Tank "Leopard 2A7": characteristics, photo
In 2014, the Bundeswehr received the first tank "Leopard 2A7". This model was another stage in the modernization of the combat vehicle.
In the late 70-ies of the last century, the concernKrauss-Maffei AG began serial delivery of the new tank "Leopard 2". Its creation was conducted in close cooperation with experienced German arms manufacturers. Wegmann developed a tower. Porsche designed the chassis and transmission. The tool was handled by Rheinmetall. AEG Telefunken was responsible for the implementation of weapons control, surveillance and communications systems. They managed to accumulate a wealth of experience in the design of heavy combat vehicles, obtained during the Second World War. The classical traditions of the German tank building school were continued.
The machine can be called more conservative thanrevolutionary. Creating a tank is an art of compromise between mutually exclusive requirements. The Germans have chosen the priority of convenience and reliability of operation. Perhaps, in their memory, endless problems remained, to which hurriedly with the introduction of the Tigers and the Panther. "Leopard 2" has a classic layout with a rotating turret. The machine was very reliable in operation, with excellent maintainability. But most importantly, despite the conservatism of performance, over the years there has been a significant modernization potential laid in this tank. The new modification continued its disclosure, and until it is felt that it is exhausted. Many consider this the main battle tank of the Bundeswehr not only the best Western, but also the most successful tank of our time. "Leopard 2A7" is designed to support and strengthen this belief.
Engine and chassis
Unlike American and Sovietdesigners, Krauss-Maffei engineers did not experiment with the propulsion system. On the "Leopard 2" installed diesel produced by Mercedes-Benz. The subsequent experience of operating Abrams and T-80 with a gas turbine engine revealed its shortcomings, which confirmed the correctness of the choice of German tank builders. Reliability, maintainability, easy replacement of turbodiesel are highly appreciated in the troops. It allows to disperse the tank "Leopard 2A7", like the previous modifications, up to seventy kilometers per hour. Together with hydromechanical transmission and automatic transmission this gives the car excellent dynamic characteristics.
Like its predecessors, the tank "Leopard 2A7"armed with a 120-millimeter gun manufactured by Rheinmetall. During the modernization of the tank, the length of the trunk changed, which is fifty-five calibers on this modification. Smoothbore gun allows to use different types of ammunition. To defeat armored targets, the main type is a sub-caliber projectile. Together with the weapon of modernization, ammunition was also received, which received a longer damaging element with perfect aerodynamics. This led to an increase in the length of the shot and a change in the official part of the gun. The speed of the projectile increased due to a more powerful charge and the duration of acceleration in the barrel of an elongated gun. The L55 gun is considered the most advanced artillery system used in modern tanks for armor penetration and fire accuracy.
In addition to the sub-caliber ammunition, the tank canuse cumulative and high-explosive shells, included in its ammunition. "Leopard" does not have in its arsenal of guided missiles launched from a gun, like Russian tanks, and it does not have a system for automatically loading guns. Whether these shortcomings devalue the perfect artillery armament of a German tank, it is difficult to say. The machine is also equipped with two MG-3 machine guns of 7.62 mm caliber. It was expected that the seventh modification would be equipped with a remotely controlled tower machine gun, but the troops received tanks with a traditional machine gun point.
German tank design school has alwayswas distinguished by increased attention to the protection of the machine and the crew. Since the creation of the tank has always been an art of compromise, the winnings in the reservation turned into a loss in weight, size and dynamics. Tank "Leopard 2A7", a photo of which aroused interest in military circles, made it possible to realize the modernization potential inherent in the initial concept. In the new look of the car, the results of the reinforcement of the multi-layer combined armor reservation are clearly discernible. The angles of inclination of armor sheets are as close as possible to sharp ones. The total thickness of armor in the most vulnerable projections exceeded one meter.
The tank is equipped with onboard screens, whichcan be amplified by dynamic protection units. In addition to external reservation, the internal space of the tank is divided by partitions made of armored steel. The engine compartment is divided with the combat compartment, and the ammunition of the shells in the stern of the tower has an armored wall that cuts it off from the habitable compartment. In the stern of the tower are arranged knock-out panels that divert the energy of the explosion of ammunition to the outside. Together with the partitioning of the protection, this creates a sufficiently high level of crew safety.
It is difficult to overestimate the combat equipment of moderntank information about the tactical situation, navigation, communications and fire. Today, electronic and optical equipment is the main direction of the progress of military equipment. This is reflected in the fact that the characteristics of the tank "Leopard 2A7" significantly differ from the level of the first models. The perfect system of stabilization of the gun greatly improved the accuracy and accuracy of the shooting, allowing the target to be struck from the first shot. The crew members are equipped with more advanced optical instruments. On the tank installed several thermal imagers with a matrix of increased resolution, which strengthened the position in conditions of reduced visibility. The sightings of the commander of a tank and a gunner are included in a single combat control system. She also controls the gun, equipped with a laser rangefinder and an electronic ballistic computer, taking into account the factors of wear, deformation of the trunk and external conditions. At the disposal of the crew there is a navigation and communication system that allows the tank to be included in the tactics of the network-centric battle.
Comparison with the T-90 tank
Comparison of the characteristics of potential tanksopponents have always been the subject of discussions, reaching an epic emotional heat. Such arguments are both exciting and meaningless. The tank is a combat complex used in the context of other weapons systems and in accordance with the concept of a certain army. Comparing and putting the tank "Leopard-2A7" against T-90, you can come to the conclusion that the Russian car is more perfect. After all, the "Leopard" does not have a recharge device, there are no long-range guided missiles. It is much heavier and massive, which affects the dynamics and the greater silhouette of the hull. Despite the excellent reservation, it does not have hinged blocks of dynamic protection. The number of crew members is greater than in the Russian tank. This is all true, but only on the one hand. From another point of view, "Leopard 2A7" against T-90 has obvious advantages. A more powerful lengthened shell and the ability to hit the target with the first shot even in motion makes the tank a very dangerous opponent. The commander's excellent information about the tactical situation, provided with perfect equipment, allows a larger and heavier tank to avoid threatening situations and achieve tactical superiority. It is necessary to recognize that both cars are the tops of two tank-building schools, which embodied in them all their own intellectual and technological potential.
History of application
Despite their dignity, the family of tanks, inwhich includes "Leopard 2A7", can be called the most non-combatant tanks. Combat use was limited to operations in Afghanistan, in which they did not face any enemy tanks. Nevertheless, this main battle tank forms the basis of the armored forces of Germany, Holland, Denmark and other European countries. With the collapse of the Soviet military-political bloc, it replaces the Soviet-made machines in the states that joined the NATO bloc.