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Medium tank (standard tank pre-series) cutaway model

The picture shows the Medium tank (standard tank pre-series) cutaway model.

Medium tank (standard tank pre-series) cutaway model (Source: Bundeswehr/WTS)Größere Abbildung anzeigen

Country: Federal Republic of Germany

In contrast to current tank developments the standard tank program at that time was characterized by the fact that sufficient financial funding for a broad concept phase was available.
The well-founded basic work proved necessary, as the standard tank program (in addition to the projects Tank Destroyer/Armored Infantry Fighting Vehicle – New) was the first national tank program of the Federal Republic of Germany.

In retrospect, the development philosophy

  • Company Group "A": conventional assembly technology
  • Company Group "B": new components

turned out to be a quite fortunate solution because the competitive parallel developments encouraged the companies involved to perform to the best of their ability.

While for the prototypes of Group "A" existing technologies were used for the major components, innovative technical solutions, particularly tracks and suspension components and transmission components, were incorporated in the prototypes of Group “B“.

A comparison of the prototypes showed that by using a hydropneumatic suspension instead of a torsion bar suspension a favourable silhouette could not be achieved. Although the concept of Group “A” was chosen for the pre-production and production versions of the main battle tank Leopard 1 the activities of both Groups turned the German industry into a competent partner for US companies for the subsequent Main Battle Tank 70 program.

The later use of the LEOPARD 1 main battle tank by the armed forces of ten nations is certainly proof of the systematic development and extensive testing of the prototypes. Altogether 82 prototypes and pre-production vehicles were constructed – such extensive activities could not be carried out within any follow-up program!

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Current as of 11/27/14