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June 27, 2019updated 01 Nov 2021 12:09pm

The world’s top 10 main battle tanks

Since the Cold War main battle tanks (MBTs) have evolved from being simple and light to heavy, modernised and highly mobile, with advancements in weaponry and countermeasures. Army-technology.com lists the top 10 main battle tanks in the world based on weaponry, mobility and protection.

Leopard 2A7+, Germany

The Leopard 2A7+ is a next-generation main battle tank (MBT) revealed by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) in 2010. The new version leverages the technology of the Leopard 2 MBT and has been adopted by the Bundeswehr (German Army) to conduct warfare in urban areas, as well as traditional military missions. The 2A7+ is also presently deployed in Afghanistan by Canada under Nato command.

The Leopard 2A7+ is armed with 120mm L55 smoothbore gun capable of firing standard Nato ammunition and new programmable 120mm HE-rounds. The tank integrates an FLW 200 remotely controlled light weapon station mounting a 7.62mm/ 12.7mm machine gun or a 40mm grenade launcher.

Attached passive armour modules offer all-round protection from anti-tank missiles, mines, improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and RPG fire. The smoke grenade launchers on either side of turret conceal the tank from enemy observation. The MBT can be fitted with additional attachments such as a mine plough, mine roller or a dozer blade for clearing mines and obstacles. This highly mobile tank has a maximum speed of 72km/h and cruising range of 450km.

Abrams M1A2, United States of America

The Abrams M1A2 is a combat proven main battle tank developed by General Dynamics Land Systems, primarily for the US Army. The tank was designed based on the experience gained from the performance of M1A1 and incorporates new technologies to deliver superior firepower and mobility, making it one of the best battle tanks in the world.

The main gun of the tank is a manually loaded 120mm XM256 smoothbore cannon, which can fire a range of Nato ammunition against armoured vehicles, infantry and low-flying aircraft. The tank is also armed with two 7.62mm M240 machine guns and a .50 cal M2 machine gun and can store 42 rounds of 120mm, 11,400 rounds of 7.62mm, 900 rounds of 50 calibre ammunition, 32 screening grenades and 210 rounds of 5.56mm ammo.

The Abrams M1A2 integrates heavy exterior composite armour and steel-encased depleted uranium armour at the forward hull and turret to offer a high level of protection to its crew. The tank has a cruising range of 426km and can travel at a maximum speed of 67.5km/h.

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