LEOPARD 1 MBT gallery 4

(British Hippo BRV image). The United Kingdom is also a user of the Leopard 1, but this time not in the form of an MBT, but in the form of an armored recovery vehicle (ARV). In 2003 the company Alvis Moelv modified 4 Leopard 1A5 hulls to adapt them to their new mission, giving rise to a new vehicle designated as Hippo BRV (Beach Recovery Vehicle). The Dutch Marines also operate 4 similar vehicles, built on Leopard 1V hulls, but have a different cabin.
(German Leopard 1 Fahrschulpanzer image). The Leopard 1 family ended up including a good number of specialized versions for different tasks on the battlefield and for armored units in general. In 1978 the Bundeswehr received the first of the 60 Leopard 1 Fahrschulpanzer (training tank) acquired. With these vehicles, future drivers of the Leopard 1 MBT were taught. They had the same engine as the combat vehicles and the weight was simulated by adding a thick steel base to the cabin.
(German Leopard 1 Fahrschulpanzer image). The training tank has a driver’s cab installed on the hull instead of the turret. This cabin has a dummy gun attached so that the students become familiar with the real measurements of the MBT. The cabin has space for an instructor and two students, plus a third student occupies the driver’s position inside the hull. The instructor was seated in the center of the cabin with a student on each side and could take charge of the vehicle at any time with controls located inside the cabin.
(German Leopard 1A6 image). In the early 1980s, the firm Rheinmetall privately began work to adapt the Leopard 2‘s 120/44mm smoothbore gun to the Leopard 1. For this task, a Leopard 1A1A1 was used, with a modified mantlet and turret interior. The idea was to enhance combat capacity and facilitate logistics tasks. However, if the conversion was successful, Leopard 1 users would be able to adopt it instead of having to purchase significantly more expensive third-generation MBTs. In 1985 the EMES-18 fire control system was installed on the prototype, but the project was canceled in 1987.
(German Leopard 1A6 VT-2 & VT-5 image). In the late 1980s an attempt was made to create a package of gun and armor upgrades similar to that offered by Rheinmetall a few years earlier on their Leopard 1A6 prototype. This time two prototypes with different degrees of improvement called VT-2 and VT-5 were prepared, both keeping the 120/44mm smoothbore gun. In the VT-5 it was decided to apply a basic TZP-1 armor upgrade and add a PERI model RTW-90 sight. The pack was completed with an automatic fire detection and suppression system. These improvements increased the weight of the prototype VT-5 by 3,500 kg.
(German Leopard 1A6 VT-2 image). The VT-2 prototype received a TZP-2 type armor upgrade, with the entire turret front and hull front being reinforced. It incorporated an IR fire reduction system by cooling the exhaust gases and also had an automatic fire detection and suppression system. This package of improvements supposed a weight increase of 4,600 kg.
(German Leopard 1A6 VT-2 image). Six Leopard 1s with the same weight as the VT-2 and VT-5 prototypes were prepared and different dynamic tests were carried out. The result was that the increase in weight had a very negative effect on the suspension and the engine, and it was also recommended to change the hydraulic drive and the gun stabilization system for an electric one. These poor results and the beginning of a time of general reduction of troops in the armed forces meant that this project also came to nothing.
(German Puma 105mm image). In the 1990s Krauss-Maffei started a project designated PzAbwKW-90 for the manufacture of a tank destroyer vehicle. The idea was to install the Leopard 1A5 turret on the Puma chassis developed by them to be used as a mortar carrier or IFV. The vehicle was named “Puma 105mm” and a prototype was built. After several tests the project was abandoned.
(German Leopard 1A5 Beob Pz Art Leop image). Another interesting project was carried out by Krauss-Maffei in 1997 after winning a contract for the development of an artillery observation vehicle baptized as “Leopard 1A5 (BeobPzArtLeop)“. The main mission of this vehicle is to provide objectives and situation of a sector assigned to artillery pieces. A Leopard 1A5 was taken and its turret was greatly modified by removing the gun and its control systems to install specific artillery equipment like a Honeywell MAPS (Modular Azimuth Position System) navigation system, a command and control computer, an auxiliary display for the commander, an operator’s control panel and an interface electronic fire control system. The EMES-18 fire-control system was maintained along with the TRP 5A panoramic sight for the commander and the stabilized HZF sight telescope for the observer.
(German Leopard 1A5 Beob Pz Art Leop image). Different parts of the chassis were also going to be modified. These modifications included a new turret/mantlet lock, new rear view mirrors, a new dual circuit system, new stowage and lighting elements, an interface card integrated into the automatic gear selector unit and an improved crew station. Two prototypes of the Leopard 1A5 Beob Pz Art Leop were prepared and carried out various tests, even deployed with artillery units, but despite the good results none of the 333 scheduled vehicles have been delivered.

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