VK 1602 Leopard
VK 1602 Leopard
|Germany||Light Tank||Tier IV|
Developed from March through October 1942. The plans were to launch mass production in April 1943, but the project was canceled before the first prototype was built.
A scout tank. It's less maneuverable than the Luchs, but it has more than twice as much effective armor, a top turret that works well for circling and a much longer signal range.
The VK 1602 Leopard leads to the VK 2801.
|Guns compatible with this Turret:|
Pros and Cons
- Good top speed
- Good signal range
- Good armor for a tier 4 scout
- Good rate of fire
- Lower traverse speed than its peers
- Poor penetration
- Prone to being "tracked", due to their size
Its top speed of 68 km/h is easily achieved with the upgraded 585hp engine, making it an impossible target to hit for players who auto-aim, and a harder target for more experienced players too. With its 700m upgraded radio range, it ensures that targets will be relayed to artillery and teammates. While its top speed is 4 km/h slower than the A-20, it turns faster at high speeds, so it makes up for the slight lack of speed with more maneuverability. At slow speeds, though, it may feel a bit sluggish and slow to turn, especially compared to its predecessor. It has a 50mm gun, which can easily destroy any artillery within a minute. The leopard is much harder to kill with lower tier tanks than the other scouts. It offers a great amount of armor and HP pool. Due to its weight and speed, ramming enemy artillery and scouts might be a viable strategy in 1 vs 1 engagements, much like the later VK 2801.
The leopard is not as maneuverable as the T-50, but it can definitely give one a run for their money in a 1v1 fight as the T-50's guns can't reliably penetrate the Leopard's front. It is also a better light tank and scout when compared with the PzKpfw 38 nA and the M5.
Fighting with KVs
Let's start with KV-1, because the Matchmaker being as it is, the Leopard tends to encounter them a lot. So, how can you survive in a battle with a KV-1? First, you must slow it down (and it's already slow), then calmly shoot. To do this, you should shoot at the KV-1's leading roller. It may take several hits, but the KV-1 can easily be tracked. The turret turns too slow to keep up with a circling Leopard. You can slow it even more by shooting it in the joint between the turret and hull. Always try to hit there. With a critical hit, the KV-1 will be left completely defenseless. Now you can now aim carefully and cause damage by hitting the KV-1's weak spots. There are several areas that a Leopard can penetrate, but not necessarily with every hit. They are the: hatch, sides, and machine guns.
Suggested Crew Skills
- Off-Road Driving - This skill will help the Leopard maintain higher speeds instead of slowing way down with every turn or slight incline. It seems to be particularly useful for the Leopard compared with other scouts. It seems to help more than Clutch Braking since more speed is maintained through the turn.
- Repair - A tracked scout is a dead scout, then again it will be quite hard to gain speed and escape after a full stop.
- Camouflage - Active even when moving, this skill allow you to remain undetected longer, decreasing the risk of being shot at as long as you don't ram people.
Equipment and Ammunition
The Leopard should only use armor-piercing (AP) projectiles. This will easily destroy light tanks, will provide an opportunity to engage in battle with the medium tanks, and even have a good chance to penetrate high tier self-propelled guns. High-explosive projectiles (HE) are useless against tanks at high levels (considering the Leopard's low caliber gun).
- The FuG 7 radio carries over from the Luchs, as does the 2 cm Flak 38 L/112 auto-cannon.
- First you need to research the Leopardketten Ausf. B suspension. Without it, you will not be able to put other modules on, and the improved ride characteristics are valuable.
- Then research the Maybach HL 120 TRM and 157 P engines. They allow the tank to reach maximum speed, and play with them will be much more comfortable, as well as making the Leopard a true scout.
- Research the KwK 39 L/60 gun, which will make Leopard a formidable predator.
- After researching the FuG Spr. A radio, the Leopard will be completely transformed into a scout. Artillery will be able to see the targets you light up from across the map.
|Fuel Capacity:||560 litres|
|Lenght:||4.74 or 6.45m|
|Width:||3.10m or 3.27m|
|Height:||2.60m or 2.80m|
|Armament:||50mm KwK39/1 L/60|
|Ammo:||50mm - 50 rounds
7.92mm - 2400 rounds
Since 1941, plans were made for the development of a new reconnaissance tank based on the PzKpfw II Ausf J (VK 1601). In March of 1942, MIAG and Daimler-Benz received orders to build a fast (medium/heavy) reconnaissance tank, designed to operate under heavy combat conditions - Gefechtsaufklarung. MIAG was to construct the chassis, while Daimler-Benz was to construct the turret. Both were to be designed and ready for production by October of 1942. The main purpose of this vehicle was to be at HQ tank-platoons in Panzer units.
Two versions were proposed; the "Leopard (leicht)" lightly armored fast version (18ton) and the "Leopard (schwer)" heavily armored unit (26ton). The light version was quickly dropped in the Summer of 1942, in favor of the heavier one. Design of the VK 1602, named Leopard, was based on the development of previous projects such as the PzKpfw II Ausf J (VK 1601) and PzKpfw II Ausf M (VK 1301). Its hull was similar to that of the PzKpfw II Ausf J (VK 1601), but was largely influenced by the PzKpfw V Panther, which was still being developed at the time. Its suspension was made up of interleaved road wheels similar to the PzKpfw II Ausf L - Luchs and the Tiger.
It was planned that the Leopard would eventually replace the lighter PanzerSpahwagen II Ausf L Luchs - Sd.Kfz.123 (VK 1303). A mock-up was ready in May/June of 1942, and the first prototype was to be finished by the September 1st of 1942. Full scale production was to start in April of 1943.
Leopard’s armament consisted of 50mm KwK 39/1 L/60s and a 7.92mm MG34/42 in a newly designed small turret. It was also planned to use the 75mm KwK 41 gun. VK 1602s were heavily armored and had well sloped frontal armor (influenced by the Panther). The Leopard was to be powered by Maybach's HL157P engine with a total power 550hp: allowing the VK 1602 to travel at a maximum speed of 50-60km/h. In order to improve its cross-country ability, 350mm wide tracks were used. It was to be operated by a crew of four men. "Panzerprogramm 41" made provisions to build 339 Leopards (105 by December 1943 and a further 150 by mid 1944). The start of production was previously planned for April of 1943, but the entire production was cancelled in January of 1943, when the first prototype was still incomplete. The reason for cancellation was its heavy weight and lack of heavy armament, which made the vehicle vulnerable to enemy tanks. Additionally, development of the Leopard, being so similar to the Panther, became a hard sell after it was pointed out that reconnaissance Panthers could be developed and produced at a lower cost.
This concept was continued in the Daimler-Benz’s design of improved VK 2801, but this was never completed and the entire program was cancelled on May 8th of 1944. The vehicle was to be powered by Maybach's HL230 (700hp), but Daimler-Benz engines were considered as well.Finally, the task of combat reconnaissance was taken by the PzKpfw V Panther and PzKpfw IV. Eventually, Leopard’s turret, with its armament, was later utilized on the heavy armored car Sd.Kfz.234/2 Puma. Rheinmetall also planned to utilize the Leopard’s chassis as base for a 105mm leFH howitzer carrier, designated Waffentrager Leopard, and Sturmgeschuetz auf Leopard (L/70) assault gun/tank destroyer armed with the Panther’s main gun (the 75mm KwK L/70, but only wooden mock-ups were made. There was a similar project to use the Leopard as a base for the Flakpanzer armed with either the 20mm Flakvierling or 37mm Flak 36 gun, but it was never realized.