Panzer 68

Panzer 68-88
Kampfpanzer 68-88.JPG
Panzer 68-88
TypeMain battle tank
Place of originSwitzerland
Service history
In service1971 - 2003
Used bySwitzerland
Production history
Designed1960s
ManufacturerEidgenoessische Konstruktionswerkstaette
Produced1971 - 1983
No. built390 (all versions); 195 68/88; 1 Panzer 68-2000 (prototype)
VariantsPanzer 68; Panzer 68/75; Panzer 68/88; Panzer 68-2000 (prototype)
Specifications
Weight40.8 tonnes
Length9.49 m (31 ft 2 in)
Width3.14 m (10 ft 4 in)
Height2.72 m (8 ft 11 in)
Crew4

Armourup to 120 mm Rolled homogeneous armour
Main
armament
105 mm Royal Ordnance L7 rifled gun with 52 rounds
Secondary
armament
7.5 mm Swiss Pz Mg 51/71 machine guns with 4000 rounds
6× smoke dischargers
EngineMTU MB 837 Ba-500 V-8 diesel engine
660 hp
Power/weight16.2 hp/tonne
Suspensionplate springs and hydraulic dampers
Ground clearance400 mm
Operational
range
200 km (120 mi)
Speed55 km/h (34 mph)

The Panzer 68 was a Swiss main battle tank developed by the Eidgenoessische Konstruktionswerkstaette in Thun in the late 1960s.

History

The Panzer 68 was based on the Panzer 61, which initial development dates back to 1951. The development started immediately after the successful introduction of the Panzer 61. Improvements consisted of wider tracks, stabilized gun, and the introduction of a second machine gun instead of the coaxial 20mm gun of early Panzer 61 models.

In 1968 (hence the name) the Swiss parliament decided to buy 170 vehicles. Deliveries of the Panzer 68 started in 1971. In 1977 a second batch was manufactured. In the years between 1978 and 1983, a third and fourth batch followed. The last two lots were called either AA3 and AA4 or Panzer 68/75. The most important change was the introduction of a bigger turret.

The Austrian army showed some interest in the Panzer 68 in the late 1970s, but decided not to buy the model when the deficiencies of the system became public.

In 1992 the Panzer 68 underwent one more modernization program which introduced a new fire control system which was on a par with the system used in the new Panzer 87 (license-built Leopard 2) This new, improved version was called Panzer 68/88. Despite the improvements in the Panzer 68/88, the model was relegated to secondary tasks after the arrival of the Panzer 87. All Panzer 68 models were retired in the early years of the new millennium. The responsible authorities tried to sell some 200 to the army of Thailand, but the deal never went through and therefore, the remaining vehicles were demilitarized and sold for scrap in 2005.

Some Panzer 68s can still be seen in military museums around the world.

Other Languages
العربية: بانزر 68
беларуская: Pz 68
Deutsch: Panzer 68
eesti: Pz 68
français: Char 68
italiano: Panzer 68
日本語: Pz 68
norsk: Pz 68
polski: Pz. 68
русский: Pz 68