Author Topic: Short Leopards  (Read 1724 times)

Offline apophenia

  • Patterns? What patterns?
Short Leopards
« on: October 23, 2016, 11:45:40 AM »
The winning design for a 1960 Bundeswehr competition for a leichten Panzerfamilie, came from Arbeitsgruppe 'B' headed by Hanomag. Prototypes for Spähpanzer Kette and Kanonenjagdpanzer variants were produced. However, for production versions, the BMVg requested maximum commonality between the new Leopard main battle tanks and future leichten Panzerfamilie variants.

The first to appear was the Jagdpanzer Kanone 90mm in 1965. The vehicle shown here (Top) is a Jagdpanzer Kanone 105mm, part of a 1973 upgrade program where half the up-armoured fleet were up-gunned to the same main armament as the Leopard 1 while the other half were converted into Raketenjagdpanzer 3s with HOT missiles.

The same 'short' hull was also the basis for the Spähpanzer Kette recce tank. A distinct derivative of this light tank was created for the Ejército Argentino. The Argentine variant gave up the Rheinmetall turret in favour of a reconditioned FL-12. Known to Hanomag as the Pampas Katze (Pampas Cat), the EA dubbed this hybrid the VC (Vehículo de Combate) Leopardo Patagón. A VCDA Leopardo Patagón SPAAG project was also begun but never completed.
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Offline Claymore

  • It's all done with smoke and mirrors!
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Re: Short Leopards
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2016, 04:24:48 PM »
Very cool!  8)
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Online LemonJello

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Re: Short Leopards
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2016, 09:22:18 PM »
Awesome!

Offline Old Wombat

  • "We'll see when I've finished whether I'm showing off or simply embarrassing myself."
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Re: Short Leopards
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2016, 04:03:40 AM »
As above! :) :)
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Offline apophenia

  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: Short Leopards
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2016, 02:26:41 PM »
Thanks folks! A few more 'short' Leos ...

[Bottom] The Spähpanzer Kette reconnaissance tank entered Bundeswehr service as the SpPz 2 Luchs A1. The platform was successful but tactical concept shifted in favour of 'recce by stealth'. In 1975, a program was begun to replace the tracked Spähpanzer Luchs with a quieter, 8-wheeled SpPz 3 Puma developed by Thyssen-Henschel.

It had been hoped that the Netherlands would join Germany in the Spähpanzer Luchs program but the only 'export' was to German-based units of the Canadian Army. Although a member of the leichten Panzerfamilie, the Canadians regarded their C3 Lynx IIs as medium tanks. And the Canadian Army continued to employ the Lynx as a 'recce by sabre' system. However, with the arrival of the Soviet T-72, it was apparent that the C3 Lynx's 90mm gun had become inadequate. The C3A1 LUP (Lynx Upgrade Program) modernized the CA vehicles and replaced the 90mm BK90/L40 with a new, low-pressure 105mm gun from OTO Melara.

[Top] Stemming from the 6PFZ-A prototypes of 1968, the Wildkatze 27 ZLW (27-Millimeter-Zwillingskanone auf Wildkatze) was seen as a direct replacement to the US-Fla-Panzer (M 42 Duster). A parallel development of the long-hulled, 35 mm Flakpanzer Gepard, the Wildkatze had a similar radar and FCS but in a smaller turret armed with twin 27 mm Mauser LBK 27 autocannons. (A version with a single 35 mm gun in a new turret was also studied but did not proceed.)

The Wildkatze 27 ZLW was a comparatively short-lived system in Bundeswehr service. In late 1974 half of the German Wildkatze 27 ZLW fleet was donated to Greece as "direct NATO aid". The remained of the fleet were converted to carrier Flugabwehrsystem Roland 2 all-weather missile systems.
"Don't believe in violence, I don't even believe in peace."

Offline apophenia

  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: Short Leopards
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2016, 08:21:47 AM »
Wildkatze FlaRak

Bundeswehr Wildkatze 27 ZLW Flakpanzers were refurbished and upgraded to Wildkatze Flugabwehrrakete with turrets suitably modified to accommodate the complete Roland 2 Flugabwehrsystem. These Wildkatze FlaRak operated alongside the 35 mm Flakpanzer Gepard. Germany retired the Wildkatze FlaRak in the mid-'90s as part of its 'Peace Dividend'. The turrets were removed (to strip systems for Marder-based FlaRak) and most of the hulls sold to Canada as spares for their Lynx fleet.

The Canadian Army Lynx had been through two major upgrades. The LUP (Lynx Upgrade Program) resulted in the C3A1 with low-pressure 105mm gun. In 1995, these vehicles were fitted with brackets for add-on armour devised by IBD Deisenroth Engineering. MEXAS-armoured Lynx C3A2s first deployed on the IFOR mission to the former-Yugoslavia in 1996.

C3A4 Lynx

By the 1999 KFOR deployments, the Canadian Army had re-evaluated its sabre vs stealth stance on recce. In an ideal world, reconnaissance teams could draw upon both sabre and stealth. It had also become apparent that many of the ex-German Wildkatze hulls were still in good condition. That presented an opportunity.

A revised Lynx turret design was conceived which featured a retractable sensor mast. An auto cannon was to become the new main gun. Initially, this was to be an OTO Melara 76mm Super Rapide. However, the CA was not satisfied with ammunition capacity on the 76mm-gunned C3A3 prototype. Rheinmetall Canada quickly revised its turret design to take a 57mm Bofors. The resulting C3A4 Lynx variant was introduced into service beginning in 2002. The combined sabre and stealth concept was vindicated when C3A2 and C3A4 Lynx operated together in hunter-killer teams in Afghanistan - notably during the second Battle of Panjwaii.
"Don't believe in violence, I don't even believe in peace."

Offline Old Wombat

  • "We'll see when I've finished whether I'm showing off or simply embarrassing myself."
  • "Define 'interesting'?"
Re: Short Leopards
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2016, 08:55:18 AM »
Liking the Lynx 8) - but, then, I am a gun-tank wombat! ;)
"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."