I think I was a bit unclear about that, I meant that because the hydraulics and old ballistic computer was removed, we had a lot of empty space. Couldn't the radio be moved somewhere else, or placed in a separate compartment from the ammunition? For example to the left in the bustle (as seen from the inside), with the ammunition on the right.

 

When it comes to saving weight, the only reasonable thing I could think about is replacing the current composite armor modules with lighter ones, and using more reactive armor/APS. Since armor is all or nothing, it could be beneficial to reduce the armor, if it fails to defeat the current threat, and is overkill for the next threat. 

 

One example could be the King Tiger from WWII. When AP rounds managed to reliably penetrate the tank, it would make more sense the reduce the frontal armor to something that stops AC or medium caliber rounds. All the extra armor being dead weight. This was impossible with RHA/CHA tanks because it required a new tank, but with modular/semi-modular armor, it is entirely possible.  For example if it turns out to be too expensive or makes the tank too heavy to deal with long rod penetrators from 125mm guns, you could reduce the KE protection to stop something like a CTAS 40mm, this would be protection decrees from 600mm vs KE to 200mm roughly. This way the tank focus on more protection against ATGMs and RPGs, or mines. Alternatively you could discard it for weight savings. Same goes for CE, though less likely. 

 

Makes sense to discard useless armor for more mobility, both strategically and tactically, fuel economy, reliability and wear.

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