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Australian Leopards say goodbye
The AFV ASSOCIATION was formed in 1964 to support the thoughts and research of all those interested in Armored Fighting Vehicles and related topics, such as AFV drawings. The emphasis has always been on sharing information and communicating with other members of similar interests; e.g. German armor, Japanese AFVs, or whatever.
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MARKMILES77
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:21 am
Post subject: Australian Leopards say goodbye

Army Newspaper

Top Stories
Leopard’s last blast
By Lt Joseph Ternowetsky

Edition 1163, April 05, 2007

WITH a thunderous volley of 105mm main armament rounds, the Leopard tank has marked the end of a long and proud military career.

Exercise Southern Reach, held in Cultana from February to May, is the Leopard’s last show of duty after having served the Australian Army for 30 years.

The Leopard was brought into service on November 4, 1977, to replace the British Centurion. At the time the Army purchased 103 Leopards after choosing it over the American M60 tank.

Included in this total were five AVLB bridge layers and eight AVRM recovery vehicles.

CO 1 Armd Regt Lt-Col Duncan Hayward said the tanks – which are being replaced by the Abrams – had served the country well.

Although the tanks had never been deployed overseas, they offered fundamental firepower and support to the Australian military as a whole, he said.

“It has provided heavy hitting power to the Australian Army,� he said. “Lacking a viable tank would undermine a combined arms team.�

As a way of honouring the tanks, 1 Armd Regt Leopards formed up and fired in unison during a range practice in Cultana on March 14.

But this will be it for the 18 Leopards that took part in the exercise. The tanks officially end their service in three months when a final parade will be held to commemorate the changeover.

“We will run a parade on July 7 where the first operational Abrams squadron will replace the last operational Leopard squadron,� Lt-Col Hayward said.

From there, the majority of tanks will be sent to Bandiana, Victoria where they will be disposed of under a DMO plan.

“A small number of tanks have been earmarked for military museums. Two will remain in Darwin as a monument,� Lt-Col Hayward said.

The transition marks an exciting time for the Army, according to Col Damian Cantwell, who was CO 1 Armd Regt from 2003-04 and is now Director General Future Land Warfare. He said the Leopard tank had more than proved itself.

“It remains the best tank of its age, it’s just the technologies of protection and firepower have moved forward around it,� Col Cantwell said.

He paid tribute to the “energetic professionalism� of tank crews, RAEME tradesmen and support staff in maintaining and sustaining the Leopard fleet throughout its life.

“They often worked in very trying conditions in the demanding Top End climate, without the benefit of unit operational deployments. Without them the tank and our combined arms capability would have suffered a slow demise years ago,� Col Cantwell said.

During the Leopard’s time in service, 1 Armd Regt conducted training in places such as Mt Bundy, High Range Training Area, Shoalwater Bay, Cultana, Woomera and Puckapunyal.

After a decision to centralise 1 Bde in the Darwin region, 1 Armd Regt and the Leopard tanks made the move in 1995.

Col Cantwell said the tank did receive some minor upgrades such as improvements to firewall insulation, an electronic digital gunner’s aide and mobile camouflage systems.

Full coverage of Exercise Southern Reach will appear in the next edition of Army.

TANK FACTS

Armament: 105mm L7A3; Armour Piercing Discarding Sabot (APDS) travelling at 1478m/s with a range of 2500m; High Explosive Squash Head (HESH) travelling at 732m/s with a range of 400m direct, 8000m semi-indirect; Canister with a range of 400m; 2 Machine Gun 7.62mm MG3 Coax and AA.

Crew: Crew commander, loader/operator, gunner, driver.

Dimensions: Length – 9.54m gun front; Width – 3.37m; Height – 2.62m; Weight – 42,400kg combat weight.

Engine: MTU MB 838 Cam-500 37.4L four-stroke, multifuel, twin mechanical supercharged engine; 610 kW at 2200rpm and 2860nm at 1500rpm; Fuel consumption – 165L/100km

Performance: Max Speed – 70km/h forward, 24km/h in reverse; 60% climb, 30% sideslope; Vertical step – 1.15m; Trench – 3m; Fording – 1.2m or 2.25m with minimal preparation, 4m with a tower.





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Sabot
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 5:08 am
Post subject: Re: Australian Leopards say goodbye

Wow, I never realized the Aussies only had 103 Leos. That's less than a US tank heavy brigade (58 per battalion or 116 total) during the Cold War era.

I remember firing the last M60A3TTS gunnery in Germany in 1989. I also remember some high ranking people come and ask us to fire these neat looking sabot rounds with brass casing. We placed tarps inside the turret so when the casing was ejected, it would not get banged up.

I guess they wanted them to polish up and save or use as awards.

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Neil_Baumgardner
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 7:18 am
Post subject: Re: Australian Leopards say goodbye

You gotta realize the Australian army active force is little bigger than 1 division.

Neil
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Maple_Leaf_Eh
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 6:40 pm
Post subject: Re: Australian Leopards say goodbye

- Neil_Baumgardner
You gotta realize the Australian army active force is little bigger than 1 division.

Neil


Ditto for the Canadian Forces
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Larso
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 5:59 pm
Post subject: Re: Australian Leopards say goodbye

I was on exercise only once with the Leopards. As things happened I got only a brief look at them but one thing stuck in my mind. A few went past and one looked just like a Jagdpanther but without the gun. I've had a look at the variants on the web but none seem to look like the one I remember seeing. Did Australia have a command or support version that could be the vehicle I saw?

Thanks
John

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Neil_Baumgardner
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 6:17 pm
Post subject: Re: Australian Leopards say goodbye

I'd have to guess a Bergepanzer armored recovery vehicle variant.



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Larso
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 2:19 am
Post subject: Re: Australian Leopards say goodbye

Thanks Neil, that was probably it, though the one I saw didn't have it's crane attached which accentuated the crew compartment in a Jagdpanther type way.

I recall someone saying at the time, it was an anti-tank missile version but they may have had no real idea themselves. I do remember seeing a couple of tank destroyer type vehicles in various books but I think they were mostly from the 1950s/60s. Kanone rings a bell. Anyway thanks for that.

John

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bsmart
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 5:39 am
Post subject: Re: Australian Leopards say goodbye

There was the Jagdpanzer Kanone that was built in the late 50s to equipe the New German Army. It may be considered a predecessor to the leopard but I don't believe it was part of the leopard family. There is one at Aberdeen (This is where I ask Neil if he has a picture Wink ) I always thought it looked more like an updated JgPz IV than a Jagdpanther .

Looking back at your message it would depend on where you saw it as to whether the Jagdpanzer Kanone would be a possibility. I don't think they were used outside Germany so if you saw it down under it wouldn't be a possibility.

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A2_Prius
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 7:41 am
Post subject: Re: Australian Leopards say goodbye

The Jagdpanzer Kanone was armed with a 90mm gun mounted in a mantlet. The vehicle's over all appearance recalled that of the Sturmgeschutz.
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Roy_A_Lingle
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 11:23 pm
Post subject: Re: Australian Leopards say goodbye

Hi Folks!

- A2_Prius

The Jagdpanzer Kanone was armed with a 90mm gun mounted in a mantlet. The vehicle's over all appearance recalled that of the Sturmgeschutz.


The Kanone version was followed by a ATGM version. Maybe that is what John saw (if you were in Germany).

Sgt, Scouts Out!

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bsmart
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 1:29 am
Post subject: Re: Australian Leopards say goodbye

I think the ATGM version was based on a different chassis. If I recall correctly the Jagdpanzer Rackete ( I think that was spelling) was based on the Marder APC/IFV chassis. I always figured the gun vehicle needed a larger, heavier chassis to handle the recoil

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Roy_A_Lingle
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 4:00 am
Post subject: Re: Australian Leopards say goodbye

Hi Bob! Hi Folks!

- bsmart
I think the ATGM version was based on a different chassis. If I recall correctly the Jagdpanzer Rackete ( I think that was spelling) was based on the Marder APC/IFV chassis.


The 90mm cannon, the SS11 ATGM, followed by the HOT and TOW ATGM vehicles are all based on the HS.30 APC. A much older and a bit smaller vehicle than the Marder. All are 10 to 30 ton vehicles while the Marder is 40 plus tons. Check out the follow site.

www.panzerbaer.de/type...z_90-b.htm

I think the Marder chassis has only been used with one other system and that was the Roland SAM system.

Sgt, Scouts Out!

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Joe_D
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 6:04 am
Post subject: Re: Australian Leopards say goodbye

Roy,
Don't forget the TAM,

Joe D
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JimWeb
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 8:55 am
Post subject: Re: Australian Leopards say goodbye

- Roy_A_Lingle

The 90mm cannon, the SS11 ATGM, followed by the HOT and TOW ATGM vehicles are all based on the HS.30 APC.


Roy you may like to go read that page again... Otherwise I may have to take the piss out of that statement for months to come Wink

Those with access may like to peruse the undermentioned

www.jedsite.info/fullt...eries.html

Cool

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Roy_A_Lingle
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 5:24 pm
Post subject: Re: Australian Leopards say goodbye

Hi Jim! Hi Folks!

- JimWeb
- Roy_A_Lingle

The 90mm cannon, the SS11 ATGM, followed by the HOT and TOW ATGM vehicles are all based on the HS.30 APC.


Roy you may like to go read that page again...


Well, let me start by saying, I don't read German. But I though that site was showing the linkage as I remembered off the top of my head.
Digging out my old Jane's books (31 years old), I went back and looked up the SPZ- 12-3 (that's what it was called back then) or HS.30 as Panzer Baer now calls it. The APC version was build from 1958 to 1962.

The Jagdpanzer JPZ-1-3 was the HS.30 chassis mounting a 90mm cannon.
The Jagdpanzer Rakete JPZ 3-3 replaced the 90 mm cannon with a pair of SS-11 ATGM launchers.

The Jagdpanzer JPZ 1-3 with the 90 mm cannon didn't stand up to the recoil of the cannon very well, so a bigger chassis was developed leading to the Jagdpanzer Kanone JPZ 4-5 and later the Jagdpanzer Raketes, again with SS-11 ATGMS. That vehicle was followed by the Jagdpanzer Jaguar 1 SP mounting HOT ATGMs. Then Jaguar 2 mounting the TOW ATGM.

A spin off of the larger chassis development to support the 90 mm cannon lead to the Marder chassis.

So as I under stand my old Jane's, all of them are related.
HS.90 > JPZ 1-3 > JPZ 3-3 > JPZ 4-5 > Raketes > Jaguar 1 > Jaguar 2.
...............................\/ > Marder. (Something I didn't know)

That was what I was trying to say.
My follow up 2 cents.
Sgt, Scouts Out!

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