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PZ 68 Main Battle Tank

The Pz 61 was supplanted by the Pz 68, which enjoyed some improvements: replacement of coaxial 20mm cannon with a machine gun 7.5 mm, the main room stabilization, new tracks longer skates broadened to improve the resistance to the ground, etc. One hundred seventy Pz 68 were produced between 1971 and 1974, followed by fifty Pz 68 Mk 2 (delivery in 1977), for one hundred and ten Pz 68 Mk 3 (delivery in 1978-1979) and sixty Pz 68 Mk 4 (delivery in 1981-1982).

The design of the Pz 68 is conventional: the driver is at the front, the turret is in the center, the engine and transmission are installed in the rear. The turret is cast steel; the tank commander and gunner are held in his right side, while the provider is seated at left. Unlike what happens in many tanks, this here is the provider that serves the anti-aircraft gun, which allows the skipper to devote himself entirely to his command role. The armament consists of a 105 mm gun that tips 10 ° at 21 °; a coaxial machine gun of 7.5 mm, an anti-aircraft gun of the same caliber, three smoke tubes on each side of the rear part of the turret and, on the recent models of two launchers Bofors Lyran mounted on the roof for night illumination of the target.

Many derivatives Pz 68 chassis were made, including a bridge layer Brückenpanzer 68, a target vehicle and an armored recovery Entpannungspanzer 68 CRA. The latter is equipped with a stabilizer blade to tail mounted on the front of the hull, a crane with a capacity of 15 t and a hydraulic winch with a force of 25 t can be increased to 75 t with cut pulleys. Prototypes of armed self-propelled anti-aircraft gun parts twin 35 mm and 155 mm self-propelled gun were also built, but they did not pass the stage of testing.

In the second half of the 1970s the Army tried to sell the Pz 68 to Austria. From 2004 the obsolete Panzer 68/88 were sold. It found comparison negotiations take place with Thailand, but this was unsuccessful. Thus, the tank 61 resp. 68 one of the few modern Tanks, which are issued exclusively by a single army has been deployed.

In May 2005 the Verteidigungsde gave the following message to the Media: "The Panzer 68 come in Army no longer used and the Stockroom is bean for other purposes sprucht. After a buyer for the 40- year Panzer found were able te, the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport (VBS) decided that the Panzer be liquidated. A portion goes as Exhibits at museums and weapons places and to interested collectors.

The recovery of the remaining 200 Panzer is from mid-May 2005 a Swiss company specialized made. The order was un- awarded ter competition. The obsolete Panzer 68/88, 65/88 Entpannungspanzer, Bridge tank 68/88 and second bridges be demilitarized in accordance with regulations. Subsequently sämtliches mate- al (mainly steel and aluminum) the Reststoffverwertung supplied. Out- took form the engines and auxiliaries engines. This allowed off the recycler finally processed further for civil uses contact or sale. For the liquidation of tanks is a Proceeds of the Swiss Confederation science results.

Not affected of this liquidation are remainders the bridge tanks 68/88 and Entpan- Regulation panzer 65/88, further in remain divided army. Panzer 61/68 when VSAM The Swiss Army Museum Society supervised on behalf of the VBS also the Swiss armor material. This includes also copies of the tanks 61 and 68th A copy is in the collection His- toric Swiss tanks in Thun, Pz 68 also in the outside area in the Panzer exhibition on the military base Thun. In addition, regulations, hand- books, manuals and Consumer Various training materials in VSAM.

68, 1st Series (Pz 68)

Buoyed by the success achieved with the development and production of Swiss armor, the Industry immediately began with the development of new armored vehicles. On the 25 June 1968 the federal Parliament decided on the the purchase of 170 new Panzer 68/75. The main modifications compared with the tank 61 were the following:

  • a stabilization system for the main weapon
  • 7.5 mm machine gun in place the 20 mm cannon
  • New target device with 2,7 and 8-fold Enlargement and changed Vorrich- tion to the distance setting
  • New telemeter with modified pre- device for distance setting
  • main engine of MTU with 660 hp
  • transmission with 6 reverse gears
  • Wider track with rubber upholster
  • tensioning wheel with rubber tire
  • Case ejection opening in the turret
  • Aufmunitionierungsöffnungen on both hand in the tub
  • luggage net behind the turret
  • radios of the type SE 412
  • Permanently mounted vehicle lighting on the bow
  • Preparation for installing a low- watvorrichtung (never purchased).

The delivery took place in the years 1971-74.

Panzer 68, 2nd series (Pz 68 AA2)

In 1974, the purchase of a further 50 tanks was decided. The small number was because in the first series technical deficiencies had arisen and in Parliament a certain mistrust against the tanks prevailed. The Changes relative were measures to remedy the defects and to improve the standing strength. New features compared to the 1st series

  • Heat protective cover for the 105 mm tank gun
  • 7.1 cm light projectile launcher (Lyran) on the turret roof between Komman- danten- and loaders hatch
  • Lockable tank cover for View module of the target device
  • Dry air filter instead of oil bath air filter
  • baffle plate on the bow
  • fenders made of reinforced rubber

The new tanks entered service in 1977 and the vehicles of the first series were retrofitted.

Panzer 68, 3rd series (Pz 68/75)

In 1975 the acquisition of further 110 tanks was approved. This series tried as before, to resolve existing technical defects. New features compared to the 2nd series:

  • Enlarged turret, the crew should create better space. The view of the openings telemeter were now integrated into the turret dome.
  • The tub shell in the area of the turret bearing displayed the new turret fit.

Although the tank was not really new, it was given a new name, namely tanks 68/75. The delivery took place in 1978-79. The measure- took corrective action were even when the tanks of series 1 and 2 retrofitted. The old turret form stayed with these vehicles.

Panzer 68, 4th series (Pz 68/75)

In 1978, another 60 tanks 68/75 ordered. These were the vehicles the 3rd series identical. The of the troop led pe still alleged defects 1979 a production interruption and a special program for Corrective action. Production was resumed in Winter 1980 issued and the last vehicles in 1983 supplies. The total with rectifying defects changing points were in the whole Fleet retrofitted.

Panzer 68, 5th series (Pz 68/88)

Panzer 68 underwent a major increase, (Pz 68/88) Half of the Pz 68 was the Panzerba- taillonen type B of the field divisions divided. These battalions were as so called counterstrike battalions pre- seen. To the combat power of the Pan- adapt zer this role, was a Program to combat upgrade started. The Armament Program 1988 included 195 Panzer 68. In question only vehicles came with the big turret. Because of this only 170 units available were (3rd and 4. Series) 25 turrets were once again manufactured and undercarriages of the 2nd series placed. The main changes were:

  • Installation of an ultramodern fire control system with laser rangefinder
  • Installation of a fire-suppression investment
  • Installation of a new Kommandanten- hatch.

The designation of these vehicles was tanks 68/88. To the were at the time of combat efficiency the tanks 68 of the series one 1 and 2 subjected ner last change action Panzer Artillery Cannon 68 Panzer Artillery Cannon 68 (AA5), which, however, only concerned details. The most obvious innovation was the over- transition to Fleckentarnung. The with the Panzer 68 AA5 equipped battalions were resolved on 1 January 2000 and the tanks deleted. On 01 January 2004 the lone battalion with the tanks and 68/88 the tanks was decommissioned.

armamentA 105 mm gun, a coaxial machine gun of 7.5 mm, an anti-aircraft machine gun of 7.5 mm
User countriesSwiss
Crew4 men
armor120 mm maximum
Weight39,700 kg
Speed55 km / h
Autonomy350 km
FacilitiesOn the latest models, stabilization of armaments, fire control system, NBC protection system.

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Page last modified: 03-07-2016 20:03:08 ZULU