OTO Melara Leone

[Would you like to see this in-game?]
  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

General Info
The Oto Melara Leone (Lion in English) was a joint co-operation between Italy’s Oto Melara and the German company known as Krauss-Maffei. There were several other German and Italian companies also involved who all agreed on trying to create an export tank mainly for middle eastern countries to acquire while the main production lines of Italian and German Leopard tank were underway. The project mainly started due to issues regarding law in Germany, about the exportation of specific vehicles, so in efforts to continue the loophole, 50% of the tank would be made in Germany while the final 50% would be finished and assembled in Italy, inside of the OTO Melara factory in la Spezia. The official project started in 1975 and would be revealed in 1976 to the public, the main role was to allow third world countries and other middle eastern countries the ability to effectively buy a cost efficient Leopard tank. Due to this many technical components of the tank had to be fitted to make sure it would work well in its intended environment, so it would be outfitted with greater ventilation, cooling and filtration systems so it could operate in much harsher and warmer climates. This was done due to the main possibile export market being the middle east, so everything had to be made in such a way to allow the users of the product to not be dissatisfied with their new vehicle. The shares of the vehicle would be a 50-50 split between Italy and Germany, as at the end of they day both countries were equally involved in this project. The hull, engine, transmission, and running gear were made in Germany and the turret, armament, and electrical equipment would be made in Italy. Also as previously mentioned the tank would be finally be assembled in Italy. The sole and only known prototype of the vehicle would be completed in 1977, with the sole interest of the vehicle being Pakistan, although as everyone knows nothing came out of that. There would be a crew of 4 in total. A lot of logistics would be similar to the the Leopard 1, in terms of armament it had access to an Italian made OTO Melara 105mm stabilized rifled cannon, which would more than likely be able to fire Heat, APDS and Hesh rounds, just like the later product of the Lion, the OF-40. The coaxial and roof mounted machine guns would be represented in the form of MG-3’s, but if a buyer had a specific need for a different type of weapon to be put there instead, it could be changed. The armor and survivalbility are very similar to the Leopard 1, infact the whole vehicle used to be called ‘’ Leopardino ‘’ or in Italian ‘’ Small leopard ‘’ due to how similar they were all thing considered. Ammo is stored infront of the vehicle, again similarly to the Leopard series of tanks. It also had access to x8 smoke grenades in case there was a need to disengage for potential targets, 4 would be mounted on each side of the vehicles turret. Lastly but not least it also had access to night vision devices, for any and all nocturnal usage of the vehicle. At the end of the day with 1 prototype being complete, and basically no interest around the world, Germany most likely pulled out and Italy wasn’t able to export the vehicle due to some contract licensing issues. This would be however be used as the base of what would be known as the OF-40, a fully Italian project that aimed to do the same things the Lion couldn’t do.

Armament+Equipment
x1 OTO Melara 105mm rifled cannon (could fire any and all round for the cannon, such as Heat, Hesh and APDS)
x1 coaxial MG-3 7.62mm machine gun (Could be any machine gun depending on buyer needs)
x1 turret roof mounted MG-3 7.62mm machine gun (Could be any machine gun depending on buyer needs)
x8 Smoke grenades (4 mounted on each side of the vehicle’s turret.)
Night Vision devices

Specifications

Spoiler

(Should have very similar attributes to the leopard 1 MBT series.)
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Why it should be in game
It should be in game as it can bolster the mid tiers of the Italian tech tree, it could also become a very great premium or event vehicle. It would require some work to model but it isn’t an impossibile task, it would not be OP depending on what rounds and BR it is given, ideally it should be around the same BR of the OF-40 or Leopard 1.

Sources

Spoiler

Museo Della Melara Archives
Autoveicoli del esercito Italiano V4
Eserciti e Armi ‘Il Leopard con la Criniera’
Ejercito 1981-09 (500) p.47
Attività dei deputati nella VII Legislatura
Carro da Combattimento Leone - Tank Encyclopedia
OF-40 - Wikipedia

Photos

Spoiler


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4 Likes

https://youtube.com/clip/UgkxhUJZkx697pQv5z-HtNnKbVj_wZx4Wqo7?si=z7U4M2EOEXFMtsV6

+1

2 Likes

In all seriousness though you can see how it was developed from the Leopard and into the OF-40. I didn’t realise that. Something something Ariete is Italian Leopard 3.

So it’s stabilised unlike the OF-40? Do you know why they would have removed the stabiliser later on?

3 Likes

Yes and no, in reality it comes down to optional stuff, depending on the customer the Leone could be stabilised or not. The reasoning the OF-40 originally did not have access to a stab was due to post war laws which made it illegal to have stabilised military vehicles in Italy. OTO Melara still offered the OF-40 with the stab for customers, eventually the UAE would ask for that on their OF-40’s when their MK1’s got converted to the MK2 standard.

Ahh, I see, thank you! So was the built prototype of the Leone stabilised or not? Because Gaijin doesn’t normally like adding optional features to vehicles that never had them, unfortunately.

Unknown, sources at times say that the prototype did not have access to a stab and that it could be added upon request, but others also state it did have access to a stab. Ultimately it really does not matter as Gaijin would have the final say depending on what battle rating and munitions they would add.

1 Like

No, the reason is of an economic nature, after having joined NATO, Italy, like Germany, no longer had the restrictions due to the defeat in WWII.

+1 we need to increase the number of tanks in order to have a line. the version without the stab should be good at 8.0, we have only the OF40 if you have no access to the M-60 that is overwhelming.

2 Likes

Not exactly, even after joining NATO Italian tanks in service lacked the stab, the first in service MBT to have access to a stab was the Leopard 1a5. AFAIK there was still certain laws preventing the use of them.

Explain to me why the German Leopard 1 A2/A3 (which are from the early 70s) have the stabilizer, and the Italian Leopard 1A2 doesn’t have it. The Japanese Type 74 built in 1975 also has the stabilizer.

leopard 1A1 - 1A5 had stabilized turrets, The A5 had the first laser range finder on a leopard and a new APSDS round.

Also doesn’t this have the same turret as the OF-40 Mk.2?

Italy joined NATO in 1949 so I dont see why mentioning something from the 70’s would matter, Italian laws vs German or Japanese laws were different and didnt always apply to all 3 at the same time. Overtime for Italy a lot of them were removed but as far as I know, it took Italy a very long time before they were allowed to use a stab for an MBT.

The leopard 1a1 in Italian service did not have access to a stab, only the 1a5 did.

No, although similar this was made before the MK2 existed.

So in short, would this best be described as a Leopard 1 hull with the OF-40 turret on it?

Leopard 1 with some major changes to both the hull and turrets with an Italian version of the L7 gun on it.

1 Like

I click Yes for anything about Italy. Poor pasta force needs anything that could help even its a leopard.

1 Like

+1 yes looks good i wanna play it

1 Like