Home Defense Ukraine equips Leopard 1A5DK Tanks Upgraded with Domestic “Knife” and Soviet-Era “Kontakt-1”...

Ukraine equips Leopard 1A5DK Tanks Upgraded with Domestic “Knife” and Soviet-Era “Kontakt-1” Protection

The “Knife” and “Kontakt-1” dynamic protective blocks have been fitted to Ukrainian Leopard 1A5DK tanks, according to researcher Andriy Tarasenko, who shared the relevant photo on his Telegram channel. 

The Leopard 1A5DK has “Kontakt-1” mounted on the turret, maybe its sides, and the turret roof, and “Knife” dynamic protection added on its upper and probably lower frontal sections.

In addition, the combat vehicle’s sides clearly have dynamic protection applied to them, albeit it’s not apparent exactly what kind of protection.

It’s important to note that “Kontakt-1” and “Knife” have been modified to match the K1 container, rendering them identical from an aesthetic standpoint. Furthermore, the lower frontal armor now has spaced armor, and the bottoms of the canisters on the top frontal armor have been strengthened.

One distinguishing feature of the Leopard 1A5DK over its rivals is its distinctive welded turret with spaced armor. 

“Knife” Dynamic Protection

“Knife” is a third-generation Ukrainian dynamic protection system, developed in 1997-1998 and adopted by the Ukrainian army in 2003.

This system counteracts attacking munitions by creating a counteracting cumulative jet.

This occurs when the dynamic protection blocks’ extended cumulative charges (cumulative knives) are detonated.

Such an effect can destroy or destabilize the attacking munition, significantly reducing its damaging capabilities.

Previously, “Knife” was installed on T-64BM “Bulat” and T-84 tanks in the Ukrainian army.

“Knife” dynamic protection modules ХСЧКВ-34 and ХСЧКВ-19 are built as parallelepipeds measuring 250x125x36 mm or 250x125x26 mm.

They weigh 2.8 kg and 2.1 kg, respectively, and contain profile-shaped cumulative elements (“knives”), totaling up to 7 units.

Upgraded Leopard 1A5DK. Image: Andriy Tarasenko/Telegram

“Kontakt-1” Dynamic Protection

“Kontakt-1” is a first-generation mounted dynamic protection system developed in 1982 by specialists at the Steel Research Institute.

The container holds two explosive panels measuring 252×130×10 mm. Each panel contains 260 grams of PG-5A explosive. The total weight without mounts is 5.3 kg.

The total weight of the dynamic protection set for a Soviet tank ranges from 1.2 to 2 tons. The explosive panels are easily removable from the containers, which are bolted together, and are often removed when storing the tank.

After detonation, they start moving forward, intersecting the trajectory of the cumulative jet, constantly affecting it. Thus, the jet’s energy is spent penetrating these plates, and the side impulse from the collision destabilizes the jet.

When a cumulative jet penetrates the dynamic protection block, the two protection elements inside each block detonate.

The action of the dynamic protection elements reduces cumulative weapons’ armor-piercing characteristics. This helps protect armored vehicles from significant damage by light anti-tank weapons.

Ukrainian Modernization of Western Tanks

Ukrainian media said in July 2023 that Ukrainian Leopard 2A4 tanks were outfitted with dynamic protection known as “Kontakt-1.”

The sides of the Leopard tank’s hull and the frontal and side projections of the turret were equipped with dynamic protection containers.

On the combat vehicle’s hull, no extra protection was added to the nose area. 



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