Leopard A1A1 (L/44)
28 km/h back65 km/h forward
25 km/h backSpeed
|This page is about the medium tank Leopard A1A1 (L/44). For other uses, see Leopard (Family).|
The Leopard A1A1 (L/44) is a gift rank VI German medium tank with a battle rating of 8.7 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.81 "The Valkyries".
Survivability and armour
Players who have purchased the Leopard A1A1 L44 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 mantle are some 100 mm depending on the angle. BMP-2's auto-cannon, racked 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.
|Game Mode||Mobility characteristics||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
The mobility of the Leopard A1A1 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.
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 HEAT-FS, 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 HEAT-FS, on the other hand, will result in hull-breaks on lightly armoured targets while also being free of cost. The 120 mm HEAT with its 650 mm penetration is able hull-break Object 120s and 906s and anything that's not a main battle tank. For example, you can hit the tracks of an anti-aircraft vehicle, and it will hull-break. The 1,100 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, 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.
The Leopard A1A1 (L/44) is armed with two MG 3A1s, which fires a 7.62 mm round. However, these are more of deterrents to helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft, as the small calibre bullets will rarely cause critical damage to aircraft.
Usage in battles
The Leopard A1A1 (L/44) is quite similar to that of it in Realistic Battles. The vehicle sports an excellent 120mm 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 maximises 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.
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
- Despite the addition of bigger gun, the mobility hasn't changed
- Night vision device (thermal) for the gunner
- Armour does not reliably protect against even autocannons
- No available heavy machine gun, often helpless against helicopter attacks
Development of a Leopard 1 fitted with the 120mm 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 120mm 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 120mm 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.
- From Devblog
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