This third generation main battle tank is manufactured in the United States since 1986 by General Dynamics Land Systems and its primary objective was to get close to enemy forces and destroy them by using maneuver and firepower. It is equipped with 120 mm M256 smooth bore cannon; it has a range of 265 miles and a power to weight ratio of 21.6 hp / ton. The M1A2 is famous for its lethality, firepower, armor protection and maneuverability. The fourth generation prototype of this tank, the M1A3 will be available in 2014.
In October 1979, the Krausss Maffei Wegmann GmbH & Co. created a main battle tank that has high degree of protection, mobility and most of all firepower. From today’s perspective they have done a great job, as it has 27.20 hp/ton power to weight ratio, 120 mm Rheinmetall L55 smoothbore gun and two machine guns. With more than 3,200 units produced and being used by armies all over the world makes the Leopard 2A6 the most successful German tank. Moreover, Germany intends to keep it in service for at least 20 more years.
The first unit of this British main battle tank was produced in July 1994 by Vickers Defense System. Although you might assume that the Challenger 2 is similar to its predecessor only 5% of the components are interchangeable between the two. The original Challenger underwent over 150 modifications and got completely new main armament. The Challenger 2 is armed with 120mm L30 Charm gun, one 7.62mm chain gun and a 7.62mm L37A2 anti-aircraft gun. It is currently in use by the armies of the United Kingdom and Oman.
The Israeli army has a favorite of their own- the Merkava 4. It entered production in 2001 and is in service since. It was primarily designed for survivability and fast repair of battle damage, but that doesn’t make it less deadly than the others. The Merkava 4 has a 120mm MG253 smoothbore gun (all-electric turret), one 12.7 machinegun, two 7.62mm machineguns and a 60mm internal mortar. The power to weight ratio is 23 hp /ton.
AMX-56 Leclerc –France
AMX-56 Leclerc or just Leclerc is the French ultimate battle tank. It got the name from Philippe Leclerc de Hauteclocque, famous French general during World War 2. It was built by Nexter in 1991 and is used up to now. It is armored with a CN120-26 120mm smoothbore canon, one 12.7mm coaxial machinegun and another 7.62mm machine gun (remotely-controlled). The power to weight ratio is 27 hp /t and it can hit up to 6 targets in 30 seconds.
Tiger 2 is a German tank that was manufactured only for a year in World War 2, from 1944 to 1945. It isn’t as deadly as the other tanks on this list according to the technical specifications but considering the period it was used and the role of Nazi Germany in World War 2, its presence on this list is justified. It has 8.8 Kwk 43 L/71 Porcshe turret, a 7.92 Machinegun 34 and a power to weight ratio of 8.97 hp /ton. Tiger 2 was a superior sniper tank because it could take out its targets very accurately from a great range.
K2 Black Panther
The official release of this main battle tank was expected for this year but South Korea postponed it until March 2014. Although it hasn’t entered service yet it is believed that it would be one of the most advanced, the most deadly and the most expensive tanks in the world. The K2 Black Panther will be armed with 120mm Rheinmetall smoothbore gun, one 12.7 mm K6 heavy machinegun and another 7.62mm coaxial machinegun. The power to weight ratio is expected to be 27.2 hp /ton.
The T-34 was a Soviet medium tank used during World War 2. It was manufactured from 1940 to 1958 by T-34 Main Design Bureau. Its effectiveness, efficiency and remarkable design made it the second most produced tank of all time. However, the lack of good armor didn’t make it as suitable as the main battle tanks. Its main armament is a 76.2mm F-34 tank gun and as secondary armament there are two 7.62mm DT machineguns. The power to weight ratio is 17hp/ ton.
In January 2004 the Russian company- Uralvagonzavod start producing the T-90, a third generation main battle tank that combines the features of the T-72 and T-80 tanks. Its power to weight ratio varies from 18.1 hp/ton to 23.7hp/ton depending on the diesel engine. It has a 125mm smoothbore gun one 7.62mm coaxial machine gun, one 12.7mm anti-aircraft gun and 12.7mm Kord machine gun.The T-90 is the most advanced tank in the Russian army at the moment and is exported to several countries mainly India.
In 1976, the Japanese company Mitsubishi Heavy Industries joined forces with the German Krauss-Maffei in order to create a main battle tank for the Japanese army. The Krauss-Maffei is the same tank manufacturer that built the Leopard 2 which explains the external similarities between the two. It has an excellent power to weight ratio of 30 hp/ ton. It was developed for years and it wasn’t until the 1990 that it entered service. It is armed with the German Rheinmetall 120mm smoothbore gun, one 7.62mm machine gun (coaxial) and one 12.7mm machine gun.