Tuesday, 16 Nov, 2010 Technology

Top 3 Most Powerful Main Battle Tanks Today


Leopard 2 A7+

The Leopard 2 is considered to be one of the most successful tanks of the last generation. It appeared as a result of cooperation between Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall. The Leopard 2 A7+ model represents a further development of the main battle tank.

The improved model boasts a modular protection kit, increased mobility, sustainability, upgraded reconnaissance abilities and a more accurate fire control system.

In 2010 the tank managed to successfully pass several tests and is now part of the German Army. Its main gun can fire a 120mm High Explosive (HE) round.

In addition, the Leopard 2 A7+ includes a new final drive, track, torsion bars and brake system. With the help of an adaptable dozer blade, it can easily clear obstacles. The MTU MB 873 Ka-501 liquid-cooled 47.6 litre V-12 cylinder 4-stroke exhaust turbo-charged diesel engine allows Leopard 2 to reach a top speed of 68kph.

Being equipped with a new high performance cooling unit along with an Auxiliary Power Unit (APU), the tank can continue performing its operations for 24 hours.

More information on this tank is available here.

Challenger 2

Challenger 2 is a British tank developed by BAE Systems Land Systems. Currently the tank is in service with the British Army and with the Royal Army of Oman.

This machine features an L30 rifled tank gun created by BAE Systems Land Systems. It is worth mentioning that in January 2004, under the contract signed by Land Systems, the firm started developing a new smoothbore 120mm gun for the British Army Challenger tanks. The company equipped the Challenger 2 with the Rheinmetall L55 smoothbore gun, the firing trials of the new weapon began in January 2006.

The tank's turret is capable of 360 degrees rotation. The elevation range of Challenger's weapon is from -10 degrees to +20 degrees. The weapon is controlled with the help of an all-electric gun control and stabilization system developed by BAE Systems. With the help of its 12-cylinder, Perkins Caterpillar CV12 diesel engine, Challenger 2 can reach a top speed of 59kph.

In addition, the tank features a Boeing 7.62mm chain gun, found to the left of the main tank gun. The cupola has a 7.62mm GPMG L37A2 anti-air machine gun. The turret has five L8 smoke grenade dischargers located on each of its sides and developed by Thales AFV Systems Ltd.

More information on this tank is available here.

Merkava Mk 4

This Israeli tank was presented this year at Eurosatory 2010. This year this main battle tank celebrated its 40th anniversary. This is the 4th generation of the Israeli Merkava tank.

The tank features an upgraded 120mm main gun that is able to fire advanced anti-tank and multi-purpose projectiles. It also boasts an advanced fire-control system created by Elbit Systems' El-Op division. It is worth mentioning that Elbit Systems Ltd. is today one of the largest defense electronics manufacturers in the world and Merkava Mk 4 is equipped with the company's gun and turret control system. In addition, the machine has Elbit's unique battle management system that offers a clear situational picture.

The tank also makes use of powerful V-12 diesel engine developed by Bental Industries that allows Merkava Mk 4 to reach speeds of over 60kph. Inside there's an advanced life support system, combining ventilation, Nuclear, Biological, Chemical (NBC) filtration system, individual cooling systems, and even an extra power generator.

More information and pictures on this tank you can find here.

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