Leopard A1A1 (L/44)
|This page is about the gift German medium tank Leopard A1A1 (L/44). For other variants, see Leopard 1 (Family).|
- 1 Description
- 2 General info
- 3 Armaments
- 4 Usage in battles
- 5 History
- 6 Media
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
The Leopard A1A1 (L/44) is a premium gift rank VI German medium tank with a battle rating of 9.3 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.81 "The Valkyries".
Survivability and armour
Players who have purchased the Leopard A1A1 L/44 should be familiar with the armour of non-premium Leopard 1s. If not, the Leopard may not be what people expect a tank to be. It was developed before composite materials were discovered at a time where HEAT shells were so effective that in order for armour to be effective, it would be so thick that it would not be practical. Hence, the designers of Leopard 1s, knowing that there was no possible way of stopping HEAT rounds, removed the concept of armour. In essence, the Leopard A1A1 has no armour. The front hull, accounting slope, is only some 130 mm thick. The turret and gun mantlet are some 100 mm depending on the angle. The BMP-2's autocannon, for instance, loaded with APDS, will penetrate your turret and will cause major damage. Any HEAT projectile impacting the tank will likely result in instantly being destroyed. However, the engine block can at times reliably save the crew from HEAT shells. APDS and APFSDS are a different story. The armour on the Leopard A1A1 is so thin that most non-explosive-filled shells will seldom cause spalling upon penetrating the side of the tank. Frontal penetrations will cause much more damage, as the armour is just enough to cause spalling.
The ready rack ammo is stored vertically within your turret to the left side of the tank. So AP penetrations to the right side of your tank may not set off the ammo. But, 3/4 of your crew are sited in a single file on the right side. So a penetration will knock you out nonetheless. Try to take no more than 18 shells, as it will increase the likelihood of ammo cook-off. The point is not to get hit, because if anything hits you, it will go through, and it will cause damage.
In some cases, you could operate the tank backwards and use your engine block as a shield, as most HEAT shells will be absorbed by your transmission, radiator and engine, although in this position you have limited depression as the engine block forces the gun upwards. Despite these limitations, the tank can be surprisingly survivable, provided it is played carefully rather than relying on the armour. Also, it will usually take 2 hits to kill this tank, so if you are hit, pop smoke, retreat, repair, and re-appear somewhere else on the map.
- Rolled homogeneous armour (Hull, Turret roof)
- Cast homogeneous armour (Turret)
|Armour||Front (Slope angle)||Sides (Slope angle)||Rear||Roof|
|Hull|| 70 mm (60°) Front glacis
50 mm (50°) Bottom glacis
| 35 (39-41°) mm Top hull side
30 + 5 mm Bottom hull side
|25 mm (8-48°)|| 30 mm Front area |
15-25 mm Rear area
|Turret||45-200 mm (0-60°) Turret front/Gun mantlet||37-45 (21-49°)+ 10-20 (0-34°) mm|| 38-52 (22-54°) + 10 (9-10°) mm
25 mm (65°) Bustle belly
| 25-35 mm Turret roof |
20-25 mm Cupola area
- Suspension wheels and tracks are 20 mm thick.
- The turret mantlet has a varying thickness of 45 - 200 mm thick. It is thickest near the center.
- 10 mm of track armour added onto front hull glacis
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
The mobility of the Leopard A1A1 (L/44) is between the XM-1 and T-55AM-1. Forward speed off-road, expect some 40-50 km/h. The reverse is about -15 km/h off-road. The neutral steering is absolutely amazing, you are able to swivel your tank easily. The suspensions are also great, very soft with great dampening effects, so expect a smooth drive. Overall, manoeuvrability is excellent, and should be used to your advantage since the tank has limited armour.
Modifications and economy
The legendary 120 mm Rheinmetall L44 cannon does not fall short of its name. You get access to only two types of shells, DM13 APFSDS and DM12 HEATFS, with both being highly competitive and effective at its battle rating. The DM13 APFSDS round has a whopping 390 mm of penetration and is capable of defeating any armour of any tank this tank may potentially face, bar the T-64B. The round also travels extremely fast at 1,650 m/s, making long-range shooting and hitting moving targets exceptionally easy. The HEATFS, on the other hand, will overpressurize lightly-armoured targets while also being free of cost. The 120 mm HEAT with its 480 mm penetration is able to destroy Object 120 and 906 and anything that's not a main battle tank. The 1,140 m/s velocity may, however, make long-range engagements more difficult, especially when dealing with moving targets.
The L44 also features a decent reload time of 8.7 seconds stock and 6.7 seconds spaded, which is comparable to its 105 mm armed counterpart. The gun also features a stabiliser, making firing on the move a definite capability. However, it only works up to around 30 to 40 km/h. Beyond that, the gun becomes quite jittery and hard to aim.
|120 mm Rh120 L/44||Turret rotation speed (°/s)||Reloading rate (seconds)|
|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)
|41||12 (+29)||1 (+40)||No|
The Leopard A1A1 (L/44) mounts one coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun and one pintle-mounted 7.62 mm machine gun. These both have particularly high rates of fire, while these are more of deterrents to helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft, as the small calibre bullets will rarely cause critical damage to aircraft, they can also be useful to clear light obstacles and crew in open-top vehicles.
|7.62 mm MG3A1|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
Usage in battles
The Leopard A1A1 (L/44) sports an excellent 120 mm L/44 cannon which can make short work of any vehicle that it sees without any issues. However, its armour is extremely lacking and the mobility while good is not as good as an OF-40 (MTCA) or AMX-30 Super. Playing in Arcade battles, it's best to make sure that you are always the first to fire, ensuring you get the jump on your enemies first. What's best done is to hull down and take advantage of the rather good 9 degrees of gun depression and ensuring that you are currently covering a relatively active zone of combat. With its cannon, it can be a very effective sniper or defensive vehicle as those both styles usually involves getting the jump on the enemy while remaining stationary in a concealed position. If done right, the Leopard A1A1 (L/44) can be an extremely effective weapon in Arcade Battles. It's still best to prioritize targets by targeting the most dangerous ones first in order to be of most help to your team. The tank's mobility does allow for flanking however avoid direct confrontation as much as possible.
The primary role of the Leopard A1A1 (L/44) should be that of a long-range sniper and flanker. Its incredible firepower with its 120 mm gun makes it easy to engage and destroy any tank from long distances while remaining concealed and thus protected from enemy fire. The good mobility on this vehicle allows you to reach good positions to snipe from and the laser rangefinder makes long-range targeting easy. The lack of armour on this tank makes direct engagements very risky and often nonviable so keeping at a distance maximizes your chances of survival and opportunity to inflict damage. Alternatively, the Leopard can be employed in flanking manoeuvres, using its good mobility to encircle the enemy and destroy them while they are unaware, again removing the danger of enemy fire destroying your tank. If you want to take a risk, you could rush a cap circle at the beginning of a match, if you tag along with other, better armed MBTs. However, this will almost always result in being destroyed, especially since the vehicle is vulnerable to artillery.
When using the Leopard A1A1 (L/44) in uptiers, the tank can still exceed if played like a light tank or IFV, as the A1A1 platform behaves very similarly to IFVs with decent (although comparatively lacking) mobility. Since most in-game IFVs also have less mobility than the top-rank MBTs, learning how to make the most out of this disadvantage would be beneficial skill transfer to the Leopard A1A1 (L/44) gameplay. The DM13 APFSDS round would serve the Leopard A1A1 (L/44) well even in an uptier provided it hits top-rank MBTs in their weak spots, though this knowledge would still be important to know even when using other higher-ranked MBTs like the Leopard 2 (PzBtl 123).
Flanking is still very strong, especially when your enemy is caught by surprise or is otherwise occupied. Rushing can also be a viable strategy when working alongside teammates, however you would be well-advised to use this strategy sparingly, as many of the tanks in this BR range are superior to you in every way possible, so timing will be crucial to ensure the enemy is inclined to engage a more significant threat first, thus allowing you to achieve good positioning on him before he can engage you. For the most part, playing this tank in the 10.0 bracket will require you to stay near teammates and play a support role, or flank the enemy and snipe those who are engaging your teammates. Remember that your tank is worse than those of your teammates, so they are unlikely to prioritize helping you, should you be left in need of repairs or firefighting. As such, flanking to snipe will require good instincts, so the enemy doesn't engage you.
Pros and cons
- Good mobility with excellent hull traverse and reverse speeds
- Effective gun with powerful ammunition able to defeat any opponent at its battle rating
- The reload speed hasn't changed despite its new 120 mm cannon
- Laser rangefinder
- Keeps the same good mobility, despite the 0.3 tons weight increase
- Thermal sight for gunner
- Excels at long-range engagements
- Armour does not reliably protect against even autocannons
- No available heavy machine gun, often helpless against helicopter attacks
- Huge ammo rack in hull, any penetrating shot at the area will destroy the tank
- Only generation 1 thermals and no CITV
Leopard 1A6 Project
The Leopard A1A1 (L/44), also known as the "Leopard 1A6" was a testbed which utilized the Leopard A1A1 hull along with a modified Leopard 1 turret, featuring supplemental armor and a modified mantlet created to accept the Rhenmetall L/44 120mm smoothbore cannon. The project was cancelled in 1987 after it was determined the Leopard 1A5 upgrade package was comparable in effectiveness at a fraction of the cost, and the Leopard 2 had been in widespread service by then, so an expensive upgrade package to bring the Leopard 1 up to the same level as more modern MBTs was seen as unnecessary.
Development of a Leopard 1 fitted with the 120 mm L44 cannon began as a private venture of the Rheinmetall company, hoping that such a Leopard 1 variant would be of interest, not just to the German army due to logistical commonalities with the Leopard 2 and higher performance of the gun, but also to international customers seeking third generation MBT features on older machines.
In the early 1980s, a Leopard 1A1A1 was modified with a thicker cast steel mantlet, suitable for mounting the Rheinmetall 120 mm cannon, and additional interior changes to hold the respective ammunition. Further changes were applied in early 1985, with the installation of the EMES 18 fire control system from the Leopard 1A5.
Although there were several different prototypes based on Leopard 1 outfitted with the 120 mm Rheinmetall cannon, none of them managed to justify a costly large scale upgrade effort of existing Leopard 1s. The upgrade was largely considered redundant due to the already more advanced Leopard 2 being in service.
- Leopard 1A5 - Base model of the L/44 installation
- Similar vehicles of the era that were up-gunned
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