Armor: October 20, 2001


Australia is concerned that its 90 Leopard-1 tanks (which form the bulk of its ground combat power) are becoming increasingly obsolete and hard to maintain. The supply of spare parts (which comes mostly from Germany) are no longer new parts, but reconditioned parts removed from other Leopard-1s. The steel armor is old (the tanks were made from 1976-80) and can now be penetrated by 25mm discarding sabot shells (something discovered in a firing range accident). --Stephen V Cole


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