Leopard 2 - German
Crew: - 4 (no autoloader)
Armaments: 1 Rheinmetall 120mm smoothebore gun, one MG3 7.62mm co-axial, 16 smoke dischargers
Armour: spaced multi-layered
weight: combat 55,150 kgs.
Ground pressure: .83kg/cm
Engine: MTU MB-873 Ka-501 12-cylinder liguid diesel developing 1,500bhp @ 2,600RPM.
performance: 72 km/h (road speed)
T-72, T-72B, T-72M Soviet-Russian
Armament: one 2A46 125mm smoothebore gun, one PKT 7.62 co-axial machine gun, one NVST 12.7mm AA gun on turret roof.
Armour: choblam with optional 3rd generation ERA (explosive reactive armour)
weight: 41,000 kgs.
Ground pressure: .83kg/cm
Engine: 840 hp V-84-1 diesel developing
Comrades, recently another student at my school (a nazi at that) said that the "modern" Leopard 2 would rip through the latest Russian AFV, I of course won the discussion telling him about the Black Eagle and her specifications, the T-80 and the Chiormy Oriol BE mod for the T-72, but I asked myself, what the outcome would be if such a modern tank such as the Leopard 2 went head-to-head with the Russian mac-daddy T-72 tank, please, discuss.
More detailed specifications:
Weight (tons): 44,5
Speed (km/h): 60
Dimensions (m): 9'530/6'860 x 3'460 x 2'226
M./Engine: diesel B841, 840 hp
Power-to-weight ratio (hp/t): 18.9
Ground pressure (kg/sm2): 0.9
Fuel capacity (L): 1200 +400
Range (km): 500
fording (m): 1.2/5.0
Armament: 1 x 125 mm smoothborne gun 1 x 7,62 mm MG coaxial 1 x 12,7 mm AA MG gun loading: a/m; stabilization: v/h; stowage: 45; coax.: 2'000; AA- 300; elevation/depres.: 5'4/ 13'; type of rounds: APFSDS HE-FRAG HEAT Guided missile
Fire Control System: Commander's: day-and-night, passive with stabilization of field of view in vertical plane;
Gunner's: day sight with two plane stab. of field of view incorp. a laser range finder and a missile guidance capability; night sight passive with stab. of field of view in vert. plane;
Ballistic computer: takes into accounts all topometeoballistic conditions affect. firing accuracy;
Thermal imager: provision is made of instal. of thermal imager
Protection: armour protection:from APFSDS, HEAT
radiation protection yes
thermal protection: yes
dazzle painting: yes
NBS system: yes
fire- suppres. system: yes
optoelectronic -sup. system: yes
Kampfpanzer Leopard 2 MBT:
Date of production: 1979
Speed (km/h): 72 (45)
average, cross country: 40
Weight (t): 55.15
Engine : 1,500-hp Diesel
Dimensions (m): 7.69 x 2.79 x 3.70
Ground pressure (kg/cm2): 0.83
Fording Depths (m): 1.0 Unprepared, 4.0 with snorkel
Range (km): 550
Protection 700 KE/1,000 against HEAT rounds,
Applique Armor (mm) Track skirt
Active Protective System Galix
NBC Protection System: yes
Smoke Equipment Smoke grenade launchers, 8 each side of turret
Main Gun Stabilization WNA-H22, 2-plane
Day: Krupp-Atlas EMES-15, 12x / FERO Z18 secondary, 8x
Field of View 5/10
Night Zeiss thermal imager
MAIN ARMAMENT AMMUNITION: 120-mm APFSDS-T, DM43 Maximum Aimed
Max Effective Range (m) Day 450 at 2,000 meters
Other Ammunition Types US-produced M829, M829A1 APFSDS-T; US M830A1 HEAT-MP-T (MPAT),
GE DM12A1 (US copy M830) HEAT-MP-T (MPAT)
Armament: 120-mm smoothbore gun M256
Loader Type Manual
Ready/Stowed Rounds 15/27
Elevation -9 to +20
Auxiliary Weapon Caliber, Type, Name 7.62-mm (7.62x 51) Machinegun MG3A1
Mount Type Turret Coax
Rate of Fire (rd/min) 1,200
7.62-mm (7.62x 51) Machinegun MG3A1 : Turret Cupola Rate of Fire (rd/min) 1200
It would rip through anything other than the T-80, T-84, T-90, Chiormy Oriol [upgrade] & the proposed T-95-- what do you expect? the Leopard 2 is a fine piece of German technology, it's true that it is capable of taking out any armored vehicle from the Soviet era-- excluding some later vehicles, basically from before 1978 is easily destroyed a Leopard 2 [keeping in mind that this doesn't include the vast mods of the T-72; some of which haven't had there full ability tapped, hence making it unable to determine whether or not the Leopard 2 would effectively destroyed them.
The Leopard 2 also has around 100-150mm more armor in all areas compared to a standard T-72, hence giving it a distinct disadvantage-- also, the German ammunition, could be argued as being the best in the world. Also, the Leopard 2 was designed in order to destroy such tanks as the T-72s/T-62s, hence if it wasn't deemed capable it wouldn't have been put in service-- although it was quickly outmatched with the arrival of the T-80/90 [although that is my personal conclusion, that the T-90 is superior to the Leopard, this might be considered wrong by others].
Out of the T-72 series, I believe, the only modifications capable of 'dealing' with a Leopard 2 & surviving is the T-72B-- which is the last of the '(in)famous' T-72 series. It being fitted with Kontakt-5 ERA armor makes it incredibiley effective at surviving direct hits, this quote was made about a T-72U test involving Kotankt-5 ERA armor:
this extraction from Vasiliy Fofanov's site:
The T-72B is also fitted with the 9K119M/9M119M Refleks-M ATGW-- capable of penertrating & destroying a Leopard 2.
Never the less I believe that the T-72B is better, whilst other modifications would most likely be destroyed-- but never underestimate Germany armor power, they're experts at designing such weapons.
I don't think that you should compare the two, they are designed for differnt purpose, Leopard and any western tank from the Cold War era aren't really tanks, they were more like mobile anti-tank turrents, their design specification was that each western tank can counter 3 Soviet tanks, that's why western tanks a so heavy as they need extra armour and extra space for the crew. On the other hand, Soviet tanks were designed to crush enemy defences and breakthrough enemy lines, dealing with enemy tanks is only the secondary role, so they sacrificed armour for speed, mobility, crosscountry performances, and rivercrossing capabilities, and use add-on explosive armour to protect themselves from enemy shaped charge weapons
Well, let's see and compare,
Leopard 2A4 :
It has dynamic lead which is applied only when gunner wants, the amount of lead is based on the latest angular speed of the turret, not 1.5sec avg like in Abrams, which makes it possible to fire at moving targets with great speed and accuracy. 12xmag only in day channel. Thermal imager which allows gunners to spot targets up to 4km and ID at 2.5km, has 4x and 12x mag. TC can fire the gun and lase himself in case gunner gets disabled or can't see the target fast enough, he can also view the gunners sight channel to confirm what gunner is seeing. TC also has his own sight with 3x and 9x(IIRC) magnifications, it is stabilized and can be used to designate targets to the gunner. If GPS gets buster, gunner has sturdy 8x telescopic auxiliary sight available. Very easy to maintain, for examble engine and main gun can be replaced in field conditions within couple dozen minutes. 4th crewman makes it easier to do maintenance, night watch and security and you can get off those very important first 4 shots within 15 seconds.
No dynamic lead, on T-72 and T-72M the lasing marker does not move with the rest of the sight which makes lasing very awkward and slows engagement times. The marker is usually below and little to the right of aim arrow(in battlesight range of 800m), which means that gunner has to raise his aim, move sight left a bit, lase, then reverse this action to put the aim on target again. This problem was fixed for T-72B though. Stabilization on T-72/T-72M is awkward to use, any minor corrections in horizontal axis or in vertical axis from down to up are difficult to do because of a small delay. Gunner often ends up over-correcting his aim, this slows down engagements as well. It also limits your fire on the move to either smooth terrain and fast speed or bumpy terrain and slow speed to if you want accuracy. Tracking fast moving targets is made further difficult by having the turret speed jump from a 3 degrees of maximum controllable speed to uncontrollable 20 degree slew speed all of a sudden. Passive IR-sight is subpar, 800m maximum range and only in ideal conditions. On top of that night sight does not have LRF incorporated into it and is poorly stabilized. Also you can't use it to spot targets during day time like you can with thermal sight. TC can override the gunner, but can't fire the main gun and has no real control over to the gun other than the override speed. On T-72/T-72M TC has only 3x magnification and his sight is not stabilized. Autoloader is reliable and has 22 ready rounds compared to 15 on Leo 2, but is slower than human loader. This is especially true when the carousel has only few rounds left, on all T-72 models the autoloader rotates only in one direction and thus the loading can take up to 13 seconds. Basic maintenance is easy, but replacing engine or main gun for example takes several hours. Having said all that, T-72 carries HE-Frag rounds which make it far greater anti-personnel asset on the battlefield than its western counterparts.
Roy, I don't know what descriptions you have been reading, but every and each one I have read fits Leo 2 just as well as T-xx. Since your current reasoning on why Leo 2 isn't a tank doesn't make sense, can you elaborate a bit further?
==There is no doubt that Leopard-2 is far better than T-72 on the aspects of armour, firepower and electonic equipments, but it was designed to be a defensive weapon, the L55 was an exellent piece of anti-tank weapon, thick armour so it can take some hit and protect the crew, roomy interior so te crews can fight inside longer, and manual loading to ensure higher rate of fire, but these are also problems, the HEAT-HE ammo used by the L55 is ineffective against soft targets, extra armour means extra weight which hindered both operational and strategic mobility, more room means larger size which means that it would be spotted more easily, and manual loading prevented the tank from firing while moving fast crosscountry (it's extremely dangerous to hold a shell while on a bumpy ride).
Tank is an offensive weapon, its purpose is to break enemy lines and smash targets deep in the enemy rear, so its primary targets would be enemy infantry, anti-tank weapons, and enemy strongpoints, it will need high reliability, fuel efficient, good river crossing capabilities, and good anti-personnel capability, as you said, "T-72 carries HE-Frag rounds which make it far greater anti-personnel asset on the battlefield than its western counterparts. ", and notice that Soviet tanks have always carried more HE ammo that AP ammo. And anti-tank capability should only be secondary, just enough to fend off enemy armour counter attacks, the last thing a tank should do is to assume defensive position, where its mobility and the ability to create"shock" is not fully exploited.
That's why I'd say that even though Leopard-2 is an impressive piece of anti-tank weapon, but it isn't really a tank.
Actually, it was designed to be a counter-attack weapon to hit the flanks and rear of soviet tank formations. Best anti-tank weapon for last 60 years has been another tank.
Leo 2A4 has L44 cannon, granted its not relevant in this matter.
Not really ineffective, but less effective than HE-F round yes.
It has 1500hp, that's almost double than on T-72 and it has excellent transmission. It's more mobile and agile than T-72. Strategic mobility is not hindered if you have engineer bridges that can carry your tanks weight. Leo 2A4 had only 10 tons more weight than T-72B.
Ok and you have personal experience on this matter? Both Leo 2 and M1 have a feature that locks the gun in certain angle. Leo 2 crews have it always on for safety reasons, M1 crews say they can load faster on the move without it. I'd say loading the main gun in T-72 is more dangerous in bumpy ride, because at 2 stages during loading the round is not held by anything(when the ramming chain pushes both the round and then the propellant into breech).
That depends purely on your doctrine. For west tank was offensive weapon as well, for counter-attack maneuvers. That involves breaking enemy lines and smashing deep into enemy rear. Except for them primary targets were soviet tanks and armored personnel carriers.
Or priority, depending on your doctrine....Leo 2 and M1 were to be used in counter attacks, not static defense. Sometimes you would be forced to do that of course and Leo 2 is more suited to this role than T-72, because it has fast reverse speed and can low its main gun many degrees lower.
It has a big main gun, all-around protection with highly protected front armor, its turret can rotate 360 degrees, it's used for mobile offensive operations. It's a tank.
McManus ir right, the best anti-tank weapon in defence or offence, is always another tank. And after WW2 no-one was going to wage war in static defence. It worked in WW1 but even at WW2 static defence was not sufficient to hold on massed attacks. Infantry alone cannot defence itself against combined arms attack.
==Flanks of advancing Soviet forces are protected by infantries and towed anti-tank guns, so a tank that is designed to take on the flanks of Soviet armour has to be good at dealing with soft tagets. And I never believed the idea of Best anti-tank weapon is another tank" stuff, I believe that the best anti-tank weapon is aircraft.
==You are right, they do work, but just isn't as good.
==of course Leopard-2 is faster than T-72, but by weighing more than 60 tons, the Leopard won't perform very well on roads with poor conditions, it won't be able to crosss most bridges(you won't get engineers when ever and where ever you like), it is almost impossible to airlift a leopard, 60 tons of metal is very hard to tow once immobilized, and extra weight means extra fuel consumption. 10 ton is a lot of weight, it's around 7-8 family sedans.
==Sorry I've never loaded a L44, but I have seen the loading of 105mm L119, the shell weighs 25kg, I can assure you that there is no way which you can hold it still and ram it into a hole with a diametre of 14cm while moving fast over rough terrain. Imagine you are about to load HE round, you pulled off the safe and is about to push it into the breech, the tank jumped and you bumped the nose of the round into something in the tank....
==Interdiction attcks which would be conducted by Soviet frontline aviation would be a extremely serious problem for those 60 ton western tanks, as damaged roads and briges will make things even worse. I am not sure if their poor operational mobility will allow them to assume the role of "firebrigades" properly. And their heavy reliance on logistical support makes me doubt how deep into the enemy rear they can get, if a war did break out in Europe, western tanks would be in the same awkward positions as German Panthers and Tigers in the later stages of WWII.
==yes depending on my doctrine, according to the idea of large front, deep battle, breakthrough priority, offensive doctrine, tough tagets such as enemy armours should be avoided when ever possible.
==You are talking about MBT in a broad sense, but their design and use does not fit into my idea of armoured warfare.
If it's hard to load shells while moving why is it that most tankers in the US Army can do it in 5 seconds?
==I meant moving fast over rough terrain, it gets bumpy
Roy, you are naturally entitled to your opinions, it's just that me and various military experts happen to disagree. And remember, that using the same logic that Leo 2 isn't a tank, one could argue that T-72 is not a tank either, it's an anti-personnel platform due to the fact that only small part of its ammunition carryout is pure AP.
Leopards ground pressure (0,83kg/cm2) is smaller than T-72 (0,9kg/cm2).
==Indeed, I think along the lines of Soviet doctrine of large front, deep battle, it gives me a different idea on what tanks should be like and how should they be used.
Just keep in mind that during WWII, Soviet heavy tank units consumed 70%of HE ammo issued to them, while only consumed 30% of AP ammo issued. This helps understand where the Russians get their ideas from.
==Bridges collapse due to the absolute weight of the object, not the weight per unit of surface of contact.
You mentioned roads with poor conditions before, that's where ground pressure does apply. A 200 ton vehicle with ground pressure of 0.01kg/cm2 will be able to move better than a 1 ton vehicle with 10kg/cm2.
If you try to fought war like 60 years before, you will lose. The french tried WW1 tactics at WW2 and what happened? They lost because tehcnical advancements made old tactics obsolete.
==That's tactical mobility, I am more concerned about operational and strategic moibility, the damage to the road done by 100 50ton tanks will be far less than 100 60ton tanks
==These tactics are inapplicable now, but they weren't obsolete in the age of T-72's, that's why I discussed about them here. Maybe I should open a new post to discuss about how today's wars should be fought.
There's more to that than just weight, like type of track for example. Leo 2 has rubber tracks and T-72 has steel, so Leo 2 will do less damage to the road. Not that it really matters in terms of operational or strategic mobility since you'd have to drive the same road with thousands of tanks 24/7 to make any difference in that aspect.
Yes, they do that too...you're point?
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