Leopard 2A5-DK

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The Leopard 2A5DK in Steel Beasts Professional

Leopard 2A5DK: Main Battle Tank



Statistics

Main gun: 120mm Rheinmetall L44
Ammunition Stowage: 15 ready/27 stowed
Default Ammunition "A": 9/16 DM33 APFSDS, 6/11 DM12 HEAT, 0/0 DM33 APFSDS, 0/0 DM33 APFSDS


Coaxial machine gun: 7.62mm MG3
Ammunition Stowage: 500 ready/4250 stowed
Default Ammunition: 500/4250 7.62mm NATO


Grenade Dischargers: Grenades
Ammunition Stowage: 26 ready/8 stowed*
Default Ammunition: 12/6 Smoke, 4/2 HE

  • The HE grenades represent single rounds, but the smoke is fired as salvos using the left/right dischargers. The scenario editor should reduce the ready smoke to 2 shots.


Armor protection:
Frontal Turret Armor: 860mm-970mm KE, 1720-2000mm HEAT
Frontal Hull Armor: 620mm KE, 750mm HEAT
(from SB documentation)
Equipped with spall liners


Combat Mass: 60 tonnes
Length: 7.72m (Hull)
Width: 3.74m
Height 2.79m
Engine Power: 1500hp MTU MB 873 Ka-501 V-12 diesel
Top Speed: 72kph

General

The Leopard 2A5DK are upgrades of ex-German Leopard 2A4, incorporating additional front hull protection and the distinctive 'wedge' armor on the front and sides of the turret. The gunner's sight hole has been filled and the GPS moved to the turret roof, which improves the protection given by the front turret. However as the armor is not continuous across the right face it may be weaker than a newly built turret of the same final configuration, and the Hellenic army rejected upgraded turrets that it tested for providing inadequate protection in this area.

The fire control system is an integrated system incorporating a TIS system and a fixed magnification daysight. The commander has both a day and thermal image channel available on his independent sight, and can view his thermal image or the GPS feed on a relaxed viewing screen. The Leopard 2 commander can control the gun if the gunner is disabled, and can use the laser range finder, but is unable to apply dynamic lead and cannot control the gun in degraded fire control modes.

The Leopard 2 stores most of its ammunition in the hull, and is very vulnerable during the transfer of rounds from the secondary storage into the ready racks, as the turret must be rotated to the right rear and the vehicle cannot fight. The default DM33 ammunition lacks long range penetration for consistent effect on modern tanks.

Two additional models of Danish specific Leopards were added with revision 3.002: the Leopard 2A5A1 and Leopard 2A5A2. Principal differences include the addition of the Rheinmetall DM11 HEF-T round, a modified Auxiliary Sight reticle to match the new round (Leo 2A5A1 and A2), integration of the Barracuda camouflage net system - thereby reducing thermal signature - and the mounting of anti-RPG "slat" style cage armor along the vehicle's sides and rear (the last two available on the Leo 2A5A2 only).

Beginning with revision 4.156 all variants of the Leopard 2A5DK may be equipped with the Diehl Active Vehicle Protection System (AVePS) to enhance protection against RPG and ATGM threats.

Thermal Signature

Leo2A5DK and Leo2A5A1DK TIS image, front-right Leo2A5DK and Leo2A5A1DK TIS image, rear-left

Leo2A5A2DK TIS image, front-right Leo2A5A2DK TIS image, rear-left

Crew Positions

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Tank Commander's Position F7

File:Leo2A5DK TC unbuttoned.jpg
TC's unbuttoned view

In Steel Beasts the tank commander's (TC) position on the Leopard 2A5 is fully crew-able and fully modeled. The various displays and optics can be accessed by clicking on them in the 3d view or by using the normal "Steel Beasts" hotkey assignments. The TC's position is accessed by pressing F7.

From this position the user can raise and lower their perspective (and exposure level) by holding the Q key (to go up) and the Z key (to go down). The TC can also button or unbutton (close and open the TC's hatch) by pressing the B key (toggle). While unbuttoned, the TC may also wish to use binoculars to get a closer view on a distant area by pressing the N key (toggle).

The TC also has smoke grenades at his disposal. The TC can fire smoke salvos by pressing TAB, once all loaded grenades are expended the grenade launches will need to be reloaded. For close defense against dismounted infantry the TC has HE grenades loaded in several of the tubes. These have a short range but are set to burst in the air to maximize their effect against dismounted infantry in cover. With practice these can be quite useful if engaged in close terrain, they are fired by pressing the G key.

  • The usefulness of the smoke grenade launches should not be underestimated, and it is one of the most useful tools at the disposal of the TC. Smoke grenade launchers are a vital tool for the security of the vehicle and should be used for a variety or reasons. These include, but are not limited to: attempting to break contact with the enemy, protection against non thermal sight equipped threats, and protecting the vehicle from enemy attempts to range you with an laser range finder. At the same time, care should be taken on when smoke is deployed since you are basically announcing your location to anyone else who might be unaware of it.


Commander's Periscope (PERI)

TC's Peri Housing

The commander's periscope is mounted in a fully traversable sight hood. This has been moved on the Leopard 2A5DK to a position behind the commander's hatch, freeing up the view to the commander's front from the unbuttoned position.

The TC can access the PERI sight by pressing F3.

Once the user is at the PERI gun sight, the user can traverse the sight using either the mouse, or joystick (both of which represent the cupola's powered traverse mode). When the fire control system and turret drives are functional the commander can align the gun and the PERI by using the Joystick HAT-UP or UP ARROW and HAT-DOWN or DOWN ARROW. "Up" corresponds to the commander overriding the gunner's controls, bringing the turret to the current PERI alignment and "Down" slaves the PERI to the gun, allowing the commander to observe the gunner's target. P cancels the gun-Peri alignment and allows gunner and commander to scan different sectors again.

The reticle on the PERI is a fixed size, and is only usable for range estimation at high mag (x8), a wider overview is available at low mag (x2). This is particularly useful on the Leopard 2A5DK as the Gunner's primary sight only has a high mag day channel. The numbers around the reticle represent the current facing of the turret. The gun and PERI are roughly aligned if "12" appears at the top.

The Leopard 2 commander can fire the main gun if in Override mode, but never has access to dynamic lead, and using the Num Pad * must place the FCS into "KW" mode to enable lasing from the TC's position. The absence of dynamic lead requires the commander to estimate and manually apply lead on moving targets.

Commander's TIM panel

File:Leo2A5DK TIM.jpg
TC's TIM panel

The PERI has a second mode - A high resolution FLIR or forward looking infra-red camera. The imagery from this is displayed on the screen directly in front of the commander when the 'mode light' indicates TIM mode is active. The commander can also view imagery from GPS sight on this display when the light indicates EMES as the data source. Click on the screen in the 3d cockpit or press F2 to access this screen and its controls.

Clicking on the VIDEO switch will change the display source between the high resolution commander's TIM, and the gunner's EMES sight.

The TIM is a thermal imaging system, with three levels of zoom, x3, x12, and x24 which can be toggled by pressing the N key. The polarity of the image can be adjusted by using the NUMPAD - key.

The EMES display has both the gunner's TIS with x3 and x12 zoom, but which is noticeably less clear than the TIM display, and a synthetic image of the gunner's daysight. The EMES daysight is displayed in greyscale, and has a fixed zoom of x12. As this lacks the high contrast of the TIS and TIM displays, and lacks the clarity and color visible in the PERI sight this is perhaps the least useful of the commander's modes available.

The PERI and TIM sight are housed together in the same housing and can be steered independently from the turret as described for the PERI sight. Pressing the UP HAT or UP ARROW aligns the gun to the current viewing direction of the PERI, and pressing DOWN HAT or the DOWN ARROW aligns the PERI to the gun.

While the red light on the left is lit, the commander has control of the gun, this condition is lit when the EMES 'KW' mode is selected using the NUMPAD * key or when the TIM mode is active with the gun slaved to the PERI. The laser rangefinder is only available to the EMES 'KW' mode. Press CONTROL, BUTTON #2 or the RIGHT MOUSE BUTTON to lase.

It is important to remember that the TC can override the gunner by pressing the UP-Arrow key - however the GPS will turn to the current PERI direction, so it is important to first slave the PERI to the GPS Down-Arrow. While looking through the GPSE in the override mode, the TC can move the turret and engage targets if necessary. By pressing either the Down-Arrow or the P key, you are giving control back to the gunner. As in the optical PERI mode, the commander does not have dynamic lead, and must place the PERI into "KW" mode before he can use the laser rangefinder.


TC's vision block view

File:Leo2A5DK TC visionblock.jpg
TC's vision block view

On some occasions the TC may need to quickly look around the vehicle without having to spin the turret and without having to expose himself to hostile fire. Although the PERI allows this, the Leopard 2A5DK retains conventional vision blocks as well. The vision block view allows the TC to remain safely inside the vehicle and quickly scan around for close threats. It is most useful when enemy infantry are in the immediate area. Access the TC's vision block view from the F1 by clicking on the blocks or by pressing F4. The field of view of each vision block is fairly limited, but the total area that can be seen from each block can be increased by moving the direction of view, and coverage overlaps from one block to the next - the mouse or joystick can be used to quickly and seamlessly pan the TC's view from vision block to vision block, allowing him to scan around the vehicle. While the vision block view completely protects the TC from hostile fire it offers no magnification.


Key listing for Leo2A5DK TC's position


General Commands:

TAB: Pop smoke. Launches smoke grenades to deploy a smoke screen in the direction that the turret is facing. Useful for breaking up enemy LRF or completely obscuring your vehicle against a non thermal sight equipped threat. Multispectral smoke will block the sight of a vehicle with thermal sights as well, but prevents observation by the crew of the protected tank as well.

G: Launch HE grenade. Fires a short range airburst grenade to discourage close range attacks by dismounted infantry.

P: Cancel Override. Returns control of turret to gunner and PERI to commander.

Q: Raise position in hatch. Moves the TC's view and exposure level up in the hatch.

Z: Lower position in hatch. Moves the TC's view and exposure level down in the hatch.

B: Button hatches. Moves the TC's view down and closes the hatch. This is useful for protection from artillery and small-arms. A second press unbutton's the hatch, to a covered-protected position, with a third press opening the hatches completely.

N: Multipurpose zoom (toggle). When the TC is unbuttoned, this will bring toggle the binocular view. When the TC is inside the turret this key will make the TC lean forward, essentially zooming in on that spot in the turret. In PERI mode and on the TIM screen this switches between high and low magnification.

ARROW LEFT / ARROW RIGHT: When in the TC's eye view F1, pressing these keys will cause the TC to face to the left or right of the main gun (turret).

ARROW UP: Multipurpose. When in the TC's eye view F1, pressing this key will cause the TC to face in the direction of the gun (turret). When in the TC's PERI or PERI-GPSE sight, initiate Override. Slews turret to PERI and passes control to commander.

ARROW DOWN: Multipurpose. When in the TC's eye view F1, pressing this key will cause the TC to face to the rear of the turret. When in the TC's PERI or PERI-GPSE sight. Align PERI to gun. Slews PERI to align with the Gun, and passes locks the PERI to the Gunner's view.

NUMPAD *: Engages the commander override and sets fire control system to "KW" mode, allowing the use of the Laser in PERI and EMES replication modes.


Driver related commands:

SHIFT + BACKSPACE: Shut down / start up engine (toggle). Orders the driver to shut off or start up the engine. If the TC is a platoon leader then it orders the platoon to execute a "short count" and simultaneously shut down or start up their engines.

W: Driver, move out. Instructs the driver to move forward (press again for increased speed.

S: Driver, stop. Instructs the driver to stop.

X: Driver, backup. Instructs the driver to reverse.

A: Driver, go left. Instructs the driver to go left (hold the key).

D: Driver, go right. Instructs the driver to go right (hold the key).


Gunner related commands:

BACKSPACE: Battle sight range (BSGT). This key represent the "BSGT" button on the commander's control panel which, when pressed, puts 1200m into the ballistic computer and dumps all lead calculations. This button should be used when the TC wants to gives a battle sight engagement, basically a tank becomes visible at 1200m or less. With battle sight in place, the gunner need not lase the target, he only needs to point and fire.

SPACE BAR: Multipurpose. Orders the gunner to fire at a target he is looking at when not overriding the gunner. If the TC is overriding the turret, the this will fire the main gun.

H: Hold fire. Orders the gunner to hold fire. If the TC is a platoon leader then it will also order the platoon to hold fire.

F: Fire at will. Orders the gunner to fire at will. If the TC is a platoon leader then it will also order the platoon to fire at will.

E: Engage. Orders the gunner to engage, and instructs the driver to take up a battle position. If the TC is a platoon leader then it orders the platoon to engage and take up a battle position in the direction of the user's view.

,: Manual mode. Orders to gunner to put the turret in manual mode.

.: Emergency mode. Orders the gunner to put the fire control system in emergency mode.

/: Normal mode. Orders the gunner to put the fire control system in normal mode (default). This is the only mode in which the Leopard 2A5 commander can override.

M: Coax / Main gun (toggle). Orders the gunner to toggle between the main gun and coax to engage targets.

SHIFT + ARROW LEFT: Gunner, scan left. Orders the gunner to put move the turret approximately 45 degrees to the left and scan for targets.

SHIFT + ARROW RIGHT: Gunner, scan right. Orders the gunner to put move the turret approximately 45 degrees to the right and scan for targets.

SHIFT + ARROW UP: Gunner, scan front. Orders the gunner to put the gun over the front and scan for targets.


Loader related commands:

INSERT: Fire, fire sabot. Orders the loader to start loading sabot after the next round is fired. Holding SHIFT and pressing this key will instruct the loader to reload this round type from the semi ready rack. Pressing INSERT twice instructs the loader to attempt to remove the loaded round and load sabot instead.

DELETE: Fire, fire HEAT. Orders the loader to start loading HEAT after the next round is fired. Holding SHIFT and pressing this key will instruct the loader to reload this round type from the semi ready rack. Pressing DELETE twice instructs the loader to attempt to remove the loaded round and load HEAT instead.

HOME: Fire, fire (ammo type 3). Orders the loader to start loading ammo type 3 (if there is any) after the next round is fired. Holding SHIFT and pressing this key will instruct the loader to reload this round type from the semi ready rack. Pressing HOME twice instructs the loader to attempt to remove the loaded round and load this type instead.

END: Fire, fire (ammo type 4). Orders the loader to start loading ammo type 4 (if there is any) after the next round is fired. Holding SHIFT and pressing this key will instruct the loader to reload this round type from the semi ready rack. Pressing END twice instructs the loader to attempt to remove the loaded round and load this type instead.

SHIFT + PAGE DOWN: Reload all. Orders the tank crew to reload all weapons systems.

Note: You should be turret down before reloading the ready rack as the turret must be turned to the 5 o'clock position to access the stored rounds.


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Gunner's Position F6

In Steel Beasts the gunner's position on the Leopard 2A5DK is fully crew-able. The gunner's position is accessed by pressing F6.


Gunner's Primary Sight (GPS)

This gunner's primary sight (GPS) is the primary sight the gunner utilizes to engage and destroy targets. The GPS view is accessed by pressing F2.


Thermal Imaging Sight (TIS)

The most useful aspect of the GPS view is the thermal imaging system (TIS). Activate the TIS by pressing + on the num pad.

In 3x magnification, the reticle will display a set of brackets around the center of the sight. These brackets show the area that the 12x magnification will zoom into. The TIS 3x sight is used to quickly scan the terrain, looking for any hot spots that stand out in the view. Once a heat signature is spotted, press N to zoom in, switching the sight to 12x magnification.

In this view you can track, lase and engage a target. The TIS 12x view is excellent for engaging targets that may be behind woods or vegetation, behind thin clouds of dust, and behind conventional smoke screens. The TIS is also at an extreme advantage over non TIS equipped foes in low visibility conditions such as night, poor weather, or fog. The disadvantage of the TIS view is that target identification can be difficult, especially at long range (depending on the quality of the sight). As a trigger puller, you need to be extremely certain that what you are observing indeed is an enemy vehicle before committing an act of fratricide. The best way to be certain of this (in good visibility) is to switch to daylight view once a target is acquired. That said, gunners with experience will memorize thermal signatures of all vehicles to the point that they can identify targets in the TIS as effectively as they can in daylight view.


Daylight Sight
File:Leo2A5DK daylight 12x.jpg
GPS daylight view, fixed 12x magnification

The daylight view of the GPS sight is mostly used when the TIS is damaged or, in good visibility conditions, to better identify targets. If you are currently in the thermal view, you can switch to daylight view by pressing the + key (on the num pad).

There is only a single fixed zoom level in the daylight sight.


Sight Symbology
GPS aiming reticle, daylight view

In both the TIS and daylight view, you will see a set of nearly identical symbols in the bottom of the sight and a reticle in the center of the sight: these are referred to as the gun sight symbology.

The GPS aiming reticle is located in the center of the primary sight day view and is used for aiming at the target. The center of the reticle is a circle (or a cross with an empty center in the thermal view) indicating the dispersion of the laser range finder's beam. If possible, that center circle should be covered completely by the target silhouette to avoid multiple range returns.

The set of numbers in the lower part of the sight is the range, in 10 meters, that is currently entered in the fire control system (FCS). This range is either entered manually by the user (through the use of the computer control panel (CCP)), entered by the "E1000" button, or entered automatically when the laser range finder (LRF) is used, the latter being the most common and is referred to as "lasing".

The range reading is preceded by an F or a zero, indicating the arming status of the gun, and followed by a letter indicating the ammunition that the loader has put into the gun (see below). The F will appear when a number of conditions are met (most notably the loader's arming button must be pressed to "Fire") and signifies that the gun is ready to fire.

If, when the gunner lased the target, the laser passed through an obstruction (or went beyond the target and caught a piece of it) you may receive returns from multiple distances. The range figure is blinked as a warning that you may have an inaccurate range to the target. The Leopard 2A5DK always can use either first or last return on the LRF: to minimize possibilities of erroneous multiple returns you should lase center of mass of close targets, on more distant targets you should lase high in first return mode if the target is un-obscured by foliage or smoke, or low on the target with the laser in last return mode. The mode is selected based on the button used to activate the laser - CTRL or Joystick button 2 is last return and Joystick button 4 is first return. Wheeled vehicles can be a problem at longer ranges as there is more gap for the beam to spill underneath the target. The sight should be returned to center of mass before applying dynamic lead and firing if offset lasing is performed.

When the gun is ready to fire , the first character in the range group is an "F", and when the gun is not ready an "O" is displayed. The final character displays the round type loaded, with "A" corresponding to ammo_type 1 (sabot), "b" for ammo_type 2 (HEAT or HE), "C" for empty or for ammo_type 3 and 4 (DM33, DM33 PELE or Canister). "d" is reserved for the coaxial mg.


Engaging Targets

Engaging targets with the GPS can be a complicated affair. Obviously the first thing you need to do to engage a target is to acquire it. The best way to do this is by using the TIS 3x sight.


Lasing

Once a target is acquired, the gunner should switch to 12x magnification by pressing N or change to x12 day sight view Numpad + and place the center of the reticle on the target and lase by pressing CTRL or Joystick Button 2. First return lasing in the Leopard 2A5DK is accomplished rocking the Lase switch in the opposite direction, and this is simulated using Joystick Button 4 by default - this differs from the M1A1 which uses the same push button and a mode switch on the control panel. Lasing the target only obtains range in the Leopard 2A5DK, lead (pronounced "leed") is only calculated when requested by the gunner (which needs only to be done if the target is moving, irrespective of the Leopard's own movement status.


Lead

The FCS on the Leopard 2A5DK can calculate and induce lead when required. Lead is the term used to refer to putting a gun sight in front of a target which is moving perpendicular to your vantage point. When you lead a target, you essentially need to fire in front of target at the point in which the round and target will meet. When the gunner presses the dynamic lead button P (or middle mouse button or joystick button 3), the Leopard 2A5DK FCS will begin calculating lead. The lead is only calculated while the dynamic lead button is kept depressed. The reticle does not move in the sight, and lead is only applied to the gun tube. When a moving target is lased, the turret will jump ahead of the target in order to apply the appropriate lead. The ballistic computer calculates lead depending on the range entered into the computer from the lase and the horizontal rate of traverse of the turret.

  • The Leopard 2A5DK uses a dual axis head mirror on the GPS. This allows a steady reticle position as the gunner tracks the target, unlike on the M1 and M1A1. The gun is offset from the sight-line as required by the FCS to allow for range and tracking rates.

A "good track" is when you can assume a steady track on the target with the reticle remaining on target as you follow it for a second or so. A "bad track" is when your tracking rate is either too fast or too slow in relation to the targets actual movement; track the target too fast and the reticle slowly moves in front of the target, track the target too slow and the reticle will fall behind. If you fire with a "bad track" then you are most likely going to shoot in front of or behind the target.

One of the most popular aiming errors in the Leopard 2 is to correct the aim of a bad track immediately before pulling the trigger. This will be interpreted by the fire control system as a radical change of course of the target, so the stabilization system will make the gun point in the opposite direction, resulting in a miss. Reduce a tracking that is too fast only gently, and you will hit.

It is possible to engage close or slow moving targets with an estimated lead by using the reticle graduations, and this is often faster without sacrificing much accuracy, especially for sabot rounds. It is a necessity to practice this for degraded gunnery modes anyway, see below.

The Leopard 2A5DK will adjust the range to a target and countersteer the turret based on the current range and the speed and angle of movement of the firing vehicle. Dynamic lead is only required to compensate for target movement. The validity of the range calculated and the accuracy of the counterrotation of the turret depends on the correct initial range being returned to the FCS, and only allows short changes in range (eg between the turret down and hull down positions).


Indexing Ammo

If the TC orders a change of the main gun ammo type (ie. from sabot to HEAT), the loader identifies the new ammo type when the round is loaded by pushing the appropriate button on his control panel which tells the ballistic computer which trajectory data to calculate. This is referred to as "indexing" the round type.

Although indexing the round is not the gunner's task in the Leopard 2A4, it is still necessary to pay attention to the commander's ammunition orders, and the loader's responses, as certain ammunition types are not effective against targets behind cover, and slower rounds require additional manual lead in a battle sight engagement.


Manually Inputting Range
Computer control panel (CCP)

There may be instances when the gunner must manually index a range into the Computer Control Panel (CCP), located to the right of the Gunner's Control Panel. This may be necessary if a target cannot be lased through a smoke screen and another tank in the platoon has a good range on it, or the gunner wants to make an estimate, or for a variety of other reasons including failure of the laser. To manually input a range into the CCP, the ballistic computer must be set to manual range mode under "ENTFURNUNG", and the rotary dial used to increase and decrease range.

  • Notice that range is input in the Leopard 2 in "dekameters", that is, the last digit of the range is always assumed to be a zero.

Lastly, the primary sight's symbology will always read F999 if manual range is entered into the ballistic computer, with the actual range in dekameters displayed on the computer control panel.

The gunner can also enter the battle sight range into the ballistic computer, using the Gunner's Control Panel (GCP) between the Computer Control Panel and the GPS. Select the "E 1000" button, which illuminates indicating the range has been passed to the ballistic computer. The GPS now indicates a range of "E150". In SB, battle sight can be activated using the Backspace key or by clicking on the "E 1000" button on the GCP.


Firing

Once a target is lased and, if the target is moving, a steady track with dynamic lead is held, the gun is ready to be fired. To fire the main gun press SPACEBAR or Joystick Button 1. The round will now be launched down range and the enemy will hopefully be rewarded with a quick and painless death.


Gunner's Auxiliary Sight (GAS)

The gunner's auxiliary sight (GAS) is the gunner's secondary means to engage targets when the GPS is disabled or when the fire control system has a fault. On the Leopard 2A5-DK the GAS is less useful than most of the other tanks when determining whether the gun tube is clear of a forward obstruction (like a berm or ridge line). This is because the sight has been moved to an armoured box above the mantlet to reduce the number of holes required in the frontal armour. Press F3 to access the GAS.

The GAS sight has a fixed 8x magnification and is always aligned with the gun. The upshot of this is that in normal mode the sight will elevate with the gun during reloading, meaning the gunner cannot sense the fall of his shot. In order to rectify this, the GAS should be used in emergency (.) or manual (/) modes.


Sight Symbology

The GAS sight is fairly simple to understand. Depending on the tank model and ammunition carried, between two and five range scales will flank the center reticle on the left and right. For the Leopard 2A5 there are two range scales for KE and HEAT rounds to the left, while the Leopard 2A5A1 and A2 have five scales: MG, HEAT, and DM33 (Sabot) to the left, and BGR (DM11 HE) and DM63 (Sabot) to the right. The numbers on these scales represent the range to the target in hundreds of meters. Range to the target can be provided by other vehicles in the platoon, by comparison of the target size to the reticle intervals or by estimation. Range estimation is more important for HEAT ammunition than for KE rounds, as the increased time of flight requires more super elevation for an equivalent error in range. The reticle has marks to assist the gunner with lead estimation.

The reticle is of the 'disturbed' type, being moved in elevation with the range 'carets' on the range scales. Align the caret with the desired range on the appropriate scale using the Shift-Arrow UP and Shift-Arrow DOWN, then lay the reticle cross onto the target. If the target requires lead then offset the sight so that the reticle is centered on a point ahead of the target, and fire.


Engaging Targets

Engaging targets with the GAS is not an exact science, but can be quite accurate with a sufficient amount of exercise and precise range estimation. A good gunner will learn the dimensions of targets - width, length, height (both of hull, turret, and combined) and use the reticle markings in the sight to measure the size in mil. Some crews prepare a table with typical target silhouettes, their sizes in mils, and the resulting ranges, so you need not do basic math but simply look up the most appropriate case in the table.

  • Example: A T-72 is 3.5m wide. At 1000m the width would appear to be exactly 3.5 mil. If the target is 2 mil wide, follow the range estimation formula: Real dimension divided by size in mil multiplied by 1000. In this case 3.5:2 = 1.75, or 1750m
Leo 2A5 GAS reticule range estimation

Without precise range estimation you will probably waste several rounds before you get it right, which may be even worse if you cannot properly observe your fall of shot. On the Leopard 2A5A1 and A2 tanks, range estimation is made easier by the inclusion of a left to right ascending stadia scale along the sight's bottom edge, which is used to bracket a target and determine its range. The numbers at the top of this scale represent the range to the target in meters. When estimating range to a target, the target is put in between the long horizontal line and the dashed lines above it (the lines just below the numbers). In the case of a fully exposed target, the bottom line is placed on the bottom of the vehicle (where the tracks touch the ground) and the horizontal dash is placed at the top of the vehicle's turret. In the case where only the turret of a target is visible, the bottom of the turret (aka. the top of the hull) is placed on the bottom horizontal line and the top of the vehicle's turret is placed on the dot (in between the horizontal line and the horizontal dashes).

Leo 2A5A1 Stadia reticle choked to 2000m

Essentially, the target is placed within the scale at the increment in which it most fully fills the top and bottom of the scale. In the above image, the enemy tank is completely visible so the horizontal line and horizontal dash above the dot is used. The bottom of the line is placed below the tank and the top of the dash is placed at the top of the turret. The target fills the small end of the scale marked "2000" so the target is approximately 2000m away.

  • It is important to remember that the stadia scale is used to determine average tank sized targets. For larger or smaller vehicles (such as APCs or IFVs) a little bit of guess work may be required.

To hit a moving target, use the following rules of thumb:

  • Sabot ammo, slow movement: Aim for the forward edge of the target silhouette
  • Sabot ammo, fast movement: Use the rear end of the first line in the reticle to line up with the center of the target silhouette
  • HEAT ammo, slow movement: Use the rear end of the first line in the reticle to line up with the center of the target silhouette
  • HEAT ammo, fast movement: Use the dot between the two horizontal lines in the reticle to line up with the center of the target silhouette

The basic process behind using the GAS to engage a target is to select the proper range scale, estimate the range to the target, and apply it to the GAS sight, engage the target, make adjustments and reengage if necessary.


Selecting the Proper Reticle

For the Leopard 2A5, use the left (open) scale for HEAT, and the inner (tight) scale for KE. On the Leopard 2A5A1 and A2 the DM33 scale should be used for the DM23, DM33, and DM43 (KEW-A1) rounds while the DM63 scale applies to the DM63 and DM53 rounds.

Firing

Once the range is estimated to the target, adjust the GAS range so that the appropriate range numbers to the are even with the caret, based on ammunition type. Next, if the target is stationary, align the target with the GAS reticle cross. If the target is moving, use the dashed lines to the left and right of center to estimate lead depending on the target's speed.

For example, the target's range was estimated at 1500m HEAT is loaded and the target is stationary. The sight's range is increased so that the caret is even with the "15" on the HEAT scale, and the target is centered in the sight.

GAS view, aiming at the target (1500m)

Once this is done, you are now ready to engage the target.

Target! Cease Fire!



Reengage

In the event that you miss the target, you should simply adjust the sight in relation to where the round hit and walk it into the target. You should not waste valuable time estimating the range to the target again unless the target is rapidly moving towards or away from you.
Additional targets can be engaged by allowing extra super elevation according to the range scale if their range differs from the first target, although ideally you would adjust the GAS range and lay the reticle on the target.

For those interested, a video tutorial on use of the FERO-18Z GAS by member EDMLipe is available on YouTube.


Driver's Position F9

In Steel Beasts the driver's position on the Leopard 2A5 is crew-able. The driver's position is accessed by pressing F9.

Leopard 2A5DK Driver's Position

Driver's vision blocks

When buttoned up, the driver views the world through 3 vision blocks set in the roof of his compartment. He also has a monitor to his left displaying an image from a camera mounted on the rear hull to allow rapid an accurate reversing without constant instruction from the TC. The camera view is accessed by either selecting it from the default F1 view with the mouse, or pressing F2.

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