|This page is about the German medium tank Leopard 1A5. For other versions, see Leopard 1 (Family).|
The Leopard 1A5 is the sixth variant of the Leopard 1 main battle tank family. In 1980, a research program was launched to explore further enhancements to the design, including a fully modern firing control system and a fully functional night/bad-weather vision system. It was decided that the upgrades would be based on prior variants that were no longer effective. The Leopard 1A5 variant that resulted was based on 1,225 units of the Leopard 1A1A1 subvariant. The turrets were redesigned again for the Leopard 1A5 variant, both to accommodate all of the new equipment and to relocate more ammunition to the rear of the turret, rather than placing all the ammunition to the left side of the driver, where it had previously been located. The redesigned turret could install the newer 120 mm Rheinmetall L/44 tank gun from the Leopard 2 if desired, however, this option was never utilised. Following trials, the Krupp-Atlas Elektronik EMES 18 fire control system, which evolved from the EMES 15 used on the Leopard 2 main battle tank family, was selected in December 1983. The EMES 18 has two new sights on the top of the turret that did not require the "bumps" those previous optical systems had. The Leopard 1A5 variant could be equipped with bolt-on polycarbonate (Lexan) armour plates, which improved the armour's effectiveness.
Introduced in Update "New Power", the Leopard 1A5 is the Leopard 1 main battle tank family's final production variant. It is the ultimate variant of the Leopard 1 main battle tank family, and it incorporates some of the most advanced cutting-edge technologies, many of which are from the new Leopard 2 main battle tank family. With a laser rangefinder and thermal imaging equipment, it improves the Leopard 1A5's lethality, allowing players to see adversaries first and deliver precise shots. Despite the initial plan to upgrade to the 120 mm Rheinmetall L/44 tank gun, this was not carried out since the Leopard 2s is already in production and offers many more advantages. Nonetheless, the Leopard 1A5 remained the standard armoured force of many countries across the world, and it received various minor upgrades to keep it up to date with modern battlefield requirements.
Survivability and armour
The Leopard 1A5, being a further development of the Leopard A1A1, does not differ much from its predecessor in terms of armour. The Leopard 1A5 prioritizes firepower and mobility over the survivability of the tank.
The armour in the frontal arc is reliable against many of the autocannons found on IFVs at the rank, but occasional rounds can penetrate the turret ring. Side armour can be reliably penetrated by autocannon fire, thus it is vital to keep the front of the armour towards the enemy.
Chemical and kinetic rounds from main battle tanks and other vehicles should have no problem to penetrate Leopards armour when they hit centre mass.
Looking at the Leopard from the front, 3 out of 4 crew members sit in almost straight line on the left side of the tank, thus potentially allowing it to get knocked out by a well-placed shot. On top of that, Leopard's biggest ammo rack is located on the right side of the hull, protected only by a 70 mm thin frontal plate angled at 57°. Thus Leopard's hull presents a highly rewarding target and players must avoid getting shot in the hull at all costs.
On the other hand, Leopard's height is just slightly taller than T-72 by a few centimetres, and the gun can be depressed to -9°, allowing Leopard 1A5 to fight well on uneven terrain.
|Armour||Front (Slope angle)||Sides||Rear||Roof|
|Hull|| 70 mm (60°) Upper Glacis
50 mm (50°) Lower Glacis
| 35 mm Upper
30 mm Lower
|25 mm||15-30 mm|
|Turret||45-120 mm Gun mantlet|| 40-43 mm Right Side
37-45 mm Left Side
|33-52 mm||21-65 mm|
- Suspension wheels, tracks, and torsion bars are 20 mm thick.
- Belly armour is 35 mm thick in the front half and 10 mm in the rear half.
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
The Leopard 1A5 shares almost the same mobility as its predecessor, with only negligible loss of HP per ton. Excellent agility, above average speed and great suspension allow players to reach favourable positions and relocate quickly in case of emergency.
Modifications and economy
Players focus should be on firepower upgrades. After Parts and FPE, one should go for the DM23 round, as most tanks at this rank have either composite armour, ERA or both, making stock HEAT rounds very ineffective. After that, players' focus should be on getting thermals, which help tremendously with acquiring targets and it is impossible to fight at night without them. Lastly, players should go for DM33 and laser rangefinder. Those make the Leopard 1A5 a powerful sniper and level its fighting chance against most opponents.
|105 mm L7A3||Turret rotation speed (°/s)||Reloading rate (seconds)|
The Leopard 1A5 mounts a late-generation fully stabilised L7 cannon, which is pretty standard at this rank. It also has access to standard ammunition selection, though one thing to note is that it has the option to equip lethal DM33 rounds, which are the third best NATO rounds available for 105 mm guns (after M900 and DM63).
- DM12 HEATFS - Stock round. The HEAT round does not lose penetration with distance travelled. Unlike kinetic penetrators, it has one downside: given that it is a chemical round, its fuse is highly sensitive. With the emergence of composite and reactive armour, it quickly becomes obsolete in the anti-tank role. Requires careful aiming to properly damage newer tanks, though it can hold its own while fighting older tanks, lighter vehicles and low-flying helicopters.
- DM512 HESH - This round was always plagued by a plethora of problems: low velocity, low penetration, inconsistent mechanics and sensitive fuse make this round gimmicky at best. That being said, with the overpressure mechanic, this round can be used in CQB against light vehicles with devastating effect.
- DM23 APFSDS - Available as a tier I modification, this round allows player to engage modern tanks more reliably, since it performs better against composite and reactive armour. Penetration is relatively below average when compared to rounds available to the Leopard 1A5's contemporaries, it should be used as a stop gap solution until the next round becomes available.
- DM33 APFSDS - Best round available to the Leopard 1A5 and third best NATO round available for 105 mm cannons. It allows player to engage most enemies at the Leopard 1A5's BR at any range reliably. With careful aiming, even higher BR vehicles are not safe. Player should be of note that this round can easily over penetrate light vehicles such as BMP-2 or SPAAGs, so aiming at vital components is preferred in order to create shrapnel necessary to destroy them.
|Ammunition|| Type of
|Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)|
|10 m||100 m||500 m||1,000 m||1,500 m||2,000 m|
|Ammunition|| Type of
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (kg)
|60||57 (+3)||54 (+6)||15 (+45)||12 (+48)||1 (+59)||No|
|7.62 mm MG3A1|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
Usage in battles
With addition of laser range finder, more powerful round and thermal gunner optics, the Leopard 1A5 can become a very potent sniper on open maps. Players should exploit the Leopard's mobility, low profile and handy gun depression to reach favourable hull down positions and start picking off targets. Entrenched sniping the Leopard 1A5 becomes a nightmare for enemy tanks trying to cross its sight line, as this playstyle allows players to negate their biggest weakness: the lack of armour.
The Leopards can flank well, but as thermal sights and laser range finders are becoming more common at the Leopard 1A5's BR, one must adapt certain flanking tactics:
- First, players shouldn't move across an open field without cover unless they know for certain that there is no one watching or unless absolutely necessary.
- Second, players should utilize terrain as much as they can - after all, a thermal imager is just a filter for a camera, and can't highlight the thermal signature of something that can't be seen in the first place. Move below the horizon, try to put as much heavy foliage as you can between you and the suspected position of enemy tanks.
- Third, do not be afraid to stop when approaching suspected enemy positions, turn off your engine and listen. This allows you to detect enemy flankers in close proximity before they enter your field of vision, thus allowing you to avoid getting ambushed.
Sadly, while the Leopard 1A5 performs great at longer ranges, its performance is below average on CQC maps with corridors and streets that do not allow to exploit the Leopard's mobility, like those found on Advance to Rhine. Due to lack of armour, IFVs with high rate of fire autocannons and more armoured tanks in general outperform Leopards by wide margin in these environments. A lone Leopard is expected to lose in most scenarios, thus players should focus on supporting their allies. Let them take a shot, and as soon as you see the enemy tank return fire, lunge forward and send the enemy back to the garage.
Pros and cons
- Has access to the powerful DM33 round
- Has access to generation 1 gunner thermals
- Excellent mobility
- Armour doesn't offer much protection
- Low survivability when hit
- Weak armour overall
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|Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW)|
|Leopard 1||Leopard I · Leopard A1A1 · Leopard A1A1 (L/44) · Leopard 1A5 · C2A1|
|Leopard 2||PT-16/T14 mod. · Leopard 2K · Leopard 2A4 · Leopard 2 (PzBtl 123) · Leopard 2 PL · Leopard 2A5 · Leopard 2A6|
|*By the Deutsche Entwicklungsgesellschaft consortium, in collaboration with the General Motors Company.|
|SPAAs||Gepard · Gepard 1A2|
|Leopard 1||▄Leopard 1A5 · Leopard 1A5NO|
|Leopard 2||Strv 121|
|See Also||BAE Systems AB|
|Germany medium tanks|
|Pz.III||Pz.III B · Pz.III E · Pz.III F · Pz.III J · Pz.III J1 · Pz.III J1 TD · Pz.III L · Pz.III M · Pz.III N|
|Pz.IV||Pz.IV C · Pz.IV E · Pz.IV F1 · Pz.IV F2 · Pz.IV G · Pz.IV H · Pz.IV J · Pz.Bef.Wg.IV J|
|Pz.V||VK 3002 (M) · Panther A · Panther D · Panther F · Panther G · Ersatz M10 · Panther II|
|M48 upgrades||M48A2 G A2 · M48 Super|
|Leopard 1||Leopard I · Leopard A1A1 · Leopard A1A1 (L/44) · Leopard 1A5 · C2A1 · Turm III|
|Leopard 2||PT-16/T14 mod. · Leopard 2K · Leopard 2AV|
|Leopard 2A4 · Leopard 2 (PzBtl 123) · Leopard 2 PL · Leopard 2A5 · Leopard 2 PSO · Leopard 2A6|
|Trophies||▀M4 748 (a) · ▀T 34 747 (r)|
|Other||Nb.Fz. · KPz-70|
|USA||mKPz M47 G · M48A2 C|