Thank you to the men and women of the Canadian Forces, Karl PROST - consultant Robert Ottaviani Otaviani -
Post-production : Sigrid CONRAD - With our partner Yves DEBAY Assaut Magazine -
LEOPARD 2 Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall
Successfully deployed till far into the 21st Century
The LEOPARD 2 is synonymous for internationally leading battle tank technology. The armed forces of 16 nations rely on its multifaceted superiority. KMW supplies these tanks as general contractor. With over 3,000 units delivered, KMW has achieved a globally unique commercial position. The LEOPARD 2 can be found in service from the Arctic Circle to the Alps and the Andes to the Mediterranean, as well as the Pacific, thus justifying its nickname, the Global LEOPARD.
Réalisation Karl PROST
Defense Technology International's Ares weblog [http://www.aviationweek.com/ares ] has several posts on convoy protection against asymmetric insurgent attacks. One post reports about Rheinmetall's highly mobile Wiesel lightweight tracked armored mortar system. This video, shot by the German defense ministry's WTD 91 test unit and made available by Rheinmetall, shows the Wiesel mortar system being tested in desert conditions in Yuma, Arizona.
Type 10 MBT-X Prototype (TK-X)
The Type 10 TK-X (MBT-X) project aims to build a new main battle tank to replace the existing Type 74 main battle tanks currently in service with the Japan Ground Self Defense Force. This tank will be deployed to the narrower and more mountainous regions of the country. The design emphased C4I capabilities as well as increasing performance, firepower, defense and mobility. The Type 10 has sloped turret armor similar to the Leopard 2A5, as well as a side profile similar to the Leclerc. The use of modular components, thereby significantly improving the side armor in comparison to the Type 90. The vehicle's armor can be reconfigured depending on the needs. Without additional armor plating, the vehicle weighs about 40 tons, while weighing about 48 tons with all of the add-on armor.
A day & night 360 degree sight is also mounted on the turret, which can be integrated with the "new Basic Regimental Command & Control System". Compared to the Type 90, the Commander's Panoramic Sight has been moved to the right and is located at a higher position, giving the commander a wide field of view.
By one report, the vehicle is expected to be armed with the 120-mm smoothbore gun developed by Japan Steel Works. This company also license-produces the Rheinmetall 120-mm / L44 gun for the Type 90 MBT. There is an option for L55 or a new barrel 50 caliber in length. The TK-X main battle tank will fire a newly developed armor-piercing ammunition. It is compatible with all standard 120-mm NATO ammunition. Secondary armament consists of coaxially mounted 7.62-mm machine gun and a roof mounted remotely controlled 12.7-mm machine gun. It will use an autoloader, with a crew of three (Commander and gunner in the turret, driver in the hull). It will use Continuously Variable Transmission, and is equipped with active hydropneumatic suspension, which allows it to adjust its stance. The tank can "sit", "stand", "kneel" or to "lean" in any direction. This feature gives a number of advantages.
This new lightweight MBT weighs significantly less than other modern battle tanks. It is 10 tons lighter than the current Japanese Type 90 main battle tank. The 40-ton tank was designed to be lightweight in order to comply with Japanese road laws. Laws banning heavy vehicles meant that the Type 90 could not operate outside Hokkaido, except at certain training facilities. The new MBT can be transported on standard commercial trailers.
On 15 December 2001, the Japanese Government approved a new mid-term procurement plan for its Self-Defense Forces totaling 25,160 billion yen (US$223.6 billion). Research projects were planned for five years, including the development of a new battle tank with advanced command-and-control capabilities. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is the main contractor of the TK-X. Development of components began in 1990s, and as of 2008 production was expected to start in 2010-2011. A prototype of the '3.5-generation' tank was revealed on February 13th, 2008 at the Ground Systems Research Center of the Technology Research and Development Institute (TRDI) in Sagamihara. The development cost as of 2008 was approximately JPY¥48,400,000,000, or approximately USD$447m. Each unit was expected to cost approximately JPY¥700,000,000, or USD$6.5m.
★Japan TRDI Official Comment：
-New Tank is the successor to the current main battle tanks. This MBT will have improved "firepower", "protection", and "mobility" together with "advanced C4I".-
★Type10 Prototype (TK-X) Spec★
Weight 44 (40-48) ton
Length 9.42 m
Width 3.24 m
Unit cost of 700 million Japanese Yen
Modular composite armour.
side armor of the turret is Anti RPG modular composite armour.
Continuously Variable Transmission.
and All 360°TV camera enemy caution function.
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The MK 108 Maschinenkanone 30 mm caliber autocannon manufactured by Rheinmetall-Borsig.
A requirement for a heavy aircraft weapon for use against the Allied heavy bombers. Requiring on average just four hits with high-explosive ammunition to bring down a B-17 heavy bomber and a single hit to down a fighter.
There were two main types of ammunition for the MK 108 to use, a 30 mm high-explosive self-destroying tracer ("M-Shell" or "Mine-Shell") and a 30 mm incendiary shell. The first type was designed to cause a maximum blast effect by combining a very thin shell casing with the maximum load of explosive.
Tests carried out at Rechlin (where most of the Luftwaffe aircraft and weapons tests were done) showed that with a "M-Shell" with 85 grains of explosive, five hits could destroy a B-17 or B-24 bomber. The second type of shell, the incendiary, was meant to be targeted at the fuel tanks of the enemy plane. Since some penetrating force was still needed to overcome the armor or airframe of the target, and not have the shell break up or explode upon contact, a hydrodynamic fuse was fitted so that the shell only exploded once it came into contact with liquid.