At the end of World War II, like many other Western countries, Switzerland turned to the UK to meet its immediate tank needs. Two hundred Centurion had therefore been ordered from England, then a hundred others from South Africa. And a total of 200 copies of type AMX 13 (in Switzerland's treated as Light Tank 51) were purchased from France. In 1958, federal Workshops Thoune, which had already completed the design of the gun-propelled antitank 75 mm NK I and NK II assault gun 75mm, launched the study of a Swiss main battle tank, the KW 30, armed with a piece of 90 mm. A second prototype was created in 1959.
Ten pre-production tanks, baptized Pz 58, were equipped with the 20 pound gun which was mounted on the Centurion, and were produced between 1960 and 1961. This was ultimately replaced by a version of the L7 105 mm gun. A total of 150 copies were delivered to the Swiss army between 1965 and 1966, under the designation Pz 61.
The crew of the tank 61 was the commander, gunner, loader and driver. Hull and turret were each made of cast steel. The Commander and the gunner had their places right in turret, the loader to the left. The fixed cupola decreed an open back and eight evenly divided solid angle mirror. The loader dome possessed a page designation opening, two-piece hatch and six fixed sight glass blocks. On the front was the mounting for the air-defense machine gun. The driver sat in the middle and had a dome with and three periscopes.
The main armament consisted of a 10.5 cm tank cannon with semi-fixed case wedge lock, a 20mm automatic cannon, a 7.5mm machine gun and six 8cm smoke projectors [Nebelwerfer]. For the primary weapon there were 52 cartridges for the 20mm gun there were 240cartridges, for the machine gun there were 3200 cartridges and for the Nebelwerfer 16 cartridges were carried. The turret and weapon were moved by a electrohydraulic control which was derived from France and was largely identical with that of the AMX 30. An optical aiming device for the gunner had a mounted ocular target device with 8-fold magnification.
The engine compartment was in the rear of the vehicle. The main engine, auxiliary engine, transmission, auxiliary transmission cooler and were assembled to a drive block building, which quickly enable as a whole and could be installed. The main engine, the drive source, came from Mercedes-Benz of Germany. It was a Diesel engine with 8 cylinders and with mechanical supercharging. The displacement was 29,900 cm3 and the power 630 hp.
In various modification options (AA), the vehicle has been running the adjusted level of armor 68th The last of these actions brought great technical changes. The main features of the amendment action 7 and 8 (1976) was
- Heat protective cover for the main weapon
- construction of the light-emitting projectile launcher (Lyran)
- Aufmunitionierungs- and Hülsenaus- toss openings
- Luggage net on turret
- replacement of radios SE 407 through SE 412 The main features of the amendment tion action 9 (1983)
- replacement of the 20 mm cannon by a pipe parallel machine gun analogy Pz 68 Brückenpanzer 68 Brückenpanzer 68 Brückenpanzer 68
- Replacement of the target device and telemeter analog Panzer 68
- building a solid vehicle light tion on the bow analog Pz 68th
The Panzer 61 remained in service until 1994 and then were liquidated.
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