OTO-Melara Leopard 1A2

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OTO Melara - Leopard 1A2 -

At the end of the sixties the General Staff of the Italian Army was to replace the old and slow M47 tanks were taken into consideration some European production tanks like AMX 30, Chieftain Mk1, Leopard 1, Stridvagn 103 and Vickers Mk1. Leopard 1 was chosen because it had excellent mobility, firepower and could shoot NATO ammunition. The first 200 specimens Leopard 1A1 were delivered from Germany to Italy in 1971, these were not enough for the needs of the Italian Army it was therefore taken the decision to produce the Leopard under license Italy, the OTO Melara (which already produced under license the M60A1) was commissioned to produce the new version “Leopard 1A2” which was different from the previous one version, in fact this version has a reinforced turret cast in stronger metal alloys and night vision with image intensification for the commander e the driver. From 1974 to 1983 OTO Melara produced 878 Leopard 1A2 versions including 720 in the MBT version which became the most important vehicle of the Italian Army of that period,laying the foundations for the rebirth of the design and production of tanks in Italy such as the OF40, Centauro and C1 Ariete. Italy was the 2nd user in the world of Leopard after Germany. For all these reasons I believe that the Leopard 1A2 produced by OTO Melara can enter the Tech Three Italian and it is also easy to add because the differences with the German Leopard 1 already in play are minimal.

Specifications:
Crew: 4 (commander, gunner, loader, driver)
Combat Weight: 44.09 tons
Length, Overall: 9.54 m
Length, Hull: 7.09 m
Width, Overall: 3.37 m
Height, Overall: 2.61 m

Performance
Engine: MTU MB 838 CAM 500 - 10 cylinder
Power: 830 hp
Speed: 65 km/h
Range: 600 km
Suspension: Torsion-bar
Transmission: ZF 4HP250 model with 4 forward and 2 reverse gears
Grade:60%
Trench Crossing: 3 m
Vertical Wall Climb: 1.15 m

Armament:
105mm (51 caliber) L7A3 rifled gun - Elevation range: - 9 to + 20 degrees
7.62mm Rheinmetall M3 machine gun - Coaxial to main gun
7.62mm Rheinmetall M3 machine gun - Turret cupola

Photos:
1-Leopard 1A2
2-Leopard 1A2
4-Leopard 1A2
8-Leopard 1A2
JANES
Jane’s Armour and Artillery 1979-80
Sources:
https://orleeplus.com/i-leopard-dell-esercito-italiano.php

http://www.ferreamole.it/images/Leopard/leo1a2_01.htm

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Normally the 1A2 has a stabiliser, but wikipedia claims (unsourced) that:
“A further 600 Leopard 1A2 and 67 Bergepanzer 2 were built in Italy by OTO Melara with deliveries starting in 1975, with a second batch of 120 build by OTO Melara between 1980 and 1983. All Italian-built Leopards were A2, but without stabilizer and skirts.”

Is this true? I can see the sideskirts missing obviously, but is there any evidence they removed the stabiliser? If so, that would make it 8.0 but I don’t know if I like the idea of an 8.0 Leopard with a stabiliser at the same BR as the unstabilised Leo 1 and OF-40, but then at 8.3 it will struggle.

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The standard Leopard 1A2 has the stabilizer, the Italian version does not have it, only for a budget issue (like the M60A1). Some Leopard 1A2 examples were experimentally equipped with skirts and additional Blohm and Vos armor, like the one in the last photo.

+1 Sure. It’ll play a little weird since it (probably) has APFSDS but no stab but I wouldn’t oppose its addition. I think the experimental B&V application could make for a good squadron vehicle too.

The APFSDS shells arrived in Italy in the late 80s and early 90s, so the first Italian Leopard 1A2 versions did not have them.

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Unfortunate.

Wasn’t it some kind of restrictions coming from postwar?

No, after Italy joined NATO it was considered a reliable ally so all the restrictions due to the defeat of WWII fell away, unfortunately between the end of the 60s onwards Italy suffered from an economic crisis, so the budget for the armed forces it was reduced to the bare minimum.
P.s Even Germany, which had lost the war, no longer had military restrictions, in fact its Leopard 1A2 had a stabilizer.

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Bro its so short, its so cute +1

+1, though prepare for this to suffer very nearly as much as the Leopard 1A0

+1 The version with the B&V add-on armor would be awesome

It would be a smart idea to make the Italian Leopard 1A2 different from that of other nations such as Germany, Belgium and Holland. The thing I fear most is that France may receive a Leopard 1A1 (Belgian or Dutch) before our 1A2.

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