Jump to content
Sturgeon's House

Recommended Posts

On 4/6/2019 at 12:42 PM, Mighty_Zuk said:

I don't see the relevance in this question. The technology transfer was done about 15 years ago. Roketsan has shown it can at least make adjustments to existing armor, which takes a great deal of expertise as well. These various ERA modules look nothing like those IMI supplied to them for the Sabra, and eventually every development of any kind of technology at least to some extent bases itself on some hard founded technology.

 

I was rather thinking abbout South Korean ERA technology being utilized. Before the Altay project, Roketsan never produced any sort of special armor; now they make ERA and composites.

 

On 4/7/2019 at 5:04 PM, Scav said:

If Y 907 792 was indeed MAX (as indicated) then how come an 8th batch, modified 2A4 had B tech internal armour + D-2 add-ons as shown in the Swedish trials?

 

Apparently it was the plan of the German army at the time to upgrade a larger number of tanks, most/all of which would feature the "B" technology base armor. The change in the political landscape resulted in a change of plans, thus only smaller number (of more capable) Leopard 2 tanks was upgraded. Hilmes suggested in his writings, that it was essentially an achievement of the German army's procurement office to persuade the politicians to invest into the upgrade of the late batch Leopard 2 tanks rather than upgrading the old ones.

 

On 4/7/2019 at 5:04 PM, Scav said:

28mm sandwich + 71mm air + 28mm sandwich @ 65° = ~950mm protection against CE.

 

Not really, the reference threat manages to penetrate 950 mm steel at optimal stand-off, the armor was tested at sub-optimal stand-off (more realistical simulation of real ATGM) and with lots of space in front of the witness plate (as required for high-speed radiograph photos). Most experiments in scientific papers are not directly applicable to determine a protection level.

 

On 4/8/2019 at 1:26 PM, Wiedzmin said:

which is seems to be the method used in swedish presentation  

 

Is that confirmed?

 

On 4/8/2019 at 3:25 PM, Jägerlein said:

Any idea what version(s)  the remaining 91 are (328 total -104-101-32) ?

 

17 Leopard 2A5, the rest 2A6 and 2A6M.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, SH_MM said:

Apparently it was the plan of the German army at the time to upgrade a larger number of tanks, most/all of which would feature the "B" technology base armor. The change in the political landscape resulted in a change of plans, thus only smaller number (of more capable) Leopard 2 tanks was upgraded. Hilmes suggested in his writings, that it was essentially an achievement of the German army's procurement office to persuade the politicians to invest into the upgrade of the late batch Leopard 2 tanks rather than upgrading the old ones.

I have some issues with this:

  • If they intended for the upgraded tanks to feature B tech armour, why base your two prototypes off 8th batch vehicles that come equipped with newer armour from the factory?
  • TVM MAX was intended to be the "maximum" performance improvement, it had all the bells and whistles.
  • TVM 2 or what would become 2A5 is hardly "more capable", it doesn't feature many of the improvements suggested for TVM 1, no hull add-on, no roof add-on, though the additional turret armour is better.
  • The use of new hulls (6-8th batch) instead of older hulls seems to be a compensation for the lack of add-on armour, why make such decisions if you weren't strapped for cash?

Seems more like a compromise to me, not just in quantity but also "quality", getting slightly better turret armour for substantially worse hull armour....

 

1 hour ago, SH_MM said:

Not really, the reference threat manages to penetrate 950 mm steel at optimal stand-off, the armor was tested at sub-optimal stand-off (more realistical simulation of real ATGM) and with lots of space in front of the witness plate (as required for high-speed radiograph photos). Most experiments in scientific papers are not directly applicable to determine a protection level.

Not sure how much that would affect it, but I can point out that the tests themselves seem to have been carried out in similar manners.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The first "prototype" was the KVT, which was based on a Leopard 2 with "B" technology armor. The later prototypes were based on new built tanks, as they not only were meant for Germany, but also for export (according to Hilmes, the British Chieftain replacement program was one of the reasons behind the Leopard 2A5 - apparently partly because it was discovered that the Leopard 2's armor protection wasn't as good as expected compared to other tanks). The "C" and "D" technology armor was only developed after the Leopard 2A5 program was initiated in its early forms. It is possible that the "C" and "D" technology arrays were the results of the Leopard 2A5 armor program (or the Leopard 1A6 program) and only were installed onto new Leopard 2A4s (main armor & skirts), because they were available.

 

As for the rest of your comment: Plans change. The Leopard 2 armor improvement programme was initiated in 1986, at that time it was planned that all Leopard 2 tanks at some point would be upgraded with improved armor and longer guns, as the Soviet Union still existed. Germany also didn't plan to keep the 2A4 hulls from the latest batches in the original configuration - the add-on armor was scheduled to be added, when a new turret with 140 mm smoothbore gun would require a major redesign of the hull. While the turret always needs to be replaced when fitting the NPzK-140, the hull could be reused; thus adding the add-on armor in 1995 would be a waste of money, as it might need to be replaced again in 2008.

The option to upgrade Leopard 2 tanks with improved armoro and the option to only upgrade a small number of Leopard 2s only became available at the end and after the Cold War, hence plans were massively altered (specifically when the Russian Federation didn't act like the Soviet Union).

 

As written by Hilmes, the decision to upgrade the turret armor and to keep the latest hull was the result of lobbying of the German army (procurement office), as politicians would have favored a cheaper option. Re-using the latest hulls also had the benefit of not requiring a complete overhaul, as they still had lots of years left before being worn out.

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/9/2019 at 11:15 PM, SH_MM said:

The first "prototype" was the KVT, which was based on a Leopard 2 with "B" technology armor. The later prototypes were based on new built tanks, as they not only were meant for Germany, but also for export (according to Hilmes, the British Chieftain replacement program was one of the reasons behind the Leopard 2A5 - apparently partly because it was discovered that the Leopard 2's armor protection wasn't as good as expected compared to other tanks). The "C" and "D" technology armor was only developed after the Leopard 2A5 program was initiated in its early forms. It is possible that the "C" and "D" technology arrays were the results of the Leopard 2A5 armor program (or the Leopard 1A6 program) and only were installed onto new Leopard 2A4s (main armor & skirts), because they were available.

What I find odd is how the KVT was based of a 5th batch vehicle and thus had B tech internal armour, but the TVMs were based off 8th batch vehicles yet also had B tech internal armour according to that one slide.....

 

How ecactly did they "discover" that the leopard 2s protection wasn't as good as other tanks?

If this comes from the Brits, I think that might be due to them misinterpretting the slides and info given to them (or their higher requirement for CE).

Spoiler

Image result for Challenger 2 haynes manual leopard 2

^if this is the info they got or used to determine the protection, it lines up pretty well with the 50% area covered mark of this:

Spoiler

Image result for leopard 2 armour

For B tech it's about 330mm protection at the 50% mark, within margin of error and the 420mm for C tech is pretty much right on 50% area covered.

Obviously using this as a measure for how well protected a tank is, isn't the best.

Not to mention the reference threat could be substantially different.

 

We also have to remember that the UK didn't like highly sloped armour plates, hence why they didn't use it on their tank (resulting in higher weight with worse armour protection on CR1), resulting in fairly large areas that could be considered "poorly protected" by the UK.

 

On 4/9/2019 at 11:15 PM, SH_MM said:

As written by Hilmes, the decision to upgrade the turret armor and to keep the latest hull was the result of lobbying of the German army (procurement office), as politicians would have favored a cheaper option. Re-using the latest hulls also had the benefit of not requiring a complete overhaul, as they still had lots of years left before being worn out.

What's the "cheaper option"?
Using older hulls.....?

That already looks like the cheap option to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/14/2019 at 6:42 PM, Scav said:

8th batch vehicles yet also had B tech internal armour according to that one slide.....

 

This is your interpretation of the slide. The slide just speaks about the "German model", which at the time probably was the version that Germany was planning to field. It doesn't say anywhere that the German model is a vehicle from the eight batch, that is something that you (falsely) concluded by assuming that the "German model" refers to the TVMs. That Germany at the time when the documents were transfered to Sweden (i.e. 1990-1991) was planning to keep a larger tank fleet - all upgraded to a similar standard.

 

On 4/14/2019 at 6:42 PM, Scav said:

How ecactly did they "discover" that the leopard 2s protection wasn't as good as other tanks?

 

This is not reported, but Hilmes wrote that the poor protection in relation to the other offers was one of the factors for the improved armor arrays of the later Leopard 2A4. Don't forget that the Brits concluded that the turret armor of the Leopard 2 offers less protection against APFSDS than the Chieftain Mk. 10's Stillbrew armor package.

 

On 4/14/2019 at 6:42 PM, Scav said:

If this comes from the Brits, I think that might be due to them misinterpretting the slides and info given to them (or their higher requirement for CE).

 

You are assuming that the British military was given the same slides (or very similar ones) as Sweden (and that the slide shown in R. Lindström's presentation is the only one detailing the armor protection of the Leopard 2), that's quite a lot of assumptions...

 

I don't think the British assessment was wrong, nor that the 350 mm protection cited by Taylor's book are incorrect - it seems that Mr. Taylor just didn't specify the area/arc that is protected. The hull armor of the Leopard 2 (and with that also the minimum overall frontal protection) offers circa 350 mm steel equivalent protection according the Swedish leaks. The turret armor likely provides a minimum of 350 mm steel equivalent protection along the frontal arc. Both two possibile and more reasonable explanations than "the Brits misinterpretting the slides" - specifically considering that they were always focused on protection along the frontal arc, rather than protection only from heads-on.

 

The Challenger 1, Chieftain with Stillbrew armor, M1A1 HA and Challenger 2 proposals were all better protected than the Leopard 2 in one or multiple ways.

 

On 4/14/2019 at 6:42 PM, Scav said:

We also have to remember that the UK didn't like highly sloped armour plates, hence why they didn't use it on their tank (resulting in higher weight with worse armour protection on CR1), resulting in fairly large areas that could be considered "poorly protected" by the UK.

 

Which given that even Rheinmetall's 105 mm smoothbore gun firing a rather primitive APFSDS round (by modern standards) could defeat similarly sloped steel plates of similiar thickness shows that it wasn't a terrible idea not to rely on sloped armor. HEAT rounds depend on trajectory and fuze (Obus G for example comes really close to defeat the sloped glacis plate of the Abrams) also should be kept in mind.

 

On 4/14/2019 at 6:42 PM, Scav said:

What's the "cheaper option"?
Using older hulls.....?

 

Using old tanks (turrets and hulls) without replacing the turret armor inserts. Sort of like upgrading the Leopard 1A1A1 to the Leopard 1A5 rather than the better Leopard 1A3 & 1A4, because it was cheaper and more such tanks were available.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/16/2019 at 11:53 PM, SH_MM said:

This is your interpretation of the slide. The slide just speaks about the "German model", which at the time probably was the version that Germany was planning to field. It doesn't say anywhere that the German model is a vehicle from the eight batch, that is something that you (falsely) concluded by assuming that the "German model" refers to the TVMs. That Germany at the time when the documents were transfered to Sweden (i.e. 1990-1991) was planning to keep a larger tank fleet - all upgraded to a similar standard.

And the version Germany was planning to field was...... TVM.

 

On 4/16/2019 at 11:53 PM, SH_MM said:

This is not reported, but Hilmes wrote that the poor protection in relation to the other offers was one of the factors for the improved armor arrays of the later Leopard 2A4. Don't forget that the Brits concluded that the turret armor of the Leopard 2 offers less protection against APFSDS than the Chieftain Mk. 10's Stillbrew armor package.

Yeah, and it's probably not entirely correct as they were using cast armour for both the base and the add-on, add the rubber to this and they reached 480-540mm LOS.

If going by LOS, sure it's better, but because both parts were cast and the rubber seems to be included in the overal thickness, the actual protection would be substantially lower, I don't think it would be much better than leo 2's turret.

(they also get to that LOS through angle, which is less effective than vertical armour per LOS against long rods)

 

On 4/16/2019 at 11:53 PM, SH_MM said:

You are assuming that the British military was given the same slides (or very similar ones) as Sweden (and that the slide shown in R. Lindström's presentation is the only one detailing the armor protection of the Leopard 2), that's quite a lot of assumptions...

Why wouldn't they?

The part about leopard 2 "improved" probably wasn't added yet, but I'm sure they gave the info on the other versions somehow, why make a new graph for every country you're planning on selling the tank to?

It's not an unreasonable assumption.

 

On 4/16/2019 at 11:53 PM, SH_MM said:

I don't think the British assessment was wrong, nor that the 350 mm protection cited by Taylor's book are incorrect - it seems that Mr. Taylor just didn't specify the area/arc that is protected. The hull armor of the Leopard 2 (and with that also the minimum overall frontal protection) offers circa 350 mm steel equivalent protection according the Swedish leaks. The turret armor likely provides a minimum of 350 mm steel equivalent protection along the frontal arc. Both two possibile and more reasonable explanations than "the Brits misinterpretting the slides" - specifically considering that they were always focused on protection along the frontal arc, rather than protection only from heads-on.

If it's 350mm for the frontal arc, then it can only be talking about the frontal armour, not the sides.

And 350mm seems too high for the hull (from the front).

 

On 4/16/2019 at 11:53 PM, SH_MM said:

Which given that even Rheinmetall's 105 mm smoothbore gun firing a rather primitive APFSDS round (by modern standards) could defeat similarly sloped steel plates of similiar thickness shows that it wasn't a terrible idea not to rely on sloped armor. HEAT rounds depend on trajectory and fuze (Obus G for example comes really close to defeat the sloped glacis plate of the Abrams) also should be kept in mind.

Perhaps, but one could just add 5-10mm and substantially increase protection, or use a NERA style sandwich....

Just seems a bit too rushed, more testing could've shown highly angled plates aren't a terrible idea....

 

On 4/16/2019 at 11:53 PM, SH_MM said:

Using old tanks (turrets and hulls) without replacing the turret armor inserts. Sort of like upgrading the Leopard 1A1A1 to the Leopard 1A5 rather than the better Leopard 1A3 & 1A4, because it was cheaper and more such tanks were available.

Wasn't there an issue with weight for the hulls?

Something about making sure the hulls could handle any future upgrades....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a question.

How did the Rheinmetall improve the armor behind the EMES-15?The turret of the leopard 2 with AMAP looks very thick but the armor at this point seems weak.

897065FB03AB0661EB0DCD6C71FA9818BBC65E1F

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, HAKI2019 said:

I have a question.

How did the Rheinmetall improve the armor behind the EMES-15?The turret of the leopard 2 with AMAP looks very thick but the armor at this point seems weak.

897065FB03AB0661EB0DCD6C71FA9818BBC65E1F

Same armor as 2A4 I think, cause it's based on 2A4 and the gunner sight looks to be at the same position here and on 2A4.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, HAKI2019 said:

I have a question.

How did the Rheinmetall improve the armor behind the EMES-15?The turret of the leopard 2 with AMAP looks very thick but the armor at this point seems weak.

It didn't. At least, it would be impossible without changing the internal composition, which the armor upgrade did not do.

That's why IBD are offering a similar armor upgrade to the Leopard 2A5 and later versions.

 

It's up to the customer to decide whether they want the gunner's sight area to be up-armored. If they choose to armor it, they make the investment in altering the turret's structure to lift the sight to the turret roof.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This weekend there will be an event here on which this tank will take part. I plan to go there, I'll try to get some information about this. Maybe some photos too, but probably hordes of children will prevent that sadly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2289745_original.jpg

2290185_original.jpg

 

Note the old ammunition hatch on the turret. I thought Hungary would get newly built tanks.... Maybe this is a Leopard 2A7V tank for the German army just send to Hungary for showcasing?

 

Edit:

 

Might be Danish, looking at the search light on the gun mantlet...

c6ff5bf2d61e709abef215a95dd5eda4.jpg

Also has the same storage boxes on the hull.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/17/2019 at 3:09 PM, SH_MM said:

Note the old ammunition hatch on the turret. I thought Hungary would get newly built tanks.... Maybe this is a Leopard 2A7V tank for the German army just send to Hungary for showcasing?

 

Just arrived back at home. Sadly, taking photos was completely impossible. Hordes upon hordes of children... :( 

Well, yes this is only a showcase tank. We'll get newly built A7s. There was also an A4 present, from Austrian army. Old tank, with welded over ammo hatch. 

German army exhibited a Pzh-2000 too, with funny "no photos please" labels on it. It was hardly possible due to the crowd, but who cares... :D Additionally, there was a Leo-2 based bridge layer, and some kind of engineering vehicle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/17/2019 at 1:25 PM, SH_MM said:

Said to be the first one for Hungary:

57384445_322781168619843_243672622450417

 

60112247_1922290424543879_84412209542390

 

60335271_1922290321210556_56874875670086

 

 

As far as I know that is the newest showcase tank of KMW having a lot of things proposed. On this basis the customers can do the selection of things they like to get and see it in hardware before, like touch it before get it!

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Gun Ready said:

As far as I know that is the newest showcase tank of KMW having a lot of things proposed. On this basis the customers can do the selection of things they like to get and see it in hardware before, like touch it before get it!

 

 

Would be great to so a photo of the Leo 2 A4 with the Identification plate. Cannot belief that the "kaiserlichen" Austrians showed their old stuff to the " königlichen" Hungarians. If so, what a shame for Austrian Army....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, Gun Ready said:

As far as I know that is the newest showcase tank of KMW having a lot of things proposed. On this basis the customers can do the selection of things they like to get and see it in hardware before, like touch it before get it! 

 

After seeing more photos and paying attention to more details, I'm absolutely sure that this is a Danish Leopard 2A5, which KMW has upgraded to the 2A7 configuration. There are numerous indicators:

  • it is missing a lot of the optional features that KMW has been advertising for the Leopard 2A7+/2A7V, such as e.g. the SPECTUS driver's sight and the FLW 200 RWS
  • it has the same storage boxes mounted on the hull, that are only used by the Danish military
  • it also features the AMAP-M mine protection kit (which covers a larger section of the LFP and is held by two visible bolts) instead of the Mine-PRO kit installed on the normal Leopard 2A7(+)
  • on top of the turret roof, next to the gun mantlet, an Israeli-made search light is installed, identical to the one adopted by the Danish army on the Leopard 2A5DK (and Leopard 2A7DK) for peace-keeping missions
  • the turret bustle is extended due to the installation of a climate conditioning system
  • the turret roof is not fitted with the bomblet protection kit installed on the Strv 122, Leopard 2A6HEL and Leopard 2A6E, yet the tank features the up-armored version of the PERI R17 - this is again a configuration unique to Denmark
8 minutes ago, Gun Ready said:

Would be great to so a photo of the Leo 2 A4 with the Identification plate. Cannot belief that the "kaiserlichen" Austrians showed their old stuff to the " königlichen" Hungarians. If so, what a shame for Austrian Army....

 

mb4a2216.jpg

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, SH_MM said:

 

After seeing more photos and paying attention to more details, I'm absolutely sure that this is a Danish Leopard 2A5, which KMW has upgraded to the 2A7 configuration. There are numerous indicators:

  • it is missing a lot of the optional features that KMW has been advertising for the Leopard 2A7+/2A7V, such as e.g. the SPECTUS driver's sight and the FLW 200 RWS
  • it has the same storage boxes mounted on the hull, that are only used by the Danish military
  • it also features the AMAP-M mine protection kit (which covers a larger section of the LFP and is held by two visible bolts) instead of the Mine-PRO kit installed on the normal Leopard 2A7(+)
  • on top of the turret roof, next to the gun mantlet, an Israeli-made search light is installed, identical to the one adopted by the Danish army on the Leopard 2A5DK (and Leopard 2A7DK) for peace-keeping missions
  • the turret bustle is extended due to the installation of a climate conditioning system
  • the turret roof is not fitted with the bomblet protection kit installed on the Strv 122, Leopard 2A6HEL and Leopard 2A6E, yet the tank features the up-armored version of the PERI R17 - this is again a configuration unique to Denmark

 

mb4a2216.jpg

 

Many thank for the photo. Now we are sure, Austria is forced to upgrade in the future, too ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/11/2018 at 2:11 AM, Pardus said:

 

I'd expect atleast 350mm RHAe in the center if we're talking 420mm composite + 240mm solid titanium (660mm LOS).

 

The edges of the mantlet area could present as high a value as 400mm RHAe considering the 240-280mm RHA turret armour behind the 420mm mantlet:

6dCUHw8.jpg

wALjP69.jpg

 

 

 

PS: Went and sat in a Leopard 2A5DK today and had the opportunity to eyeball the thickness of the add on armour on the upper hull. These blocks of armour looked atleast 5cm thick, probably more. So the upper hull on the newer leopards is very strong. Also had a good 5 min in the gunners position, and I must say the gunners optics are excellent, extremely crisp (no LCD screen for the gunner in the tank I sat in though). Also noted a small joystick to the right of the gunners control handle, not sure what that was for?

Do you have source that the turnnion is solid?My friend think it is empty like leopard 1.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Guys, which one have better protection 

The Leopard 2A7 or Leopard 2A4 revolution? why don't Leopard 2A7+ have active hard kill protection option?

34772255_1925834550814461_72573196100079

 

Vs

rs1pjrbd9n011.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Ronny said:

The Leopard 2A7 or Leopard 2A4 revolution?

The first is a deep modernization of 2A5. Second 2A4 with composite armor plates. I do not remember that KMW revealed strength of armor. But in my own opinion, 2A7 is better in everything. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Ronny said:

Guys, which one have better protection  

 

This isn't known (to the public at least). Rheinmetall claims that the Leopard 2 ATD/Revolution reaches a higher level of frontal armor protection than the Leopard 2A5 and would be on par with the Leopard 2A7 (at least this is what they told to Poland when competing against KMW for the Leopard 2PL program) - nobody knows if that is true.

 

The problem with Rheinmetall's upgrade is that the base armor of the Leopard 2 comes in different configurations and thus it depends on which variant is upgraded with Rheinmetall's solution.

 

The Leopard 2 ATD/Revolution comes with improved side armor, mine protection kit, roof armor, slat armor for the engine compartment and improved frontal armor, while weighing only 63-64 metric tons - meanwhile the Leopard 2A7 of the German army (no hull add-on armor,  no roof armor, but mine protection kit) weighs 63.9 metric tons. This means that either Rheinmetall's armor is a lot better than KMW's (which might be true to some extend, as it is thicker; when having two armor array of the same weight and similar technology, using more thickness can result in improved mass effectiveness) - or that Rheinmetall's claims are a bit too optimistic. It is probably a mix of both, at least in terms of multi-hit capability the AMAP package doesn't seem to perform too well.

 

If Rheinmetall's claims were correct, this would mean the Leopard 2 ATD/Revolution is much better protected than the Leopard 2A7 for the same weight.

 

9 hours ago, Ronny said:

why don't Leopard 2A7+ have active hard kill protection option?

 

Because these systems look good on paper, but perform bad in tests. Germany tested at least three types of APS for the Leopard 2A7V in the last few years and found all of them lacking (in the eyes of Germany, the development has not been finished yet). A small number of Trophy APS systems is being purchased for the Leopard 2 tanks meant to participate at the VJTF, but only as a stopgap measure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Similar Content

    • By Sovngard
      Meanwhile at Eurosatory 2018 :
       
      The Euro Main Battle Tank (EMBT), a private venture project intended for the export market.
       


    • By Sturgeon
      I'll start off with a couple Pathe videos:


       

       

       

    • By SH_MM
      Well, if you include TUSK as armor kit for the Abrams, then you also have to include the different Theatre Entry Standards (TES) armor kits (three versions at least) of the Challenger 2. The base armor however was most likely not upgraded.
       
      The Leclerc is not geometrically more efficient. It could have been, if it's armor layout wasn't designed so badly. The Leclerc trades a smaller frontal profile for a larger number of weakspots. It uses a bulge-type turret (no idea about the proper English term), because otherwise a low-profile turret would mean reduced gun depression (breech block hits the roof when firing). There is bulge/box on the Leclerc turret roof, which is about one feet tall and located in the centerline of the turret. It is connected to the interior of the tank, as it serves as space for the breech block to travel when the gun is depressed. With this bulge the diffence between the Leopard 2's and Leclerc's roof height is about 20 milimetres.
       

       
      The problem with this bulge is, that it is essentially un-armored (maybe 40-50 mm steel armor); otherwise the Leclerc wouldn't save any weight. While the bulge is hidden from direct head-on attacks, it is exposed when the tank is attacked from an angle. Given that modern APFSDS usually do not riccochet at impact angles larger than 10-15° and most RPGs are able to fuze at such an angle, the Leclerc has a very weakly armored section that can be hit from half to two-thirds of the frontal arc and will always be penetrated.
       

       
      The next issue is the result of the gunner's sight layout. While it is somewhat reminiscent of the Leopard 2's original gunner's sight placement for some people, it is actually designed differently. The Leopard 2's original sight layout has armor in front and behind the gunner's sight, the sight also doesn't extend to the bottom of the turret. On the Leclerc things are very different, the sight is placed in front of the armor and this reduces overall thickness. This problem has been reduced by installing another armor block in front of the guner's sight, but it doesn't cover the entire crew.
       

       
      The biggest issue of the Leclerc is however the gun shield. It's tiny, only 30 mm thick! Compared to that the Leopard 2 had a 420 mm gun shield already in 1979. The French engineers went with having pretty much the largest gun mantlet of all contemporary tanks, but decided to add the thinnest gun shield for protection. They decided to instead go for a thicker armor (steel) block at the gun trunnions.
       

       
      Still the protection of the gun mantlet seems to be sub-par compared to the Leopard 2 (420 mm armor block + 200-250 mm steel for the gun trunion mount on the original tank) and even upgraded Leopard 2 tanks. The Abrams has a comparable weak protected gun mantlet, but it has a much smaller surface. The Challenger 2 seems to have thicker armor at the gun, comparable to the Leopard 2.
       
      Also, the Leclerc has longer (not thicker) turret side armor compared to the Leopard 2 and Challenger 2, because the armor needs to protect the autoloader. On the other tanks, the thick armor at the end of the crew compartment and only thinner, spaced armor/storage boxes protect the rest of the turret. So I'd say:
      Challenger 2: a few weakspots, but no armor upgrades to the main armor Leclerc: a lot of weakspots, but lower weight and a smaller profile when approached directly from the turret front M1 Abrams: upgraded armor with less weakspots, but less efficient design (large turret profile and armor covers whole turret sides) So if you look for a tank that is well protected, has upgraded armor and uses the armor efficiently, the current Leopard 2 should be called best protected tank.
×
×
  • Create New...