Best Tank in NATO
Here is the list of Best Tank in NATO, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ NATO (The North Atlantic Treaty Organization) is an international military alliance that consists of 29 member states from North America and Europe. NATO has one of the most modern and formidable war machines including main battle tanks. This is a list of main battle tanks serving in active military service with NATO.
List of Best Tank in NATO
5. C1 Ariete, Italy ( Best-Tank-in-NATO )
The Iveco Fiat Oto Melara Syndicated Company, comprised of Iveco’s Defence Vehicles Division and Finmeccanica’s Oto Melara Division, created the C1 Ariete main battle tank. The tank was developed by Iveco Fiat, while the turret and weapon systems were developed by Oto Melara.
The Italian Army has assigned C1 Ariete to them. The first tank was delivered in 1995, and the final 200 tanks were delivered in August 2002. In 2004, C1 Ariete was sent to Iraq for the first time.
The C1 Ariete can engage stationary and moving targets at any time of day or night, regardless of whether the tank is stationary or moving. The main weapon is an Oto Melara 44 calibre 120mm auto-frettaged smoothbore cannon. A thermal sleeve, a fume-extraction system, and a muzzle reference system are all included with the cannon. Hydraulic servos stabilise the cannon in two directions, allowing it to fire various types of ammunition, including APFSDS (armour-piercing fin-stabilised discarding sabot) and HEAT (high-explosive anti-tank). The tank is equipped with 42 rounds of 120mm ammunition, with 15 rounds stored in the turret bustle and 27 rounds stored in the hull.
“C1 Ariete is a member of the Italian Armed Forces.”
A 7.62mm Nato-standard machine gun is positioned coaxially with the main gun, while a 7.62mm air defence machine gun is mounted on the turret roof and commanded by the tank commander. Approximately 2,500 rounds of 7.62mm ammo can be carried by the tank.
An electro-hydraulic system with manual backup controls the turret and weapon elevation.
In the front firing position, electrically driven smoke grenade dischargers are positioned on either side of the turret. The tank is equipped with BAE Systems Italia’s RALM laser warning receiver. The RALM sensor head is positioned on the turret’s forward section and provides 360-degree coverage.
The hull and turret are made entirely of welded steel, with increased frontal armour protection. An NBC protection system created by Sekur SpA in Rome protects the crew from nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) warfare. The war and peace support ballistic add-on further improves the tank’s protection.
Fire control and observation
Galileo Avionica (previously Officine Galileo) of Firenze, Italy, created the TURMS FCS fire control system for the tank. It has a day/night stabilised panoramic periscope sight for the commander, a gunner’s stabilised sight with thermal imager, a self-stabilized optical sight with IR camera and laser rangefinder, and a digital firing control computer. The tank’s meteorological and wind sensors, as well as the tank’s attitude, barrel wear characteristics, ammunition, and target data, are all downloaded into the digital fire control computer. The computer is utilised to control the gun, sighting equipment, and laser rangefinder by calculating the fire control algorithms.
“The C1 Ariete main combat tank has a top speed of over 65 kilometres per hour.”
On the right side of the turret, the commander’s station has a panoramic stabilised sight and a television monitor that shows the thermal image from the gunner’s sight. The commander’s sight, which is placed on the turret’s roof, has a 360° traverse and a -10° to +60° elevation range.
Three periscopes are installed in the driver’s station on the right front of the hull, one of which provides passive night vision capability.
The Fiat V-12 MTCA (modular turbo-charged aftercooler) turbo-charged, 12-cylinder diesel engine that powers the C1 Ariete produces 937kW. (1,273hp). Iveco has created a new version of the MTCA engine, which will be installed during the modification of current tanks. At 1,800rpm, the engine can produce 1,600hp. The automatic gearbox system, which was licenced from ZF in Germany, features four forward and two reverse speeds, as well as a steering system and a hydraulic retarder. The epicyclic final drives are used.
Seven dual rubber-lined road wheels, as well as four return rollers on each side with connector type tracks, make up the running gear. Diehl, a German manufacturer, created the double pin track. Each suspension arm has a torsion bar and a hydraulic bumper as part of the suspension system.
The C1 Ariete has a top speed of almost 65 kilometres per hour and a maximum gradient of 60%. The fording depth is 4 metres with preparation and 1.25 metres without.
4. Leclerc, France ( Best-Tank-in-NATO )
The Leclerc main battle tank (MBT) is a 57t tracked machine produced by Nexter Systems, a French state-owned weapons firm (previously known as Giat Industries). In stationary or mobile modes, it can fire arrow, explosive, and canister ammunition.
The MBT is in service with the French Army and the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces (UAE).
In September 2001, the French Army placed the final purchase for 52 Leclerc tanks, bringing the total order to 406 tanks (plus 20 armoured recovery vehicles). In October of 2007, the deliveries were completed. As of May 2021, the French Army has a fleet of 200 Leclerc tanks.
The UAE ordered 390 tanks and 46 armoured recovery vehicles (ARVs). Tank and ARV deliveries were completed in 2004 and 2008, respectively.
Development of the Leclerc main battle tank
In 1992, the French Army deployed the Leclerc, followed by the UAE in 1995. In 1998, Leclerc mk2 tanks were introduced, with upgraded software and engine control systems.
Nexter announced the Leclerc optimised for urban operations in June 2006. It is equipped with the AZUR kit, which includes composite side skirts, bar armour on the rear of the hull and turret to protect against rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), and additional protection for the engine against petrol bombs. In addition to the 120mm gun, a remotely controlled 7.62mm machine gun is installed.
In early 2011, Nexter agreed to supply Azur up-armour kits for the UAE Armed Forces’ Leclerc MBTs through International Golden Group, a UAE-based defence and security solutions company.
The initial system architecture study for the Main Ground Combat System (MGCS) was approved in May 2020. In 2035, the French and German governments will collaborate to build a major combat system that will replace Germany’s Leopard 2 MBT and the French Army’s Leclerc.
In the second half of 2020, the UAE will donate some Leclerc MBTs to Jordan.
Nexter was awarded a mid-life upgrade contract for the Leclerc tanks by the French defence procurement agency Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA) in April 2021. Under the XLR programme, Nexter will address the platform’s obsolescence and modernise the MBTs.
The upgrade attempts to incorporate the Leclerc MBT into the Scorpion programme, which aims to replace the French Armed Forces’ fighting vehicles with platforms connected to a unified communications and battlefield management system (BMS) to give a collaborative battlefield combat capacity.
Armament of the Leclerc main battle tank
A thermal sleeve and muzzle reference system are included with the 120mm 52-calibre smoothbore gun. A compressed air unit is used to discharge the fumes. The gun can fire 12 rounds per minute and uses APFSD (armour-piercing fin-stabilized discarding sabot) and HEAT (high-explosive anti-tank) ammunition. For faster acceleration, the aiming system is totally electrical.
The tank includes an automated loading system that allows it to fire cross-country against moving targets. There are 22 rounds of ready-to-fire ammo on board. The tank additionally has a roof-mounted 7.62mm anti-aircraft gun and a 12.7mm machine gun that is co-axial with the main armament.
To improve the Leclerc XLR’s armament capabilities, a remotely operated T2B turret with a 7.62mm calibre supplied by Nexter’s Belgian partner and weapon company FN Herstal will be added.
The main battle tank’s self-protection system
The main battle tank is equipped with Nexter and Lacroix Tous Artifices’ Galix combat vehicle protection system. On either side of the turret roof are nine launch tubes for the 80mm grenades. Galix may fire smoke or anti-personnel grenades, as well as infrared decoys.
The KBCM defensive assistance package was designed by Nexter for inclusion into the Leclerc. The KBCM can be integrated with the FINDERS combat management system and contains a laser warner, missile warner, infrared jammer, and the Galix system. The system was evaluated by the French Army.
The improved Leclerc XLR will include side plates to protect against RPG-type threats, as well as floor over-armour to protect against improvised explosive devices.
System for managing battles
The FINDERS (rapid information, navigation, decision, and reporting system) battlefield management system, designed by Nexter Systems, is installed on the Leclerc. FINDERS contains a colour map display that indicates the host tank’s position, as well as allied and opposing forces and designated targets, and can be used to plan routes and missions.
The French Army chose Nexter to provide a terminal information system (TIS) dubbed Icone for its Leclerc main combat tanks (ergonomic communications and navigation interface). The contract’s first phase comprises the installation of more than 100 Leclerc tanks.
TIS was created in collaboration with EADS Defense Electronics Systems. It allows the vehicle and higher-level command to exchange digitised data, such as tactical situation and visual orders presented on a background map.
Firefighting and observation systems that use digital technology
In slightly over 30 seconds, the gunner or commander can select six distinct targets to attack using the digital fire control system. The system’s digital computer allows data from the tank’s sensors and sights to be processed in real time.
The commander is equipped with eight periscopes and a Safran HL-70 stabilised panoramic sight (formerly SAGEM).
Laser rangefinder, day channel, and second-generation picture intensifier are all included in the HL-70.
The recognition range is 4 kilometres and the identification range is 2.5 kilometres. The gunner’s thermal sight is displayed on the commander’s display. A gunner’s main sight, three periscopes, and a visual display unit are all included in the gunner’s station. The stabilised sight for the gunner is the Safran SAVAN 20, which has a three-field-of-view thermal imager.
The driver’s station has three periscopes, the centre of which is the Thales Optronique (previously Thomson-CSF) OB-60 driver’s sight, which offers day and night channels.
MBT propulsion by Leclerc
The SACM V8X-1500 Hyperbar diesel engine in the Leclerc produces 1,500hp at 2,500rpm. Safran provides an electronic engine management system. The hydrostatic transmission unit in the SESM ESM 500 automatic gearbox includes five forward and two backward gears. A Suralmo-Hyperbar high-pressure gas turbine is installed on the engine. The engine has a top speed of over 70 km/h on the road and a cross-country speed of up to 50 km/h.
A Turbomeca TM-307B gas turbine auxiliary power unit is also installed in the tank. Societe d’Applications des Machines Motrices provided the hydropneumatic suspension system (SAMM).
The Leclerc main battle tank has been tropicalized in the UAE.
To satisfy the UAE’s requirements, the tropicalized Leclerc has been optimised for tropical and desert climates. The hull has been enlarged at the back to accommodate the powerpack and larger fuel tanks, and a new powerpack and diesel auxiliary power unit have been fitted. The Euro Powerpack is equipped with a 1,500hp MTU 883 V-12 diesel engine and a Renk HSWL295 TM automatic transmission.
Nexter created the Leclerc Battle management equipment (LBME), a variant of FINDERS, for this and export versions of the tank. The commander’s sight on the HL-70 has been replaced by the HL-80, which is also from SFIM.
Leclerc NGRV is a new-generation recovery vehicle from Leclerc.
The new-generation recovery vehicle (NGRV) from Leclerc has a longer hull and seven pairs of wheels.
The vehicle’s front end has a hydraulically driven blade that clears away through battlefield obstacles. The vehicle is equipped with a 35,000-pound hydraulic crane and a 35,000-pound winch with a 180-meter rope. A secondary winch with a 230m cable is rated at 1,300kg. Rheinmetall Landsystemes provided the crane and winch systems.
A tank commander, a pilot, and an assistant mechanic may all fit into the NGRV.
3. Challenger 2, GB ( Best-Tank-in-NATO )
BAE Systems Land Systems’ Challenger 2 is an advanced main combat tank (formerly Vickers Defence Systems, then Alvis Vickers Ltd).
The tank is used by the Royal Army of Oman as well as the British Army. The United Kingdom ordered 127 Challenger 2 tanks in 1991 and 259 more in 1994. Oman ordered 18 Challenger 2 tanks in 1993, and another 20 tanks were ordered in November 1997.
BAE Systems and Rheinmetall Land Systeme have been awarded a contract by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) to advance the Challenger 2 Life Extension Project, which aims to prolong the tanks’ out-of-service date by ten years.
In October 2018, BAE Systems announced the Black Night, a completely enhanced derivative of the Challenger 2 MBT. To boost night-fighting capacity, Black Night is equipped with two independent night vision systems.
The main battle tank Challenger 2 is currently in development.
The British Army received the first Challenger 2 main battle tank in June 1998, and the last of the 386 tanks was delivered in April 2002. Oman’s deliveries were completed in 2001. The Challenger 2 has served in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, British Army Challenger 2 tanks were deployed on active duty.
The UK Ministry of Defence announced in July 2004 that seven Challenger 2 armoured squadrons (about 100 tanks) will be reduced by March 2007 and that one Challenger 2 regiment would be converted to an armoured reconnaissance regiment.
The latest development model, the Challenger 2E, was created for the export market and is built to withstand tough weather and climatic conditions. In Greece, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, the 2E has been widely tested.
Armament of the Challenger 2 main combat tank
The Challenger 2 tank is armed with a BAE Systems Land Systems L30 120mm rifled tank gun (formerly RO Defence). Land Systems was given a contract to create a new smoothbore 120mm cannon for the British Army Challenger tanks in January 2004. A Challenger 2 was outfitted with a Rheinmetall L55 smoothbore cannon, similar to the one used on the Leopard 2A6 tank, and began fire experiments in January 2006.
The L30 gun is manufactured of electro-slag refined steel (ESR) and has a thermal sleeve to keep it cool. It has a muzzle reference mechanism as well as fume extraction. The turret can rotate 360 degrees, and the weapon can be elevated from -10 to 20 degrees.
It may hold 50 120mm projectiles, such as armour-piercing fin-stabilised discarding sabots (APFSDS), high-explosive squash heads (HESH), or smoke rounds. The depleted uranium (DU) cartridge can also be fired from the L30 gun using a stick charge propellant. The L30 is part of the Charm 3 gun, charge, and projectile system with the DU round.
The gun is controlled by a BAE Systems all-electric gun control and stabilisation system. A Boeing 7.62mm chain gun, placed to the left of the main tank gun, is also installed on the Challenger 2. On the cupola of the loader is a 7.62mm GPMG L37A2 anti-air machine gun.
Chobham armour of the second generation protects the turret. The turret bustle houses a nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) protective system. Five L8 smoke grenade dischargers from Thales AFV Systems Ltd are mounted on either side of the turret (formerly Helio Mirror Company).
By injecting diesel fuel into the engine exhausts, the Challenger 2 tank may also create a smoke screen.
Controlling and observing the fire
Computing Devices Company (formerly General Dynamics – Canada) manufactures the digital fire control computer. The platform battlefield information system application (PBISA) for the British Army Challenger 2 tanks is being supplied by General Dynamics UK. The commander’s display, inertial navigation system, digitization processing computer, and driver’s display panel are all integrated into PBISA. Land Systems is in charge of system integration as well as some software. PBISA became operational in December 2005.
The Bowman tactical, digital communications system is being installed on British Army Challenger 2 tanks. General Dynamics UK is Bowman’s main contractor. Bowman offers secure voice and data connections as well as autonomous unit location. In early 2006, Challenger tanks equipped with the technology were deployed to Iraq.
SAGEM’s panoramic VS 580-10 gyrostabilised sight is used by the commander (formerly SFIM Industries).
An intermediate assembly incorporates a laser rangefinder. The elevation ranges from 35 to -35 degrees. The commander’s station has eight periscopes that allow 360-degree visibility.
Thales (previously Pilkington) Optronics’ thermal observation and gunnery sight II (TOGS II) provides night vision. The sensor is based on TICM 2 standard modules from the United Kingdom. The thermal image is presented in the gunner’s and commander’s sights and monitors at magnifications of 4 and 11.5. The Gunner’s Primary Sight is stabilised by Thales Optronics and consists of a visual channel, 4Hz laser rangefinder, and display. The range of the laser rangefinder is 200m to 10km.
For night driving, the driver is equipped with a Thales Optronics image-intensifying passive driving periscope (PDP).
Lethality improvement programme for Challenger 2
The Challenger lethality improvement programme seeks to replace the Challenger 2’s main armament, which is now a 120mm L30A1 rifled gun, with a 120mm Rheinmetall L55 smoothbore gun used by the Leopard 2 A6.
Because Challenger 2 has a smooth bore, it can fire more lethal rounds produced in Germany and the United States.
The Challenger 2 is powered by a Perkins Caterpillar CV12 diesel engine with a 12-cylinder output of 1,200 horsepower and a David Brown TN54 transmission with six forward and two reverse speeds. The vehicle is equipped with a second-generation Hydrogas suspension and a hydraulic track tensioner. The highest speed on the road is 59 km/h, with a cross-country speed of 40 km/h. The range is 450 kilometres by road and 250 kilometres by cross-country.
The Challenger 2E has a new integrated weapon control and battlefield management system that includes a gyrostabilized panoramic SAGEM MVS 580 day/thermal sight for the commander and a gyrostabilised SAGEM SAVAN 15 gyrostabilised day/thermal sight for the gunner, both with an eyesafe laser rangefinder. This enables hunter/killer operations to use the same engagement sequence. To allow operation independent of the turret, a servo-controlled overhead weapons platform can be slaved to the commander’s sight.
A new 1,500hp Europack with transversely mounted MTU 883 diesel engine and Renk HSWL 295TM automatic transmission has replaced the powerpack. The vehicle’s range is increased to 550 kilometres because to the smaller but more powerful engine.
The AVST (Armoured Vehicle Support Transformation) programme aims to transform armoured vehicles.
The UK MoD Investment Approvals Board gave BAE Systems the go-ahead in September 2009 to develop a strategy for the Challenger tank fleet that would lower costs by over 10%. Under the armoured vehicle support transformation (AVST) initiative, the strategy also applies to other armoured vehicle fleets in service with the British Army. The scheme’s main goal is to increase the availability of spare parts and technical support for the UK MoD’s armoured vehicle fleet.
The contract covers a fleet of Titan and Trojan engineer tanks, a CRARRV recovery vehicle, a Challenger main combat tank, and the driver training tank.
BAE Systems improves needs-based maintenance, the basic repair and overhaul process, obsolescence management, and technical advice and guidance on essential subsystems in phase one.
BAE Systems focuses on integrating the defence lines of development in areas such as user and trainer incentives, material, personnel, and facility planning, and better fleet management in phase two.
2. Leopard 2, Germany ( Best-Tank-in-NATO )
Krauss-Maffei, renamed Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW), of Munchen, Germany, designed the Leopard 2 main combat tank. The Leopard 2 is a follow-up to the popular Leopard 1.
The Leopard 1 was developed by the German Ministry of Defense by Krauss-Maffei in 1963. Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Italy, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, Turkey, and Australia have all received over 6,000 vehicles.
With over 3,200 tanks produced, the Leopard 2 is the successor to the Leopard 1. It was first produced in 1979 and is currently in service with the armies of Austria, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, and Turkey.
Leopard 2 A7+, KMW’s next-generation main combat tank, was unveiled in June 2010. The German Army successfully tested and qualified the tank. A modular protection package, greater sustainability, and increased mobility are among its key benefits.
The German Federal Security Council authorised an agreement to export roughly 200 Leopard 2 A7+ to Saudi Arabia in July 2011.
Leopard 2 and its variant models are being ordered from all over the world.
The Finnish Army purchased 124 Leopard 2A4 tanks from Germany, while the Polish Army purchased 128 Leopard 2A4 tanks from Germany. Greece ordered 183 used Leopard 2A4 and 150 Leopard 1A5 tanks from German Army reserves in August 2005.
An agreement for the transfer of 298 German Army Leopard 2A4 tanks to Turkey was concluded in November 2005.
Chile signed a contract with the German Army in March 2006 to purchase 140 Leopard 2A4 tanks. In December 2007, the first was delivered.
The Leopard 2A6 has a longer L55 cannon, an auxiliary engine, better mine protection, and air conditioning. The German Army is upgrading 225 2A5 tanks, the first of which was delivered in March 2001, to 2A6 configuration. The Royal Netherlands Army converted 180 of its 2A5 tanks to the 2A6 design in February 2003, with the first of them entering service. The Hellenic Army of Greece ordered 170 Leopard 2 HELs in March 2003. (a version of the 2A6EX). KMW is putting together the first 30 and ELBO of Greece is putting together the rest. In October 2006, the first locally constructed tank was delivered. In May of 2008, the Hellenic Army received the Leopard 2A6 HEL.
Spain has ordered 219 Leopard 2E (a more armoured version of the 2A6), 16 CREC recovery tanks, and four training vehicles. KMW constructed the first 30 and General Dynamics, Santa Barbara Sistemas built the rest under licence in Spain (GDSBS). In June 2004, the first tank was delivered to the Spanish Army, and deliveries ended in 2008.
The Leopard 2(S) is another variation with a new command and control system and passive armour system. The Swedish Army has received 120 Leopard 2(S) tanks. In March 2002, the deliveries came to an end.
Singapore announced in December 2006 that it would purchase 66 reconditioned Leopard 2A4 tanks from the German Army, as well as 30 spare tanks. In September 2008, the tanks were deployed by the Singapore Army.
In April 2007, Canada leased 20 Leopard 2A6M tanks from the German Army and purchased up to 100 Leopard 2 tanks from the Dutch Army. In August 2007, KMW handed over the first of the leased 2A6M tanks, which had been modified with better mine protection and slat armour. Later in August 2007, the tank was deployed to Afghanistan. The Dutch Army has 110 2A6 tanks in its fleet.
Portugal purchased 37 Leopard 2A6 tanks from the Dutch Army in October 2007. The first eight were delivered in October 2008, with the remaining eight following in 2009.
The first 20 Leopard 2A4M CAN modernised battle tanks were delivered to the Canadian Armed Forces in October 2010. These tanks were deployed in Afghanistan to offer Canadian soldiers with a high level of protection and firepower. Five of the 20 tanks were transported to Afghanistan in January 2011 as a replacement for the Leopard 2 A6M CAN, which had been stationed there since 2007.
In November 2013, the Indonesian Ministry of Defense placed a $289.6 million contract with Rheinmetall Group for tracked armoured vehicles, logistical support, and ammunition.
The deal calls for Rheinmetall to provide 103 Leopard 2 main combat tanks that have been refurbished and modernised. It will also ship 42 updated Marder 1A3 infantry combat vehicles, 11 different armoured recovery and engineering vehicles, as well as supporting documentation, training equipment, logistical support services, and an initial supply of practise and service ammunition.
In May 2016, Rheinmetall delivered the first eight 61 Leopard 2 RI (Republic of Indonesia) main combat tanks to Indonesia.
In February 2016, Poland placed a €220 million ($238.9 million) deal with Rheinmetall to upgrade 128 Leopard 2 MBTs to Leopard 2 PL standard. In December 2018, the Hungarian armed forces awarded it a contract for 44 new Leopard 2A7+ tanks. Beginning in 2021, deliveries will be completed by 2025. Hungary will become the 19th Leopard 2 main combat tank operator.
Rheinmetall has secured a €118 million ($139.3 million) order from the Bundeswehr to modernise 104 Leopard 2 tanks. The project will see 68 Leopard 2A4, 16 Leopard 2A6, and 20 Leopard 2A7 main battle tanks upgraded to the A7V standard.
KMW ordered Saab to produce mobile camouflage systems for Leopard 2 tanks in December 2017. Between 2018 and 2022, deliveries will be made.
In April 2019, KMW was awarded a contract worth more than €300 million ($336.8 million) to modernise 101 Leopard 2 A6 main combat tanks. The deliveries are scheduled to end in 2026.
Improved crew safety with a mine-protection system
Following a concept definition by an international working group from Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Norway, led by the German procurement agency BWB, KMW developed a mine protection system for the Leopard 2. In September 2003, the German Army placed an order for the modification of 15 Leopard 2A6 tanks.
Sweden received ten Leopard 2A5 (Strv 122) aircraft. In July 2004, the first mine-protected tank was delivered.
The kit includes new armour elements such as a new plate under the tank’s floor, updated vision systems, and ammunition re-stowage arrangements.
In February 2004, tests showed that Leopard 2 tank personnel could withstand the detonation of an anti-tank mine under the tank with no damage thanks to the improved armour package.
The Leopard 2 combat tank is currently being built.
The vehicle’s hull is divided into three sections: the driving compartment at the front, the fighting area in the middle, and the engine in the back.
Three observation periscopes are installed in the driver’s compartment. Ammunition storage is provided to the left of the driver. A reversing help for the driver is provided by a camera with a 65° horizontal and vertical field of view mounted at the back of the car and a television monitor.
The turret is positioned in the vehicle’s centre. With externally attached add-on armour modules, there is an improvement programme that gives third-generation composite armour and extra strengthening to the turret frontal and lateral armour. The spall liner decreases the amount of fragments and narrows the fragment cone when a projectile penetrates the armour. The spall liner also acts as a sound and temperature barrier. Multiple attacks, kinetic energy rounds, and shaped charges are all protected by the reinforcement.
The main combat tank’s fire control capabilities
A PERI-R 17 A2 from Rheinmetall Defence Electronics (previously STN Atlas Elektronik) and Zeiss Optronik is installed in the commander’s station. The PERI-R 17 A2 is a stabilised panoramic periscope sight for day/night observation and target identification that allows a 360° traverse. On a monitor, the thermal image from the commander’s periscope is presented.
Because it is integrated into the tank’s fire control system, the PERI-R17 A2 can also be utilised for weapon firing. The image from the gunner’s thermal sight can also be sent to the commander’s PERI-R17 periscope, allowing him to transfer the gunner’s video image to his monitor. This allows both the commander and the gunner to see the same combat range field of view.
A Rheinmetall Defence Electronics EMES 15 dual magnification stabilised primary sight is installed in the gunner’s position. An integrated laser rangefinder and a Zeiss Optronik thermal sight, type WBG-X, are both linked to the tank’s fire control computer.
The thermal sight employs standard US Army common modules, including a 120-element CdHgTe (also known as CMT) infrared detector array that operates in the eight to 14-micron waveband. A Stirling closed-cycle engine cools the infrared detector equipment.
The sight is equipped with a Zeiss Optronik CE628 laser rangefinder. The laser is a solid state Neodinium Yttrium Aluminium Garnet (Nd:YAG) laser.
In four seconds, the rangefinder can deliver up to three range values. The firing algorithms are calculated using the range data, which is sent to the fire control computer. Furthermore, because the laser rangefinder is built into the gunner’s primary sight, the digital range measurement may be read immediately by the gunner. The laser rangefinder’s maximum range is less than 10,000 metres, with precision of 20 metres.
For laser range-finding for anti-helicopter operations, the command and fire control process known as first echo selection is used. To shorten reaction times, the main weapon employs electronic firing.
Leopard 2’s main weaponry and weapons
Rheinmetall Waffe Munition of Ratingen, Germany, designed a new smoothbore gun, the 120mm L55 Gun, to replace the Leopard 2’s shorter 120mm L44 smoothbore tank gun. By expanding the barrel length from 44 to 55 millimetres, more of the available energy in the barrel is transferred into projectile velocity, enhancing range and armour penetration.
The L55 smoothbore gun, which includes a thermal sleeve, a fume extractor, and a muzzle reference system, is compatible with both current and new high-penetration 120mm ammunition.
Rheinmetall Waffe Munition developed the upgraded kinetic energy ammunition known as LKE 2 DM53 in response to tactical requirements. The L55 gun can fire the DM53 bullet to a range of 5,000 metres. The penetrator length, projectile mass, impact velocity, and contact between the projectile and the target all contribute to the kinetic energy projectile’s effect on an enemy target.
Heavy tungsten powder in a monoblock configuration serves as the penetrator material. The muzzle energy and recoil forces of upgraded kinetic energy ammunition are higher. The L55 offers a 30 percent performance boost over conventional systems, especially when employing the new DM 53 KE round. A muzzle velocity of above 1,750m/s, for example, is possible.
Leopard 2 has a land navigation system from LITEF of Bonn, Germany, a subsidiary of Northrop Grumman (previously Litton) of the United States. A global positioning system (GPS) and an inertial navigation system make up the hybrid navigation system.
MBT Leopard 2 support systems and tank engine developed by KMW
The H-WNA upgraded hydraulic system is being replaced with the E-WNA electrical weapon follow-up system as part of a programme. The E-WNA offers the following benefits: no pressurised hydraulic fluid in the turret, lower noise level, lower power consumption, and heat generation, enhanced reliability and fewer maintenance and servicing requirements, lower operating costs, and superior long-term storage qualities.
A fire and explosion detection and suppression system has been licenced by the business Deugra Ges for use in the crew compartment. for Brandschutzsysteme of Ratingen, Germany, from Kidde-Graviner of Slough, Berkshire, in the United Kingdom. At the rear of the vehicle, a fireproof bulkhead divides the combat compartment from the engine compartment.
The engine is a 1,100kW (1,500hp) MTU MB 873 diesel engine with a Renk HSWL 354 gear and brake system. On the Leopard 2, an improved version of the EuroPowerPack with a 1,210kW (1,650shp) MTU MT883 engine has been tested.
1. M1A2 Abrams, USA ( Best-Tank-in-NATO )
General Dynamics Land Systems produces the M1A1/2 Abrams main battle tank (GDLS). The M1 tank was originally manufactured in 1978, followed by the M1A1 in 1985 and the M1A2 in 1986.
In 1980, the US Army received the first M1 Abrams battle tanks. There were 3,273 M1 tanks made for the US Army, 4,796 M1A1 tanks built for the US Army, 221 M1A1 tanks built for the US Marines, and 880 M1 tanks co-produced with Egypt.
Between 1996 and 2001, the Lima Army tank facility modified about 600 M1 Abrams tanks to M1A2 configuration for the M1A2 upgrading programme. The first deliveries were made in 1998.
Abrams M1A1 / M1A2 orders and delivery
The Australian Army stated in March 2004 that it would purchase 59 US Army M1A1 tanks, which would enter service in 2007. The contract was signed in November 2005, and the first five were delivered to GDLS in Lima, Ohio in February 2006.
The first 18 tanks were handed to the Australian Army in September 2006 at the School of Armour in Victoria. The remaining 41 were delivered in March 2007, and will be based in Darwin.
Saudi Arabia sought the sale of 58 M1A1 tanks to the foreign military in June 2006, as well as the upgrade of the 315 M1A2 tanks already in the Saudi arsenal to the M1A2S version. Similar to the US Army’s Abrams integrated management programme, the upgrade entails rebuilding to a “like new” condition (AIM).
Egypt proposed a $1.32 billion foreign military sale of 125 M1A1 tanks in August 2007, bringing the country’s fleet to 1,005 M1A1 tanks.
125 M256 armament systems, 125 M2 50mm machine guns, 250 M240 7.62mm machine guns, 125 AGT-1500 M1A1 series tank engines and gearboxes, and 120mm test cartridges were also requested by Egypt. Spare and repair parts, maintenance, support equipment, special tool and test equipment, people training and equipment, publications and technical data, and engineering and logistical support services from the US government and contractors were also requested.
In January 2008, GDLS was granted a $349 million contract for the manufacturing of 125 M1A1 tank kits as part of the Egyptian co-production programme’s tenth increment. The first deliveries were made in April 2009.
The Iraqi government ordered the delivery of 140 M1A1 tanks with the M1A1M configuration in July 2008. In August 2011, the Iraqi Army received the final supply of five M1A1 Abrams tanks.
GDLS was given a multiyear contract worth $81 million by the US Army’s TACOM life-cycle management command (TACOM LCMC) in February 2009 to upgrade 30 M1 Abram tanks to M1A2 systems enhancement package version 2 (SEPv2) configuration.
The TACOM LCMC granted GDLS a $33 million contract for long-lead materials to manufacture 140 M1A1 SA (situational awareness) tanks for the Iraq programme in March 2009. FLIR thermal site, tank urban survivability kit (TUSK) upgrades, and a driver’s vision-enhancing thermal viewer are all installed on the tanks.
In July 2009, the Egyptian tank co-production programme signed a $45 million deal. GDLS provided technical assistance and equipment to M1A1 tanks at the Egyptian tank plant as part of the contract.
Under a one-year extension contract awarded by the US Army in August 2009, Honeywell is improving the performance of the AGT 1500 engines used in M1 Abrams tanks. The company collaborated with the army on the TIGER (total integrated engine revitalisation) initiative, which involved approximately 750 engines. The fourth-year contract is worth roughly $300 million, with a total contract value of $1.4 billion.
The US Army granted GDLS a $58 million contract in October 2009 to provide systems technical support (STS) for the Abrams tank.
Saudi Arabia awarded GDLS a $17.6 million contract in December 2009 for the purchase of long-lead materials for converting 15 M1A2 Abrams tanks to M1A2S tanks.
In March 2010, the US Army TACOM LCMC awarded GDLS a $37 million contract for STS services for Abrams tanks. The task include identifying upgrades and replacing tank elements that have become obsolete.
Northrop Grumman was granted a $18 million contract by GDLS in February 2010 to deliver LRS-2000 rate sensor assembly components for the stabilised commander’s weapon station (SCWS) on the M1A1 Abrams tank. The first delivery were made in October of 2011.
In urban environments, the sensor improves soldier safety and effectiveness. Soldiers can also fire the tank’s machine gun from within the armoured vehicle.
In April 2013, the US Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) granted GDLS a $9.5 million contract to provide spares for Abrams battle tanks. In September 2013, GDLS was awarded a $56 million contract modification to continue providing logistics and basic life cycle support to Iraqi forces using M1A1 Abrams tanks. In October 2013, the contract-related work was finished.
In September 2013, the US Army TACOM LCMC granted GDLS a $187.5 million contract to upgrade 44 M1A1 and 40 M1A2 Abrams tanks to the Saudi M1A2 (M1A2S) configuration on behalf of the Royal Saudi Land Forces.
The US Army TACOM LCMC awarded GDLS a $99.7 million contract for the procurement and manufacturing of Saudi M1A2 (M1A2S) Abrams tanks on behalf of the Royal Saudi Land Forces. The contract, which was granted in December 2014, continues work on updating M1A1 and M1A2 tanks to the M1A2S configuration, which began in 2008.
In September 2015, the US Army TACOM LCMC granted GDLS a $358 million contract to refurbish and upgrade 150 M1A1 Abrams tanks to the M1A1 SA configuration under FMS on behalf of Morocco.
In December 2017, GDL was awarded a $2.6 billion contract by the US Army to upgrade up to 786 M1A1 Abrams to the newly configured M1A2 System Enhancement Package Version 3.
In July 2019, the US government approved the sale of 108 M1A2T Abrams tanks and accompanying weaponry to Taiwan.
SEP/SEP v2/SEP v3) M1A2 system enhancement package
GDLS was awarded a contract in February 2001 to deliver 240 M1A2 tanks with a system enhancement package (SEP) by 2004. The M1A2 SEP includes an embedded version of the US Army’s Force XXI command and control architecture, a new Raytheon commander’s independent thermal viewer (CITV) with second-generation thermal imager, a commander’s display for digital colour terrain maps, a second-generation DRS Technologies GEN II TIS thermal imaging gunner’s sight with increased range, and a driver’s integrated display and thermal management system.
From FY2004 onwards, the US Army chose to stop producing the M1A2 SEP, although in June 2005, it ordered the upgrade of another 60 M1A2 tanks to the SEP configuration. In August 2006, another 60 were purchased, followed by 180 in November 2006.
DRS Technologies was also granted a contract for the GEN II TIS to improve US Marine Corps M1A1 tanks as part of the firepower enhancement package (FEP). The 4804 SADA (standard advanced dewar assembly) detector is used in the GEN II TIS.
An eyesafe laser range finder, a north-finding module, and a precise lightweight global positioning receiver are also included in the FEP, which give targeting options for the new distant target locate (FTL) function. FTL provides accurate targeting data to a range of 8,000 metres with a CEP of less than 35 metres.
General Dynamics was given a contract in November 2007 to convert 240 M1A2 SEP version one tanks to version two, which includes upgraded sights, screens, and a tank-infantry phone. The first was completed in September 2009, and the second was ready in October 2008.
GDLS was given a $58 million contract by Saudi Arabia in 2008 to design, develop, convert, implement, and test a hybrid configuration of the M1A1, M1A2, and M1A2 SEP tank versions.
General Dynamics was granted a multiyear contract in February 2008 to upgrade the last 435 M1A1 tanks in the US Army inventory to SEP Version Two (V2) configuration. In August 2008, a $614 million contract was awarded to upgrade 235 M1A1 Abrams main combat tanks to the SEP V2 variant.
The US Army TACOM LCMC awarded GDLS a $72.7 million contract in February 2014 to upgrade 12 M1A1 Abrams tanks to the M1A2 SEPV2 version. The contract was signed.
given as part of a February 2008 agreement that provides for the modernization of 435 M1A1 tanks.
In February 2015, the US Army TACOM LCMC awarded GDLS a $49.7 million contract to upgrade M1A1 Abrams tanks to the M1A2 SEPv2 standard. In December 2015, GDLS was awarded a $92.2 million contract modification to upgrade M1A2 SEPv2 tanks to M1A2 SEPv3 configuration.
In July 2018, the US Army made orders with GDLS to upgrade 100 M1A1 Abrams to M1A2 SEPv3 configuration. In January 2019, the US Army granted GDLS a $714 million contract to upgrade 174 M1A1 Abrams tanks to M1A2 SEPv3 configuration. More than three brigades of M1A2 SEPv3 tanks have been bought by the US Army, bringing the total number of tanks ordered in 2018 to 274.
As part of the US Army’s Force XXI battle command, brigade and below (FBCB2) programme, DRS Technologies was given a contract in June 2004 to provide equipment, including rugged appliqué computers, for the M1A2 Abrams tanks (and M2A3 Bradley combat vehicles). FBCB2 is a digital battle command information system that will be used in conjunction with the army’s tactical internet to enable increased interoperability and situational awareness from brigade to individual soldier.
Main battle tank armament of the M1 Abrams
The 120mm M256 smoothbore gun, developed by Rheinmetall Waffe Munition GmbH in Germany, is the main armament. The M865 TPCSDS-T and M831 TP-T training rounds, as well as the M8300 HEAT-MP-T and the M829 APFSDS-T with a depleted uranium penetrator, are all fired by the 120mm gun. The Cadillac Gage gun turret drive stabilisation system is made by Textron Systems.
The commander is equipped with a 12.7mm Browning M2 machine gun, while the loader is equipped with a 7.62mm M240 machine gun. On the right-hand side of the main armament, a 7.62mm M240 machine gun is placed coaxially.
Armour made of depleted uranium
Steel-encased depleted uranium armour is used on the M1A1 main battle tank. The crew compartment is separated from the fuel tanks by armour bulkheads.
In the event of a HEAT projectile penetration, the tank’s top panels are designed to explode outwards. The tank is resistant to NBC warfare (nuclear, biological, and chemical).
On each side of the turret is a six-barrelled L8A1 smoke grenade discharger. An engine-driven system can also create a smokescreen.
GDLS was granted a contract in August 2006 to manufacture 505 tank urban survivability kits (TUSK) for US Army Abrams tanks.
Add-on reactive armour tiles, a loader’s armour gun shield (LAGS), a tank infantry phone (TIP), a Raytheon loader’s thermal weapon sight with a Rockwell Collins head-mounted display, and a BAE Systems thermal driver’s rear-view camera are all included in the TUSK package (DRVC). TUSK was first installed on M1A1 / M1A2 tanks in late 2007 and deployed to Iraq.
The Saab Barracuda multispectral camouflage systems on Australian M1A1 tanks diminish the tank’s optical, radar, and infrared signature.
Controlling and observing the fire
Six periscopes provide a 360-degree view from the commander’s position. The Raytheon commander’s independent thermal viewer (CITV) provides independent stabilised day and night vision with a 360° view, automatic sector scanning, automatic target cueing of the gunner’s sight, and back-up fire control to the commander.
The M1A2 Abrams tank incorporates a two-axis Raytheon gunner’s primary sight – line of sight (GPS-LOS), which improves target acquisition and cannon pointing, increasing the first round hit probability.
The magnification of the thermal imaging system (TIS) is 10 small field of view and 3 wide field of view. The thermal image, along with the range measurement from a laser range finder, is displayed in the eyepiece of the gunner’s sight.
The eyesafe laser range finder (ELRF) from Northrop Grumman (previously Litton) Laser Systems offers a range accuracy of 10 metres and a target discrimination of 20 metres. A Kollmorgen Model 939 supplementary sight with magnification of 8 and field of view of 8 degrees is also available to the gunner.
Based on the lead angle measurement, gun bend measured by the muzzle reference system, velocity measurement from a wind sensor on the turret roof, and data from a pendulum static cant sensor located in the centre of the turret roof, the fire control computer calculates the fire control solution automatically.
The operator manually enters information such as ammunition type, temperature, and barometric pressure.
The driver has three observation periscopes on each side or two periscopes on each side, as well as a night vision periscope in the centre. Periscopes have a 120-degree field of vision.
The AN/VSS-5 driver’s vision enhancer (DVE) from DRS Technologies is based on a 328 245 element uncooled infrared detector array that operates in the 7.5 to 13 micron waveband. On the M1A2 Abrams tanks for Kuwait, a Raytheon driver’s thermal viewer, the AN/VAS-3, is added.
The Honeywell AGT 1500 gas turbine engine powers the M1. There are four forward and two backward gears in the Allison X-1100-3B transmission.
Honeywell International Engines and Systems and General Electric have been chosen by the US Army to create a new LV100-5 gas turbine engine for the M1A2. The new engine is smaller and lighter, with faster acceleration, quieter operation, and no visible exhaust pipe.
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