Belgian company John Cockerill unveils an upgrade of the Leopard 1 Main Battle Tank (MBT) with the integration of the tracked chassis of ex-Belgian Leopard 1A5BE MBT and its Cockerill 3105 turret at Eurosatory 2022, International Defense Exhibition in Paris, France. The leopard 1 tank was widely used in the 80s and 90s there are still a number of them in service and country are looking to upgrade the fire control capability and while the company looked at taking the existing turret and trying to make modifications. John Cockerill discovered it’s actually easier to take the company current 3105 turret which the company have produced over 100 examples of in the last couple of years and to integrate it directly onto the Leopard 1 chassis.
The Leopard 1 is a main battle tank designed and produced by Porsche in West Germany that first entered service in 1965. Developed in an era when HEAT warheads were thought to make conventional heavy armour of limited value. The Leopard 1 quickly became a standard of many European militaries, and eventually served as the main battle tank in over a dozen countries worldwide, with West Germany, Italy and the Netherlands being the largest operators until their retirement. The Leopard 2 has replaced the Leopard 1 in service with many other nations as well, with derived vehicles using the Leopard 1 hull still seeing service. Currently, the largest operators are Greece (with 501 1A5GR and 19 1A4GR), Turkey (170 A1 and 227 A3), Brazil (with 128 BE and 250 1A5) and Chile (with 120 Leopard 1V).
The actual integration took less than a day the company had to make one adapter ring to suit the bearing and one cable to connect the power and everything else is in the turret so now the tank have a completely up-to-date electronic architecture two-man turret with a 12-round autoloader with its cannon capable of elevating to 45 degrees a high-pressure 105 gun made in John Cockerill facility in northern france. The Cockerill 3105 turret shown here has a Cockerill 105 mm HP rifled gun fed by an autoloader with a 12 or 16 round capacity. The Cockerill 3105 offers a mature and qualified solution for wheeled and tracked platforms. The same turret also arms the Turkish-Indonesian Kaplan MT Medium Tank and South Korean Hanwa K21-105 Medium Tank.
Based on an unprecedented modular concept, the Cockerill® 3000 Series is a single platform enabling guns of different calibers and their corresponding technological modules to be integrated onto the same turret: automatic 25 mm, 30 mm, 30/40 mm, 35 mm and 50 mm caliber guns, along with direct fire guns of 90 and 105 mm, which are also able to fire anti-tank missiles. Modular, these systems are designed to evolve at moderate cost according to the needs of their users. John Cockerill, formerly Cockerill Maintenance & Ingénierie (CMI), is a mechanical engineering group headquartered in Seraing, Belgium. It produces machinery for steel plants, industrial heat recovery equipment and boilers, as well as shunting locomotives and military equipment.