Authors: Vollketten and Walter_Sobchak Silentstalker: Hello everyone. Today, we are going to talk about the Spanish Leopard/AMX Hybrid and how it can be a potential tier 10 Spanish branch tank (instead of yet another re-worked M47) – and yes, Spain can actually build a branch. More or less. Enjoy! Okay so despite sitting on this for some time trying to find out more I have come to a dead end with it. Basically I was chasing up rumours that Spain did some interesting tank development experiments from the late 1970’s to early 1980’s which (if we suspend the arbitrary and rather silly 1970’s cut off for a moment) would fit in game as a tier 10 tank. Yes that’s right I said it. No I’m not suggesting composite armour etc., but really, the technology should in my opinion be the cut off for inclusion of vehicles rather than a date, which has already got in-game exceptions. Enough of that though for now – back to Spain. So I should say that I cannot find any concrete source other than internet murmurings of this and a handful of photographs but let’s look at what is ‘known’. Starting with ~1970 when Spain bought 19 (first 6 delivered in November 1970) AMX-30 tanks from France to replace their ageing fleet of US tanks like the M.41 and M.47. The US and UK had suspended sales of equipment to Spain for political reasons and – as the gun on the Leopard 1 was British – the Germans couldn’t sell the Leopard to Spain at the time. So, Spain had basically had a choice of either the AMX-30 or Leopard 1 and then been forced to take the AMX-30 by the Leopard 1 being unavailable. As of ~1974, Spain actually manufactured the AMX-30 (AMX-30E) under licence still fitted with the 105mm F1 gun and a 680 hp HS-110 Diesel engine. To say they were renowned for reliability would be a mistake, basically they were terrible, horrible breakdowns and maintenance to such an extent that they not only started to improve the old and ‘replaced’ fleet of M47 and M48 tanks, but with modifications to improve the AMX-30, which in turn led to the Lince tank project. Now, I am not an engine person but Walter-Sobchak from the NA forums is and he very kindly helped me take a critical look at the engine/transmission choices – his comments are in parenthesis. Speculative part: So ‘improvement’ modifications attempted to the AMX-30E fleet they had started with a replacement Teledyne AVI-AY-1750-8 690 hp engine which required the hull to be lengthened to fit the longer engine with the wheels spaced further apart. Walter: “…the AVI-1790-8 is an air-cooled v-12 gasoline engine built by Continental motors. This was the engine that was in most of the US M-48 tanks (M48A2 and M48A2C models to be exact.) To me, this engine would have been a retrograde step in an AMX-30 since by that time Continental already had a diesel air-cooled v-12 of the same size and similar power…. [the AVDS-1790-2 or 2D] … [the] AVI-1790-8 … was a gasoline engine and already being phased out of US service by the time AMX-30 was introduced. There is nothing wrong with the AVI-1790-8, it was a good engine, but being a gasoline engine it had poor fuel economy compared to a diesel.” By 1979, the Spanish army, having had the AMX-30E production run completed in Spain, contracted with a firm in Santa Barbara to study a solution to their mechanical problems with the following desired outcomes: • Better reliability of the engine • More firepower • More ballistic protection • Better fire-fighting equipment On the prototypes developed, the Spanish army had intended to use the Allison CD-850-6A gearbox, but the apparently the French refused (I have no idea how the French could control this but I assume it to be a contractual matter), so, as a result, the French SESM ENC-200 Minerva gearbox was used for several tests instead. Prolonged AMX-30 hull • P-001 known as the ‘NLiO’ made by Chrysler-Spain in Toledo o Hull lengthened by 300mm o Hull height increased (not known by exactly how much) at the back by enough that when the turret was turned to the rear the gun could not even depress to zero degrees which is obviously really bad. o Fitted with a Continental AVDS-1790-2D engine producing 750 hp combined with an automatic Allinson CD-850-6A gearbox o Using the new hull, engine and gearbox mobility is quoted as ‘excellent’ o Walter: “…Since this was the engine and transmission combo that powered the US M-60 tank, it makes sense that they considered it. The AVDS-1790 is a fairly big engine and the AMX-30 is a very small tank, so I am not surprised at all that they had to expand the hull in order to get it to fit. …The ‘D’ at the end of the designation AVDS-1790-2D indicates that they were using a later ‘RISE’ version of the engine. RISE was a US army “product improvement” program in the 1790′s which introduced some reliability upgrades to the engine.” • P-002 fitted with an MTU MB-833 Ka-500 6 cylinder water cooled engine producing 750 hp o Walter: “P-002 has the German MTU MB-833 Ka-500 engine. This engine is part of the MB-830 series. The 833 Ka-500 is the six cylinder member of the 833 family. [as used in the Argentine TAM tank] and VCTP IFV] … the ‘Ka-500’ has “inter air coolers” on the turbo chargers while the [smaller] “Ea-500″ lacks the coolers on the turbo. The larger member of the 830 family, the MB-837 (ten cylinders) is what powers the Leopard 1 tank. All in all, the MB-830 series of engines has been a very successful product.” • P-003 fitted with a Hispano-Suiza HS-110 engine producing 720hp combined with an Allison CD-850-6A transmission o Walter: “P-003 has the standard AMX-30 engine but with the Allison CD-850 transmission. This is essentially the same transmission used in the US M-60 tank as well as the Israeli Sho’t Cal (modified Centurion.) This is a very reliable and capable* transmission although it really can’t handle anything above 750HP or a vehicle more than 60 tons or so.… For a tank the weight of an AMX-30, the CD-850 would be perfectly fine.” • P-004 fitted with a Teledyne-Continental AVDS-1790-2C engine and an Allison CD850-6A transmission o Walter: “P-004 is almost the same thing as P-001. Same transmission and the engine is almost identical. The only difference between an AVDS-1790-2D and an AVDS-1790-2C is that the ‘D’ version has a 300 amp alternator while the ‘C’ version has an 650 amp alternator. Continue reading →

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