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 KampfPanzer Leopard 2

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PočaljiNaslov: KampfPanzer Leopard 2   Sre Jan 02, 2008 11:52 pm




Leopard 2A6, with the new Rheinmetall 120mm L55 gun. (Photo: Krauss-Maffei
Wegmann GmbH
.)







Leopard 2 Main Battle Tank

The Leopard 2 is, undoubtedly, one of the most
sucessfull projects of the last generation of main battle tanks, with
over 3,200 units produced. The Leopard 2 is in service with the armies
of Austria, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland,
Sweden and Spain. The Finnish Army is buying 124 and the Polish Army
128 used Leopard 2A4 tanks from Germany.

In March 2003, the Hellenic Army
of Greece ordered 170 Leopard 2 HEL (a version of the 2A6EX), for
delivery
between 2006 and 2009. The first 30 tanks are being assembled by KMW,
the remainder
by ELBO of Greece. The first locally built tank was delivered in
October 2006. In August 2005, Greece placed an order for 183 used
Leopard 2A4 and 150 Leopard 1A5 tanks from the Bundeswehr reserves. In
November 2005, an agreement was signed for the sale of 298 German army
Leopard 2A4 tanks to Turkey. Deliveries are planned for early 2006-07.

The German Army is upgrading 225 2A5 tanks to 2A6 configuration,
the first of which was delivered in March 2001. The Royal Netherlands Army
has ordered the upgrade of 180 of its 2A5 tanks to 2A6 configuration, the first
of which entered service in February 2003.

Spain has ordered 219 Leopard 2E (a version of the 2A6
with greater armour protection), 16 recovery tanks (CREC) and 4
training vehicles. The first 30 are being built by KMW and the rest are
being license-built in Spain by General Dynamics, Santa Barbara
Sistemas (GDSBS). The first tank was handed over to the Spanish Army in
June 2004 and deliveries should complete in 2008. Another variant is
the Leopard 2(S), which has a new command and control system and new
passive armour system. 120 Leopard 2(S) have been delivered to the
Swedish Army. Deliveries concluded in March 2002.

In March 2006, Chile signed a contract for the
acquisition of 118 Leopard 2 tanks from the German Army. The
acquisition package will consist of 93 refurbished Leopard 2A4 tanks
together with 25 spare tanks and supporting equipment. Canada is going
to buy 100 Leopard 2A4 from the Netherlands for the long-term
requirements of the Canadian Forces, and should be delivered to Canada
soon after completion of the government-to-government agreement. The
Dutch army retains a fleet of 110 Leopard 2A6 tanks.

On August 2007, Krauss-Maffei Wegmann GmbH delivered the first of the 20 Leopard 2A6M CAN main battle
tanks, loaned from Germany, to the Canadian Forces. Those tanks were adapted by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann GmbH,
to a configuration that meets the requirements of the Canadian Forces
for missions in Afghanistan - upgraded with improved mine protection
and slat armor. These tanks were deployed to Afghanistan later in
August 2007.

In December 2006, it was announced that Singapore is
to buy 66 refurbished Leopard 2A4 tanks from the German Army, plus 30
additional tanks for spares. The tanks will enter service with the
Singapore Army in 2008.

Krauss-Maffei Wegmann GmbH
has developed a mine protection system for the Leopard 2, following a
concept definition by an international working group from Germany,
Switzerland, Netherlands, Sweden and Norway, under the lead of the
German procurement agency BWB. An order placed in September 2003
involves the modification of 15 Leopard 2A6 tanks for the German Army
and ten Leopard 2A5 (Strv 122) for Sweden. The first mine-protected
tank was delivered in July 2004. The kit consists of add-on armour
elements including a new plate under the tank floor, new vision systems
and restowage arrangements for ammunition. Trials in February 2004
demonstrated that, with the new armour package, Leopard 2 tank crews
could survive the detonation of an anti-tank mine under the tank
without suffering any injuries.

Krauss-Maffei Wegmann GmbH
latest development of the Leopard 2 Main Battle Tank series is a new
technology demonstrator model intended for peacemaking and peacekeeping
deployments, the Leopard 2 PSO (Peace Support Operations). The Leopard
2 PSO was officially presented at the 2006 Eurosatory.


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PočaljiNaslov: Re: KampfPanzer Leopard 2   Sre Jan 02, 2008 11:53 pm

HISTORY

The development of the Leopard
2 MBT can be traced back to a project started in the 1960's.
At this time Germany and the United States were still working
on the MBT-70 program, so this project had a very low priority.

While Germany and the United
States were developing the MBT/KPz-70, their agreement did
not allow a parallel national tank program, but when the
Leopard 1 MBT was introduced into service in 1965 Porsche
was awarded a contract to develop improved components to
increase its combat effectiveness to the standard demanded
by the MBT/KPz-70. This program lasted until 1967, when the
contract expired, and became known as 'Vergoldeter Leopard'
or 'Gilded Leopard'.
When the first cracks appeared in 1967 in the German/American
cooperation program for joint development of the MBT/KPz-70,
the German Ministry of Defense decided to continue and to
increase the development of the 'Vergoldeter Leopard', which
later became known as 'Keiler' (Wild Boar).


Leopard 2 prototypes, in different phases of development. A total of 17
prototypes were built, with differing suspension, turret, and armament.


Krauss-Maffei of Munich was
chosen as the main contractor, with Porsche involved in the
development of the chassis and Wegmann in that of the turret.
In 1969 and 1970 two prototypes (ET 01 and ET 02), both powered
by the 10 cylinder MB 872 engine, were built for further
evaluation. In late 1969, with the end of the development
program for the German/American tank, the German Office for
Defense Technology and Procurement initiated a study to save
at least the majority of the MBT/KPz-70 development program.
This was an attempt to combine parts of the abandoned MBT/KPz-70
program with components of the experimental tank, and became
known as 'Eiler' (Boar) but never reached prototype status.




In early 1970, the German
Ministry of Defense recommended the development of the 'Vergoldeter
Leopard' to be continued with the adoption of the MTU engine
developed for the MBT/Kpz-70 in order to take advantage of
the further experience that had already been acquired with
it. Another seven vehicles were ordered, with Krauss-Maffei
again chosen as the main contractor.

The prototypes looked at
first glance very much like the Leopard 1 A4, but with a
wedge-shaped bow and an exhaust grille moved to the rear
plate. The roadwheels came from the MBT/KPz-70, and the return
rollers from the Leopard 1. The engine also came from the
MBT/KPz-70, a 12 cylinder MTU MB-873 Ka-500 water-cooled
multi-fuel four-stroke engine, together with its 20 kW generator,
gearbox, air filters, and the cooling and braking systems,
forming a compact group that could be easily replaced in
15 minutes. Ten of the seventeen turrets built were fitted
with a 105 mm smooth bore gun while the remaining seven had
a 120 mm smooth bore gun, both designed and produced by Rheinmetall.
When the first analysis of the Yom Kippur War of 1973 became
available, it became clear that increased armor protection
would be a decisive factor in the future. The outcome was
a decision of upgrade the Leopard 2 to MLC 60 (Military Loading
Class 60 tons), which would allow increased armor, and to
modify one of the turrets with a new multi-layer type of
armor. This resulted in a breakthrough in the Leopard 2 program
and the first step towards the Leopard 2 AV.

During 1973, negotiations
began between the United States and Germany to standardize
certain components of both nations main battle tanks of the
eighties. As a result of this, by 1976 it was agreed to study
how Leopard 2 could be modified to meet US performance and
constraints. Based on the altered German and US military
demands, Porsche, Krauss-Maffei, and Wegmann designed and
built the Leopard 2 AV (Austere Version).

The Leopard 2 Austere Version prototype.

Modifications
included the new multi-layered (much like the British developed "Chobham" armor,
which consisted of layers of steel and ceramics) armor on
the hull and a new turret with a less sophisticated fire
control system. Two chassis and three turrets were built,
and were ready in 1976. The first prototype had a turret
with a Hughes fire control system and a L7A3 105 mm main
gun. The second one was equipped with the same gun, but provisions
were made to allow a quick adoption of the Rheinmetall 120
mm smooth bore main gun. The third turret had a German fire
control system, including the EMES 13, and was to be used
in the German test program. An additional turret was built
and was identical as the third, but had the Rheinmetall 120
mm smooth bore main gun installed from the beginning.

The Leopard 2 AV was originally
intended to be tested as the same time with the XM1, but
the German modification program took longer than expected.
The US Army therefore proceeded with the evaluation of the
XM1 prototypes built by Chrysler and General Motors, and
ultimately decided to launch full-scale development of the
Chrysler design.

However, the German prototypes
arrived in the US by the end of August 1976 and comparative
tests between the Leopard 2 AV and the XM1 prototypes were
done at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, lasting until December
1976. The US Army reported that the Leopard 2 AV and the
XM1 were comparable in firepower and field mobility but the
XM1 was superior in armor protection, and so the XM1 was
selected. After the comparative test the Leopard 2 AV prototypes
were returned to Germany for further evaluation tests.

In September 1977 the German
MoD formally decided to go ahead with plans for production
of 1,800 Leopard 2, which were to be delivered in five batches.
From the original group of companies bidding for the contract,
Krauss-Maffei was chosen as the main contractor and systems
manager. MaK became sub contractor and production was to
be shared between the two companies on the basis of 55% for
Krauss-Maffei and 45% for MaK. Wegmann, as turret integrator,
received full responsibility for coordination the integration
of the EMES 15 fire control. The EMES 15 fire control was
developed by Hughes in cooperation between Krupp Atlas Elektronik,
with the 120 mm smooth bore high-performance main gun supplied
by Rheinmetall with the turret.

Without doubt, at the time
of its introduction (1979), the Leopard 2 was the most advanced
tank in the world. The Germans succeeded in designing a tank
with high success in all three areas of tank design: mobility,
firepower, and armor protection.

Until then, tank designers
had only been able to achieve two of these objectives at
once. The British Chieftain, for instance, had a pretty good
gun and good armor, but very poor mobility. At the other
end of the scale was the French AMX-30, which had good mobility,
an adequate gun, but weak armor.

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PočaljiNaslov: Re: KampfPanzer Leopard 2   Sre Jan 02, 2008 11:54 pm

THE IMPROVED LEOPARD 2 - LEOPARD 2 A5 KWS
II

Leopard 2A5 KWS II: new turret and third generation composite armor.
(Photo: Krauss-Maffei
Wegmann GmbH
.)


In a modern world the pressure
for modernization is a matter of course, but in the field
of military technology it is a bitter reality. With the appearence
of modern and capable Soviet tanks such as the T-64 B and
T-80 B, equipped with a high-performance 125 mm smoothbore
gun capable of firing guided missiles, the development of
an even better Leopard 2 was demanded. However, cooperation
between nations over their tank industries can be difficult.
After the cancellation of a joint French-German tank development
project in November 1982, Germany extended the concept phase
for a Leopard 3 in March 1983 to last until 1996. Several
alternatives had to be examined, including production of
additional Leopard 2, improvement of the Leopard 2, development
of a new turret for the Leopard 2 with a crew of four or
with a crew of three with an automatic loader, or still the
development of an entirely new hull and turret.

The development of improved
components for the Leopard 2 was finally favoured, and in
1989 the Leopard 2 KVT (Komponentenversuchsträger -
component trial vehicle) was built and tested. This vehicle
was fitted with additional armor, spall liners in the fighting
compartment, a new electrically-driven sliding hatch for
the driver, new hatches for the commander and loader, and
increased reactive and passive armor on the turret roof.
The EMES-15 was raised and received an armored housing, and
the PERI-17, now including an independent thermal sight channel,
was relocated to the left rear of the commander's section.
This prototype had a total weight of 60,500 kg. After the
trials, this vehicle was converted into the IVT (Instrumentenversuchsträger
- experimental vehicle for instruments) and joined the IFIS
(integrated command and information system) development program
carried out between 1988 and 1992, which researched in cooperation
with the US the more efficient way to the management and
use of gathered information. After evaluation of the development
tests with with the KVT, two prototypes were built in 1991
by Krauss-Maffei for the improvement program, known as KWS.

The overwhelming political
changes within the Eastern Block, and the resulting decreasing
defense budgets definitely modified the improvement program.
An alternative improvement program was initiated, divided
into three stages, and known as KWS I, KWS II, and KWS III
(the Roman numerals do not denote chronological
order).

KWS I consisted
of the adoption of a longer L/55 120 mm main gun and the
use of improved ammunition, having an increased muzzle velocity
of 1,800 m/s (OBS: This program resulted in the Leopard
2 A6
).

KWS II was
the development of increased armor protection for the crew
and improved command and control system capabilities (OBS: This program resulted in the Leopard 2 A5).

KWS III consisted of the adoption of a 140mm main gun.


Prototypes of the Leopard 2 with the 140 mm gun.


On October 1991, Switzerland,
the Netherlands, and Germany decided for cooperation in a
development program for KWS II. The first Leopard 2 A5 were
officially delivered to the German Army School on 30 November
1995. Chassis of the sixth, seventh, and eight batches were
to be used for the conversion program and to receive reworked
and modified turrets taken from tanks of the first four batches.
Modernization of the chassis were to be carried out by Krauss-Maffei
and MaK while Wegmann and Rheinmetall became responsible
for the turrets.

The most significant change
to the hull of the Leopard 2 A5 is the new driver's hatch,
which is now electronically operated and slides to the right
to open. A deflector is mounted to the left of the driver's
station, with stowage brackets for camouflage support poles.
A camera mounted above the rear cooling air outlet is connected
to a monitor on the driver's dashboard to enable him to reverse
at high speed, without needing directions for the commander.
The road wheels are now made of steel, replacing those made
of aluminium.

The turret front and sides
are fitted with wedge-shaped add-on armor in sections, which
can easily be replaced by field workshops if hit or, at a
later stage, be replaced by more advanced armor. The side
panels of this extra armor are hinged to swing forward, neccessary
when engine is to be replaced. The gun mantlet was completely
redesigned, and additional stowage boxes are fitted to the
turret rear and sides. The interior of the turret is now
fitted with a spall liner for improved protection against
splinters. The electro-hydraulic gun control and stabilization
system was replaced by an all-electric system. The optical
FERO Z-18 auxiliary telescope was relocated to a position
on top of the gun mantlet, and the commander's PERI-R 17
panoramic sight has been moved to the left rear of the commander's
station. The commander's improved independent sight now includes
a thermal channel whose image is displayed on a monitor on
the commander's station. The laser range data processor was
modified so that the Leopard 2 A5 can now engage helicopters
with APFSDS-T ammunition, and a GPS vehicle navigation system
is built in with the GPS antenna installed at the rear of
the turret roof.

The additional armor has increased
the combat weight of the Leopard 2 A5 to 59,500 kg, which
has not affected the mobility, as the vehicle was designed
to accept such an increase.

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PočaljiNaslov: Re: KampfPanzer Leopard 2   Sre Jan 02, 2008 11:55 pm





Leopard 2A6, German Bundeswehr, on maneuvers.
Photo: Rheinmetall
Landsysteme GmbH


The Leopard 2 A6

The Leopard 2A6 includes a longer L55 gun,
an auxiliary engine, improved mine protection and an air-conditioning
system. The German Army is upgrading 225 2A5 tanks to 2A6
configuration, the first of which was delivered in March
2001. The Royal Netherlands Army has ordered the upgrade
of 180 of its 2A5 tanks to 2A6 configuration, the first of
which entered service in February 2003.

In March 2003, the
Hellenic Army of Greece ordered 170 Leopard 2 HEL (a version
of the 2A6EX) for delivery between 2006 and 2009.

The Leopard 2E, of the Spanish Army, showing the extra armor on the front hull, and the new 120mm L55 gun.


Spain has ordered 219 Leopard 2E (a version of the Leopard 2A6
with greater armor protection) and 16 Leopard 2ER recovery vehicles, and four
Leopard 2 driver training vehicles. The first 30 are being built by Krauss-Maffei
Wegmann GmbH, and the rest will by licence-built in Spain by General Dynamics,
Santa Barbara Sistemas (GDSBS). Deliveries of the first batch began in 2004
and should complete in 2008.

Leopard 2E, showing the full 130 cm increase in barrel length of the new 120mm L55 gun.
(Photo: Circulo Trubia.)


The Spanish version has some changes compared
to basic A6 model beside more armor, including an Indra/KAE LINCE C2 system,
Indra 2nd gen TI for gunner and TC, a new Indra 3rd gen passive scope for the
driver and Spanish PR4GE (license built 2ng gen PR4G digital frequency hopping
radios) with data modem for wireless secure data transmission.

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PočaljiNaslov: Re: KampfPanzer Leopard 2   Sre Jan 02, 2008 11:56 pm


Firepower

The Leopard 2E - of the Spanish Army - firing the new 120mm L/55 gun.


A new smoothbore gun, the 120 millimeter L55 Gun, has
been developed by Rheinmetall GmbH of Ratingen, Germany to replace the
shorter 120 millimeter L44 smoothbore tank gun on the Leopard 2.

The 120 millimeter L44 gun barrel has a length of 530 cm and
weighs 1,190 kg. The whole gun weighs 3,780 kg. By comparison, the 120 millimeter
L55 gun barrel has a length of 660 cm and weighs 1,374 kg. The whole L55 gun
weighs 4,160 kg. The extension of the barrel length from caliber length
44 to caliber length 55 (130 cm) results in a greater portion of the available
energy in the barrel to be converted into projectile velocity.

An important characteristic of the new L55 gun is its
compatibility with the Leopard 2 weapons system, meaning that it can be
integrated without substantial alterations. The external geometry of
the gun was designed to minimize the phenomenon of static sagging, as
well as to achieve optimum constant curvature. With respect to both of
these factors, the form of the barrel selected for the L55 plays a
critical role. This was a prerequisite for the system's high first-shot
hit probability. The L55 gun can fire any standard 120 mm round.

Especially when using the new DM 53 KE round, the L55
enables approximately an 30 percent increase in performance compared
with conventional systems. For example, when fired from the longer
barrel, the DM 53 (LKE II) KE round attains a muzzle velocity in excess
of 1,750 m/s.

The L55 smoothbore gun, equipped
with a thermal sleeve, a fume extractor and a muzzle reference
system, is compatible with current 120mm ammunition and new
high penetration ammunition.

An improved kinetic energy
ammunition known as LKE II was developed as a result of a
Tactical Requirement issued in November 1987, and uses the
longer gun barrel. The effect of the kinetic energy projectile
on an enemy target is achieved by 1) the penetrator length
and projectile mass and the impact velocity and 2) the interaction
between the projectile and the target. The penetrator material
is heavy tungsten powder in a monoblock structure. The improved
kinetic energy ammunition has higher muzzle energy and recoil
forces.

Rheinmetall's latest ammunition developments for the
Leopard 2 include the DM 43 A1 120mm KE cartridge, DM 53 120mm LKE
cartridge and the new 120 MP cartridge.

The Leopard 2 A6 lethality
effectiveness is especially due to the development, by Rheinmetall
W & M, of a smoothbore gun system. Based on the military
requirement for firepower enhancement, Rheinmetall W & M
further improved the performance of this gun and pertaining
KE-ammunition. A 130 cm increase in barrel length plus other
modifications (the chamber can support higher pressure from
new propellants) resulted in a higher projectile velocity
and increased KE-performance. Estimated muzzle kinetic energy,
firing the APFSDS DM 53 (LKE II) round, is around 18-20 megajoules
(MJ). The 120 mm L55 weapon is compatible with the current
MBT-types in service throughout NATO, as they can easily
be retrofitted.
The New Rheinmetall 120mm L55 Gun:

The 120 mm L55 hyper-velocity gun: a 130 cm increase in barrel length
plus other modifications resulted in a higher projectile velocity and
increased KE-performance.

A further performance increase
of the Leopard 2A6 was achieved by the introduction of the
DM 53 (LKE II) tungsten long rod penetrator round. This round
has a significantly higher penetrating capability than other
current types of KE-rounds and is considered a guideline
when equipping current or future systems. Estimated penetration
performance of the DM 53 (LKE II) tungsten long rod penetrator
round fired by the Rheimetall 120mm L55: 750 mm at 2000 meters.

The secondary target spectrum
is covered by the other ultra-modern secondary rounds (HE
and MP).

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PočaljiNaslov: Re: KampfPanzer Leopard 2   Sre Jan 02, 2008 11:56 pm


Protection

The Leopard 2A6, despite all weight gain (from Military Loading Class
60 to 70 tons) due to repeated armor protection upgrades, plus the new
120mm L55 gun, retains all the traditional maneuverability of this MBT
series. Above, a Leopard 2A6 demonstrates the MBT's capability to cross
a small river.

The Leopard 2 A6 is protected by third generation
composite armor, with the additional reinforcement to the
turret frontal and lateral armor with externally mounted
add-on armor modules. In the event of weapon penetration
through the armour, a spall liner reduces the number of fragments
and narrows the fragment cone. The spall liner also provides
noise and thermal insulation. The reinforcement provides
protection against multiple strike, kinetic energy rounds
and shaped charges.

The charts below show the armor protection improvements implemented on the last Leopard 2 models:

Leopard 2 A4 MBT - Estimated Armor Protection Levels (Late 1990's)
Leopard 2 A4


Against Kinetic Energy
(in mm of RHAe)

Against Chemical Energy
(in mm of RHAe)

Turret
590 - 690

810 - 1,290

Glacis
600

710

Lower Front Hull
600

710

RHAe = Rolled Homogeneous
Armor Equivalent
; an equivalent RHA thickness
of a given armor type against a given armor piercing
ammunition or missile (i.e. Kinetic Energy penetrators,
like APFSDS DU long-rod penetrators or Chemical Energy
projectiles, like HEAT ammunition and ATGM's). Modern
composite (Chobham) armor may be several times more
efficient against Chemical Energy than RHA of the
same thickness.
Source: Tank Protection Levels web site.


Leopard 2 A5-A6 MBT - Estimated Armor Protection Levels (2002 - 2004)
Leopard 2 A5 - A6

Against Kinetic Energy
(in mm of RHAe)

Against Chemical Energy
(in mm of RHAe)

Turret
920 - 940

1,730 - 1,960

Glacis
620

750

Lower Front Hull
620

750

RHAe = Rolled Homogeneous
Armor Equivalent
; an equivalent RHA thickness
of a given armor type against a given armor piercing
ammunition or missile (i.e. Kinetic Energy penetrators,
like APFSDS DU long-rod penetrators or Chemical Energy
projectiles, like HEAT ammunition and ATGM's). Modern
composite (Chobham) armor may be several times more
efficient against Chemical Energy than RHA of the
same thickness.
Source: Tank Protection Levels web site.


The Leopard 2 A6 is one of the best protected main
battle tanks in the world, standing in the same class as the US M1A2
Abrams SEP.

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PočaljiNaslov: Re: KampfPanzer Leopard 2   Sre Jan 02, 2008 11:58 pm

LEOPARD 2 - VARIANTS

Leopard 2 Fahrschulpanzer (Photo: www.aeronautics.ru/).


The Driver Training Tank (Fahrschulpanzer)
In addition to theoretical education and simulator driving, the Bundeswehr
uses 31 Leopard 2 training tanks, which were delivered in two batches.The first
batch of 22 vehicles, of which eight were built by Krauss-Maffei and 14 by
Mak (chassis nbr. 19001 to 19022), was delivered between February and September
1986. The chassis were taken from current production and are therefore equivalent
to those of the fifth batch. The second batch of nine vehicles, of which five
were built by Krauss-Maffei and four by Mak (chassis nbr. 19023 to 19031),
were delivered between January and April 1989; their chassis are equivalent
to the sixth batch with the new side skirt forward sections.The driver training
tank is essentially a regular Leopard 2 MBT with its turret replaced by a special
observation cabin, with a dummy gun and extra weight to simulate that of an
MBT turret.The instructor, with appropriate devices to override the trainee
driver seated in the hull, sits in the front seat of the observation cabin.
Two additional seats in the "glasshouse" provide space for pupils
to observe. The Netherlands have 20 driver training tanks in operation, Switzerland
uses three, and the Spanish Army uses four (info courtesy of Fernando
Albarracin
).

The Bueffel Armored Recovery Vehicle. (Photo: Krauss-Maffei Wegmann GmbH).


Bergepanzer 3 'Bueffel'
ARV

The first component studies for a new armored recovery
vehicle (ARV), planned to the maintenance support
for the new Leopard 2 which was soon to enter service,
began in 1977. On the introduction of the Leopard
2 it soon became apparent that the Bergepanzer 2
A2 ARV (based on the Leopard 1 chassis) would not
be powerful enough to provide adequate maintenance
support under 24 hour combat conditions, so a development
program for a new ARV was launched.
The first experimental vehicle with a similar layout
to th Bergepanzer 2 A2 and a wooden mock-up for an
alternative internal lay-out, were ready in 1986.
Two prototypes were ordered in 1987 and the experimental
vehicle built up to the prototypes standard. The
three prototypes were delivered in 1988 and underwent
intensive tests, and in 1990 an order was placed
for 75 Bergepanzer 3 'Bueffel' (Buffalo) ARV for
the Bundeswehr and 25 Bergingstank 600 kN Bueffel
for the Royal Netherlands Army (RNLA).

MaK Systemgesellschaft mbH in Kiel was selected as
the main contractor. Production was shared between
MaK, with 55 vehicles built, and Krauss-Maffei, with
45 built.

The Bergepanzer 3 Bueffel armored recovery vehicle
is based on the chassis of the Leopard 2. The driver
sits on the superstructure front with the commander
behind him. Three large doors provide access to the
inside of the vehicle. A fire extinguishing and suppression
system, an NBC protection system, and deep fording
equipment with bilge pumps are provided. For night
driving the driver can replace one of his periscopes
with a passive night sight. During peacetime the
Bergepanzer 3 is operated by a crew of two, although
space for a third crew member is provided. The engine
compartment is at the rear, and the Bueffel uses
the same powerpack of the Leopard 2.

A large crane, with a lifting capacity of 30,000
kg. is installed at the right forward of the vehicle,
the jib can be traversed 270 degrees. The crane has
an electronic momentum limiter, which constantly
calculates jib elevation, vehicle tilt, and load
mass to prevent overloading. A Rotzler Treibmatic
TR 650/3 winch is installed in the vehicle's forward
section with an effective cable length of 180 m (33
mm in diameter) and the capacity to pull up to 35,000
kg, which can be doubled by using a pulley tackle.

A complete powerpack can be carried in a special
cradle on the engine deck. The large dozer/support
blade at the front is lowered as a support to stabilize
the ARV during winching or crane operation. The blade
can also be used for obstacle and clearence or dozing
operations. The Bueffel is equipped with a suspension
lockout system. Electrical cutting and welding equipment
is also provided. Further equipment includes various
couplings and towbars, rapid connect and disconnect
couplings for towing, and a self-recovery system.
Armament consist of a 7.62 mm MG3 machine gun, primarily
used for air defense, and 16 70 mm smoke mortars,
with eight fitted in two groups of four at the front
and eight in a row at the rear of the vehicle.

Combat weight is 54,000 kg and the Bueffel has a
towing capacity of 62,000 kg (MLC 70). Maximum achievable
speed is 68 km/h, and 30 km/h in 2nd reverse gear.
With a fuel capacity of 1,629 litres, the Bueffel
has a maximum range of 650 km on roads and 325 km
on across country. The Bueffel is capable of changing
the powerpack of a Leopard 2 A4 in about 25 minutes,
and with the Leopard 2 A5 about 35 minutes are required.
There are 75 Bergepanzer 3 Bueffel being used by
the German Bundeswehr, plus 25 in the Netherlands,
14 in Sweden, 16 in Spain, 25 in Switzerland. There
more contracts for 12 to Greece, 150 to Korea (where
Bergepanzer 3 components - like the crane, dozer/support
blade, etc. - are installed on the Korean K1 MBT chassis,
resulting in the K1 ARV), 46 to the UAE, and 22 to France
(in both the UAE and France cases, Bergapanzer
3 components are installed on the French Leclerc MBT chassis, resulting
in the Leclerc ARV).

In addition to these, there
is an improved version of the Bergepanzer 3 Bueffel,
deveoped for the Swedish Army, the Bgbv 120. This model, in comparison
with the armoured recovery vehicle BUFFALO, encompass
tactical as well as technical improvements. The Swedish
armoured recovery vehicle is provided with an improved
ballistic protection including an integrated interior
liner protection, a reduced IR signature, a command and control as well as a navigation system, a new
weapon station (2048 HYM) and a GALIX launcher system
for self-protection. Furthermore, the vehicle has
a recovery system with rear-view camera for recovery
operations under armour protection, an increased
crane system working range, a 1.5 t auxiliary winch
and an increased tripple pull performance of the
main winch (35 t single pull). After intensive and
successful trials with the German armoured recovery
vehicle BUFFALO in Sweden, the
company was awarded the contract for the manufacture
of 14 vehicles for Sweden. Source: Rheinmetall DeTec AG.


The Bueffel is capable of lifting 30,000 kg. and change the Leopard 2A5 powerpack within 35 minutes. (Photo: Krauss-Maffei Wegmann GmbH).

Leguan Modular Bridge System (Panzerschnellbrücke
2) on Leopard 2

The Modular Bridge System (PSB2), developed for the Netherlands and German
Armies, holds three bridges/bridge modules of 9.7 meters each. This enables
the laying of several different combinations of bridges: 3 x 9.7 meters;
1 x 9.7 meters, 1 x 18.7 meters; and 1 x 27.7 meters. With a crew of one
driver and one operator the bridges can be laid in approximately 3, 5 and
6 minutes respectively. The bridge modules are 4m wide, 0.65m in height and
weigh 5000kg each. Carrying capacity allows for MLC 70 Standard Load (tracked
vehicles) and MLC 100 Caution Crossing (wheeled vehicles). There are contracts
of 35 vehicles for the German Bundeswehr and 14 for the Netherlands.


The Leguan Modular Bridge System (Panzerschnellbrücke 2), with the 3 x 9.7 meters bridges combination. (Photo: MAN Mobile Bridges GmbH
).


Main performance specifications for the new
PSB 2 armoured vehicle launched bridge / Bruglegger MLC70 for the
German/Dutch armed forces:

1. Military load class MLC 70/100 for the bridge
2. Modular bridge system, comprising three bridge modules @ 9.7 m
Bridge combinations of 3 x 9.7 m; 1 x 9.7 m plus 1 x 18.7 m; 1 x 27.7 m
3. Launching under armoured protection
4. Horizontal launching
5. Launching times from 5 min (short-span bridge) to around 10 min (long-span bridge)
6. Interoperability with allied armed forces
7. Same protection and mobility as Leopard II A 5 main battle tank
8. Classification of the overall system in military load class MLC 70
9. Service life of 30 years, including 10000 crossings and 3000 launchings
10. Modern reconnaissance and guidance systems

Overall technical concept of the PSB2 / Bruglegger MLC 70:
A characteristic feature of the launching equipment is the parallelogram, formed
in its basic position by the laying arm cylinder, laying arm, front arm and
hull components, which can be moved by means of the front arm cylinder. The
launching equipment draws the bridge modules from the rear "bridge magazine"
according to the bridge length required, with the appropriate magazine levels
being accessed by lowering the parallelogram. A rigid connection between two bridge modules
is established automatically by the launching equipment moving the module ends
one against the another. In the process, the deck plate lifters are brought
into the upright position, and at the same time the ramp deck plates are raised
to their coupling and service position. A crucial requirement when establishing
the concept for the launching equipment was to optimize the system with regard
to the launching times for the cases of use that, statistically, occur most
frequently, in other words the launching of short-span bridges. For these cases
only the vehicle supports are needed.

A Leopard 2A4 main battle tank over the
Panzerschnellbrücke 2 (MLC 70). Photo: Bundeswehr.

The main support system has to be activated solely when launching
medium - and long-span bridges. The detachment of the bridges from the launching
equipment takes place similar to the method used for the Biber armored vehicle
launched bridge, i.e. by disengaging the roller carriages from the bridge rail. Source:
Armed Forces International web site
.

Panzerschnellbrücke 2

Technical data:

Total weight: 62,5 t

Height: 3,95 m

Width: 4,0 m

Length with bridge: 13,89 m

Crew: 2 men

Bridge: Bridge weight 3 x 5.040 kg

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PočaljiNaslov: Re: KampfPanzer Leopard 2   Sre Jan 02, 2008 11:58 pm

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