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Comparing M1 Abrams and Leopard 2 tanks can be quite challenging since some people will focus on the benefits of German engineering, while others will tend to discuss the engine and maintenance issues. Technically speaking, it’s the engine that marks a significant difference since it always comes down to that. If we take Leopard 2 tank, we are dealing with a powerful MTU MB 873 engine, which is diesel-powered. It’s also most common among European countries, thus won’t pose serious issues in terms of maintenance. Speaking of Abrams, we are talking about a slightly more powerful and quite complex engine that is turbine-based. M1 Abrams also requires additional training and knowing how all the machine parts work in case of a malfunction, which can be quite specific.
So Which Tank is Better: M1 Abrams or Leopard 2?
The question itself would be slightly irrelevant as both tanks are quite close in terms of performance. The true question is the set of skills of the crew and the specific conditions of the battlefield that would show how the operation of each tank would go. It can be compared to choosing a subject to write an assignment where it always comes down to the skills of the author, not what is being chosen. Likewise, if a person turns to Letsgradeit and talks to an expert to save time and eliminate issues, it’s always an advantage. With tanks, it’s all about finding out what is beneficial for particular objectives! Speaking of the benefits, some specialists claim that Leopard 2 would have an advantage over Abrams M1 because of the logistics issues and the spare parts. It’s an important point as well as the fuel consumption, which is much higher for Abrams M1.
Another important issue to consider is the weight as Leopard 2 is lighter than Abrams M1, being able to reach up to 40 miles per hour compared to 25-30 miles per hour, which is provided by the Abrams M1. While Abrams implements depleted uranium for the armor thickness point, Leopard 2 offers a more balanced and powerful main gun, which can also play a significant role.
Turning to the technology that is used in each tank model, we have a more advanced implementation in the case of the M1 Abrams. It offers more automation and a digital fire control system, which has proved helpful in Iraq. Their hunter-killer targeting system also compensates for the majority of accuracy issues, yet since it’s digital, one should know the system well and ensure that the additional battlefield management interface is tuned up to the immediate goals. As for Leopard 2, it also has its set of digital tools, yet it is more focused on manual operation and provides the crew with more options to stay safe in case the digital systems fail or become affected by anti-electronic equipment attacks.
The Battle Experience Problem
Comparing both tanks in practice or battlefield conditions, it is revealed that Abrams M1 had more experience and analytical writing compared to Leopard 2 where the available information is slightly limited. If we take a quick look at Operation Iraqi Freedom, we can spot various improvements, especially the addition of armor to the turret sides and the fixing of the famous side skirts issue.
Still, if we take a look at the recent reports from northern Syria, we can spot a much greater cannon accuracy with a prolonged range since we talk about a 120mm smoothbore cannon. The M1 Abrams implements a 120mm smoothbore cannon, which can be more efficient on paper, yet the practical side is not always the same. Finally, many things are determined by the cost whereas M1 Abrams is usually more expensive. Since it can play a major role in logistics and practical implementation, there’s no question as to which tank is better, it’s a matter of what’s more affordable and relevant!
Olivia Evans grew up as a true military brat by working as an educator and technology specialist across various universities. She loves to write and explore technical solutions by making complex things simple. Follow Olivia to learn new things and get your military fix.