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Old 03-26-2014, 02:26 AM   #1
Nippelspanner
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A little tank comparison...

Greetings!

Usually I hate these kind of threads, cause in most cases people act out of national pride/bias and are ignorant enough to derail such discussions, but I really want to find some answers.
And honestly: It is often hard to say, since the better tank is the one that shoots first these days.

Anyways, after doing some research across the web, comparing different random sources which I can not judge since I lack the knowledge when it comes to tanks,
I thought I might be more lucky here.

The tanks in question are the Leopard 2a5 and the AMX-56 Leclerc (T3)
I would like to know which one has the upper hand in the following stats and which one you would consider the best over-all tank and why:
- Autonomy (range)
- Speed (road/cross country)
- Acceleration
- Power to weight ratio
- Accuracy
- Stabilizer
- AP penetration (basically: what tank shoots better)
- Armor/Protection


Curious if someone might know more about the Leclerc.
Feel free to share your guesstimations!
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Old 03-26-2014, 08:13 AM   #2
Skybird
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Leclerc armor discussion: http://www.steelbeasts.com/sbforums/...hlight=leclerc

Leclerc performance during Greek tank trials: http://www.steelbeasts.com/sbforums/...hlight=leclerc

I have not heard so far anything especially bad abiout the Leclerc. On the other hand, I also never heard anything outstandingly positive about it. Countries ordering new tanks, usually compare the Leopards, Abrams, Challenegers, maybe some Korean and Japanese models, if they are open for Eastern producers maybe also some T-models, and the Leclerc. The French tank hardly makes it beyond the first round, usually.

Böse Zungen claim that the Leclerc can do today what the first Leopard-2 could do when they appeared on the market so long ago.

What is often criticised in discussions is that the Leclerc is prone for mechanical and technical failures, is not that easy to maintain, and its good acceleration and speed - though not in rugged terrain - comes at the cost of lower weight - and that translates into lower armour protection.

Maybe its better to compare it to the modern Russian line of tanks, who also trade weight and size for agility.

It seems to me that the German tanks are superior over the Leclerc in almost all regards. Some even see the Leclerc as a medium tank.

But I learned something from the controversy about the Challenger-2's early (and inferior) gun. Western tanks should not be compared to how they deal against other Western tanks, but how they deal against Russian/Chinese tanks. And I assume the Leclerc is a very potent opponent to them.

Also one should take into account that Leopards and Abrams and Challengers all have been in action, in the mud, in battle. AFAIK the Leclerk still needs to prove itself in battle action/under war conditions.

Regarding the "best all-around-tank", that is a title that probably is being negotiated between the latest versions of the Abrams and Leopard-2, and it considers armour, firepower and precision, maintenance, agility, ergonomy, fuekl consumption. I tend to rate the German tank as slightly better with the only exception of the latest "super-zooms" in the Abrams' gunner's sights, which can really give the US tank the egde in long range engagements and for IDying purposes. The Challenger-2 also is extremely well armoured and protected, but I have an issue with its eccentric gunning ergonomy, it also is not as agile as the American and German tank, AFAIK.

A lot also depends on the given nation's armour tactics and politics. Some states are more often in forward movement and need tank armour tailored for that, while other armies expect to be more in defensive roles only. Logistical abilities also play a role, when you compare the tremendous difference between the thirsty Abrams and the much more economic Leopards.

The Canadians got Leopards from us for Afghanistan, new models at that time, beefed up further. They love them, and have bought even more, if I'm not mistaken - much to the anger of the Americans. Practcially all Western Euopean nations (except Britain and France) decided for Leopards over Abrams. Globally, the Leopards again signs many more customers than the Abrams. And Saudi Arabia probably also bought Abrams only due to its ties to the US and its history with the US over the Iraq wars, the latter also the reason for why Iraq got Abrams.

And finally, there is crew training and crew quality.

Last edited by Skybird; 03-26-2014 at 10:12 AM.
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Old 03-26-2014, 01:04 PM   #3
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^ Excellent comparison!
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Last edited by Aktungbby; 03-26-2014 at 02:42 PM.
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Old 03-26-2014, 08:23 PM   #4
Nippelspanner
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Danke Skybird, sounds pretty legit and from thew few things I know, I also can't imagine the Leclerc being the better tank in the criteria I mentioned.

I think 12 nations use the Leopard 1+2 family world wide, that says a lot I think. The Leopard 2 is also quite cheap compared to other tanks, despite its high quality.

You mentioned that godlike magnification of the M1A2... when I tried the thing in SBP the first time, I was baffled. At least in the sim it makes long range engagements indeed much easier. Still prefer the Leo2 of course... I don't need to look my target in the eye to kill it from 4 klicks away.

Thanks again!
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Old 03-26-2014, 10:07 PM   #5
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On the Leclerc, the only user beside France, are the UAE - nobody else, apparently.

The only "Western" user of Abrams tanks, is Australia. Four other customers of the US who decided for the Abrams, are all close Middle East clients of theirs. Taiwan is considering it, so is Peru.

The Leopard-2 is used outside Europe in Singapore, Turkey, Canada, Indonesia and Chile. Practically all European tank-armies are using Leopards, except the French and the British, who use their own tanks. Its more than 12 users, therefore - 12 was the number of SBP users.

The challenger-2 serves only in Britain, and Oman.

To find a tank more successful in finding customers than the Leopards, one would need to check the Russian tanks. The T-55 - obsolete by now - has been in use in over 50 countries. They still can be met in third world conflicts.

The superzoom in the M1A2SEP is, I think, not so much for shooting, but for correctly identifying type and team of the blip the gunner sees in the thermals. That should not mean that you cannot also shoot with it.
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Old 03-30-2014, 12:35 PM   #6
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Default tank comparison

Globally, the Leopards again signs many more customers than the Abrams. And Saudi Arabia probably also bought Abrams only due to its ties to the US and its history with the US over the Iraq wars, the latter also the reason for why Iraq got Abrams.

My understanding is that in fact the Saudis were eager to purchase Leopards but because of domestic hand-wringing in Germany and endless debates they gave up and went for plan B which was to buy the American one although they clearly favoured the Leopard.
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