Hispano-Suiza 30 mm Zwilings-Flabpanzer Lpz 51, Swiss Cousin to the AMX 13 DCA

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caid’s suggestion #72

I would like to suggest a rather unique tank, the Swiss Lpz 51 zFlab 30 mm, or it can also go by the name of tourelle Bitube DCA 30mm Hispano Suiza sur Char léger mod 1951

The history of this tank comes as far back as 1950 when Switzerland questioned the effectiveness of the 20mm as an anti-aircraft gun. with the aircraft going faster and flying higher, the 20mm simply lacked the range to be effective against them. when in 1955 the Swiss government mandated the Swiss branch of Hispano Suiza which is based in Geneve to develop a high fire-rate family of medium size auto-cannon that would offer a higher range than the 20mm currently in use. the new auto-cannon was required to be 30mm which is a natural improvement over the 20mm. Hispano-Suiza then turned to the French branch which happened to have developed the new HS 831L at the French request for their AMX 13 and EBR which was intended to have a AA version. the gun was offering just what Switzerland needed.
The license for the gun did belong to Hispano Suiza but the turret belonged to the French government. this means for Switzerland, a new turret was needed.
it was in 1958 that Hispano-Suiza presented the Swiss army with a new quad-mount towable AA turret armed with nothing less than the 30mm auto-cannon. this static gun was offering an impressive rate of fire of 2480 rounds per minute for the quad mount. this was impressive knowing the gun had been a 30mm. but there was also the need for a self-propelled anti-aircraft gun. this is when the Swiss put at the disposition of Hispano Suiza a Leitch Panzer 51 also known as AMX 13 to convert it into SPAA in competition with Oerlikon-Bührle who presented the Lpz 51 Vflab 20mm.

Hispano Suiza presented their prototype against the Vflab 20 on April 28th 1960 where it was tested one against the other. the version from Hispano Suiza was quite effective and met all requirements. the turret was fairly protected allowing easy targeting against ground targets and air targets even if against the air target, the commander was required to come out of the cupola to use the air sight for anything higher than 22°. this is a relatively small flaw as it wasn’t specified in the requirement given by the Swiss army. the turret was fully armored and the Gunner and commander had dual control of the gun. the tank was a technical success but in the end, It lost against the Oerlikon-Bührle 's model due to the lack of radar. Nonetheless, this vehicle is an interesting design from Switzerland.

Firepower

the armament is featured to be the 30mm Hispano Suiza 831L (not 34mm like many though). this is a rather conventional auto-cannon for rank 5-6 as it is found in a few other vehicles notably the AMX 30 DCA 30. the tank carries 300 rounds per guns which give a total of 600 rounds. the elevation ranges from -8° to + 85° which leave little blind spot for the aviation. in theory, this tank was capable of securing the sky at 3km range but in practice, it will depend on the gunner’s skills and the circumstances. the turret can rotate on 360° with an auxiliary engine to boost the rotation. Sadly the targeting speed is unknown. Until it is found, I suggest giving it the same speed as the AMX 30 DCA whose turret was related.

Mobility

this tank is slightly more heavy than the AMX 13. actually, it was just said to be about 15 tonnes which could as well mean it was 14.7 tonnes like the AMX 13 but it could also mean a bit heavier. so i will just go with 15 tonnes until there is more accurate information. this will give a pretty decent mobility for a light tank. the chassis has been essentially untouched, the vehicle will behave just like a regular AMX 13. the forward speed is decent and the acceleration is not bad. the reverse could be better but it’s not that bad either. on the mobility, this tank will be pretty decent.

Protection

the armour of the chassis remained unchanged from the AMX 13. only the turret is unknown. it was stated to have a “robust” turret and from the cutaway, it seems to have the same thickness as the side of the tank. I will just go with the 20mm of armour all around the turret which will give enough protection against the HMG in most cases. it will at least offer a similar protection level to the AMX 30 DCA’s turret and the crew is well protected against Shardnel and HE rounds. this is a welcome protection amount of the SPAA. But like most SPAA, this tank armor will remain relatively light and can’t compete with the protection level of the MBTs. the tank also features 4x smoke discharger and the crew includes 3 men. 2 of which is in the turret.

source

Exclusively primary from the Swiss archive



















4 Likes

+1, such a cool looking SPAA

1 Like

Oh yes absolutely, an absolute +1 from me!!!

1 Like

I can understand you. it is after a decent and familiar design and nothing makes this SPAA either outstanding or bad while being totally capable of doing the role it was intended to do

it will be very similar in-game to the AMX 13 DCA 30 but without the radar or APDS. both features would have forced it to a higher BR. we can expect it in a BR to match the early MBT and late WW2 I suppose

1 Like

Indeed, the Swiss honestly have a lot of neat stuff it would be a shame to see them become a sub-tree rather than a fully fleshed out tree

2 Likes

we need a Swiss TT

1 Like

“sur”(on), not “sure”(safe)

c’est une faute de frappe de ma part. j’ai écrit trop vite

It’s a typo from my side. I wrote it too fast

pas de problème, c’est juste une information. No problem, it’s just to inform you.

1 Like