posted on Jun, 21 2004 @ 06:51 AM
The M1A2 has the best accelerating, quietest, and most fuel-versatile engine. There Leopard is next with a pending 1650HP upgraded diesel. All others
tie except Challenger 2, which I am nicknaming little maginot, because it is impenetrable but immobile.
The Leopard's L55, followed by the M256 used by M1A2 and Leclerc, with Merkava next (presumably using an L44 120mm, although i couldn't find
details) and the poor Challenger bringing up the rear with their rifled cannon and HESH rounds.
The Armor of the Challenger 2 is second to none. The M1A2 would likely absorb a hit from the Challenger2 or Merkava 4, or any Russian tank up to T-90.
The Merkava is yet to be tested but is likely on par with the Leopard 2, which is repsectable. Considering weight, the Leclerc is probably a tin can,
intended to shoot and scoot on European hills rather than to slug it's way through constricting terrain. (which makes it perfect for the next time
Germany invades... I'd say we're over-due.)
The fire control seems comparable for all, except that not many details were availble on the Merkava 4, and there are rumors of serious bugs in the
Leclerc because of its reliance on so much new software and electronics.
Considering extras... you have to give it to the Merkava 4 though. The troop carrying compartment, the modular (read upgradable) armor, and the long
range lahat missile are going to make Merkavas effective in a wide range of terrains.
As for the idea that the Challenger 2's armor is the reason it hasn't taken losses in iraq; All tanks, including challenger 2, are vulnerable to
well-placed volley-firing by light anti-tank weapons, as well as to howitizer shells (which are being used as IEDs in Iraq). The Challenger 2 is not
being used as widely, and is not seeing action in the same areas of Iraq. If the Challenger 2 were operating in the cities, especially in al An-bar,
and Najaf in particular, they would take losses. This effect would be increased if the Challenger 2 had the bad fortune to be in the hands of a
reservist. If Iraq has taught the pentagon ANYTHING it had better be that you can't trust reservists. (especially mechanics from west virginia!)
EDIT: Kozzy, I am curious about your rating of the top tanks. How closely do you rate leo and merkava? I see the case for the merkava (cost
effectivenessa and troop capacity) but I couldn't bring myself to take sides against german engineering and the best cannon in the field, especially
when the merkava 4s armor is untested. (unless of course it was the same kind of armor on the Merkava 3s that got eaten alive in the Yom Kippur
[edit on 21-6-2004 by The Vagabond]