VK 1602 Leopard

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Light Tank VK 1602
Type Reconnaissance vehicle
Place of origin Nazi Germany
Service history
In service Never produced
Production history
Designed 1942
Specifications (as designed)
Weight 21,900 kilograms (48,300 lb)
Length 4.74 metres (15 ft 7 in)
Width 3.1 metres (10 ft 2 in)
Height 2.6 metres (8 ft 6 in)
Crew 4

Armor 20-80mm
Main
armament
50mm KwK 39/1 L/60
Secondary
armament
7.92mm MG34 or MG42
Engine Maybach HL 157 P
550 horsepower (410 kW)
Suspension torsion bar
Fuel capacity 560 litres
Operational
range
165 kilometres (103 mi) (on roads)
Speed 55 kilometres per hour (34 mph) (on roads)

The light tank VK 1602 Leopard was a planned German reconnaissance vehicle designed from March through October 1942, with the serial production scheduled for April 1943, but the project was abandoned before the first prototype was built. It was originally planned to arm the vehicle with the 75 mm KwK 41, although that was changed to a smaller 50 mm cannon which was used on late Pz IIIs. The VK 1602 had largely sloped frontal armour, influenced by the Panther medium tank. In order to increase cross-country performance, the VK 1602 was fitted with 350 mm wide tracks. Production was scheduled to begin in April 1943, but the project was cancelled in January of that same year. The reason for this was that the 50 mm L/60 was insufficient for combat against modern Soviet and Western tanks, though it was useful against the British and American light tanks and Soviet amphibious light tanks. Also, the Leopard had a very high weight and the Sd.Kfz. 234 armoured car (also armed with a 50 mm cannon) could be used as a scout, though it was more vulnerable and could not traverse rough ground as easily. The Leopard chassis was also planned for use as the base for either a 20 mm Flakvierling mount (quadruple 20 mm anti-aircraft guns) or a single 37 mm gun in an anti-aircraft turret.

Specifications[edit]

  • Weight: 21900 kg
  • Crew: 4 men
  • Engine: Maybach HL 157 P / 12-cylinder / 550 hp
  • Speed: Road: 50–60 km/h / Cross-Country: –km/h
  • Range: Road: 165 km / Cross-Country: —km
  • Fuel Capacity: 560 litres
  • Length: 4.74 m (15 ft 7 in) or 6.45m
  • Width: 3.10 m (10 ft 2 in) or 3.27m
  • Height: 2.60 m (8 ft 6 in) or 2.80 m (9 ft 2 in)
  • Armament: 50mm KwK 39/1 L/60 & 1 x 7.92mm MG34/42
  • Ammo: 50mm - 50 rounds
  • 7.92mm - 2400 rounds
  • Armor: 20-80mm

External links[edit]