OF - 40

OF - 40

Entered service in ~ 1980
Crew 4
Dimensions and weight
Total weight in combat order 45.5 t
Overall length 9 222 mm
Chassis length 6 893 mm
Overall width 3 510 mm
Overall height 2 450 mm
Armament
Main gun 105-mm rifled gun
Machine guns 2 x 7.62-mm
Traverse range 360 degrees
Combat load
Main gun 57 rounds
Machine guns 5 700 cartridges
Mobility
Engine power 830 hp.
Maximum road speed 60 km/h
Autonomy on roads 600 km
Maneuverability
Slope 60ยบ
Vertical step 1.1 m
Trench 3 m
Ford unprepared 1.2 m
Ford with preparation 3 m
In 70-ties Italian company "OTO Melara" built 720 "Leopard-1" Main Battle Tanks for the Italian army. Previously it obtained production license from the German "Krauss-Maffei" company. It allowed Italians to gain experience in tank production and furthermore it had assembling lines, required for the "Leopard-1". Such experience was materealized in the new OF-40 Main Battle Tank, that was prepared to serial production in 1980. This main battle tank was intended for export in the Near and Middle East countries. At the moment it is in service only United Arabian Emirates.Scheme of the OF-40 Main Battle Tank

The OF-40 design features a great number of "Leopard-1" parts and mechanisms. The hull and the turret are welded. Frontal armored plates are mounted in a great inclination level, thus providing better protection. Hull's boards and chassis are covered by 15 millimeters thick anti-cumulative screens.

Driving compartment is placed at the front part of the hull, from the right board. Driver operates three periscope observation devices. Furthermore middle device can be replaced with infrared night vision sight. Left from the driver there is stored part of the ammunition load.

The main gun is mounted into the three-seat turret. It is unstabilized 105-mm rifled gun, developed by "OTO Melara" company. It's design is similar to the United Kingdom developed the L7 gun of the same caliber. Ammunition load consists from the 57 rounds with three type projectiles: armor-piercing, cumulative and high-explosion fragmentation. 15 rounds are placed in the turret while the others - at the front part of the hull.

Fire control system consists from a laser rangefinder, mounted in gunners optical sight, and electronic ballistic computer. Tank commander operates 8x magnification panoramic sight with a passive night observation channel.

Additional armament consists from 7.62-mm coaxial machine gun, and one more 7.62-mm anti-aircraft machine gun, mounted over the commander's hatch. Smoke grenade launchers are mounted from the both sides of the turret.

The OF-40 Main Battle Tank is powered with the 838 Ca M500 V-type 10-cylinder diesel engine, developed by German MTU company. ZF hydro-mechanic transmission is mounted in one block with engine.

Suspension is individual, torsion. TherThe OF-40 Main Battle Tanke are 7 wheels and 3 supporting rolls from the each side. Driving sprockets are mounted rear. Track is fitted with a rubber-metallic hinge, rubbered run track, and additional removable rubber pads.

The main battle tank features good cross-country performance and maneuverability. It manages vertical step up to 1.1 meter height, 3 meter wide trench. It fords 1.2 meter depth water obstacles without preparation, and up to 3 meters preparing underwater driving equipment.

The OF-40 is completed with communication devices, automatic fire prevention system, and air filtering unit. Developing this main battle tank, designers considered to it's further usage in a hot climate countries. So the OF-40 features more capable engine cooling system, additional air filters, and air conditioner for crew members. There were taken efforts to prevent dust from getting into engine, transmission and chassis. There were developed special lubricating materials.

On the OF-40 Main Battle Tank chassis there was developed armored recovery vehicle.

In 1981 the "OTO Melara" company improved the OF-40 Main Battle Tank. The main improvement objective was to increase tank's firepower. Firstly there was mounted gun's stabilization in two planes system, and OG 14 LR fire control system, designed by "Oficine Galileo".

This new fire control system included ballistic computer, which considers to such factors as wind speed, air temperature, load's temperature, projectile's type. Furthermore additional thermo vision observation camera was mounted.

This improved variant with new fire control system was indThe OF-40 Mk.2 Main Battle Tankexed as OF-40 Mk.2. In 1985, 18 OF-40 Mk.2 Main Battle Tanks were exported to United Arabian Emirates, and the same number of OF-40, received by the same country earlier, were upgraded to Mk.2 level.

Advantages

Very good cross-country performance and maneuverability. A great number of parts are compatible with the "Leopard-1".

Disadvantages

There were no gun stabilization devices with the first serial tanks. Only 15 projectiles are stored in the turret. There are no nuclear, biological, chemical protection system, and only air filtering device instead of it.

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