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In late 1942, German designers started the development of more powerful and slightly larger version of Panther mounted on a newly designed chassis. This project was designated Panther II and its design was planned along with the development of Tiger II. In February of 1943, it was decided that Panther II, in its design would resemble Tiger II and would have many common components such as: tracks, transmission, suspension and roadwheels. Both designs had common components in an attempt to standardize the production. Overall dimensions were very similar to those of Panther Ausf G.
The hull design was very similar to that of the late model Panther Ausf G but with many improvements like the arrangement of observation equipment and new engine deck. Its armor was significantly increased compared to other Panther variants made. Side armor protection was 60mm thick while frontal armor protection was 100mm thick. It was planned to arm the Panther II with the latest 75mm KwK 42 L/100 or even 88mm KwK 43 L/71 (without muzzle break) gun mounted in newly designed narrow turret – Schmalturm (designed by Rheinmetall in 1944 and to be produced by Daimler-Benz).
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