How Gun Stabilization Works on Leopard 2

Thanks to Xardas060 for this one.

Hello everyone,

every modern main battle tank has its gun stabilized, but one of the best stabilization mechanisms is built into the Leopard 2 main battle tank. In this video, we can see the Leopard 2A5 from 11th “Lubuska” Armoured Cavalry Division of the Polish army. With the camera attached to the barrel of the gun, you can well see how the stabilizer compensates well for the rough terrain and keeps the gun levelled, allowing the vehicle to aim accurately and fire on the move.


35 thoughts on “How Gun Stabilization Works on Leopard 2

  1. looking at this thing… look at the front of the turret. its sloped in such a way (even sloped further on the LeoA6) … that if you shot right in there, ricocheting it off the under part of that beak. it would bounce off and into the top of the hull wouldnt it? or into the turret ring? the angling is suppose to up armor thickness via density. making it SEAM harder right? (not generally made in spacific to ricochet rounds, but to stop its penetration) If a KE or regular AP hits that thing it wont just mash on the armor then stop and fall to the ground right? it still has what… ~1700m/s muzzle velocity behind it. its going to go some where. armor flaw found! >:3

    • Modern rounds such as long rod penetrators basically cannot deflect, regardless of impact angle(one benefit of traveling at well over a mile per second)
      In addition, the “beak” on the face of the Leo 2 is far too thin to deflect anything that would not have otherwise failed to penetrate the tank. A 23mm cannon could probably make it through the beak, even if it were then stopped by the turret face beyond.

      • It really depends on the angles. They can ricochet, but sloped armor is not ment to defect in todays tank technology in the first place but to minimize penetration power. Every surface that is hit induces a force and direction change to the KEP, in this case there are other composite materials behind the first layer of steel that lower the speed of the round so much that it wont be able to penetrate the main armor of the turret.

    • Yes I’m sure engineers who have spent decades making this thing were too stupid to find an obvious flaw that you, random internet poster, have found instantly.

      That, or the simpler explanation that the beak is nothing more than a spaced armor sheet placed there to counter HEAT rounds.

      Don’t mix WoT with modern tanks.
      They basically are nothing alike any more.

    • Those slopes are applique armor wedges. They are not particularly thick, only some 30mm or so of armor. Behind it there is a mix of composite, kevlar and a special sand. All these layers are angled upwards, even if the outside armor is angled downwards. The sense in that is to deflect the shot upwards and break it appart into the wedge. The Kevlar stops the shrapnel ,the sand is special one that hardens when exposed to heat, so when a shot hits the wedges, it will break up on the composite layer, the sand will stop most of the heated pieces and the kevlar will stop everything else from going anywhere. It is also very effective against shaped charges, thou most shaped charges now are MP (Multi Purpose with a small HE charge behind the shaped one, so they would rip the wedge apart, thou without penetrating the tank.

      Thou most KE penetrators have enough force to go through 800mm of solid steel, it is possible to stop them with these wedges.

  2. Man, what a machine! I’m still miffed our politically incompetent and short sighted political leaders disbanded our heavy cavalry 3 years ago, purely as a cost-cutting measure without any visionairy idea behind it. How stupid can you, seriously, be?

    It’s good that we seem slowly seem to be coming back from the decision though.

  3. It’s a nice enough video, however it does not demonstrate what you state that it does;

    “…the stabilizer compensates well for the rough terrain and keeps the gun levelled, allowing the vehicle to aim accurately and fire on the move…”

    I can certainly see the gun compensating for changes in attitude of the tank hull / turret, but for a clear demonstration of how accurately the compensation system can keep the gun locked on target, I would want the camera to be facing 180 in the other direction, along the bore, have the gunner dispense with all the fancy turret-twirling, and see just how well this big girl can maintain aim on a target while traversing some awkward terrain.

    Which she can do – within limits. It’s a lovely tank, a brilliant expression of function over form.

    • ^ this.

      would love to have 1 cameras and a laser facing towards on the barrel and see how well it keeps on target.

    • Well the gunner clearly had the wheel in his hands, so most gun movement comes from the gunner rocking around in his seat and missguiding the gun. If you have it locked via targeting computer and rangefinder laser the gun is pinpoint accurate withing the elevation distances of the gun. Targeting accuracy is 93%-96% at 1000m while moving.

  4. 800 mm of rolled homogeous armor? I think only the few depleted uranium penetrators are capable of such achievement. And this poor Polish leo has to stick with obsolete DM43 not even in 450pen range.

    • No actually any modern regular 120mm KEP shells achieve that penetration power. DM-53 for the Rheinmetall 120L55 penetrates 810mm at 2000m and 90┬░.

      Before i got on the Leopard 2 i’ve served on the K├╝rassier too, an Austrian made AMX13 with 105mm GIAT gun (actually nearly the same gun the Batchat has ingame) and it could achieve 500-550mm pen with regular Tungsten-Carbide rod penetrator ammunition, and thats only 105mm, shells size was about half of the 120mm shells.

      • Nice! Thanks for the info. Can You confirm that because of longer barrell Leo2A6 suffers from inaccuracy when compared to A5?

  5. The interesting part is, if there was also stabilization in camera turned on, because that one makes a MAJOR difference when watching and comparing…

    • What makes a MAJOR difference is to turn on the targeting computer. In the video the gun wasnt computer stabilized.