P-15 Gepard

From Atlas
Panzerkampfwagen-15 "Gepard"

A P-15 on display
Type Light/Medium Tank
Place of origin Template:Country data Volgaria
Service history
In service 1983-present
Used by Template:Country data Volgaria
Production history
Designer Bhomern Armeewerke
Designed 1978-1982
Unit cost $3,500,000 (2017 export price)
Produced 1983-2002
Number built ~700
Weight 30.5 t
Length 6.75 m (22 ft 2 in)
Width 3.25 m (10 ft 8 in)
Height 2.42 m (7 ft 11 in)
Crew 3-4

1x 105 mm rifled gun
2× 7.62 mm machine gun
2x 71mm grenade launchers.
Speed 80.47 km/h (50 mph)

The Panzerkampfwagen 15 nicknamed "Gepard" (Cheetah) is a Light/Medium Tank developed and currently used by Volgaria. The Tank was designed by Bhomern Armeewerke in 1983 and entered service with the Volgarian Army in 1987. Although designated and called a "Light-tank", its weight is over double than that of most other light-tanks fielded by other nations, as such it can also referred to as a medium-tank. It was commissioned by the Volgarian Army due to a need for a light-weight tank for infantry support and reconnaissance that would be able to neutralize heavy fortifications as well as easily destroy hostile infantry fighting vehicles and armoured personnel carriers. There has recently been discussion amongst the Volgarian high command about dismissing it from service as its role can be fulfilled by newer generation IFV's and tank destroyers, though it continues to remain in service and has upgrades planned. It is available for international export, being sold only to Nordiland thus far.


Development History[edit]

With the recent procurement of the brand new, but expensive Pzkpfw-79 the military felt it was necessary that a cheaper, lighter and faster tank must also be produced to be made air-transportable and readily available for roles pertaining to infantry fire-support and to eliminate targets such as pillboxes and lighter AFV's as well as be active in recon missions, this in turn would supplement the Panzer-79 in these same roles.

It was decided the basis of this new tank would utilize the chassis of the Sd.Kfz-71 "Elch" IFV and the gun of the Pzkpfw-65 (as well as a similar turret design), which were being replaced by the Pzkpfw-79. As well, the tank had to weigh no more than 30 tonnes, have a maximum speed of 80 km/h and have a maximum operational range of 800 km with auxiliary fuel tanks. Development of the project was taken up by Bhomern Armeewerke, who also upgraded and developed the local production versions of the Nashorn tank series. The tank also was required to have extensive infantry-support capabilities, including being able to mount two 7.62 machine guns as well as two 71mm grenade launchers.

Combat History[edit]

The P-15 was adopted in 1983. It has not seen active combat with the Volgarian Army but has seen some use with the Nordiland Armed Forces in counter-insurgency and border operations.