As you drive through the country town of Woodford, do not be alarmed by the Australian Army Leopard Tank parked closely by the town's water tower, within Sale Yards Park's monument site - Woodford Memorial Park.
The town is not under military attack, rather the decommissioned tank was gifted to the Woodford Sub Branch RSL by the Australian Federal Government on 6th December 2010, when the Leopard Tank was replaced by the M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tank in 2006. There is another decommissioned Leopard Tank on Bribie Island.
Woodford's Leopard Tank now serves as a reminder of the sacrifices made by Australian service men and women and is a popular pit-spot for families and military enthusiasts when driving through the township.
At 7 metres long and weighing 42 tonne, the tank is an impressive display of scale and power symbolising the Leopard Tank’s important contribution to Australia’s military history.
The Leopard is capable of moving its 42 tonne bulk at speeds of up to 65km/ph while engaging targets up to
4km away with its stabilised 105mm gun.
Built by Kraus Maffei and Krupp MaK in Germany, the vehicle is fitted with an MTU 10-cylinder power pack that can be replaced, night or day, in less than 30 minutes. The Leopard's punch is delivered from a 105mm L7 high-velocity gun that fires High Explosive Squash Head (HESH) and Armour Piercing Discarding Sabot (APDS) armour-defeating ammunition and anti-personnel rounds. Anti-aircraft protection is provided by two MG3 7.62mm machine guns, one mounted co-axially to the main gun and the other mounted on top of the turret.
Leopard Tanks entered service with the Australian Defence Force in 1977 and were operated by the 1st Armoured Regiment. The tanks were initially purchased to replace the British Centurions which had served since 1952 and had been deployed during the Vietnam War.
The Leopard AS1 Tanks served for over 30 years, playing a central role in meeting the nation’s defence needs, however their guns were never fired in combat operations.
30 of these tanks have been decommissioned and offered to RSLs across the country with 1 allocated to Woodford and another to Bribie Island branches.
Engine: Daimler Benz MB838 V10 cylinder, 4 stroke diesel, 610 kW (830hp) at 2200 rpm
Gearbox: ZF 4HP 250 with four forward speeds and two reverse speeds
Fuel Capacity: 950lt
Max speed: 62km/hr
Max Vertical obstacle: 0.91m
Max trench: 3m
Max fording depth unprepared: 1.2m
Max fording depth prepared: 4m
Weight: 42 400kg
Length: 9.54m (gun forward)
Height: 2.62m (top of sight)
Ground Clearance: 0.44m
Main Armament: 105mm L7A3 QF gun
Ammunition: 59 rounds (17 in turrent and 42 in hull)
Machine Guns: 7.62mm MG2A1 Co-axial & 7.62mm MG3 externally on cupola
Smoke Dischargers: Four 76mm on each side of turret