Brazil refused, so Belgium to produce Leopard 1A5 ammunition

The Belgian government, through its local KNDS branch, was given the task of manufacturing 105 mm tank ammunition for the Leopard 1 from Ukraine. A hefty order amounting to several thousand rounds should have indeed been completed by this point. 

This bit of information sheds some light on the issues faced by the Leopard 1A5/A5DK earmarked for Ukraine, particularly the severe shortage of available ammunition. One alternative solution considered was tapping into the reserves held by Brazil. 

However, Brazil, one of the few remaining users of these tanks, declined to provide ammunition to Ukraine. This ultimately resulted in a German blockade on parts manufactured in the Brazilian unit of Iveco DV – KTO Guarani.

Germany allows: 105mm Leopard 1A5 tanks + APFSDS ammo go to Ukraine
Photo: Wikipedia

Brazilian nationalization

In reaction to prior events, the Brazilian Ministry of Defense has launched an upgrade project for the Leopard 1A5BR tank components, sources from various Brazilian publications affirm. This initiative has significantly galvanized local industry. 

The Brazilian Army has made a proclamation stating that a public information request procedure is now underway, a move intended to jumpstart the project. The primary goal of the project is to nationalize the components of the Leopard 1A5BR armored fighting vehicle [VBC CC] as part of the Army’s strategic program for armored forces, thus superseding the current vehicle improvement project. 

Rheinmetall might deliver 50 'stored' Leopard-1A5 tanks to Ukraine
Photo credit: Wikipedia

It appears that Belgian-made ammunition may have been a short-term resolution. However, considering the potential procurement of over 200 Leopard 1s (in assorted models) by Ukraine, even several thousand rounds of ammunition are like a drop in the ocean. There’s a clear need for additional orders.

The main purpose of Brazilian nationalization

You, as a reader, might be interested to know that when it concerns advancements in military technology, partners are actively being sought by Brazilian engineers and specialists. They are interested in a unique aspect – the mutual development of innovative spare parts. In fact, this can even be seen as a “joint makeover” of spare parts that are already in existence. 

Brazil begins own production of Leopard 1A5BR tank spare parts
Photo credit: Reddit

They aim to ensure the compatibility and interchangeable nature of the established or newly created spare parts with this proposed process. 

Beyond this, it’s crucial to know that these spare parts need to meet particular technical specifications and standards of quality. Concerns like the kind of material utilized, resistance capability, how they’re processed, performance ability, and durability all play significant roles.

Leopard 1A5

If you’re a fan of tanks, you’ll find a lot to love about the Leopard 1A5. With its upgraded front turret armor, cutting-edge EMES fire control system, and bolstered protection against ABC weapons, this modernized model of the German-made Leopard 1 tank is a force to be reckoned with. 

At the heart of the Leopard 1A5’s offense is an impressive 105 mm L7A3 rifled gun sporting a whopping 52-caliber barrel. Alongside it, you’ll find the versatile 7.62 mm MG3 machine gun – and don’t miss the extra copy mounted on the tank’s turret roof for good measure!

Making this beast move is an 830 HP MTU MB 838 CaM 500 engine boasting 10 cylinders. For smooth shifts, it’s hooked up to a ZF 4 HP 250 gearbox that gives you four forward gears and two reverse ones. 

Another noteworthy aspect about the A5 variant: it was designed with the possibility of updating the main armament to a larger, 120 mm smoothbore gun, just like the one used in the Leopard 2. But interestingly, this variant never made it to production.


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