Leopard A1A1 (L/44)
|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 9.0 (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 armor 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 armor. In essence, the Leopard A1A1 has no armor. The front hull, accounting slope, is only some 130mm thick. The turret and gun mantle is some 100mm depending on 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 armor 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 armor 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 20 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 shield, as most HEAT shells will be absorbed by your transmission, radiator and engine.
The mobility of the Leopard A1A1 is between the XM-1 and T-55AM-1. Forward speed off road, expect some 40-50km/h. Reverse is about 15km/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 120mm 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 1650 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 armored targets while also being free of cost. The 120 mm HEAT with its 650mm penetration is able hull-break Object 120s and 906s, and anything that's not a MBT. For example, you can hit the tracks of an anti-aircraft vehicle, and it will hull-break. The 1100 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 fire 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 caliber bullets will rarely cause critical damage to aircraft.
Usage in battles
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
- Possesses laser rangefinder
- Despite the addition of bigger gun, the mobility hasn't changed
- Armour is still the same as the standard Leopard A1A1, but with the turrets front plates removed, making it entirely ineffective against even autocannons
- Slightly worse turret rotation speed
- Gun stabiliser only works up to 40 km/h; past that it tends to bounce a bit at high speeds
- The addition of the 120 mm gun makes the fighting compartment more cramped, resulting in one hit kills more often
- The ammunition is larger and more prominent, making ammunition detonations commoN
Tactics and strategy
The primary role of the Leopard A1A1 (L/44) should be that of a long range sniper and flanker. It's 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.
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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|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||Panther A · Panther D · Panther F · Panther G · Ersatz M10 · Panther II|
|Trophies||▀M4 748 (a) · ▀T 34 747 (r)|
|Post-war||KPz-70 · mKPz M47 G · M48A2 C · M48A2 G A2 · M48 Super|
|Leopard 1||Leopard I · Leopard A1A1 · Leopard A1A1 (L/44) · Leopard 1A5 · C2A1|
|Leopard 2||Leopard 2K · Leopard 2A4 · Leopard 2A5 · Leopard 2A6|
|Germany premium ground vehicles|
|Light tanks||Pz.II C (DAK) · Pz.Sfl.Ic · Sd.Kfz. 140/1 · Sd.Kfz.234/1 · Ru 251|
|Medium tanks||Nb.Fz. · Pz.III N · Pz.Bef.Wg.IV J · ▀M4 748 (a) · ▀T 34 747 (r) · Ersatz M10 · mKPz M47 G · Leopard A1A1 (L/44)|
|Heavy tanks||▀Pz.Kpfw. Churchill · ▀KV-IB · ▀KV I C 756 (r) · ▀KV II 754 (r)|
|VK 45.01 (P) · ␠Tiger · Pz.Bef.Wg.VI P · Tiger II (H) Sla.16|
|Tank destroyers||Sd.Kfz.234/3 · Sd.Kfz.234/4 · Sd.Kfz.251/10 · 15 cm Pz.W.42 · Brummbär · Panzer IV/70(A) · Bfw. Jagdpanther · VFW|