LEOPARD MBT (development)

In 1958, Germany, France and Italy, (as observer), began the development of a new tank to equip their respective armies and to replace their American tanks. In Germany three working groups were formed. Porsche, MaK, Luther & Jordan and Jung-Jungenthal companies composed the “working group A”. “Working group B” was formed by Ingenieur-bureau Warneke, Rheinstahl-Hanomag and Henschel companies. And finally, Borgward company formed the last “working group C”. On the French side, AMX company was in charge to develope the prototypes. Rheinmetall and Wegmann companies built two turrets separately. Wegmann’s turret was installed in the “group A” prototypes and Rheinmetall’s turret was installed in “group B” prototypes. These two turrets could be exchanged between the two working groups without restrictions. Both turrets had installed a 90mm Rheinmetall gun. In 1960, the working groups “A” and “B” were able to present their “1st Generation prototypes” on time, but group “C” did not, so only two tanks were evaluated. The prototypes were subjected to tests from early 1961 to April 1962. After trials, it was decided to continue the development of the working group “A” prototype, that was superior than group “B” tank. From this moment, the project was designated as “Standard MBT” and entered in the second stage. In this stage, twenty-six “2nd Generation prototypes” or “Prototype II A tanks” along with 32 turrets were produced. At this point, due to political and requirements differences, France decided to withdraw from the project and continue its own development, which would give rise to the AMX-30 tank. Likewise, Italy withdrew and decided to build under license the American M-60 tank. During the trials of these Prototype II A tanks, the first 50 pre-series tanks were ordered. These tanks are practically the same as the standard ones Finally in July 1963, Krauss-Maffei was chosen to produce the new tank, that on October 1, 1963, was officially baptized as “Leopard“.

LEOPARD development gallery and more info


Información adicional

Ficha Completa
Country of origin

West Germany




Main Battle Tank


From 1958 to 1963



Combat weight

1st Generation A-type prototype: 32,500 kg – Pre-production tank: 40,090 kg

Dimensions (length x width x height)

Pre-production tank: 9.54 x 3.24 x 2.37 (turret roof) meters

Armour, (maximum)

Pre-production tank: Steel, 70mm

Power plant

1st Generation prototypes: 1 x Daimler Benz MB.837 diesel engine, 660 hp
2nd Generation prototypes & pre-production tanks: 1 x Daimler Benz MB.838 multi-fuel engine, 830 hp


Pre-production tank: 65km/h


Pre-production tank: 600 km


1st Generation prototypes: 1 x 90mm Rheinmetall gun
2nd Generation prototypes & pre-production tanks: 1 x 105/52mm L7A3 rifled gun


Pre-production tank: 55 x 105mm rounds


1st Generation A-type prototypes: 2 – 1st Generation B-type prototypes: 2
2nd Generation A-type prototypes: 26 – 2nd Generation B-type prototypes: 2
Pre-prodution (0-Series): 50