Leopard 2A5 MBT
Main Battle Tank - Germany
The Leopard 2A5 is an upgraded version of the Leopard 2A4 main battle tank designed and manufactured by the German Company KMW (Krauss-Maffei Wegmann). The first prototype of the Leopard 2A5 was completed by Krauss-Maffei late in 1990. In September 1995, the German army took delivery of the first of 225 Leopard 2 MBTs in Leopard 2A5 configuration. The Leopard 2A5, with a number of further improvements, especially in the areas of armor and command and control, has been ordered by the Swedish Army (120 delivered plus option on 90 which has not been exercised) with Spain (219) also selecting this version. Its versatile superiority is made use of by 16 nations worldwide. KMW has delivered to all of them. At 3 500 pieces, that is an unmatched quota. Furthermore, a number of international customers define and devise common supply concepts, further development, and plans for adaptations. Reference customers for the Leopard family are, amongst others, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Denmark, and Sweden. On January 21, 2023, the German Newspaper "Der Spiegel" published news announcing that Germany could deliver 19 Leopard 2A5 Main Battle Tanks to Ukraine which are now used by the German army at a training center. On March 17, 2023, the Swedish government agreed on the supply to Ukraine of 10 Stridsvagn 122, a Swedish version of the Leopard 2A5 tank.
Leopard 2A5 MBT main variants:
- Leopard 2A4: The standard operational version of the Leopard 2 MBT family.
- Leopard 2A6: includes the addition of the Rheinmetall 120 mm L55 smoothbore gun and other changes.
- Leopard 2A6M: is a version of the 2A6 with enhanced mine protection under the chassis, and internal enhancements to improve crew survivability
- Leopard 2 PSO: is designed especially for urban warfare, which had been encountered in peacekeeping operations with increasing frequency. Therefore, the Leopard 2 PSO is equipped with more effective all-around protection, a secondary weapons station, improved reconnaissance ability, a bulldozer blade, a shorter gun barrel (for maneuvering on urban streets at the expense of fire range), non-lethal armament, close-range surveillance ability (through camera systems), a searchlight and further changes to improve its perseverance and mobility in a built-up non-wide open area.
- Leopard 2A7: is fundamentally different from the KMW variant 2A7+ and is not optimized for combat in urban terrain.
- Leopard 2A7+: is designed to operate both in low-intensity and high-intensity conflicts. The tank's protection has been increased by modular armor; the frontal protection has been improved with a dual-kit on the turret and hull front, while 360° protection against RPGs and mine protection increase the survivability of the tank in urban operations. It can fire programmable HE munitions and the turret mounted MG3 has been replaced with a stabilized FLW 200 remotely controlled weapon station. Mobility, sustainability, and situational awareness have also been improved.
- Stridsvagn 122 (Strv 122): also known as the Leopard 2A5SE, is a Swedish main battle tank (MBT) based on the German Leopard 2A5. The tank features several enhancements over the original Leopard 2A5 to meet the specific requirements of the Swedish military.
The main armament of the Leopard 2A5 is identical to the Leopard 2A4 which consists of one 120mm L44 smoothbore gun. The only change was the replacement of the gun's recoil brakes with a more powerful model. The trunnion bearing was also slightly modified. Ammunition for the gun comprises 27 rounds stored in a special magazine in the forward section of the hull, to the left of the driver's station, with an additional 15 rounds stored on the left side of the turret bustle. The gun is fully stabilized and can fire a variety of types of rounds, such as the German DM43 APFSDS-T anti-tank round, which is said to be able to penetrate 560 millimeters of steel armor at a range of 2,000 meters, and the German APFSDS-T Armor Piercing, Fin Stabilized, Discarding Sabot - Tracer (DM-13) and HEAT-MP-T High Explosive Anti-Tank-Multi Purpose - Tracer (DM-12). . The APFSDS-T has an effective range of over 2,000 m and the HEAT-MP-T has a high degree of effectiveness against both soft and hard targets. Both fin-stabilized rounds have a semi-combustible cartridge case with a metal base stub which is ejected into a box under the breech. The second armament of the Leopard 2A5 includes two 7.62mm machine guns, one mounted coaxially to the left of the main armament and the second can be mounted on the loader's hatch. Two banks of four 76mm smoke grenade dischargers are mounted on each side of the turret. The turret of the Leopard 2A5 is equipped with all-electric gun control equipment as a replacement for the earlier hydraulic system of Leopard 2A4.
|Design and protection|
The Leopard 2A5 is divided into three main compartments with the driver position at the front, the turret in the middle, and the power pack at the rear. The driver is seated at the front of the hull on the right side and is provided with a single-piece hatch cover. The turret is in the center of the hull with the commander and gunner on the right and the loader on the left. The original hull of the Leopard 2 has spaced multilayer armor. The armor consists of a combination of steel plates of different hardness, elastic materials and other non-metallic materials which could resist 125 mm APFSDS rounds fired from a distance of 1,500 m. The Leopard 2A5 is fitted with improved armor protection over the frontal arc with the turret front having a distinctive arrowhead shape. This provides a significant increase in protection against both kinetic and chemical energy attacks. The turret interior has been fitted with spall liners. The side skirts also incorporate composite improved armor. The new externally mounted armor panels can be removed with onboard equipment and can be replaced by armor modules with a higher level of protection. In the turret, the ammunition and the hydraulics are located in compartments separated from the crew. In case of a detonation, the blow-off panels on the compartment roofs will direct the explosion and fire away from the crew.
|The Leopard 2A5 powerpack consists of an MTU MB 873 Ka-501 4-stroke, 12-cylinder diesel, exhaust turbocharged, liquid-cooled engine developing 1,500 hp at 2,600 rpm coupled to a Renk transmission HSWL 354 hydrokinetic planetary gear shift with 4 forward and 2 reverse gears. The Leopard 2A5 has four fuel tanks, which have a total capacity of approximately 1,160 liters, giving a maximum road range of about 500 km. The leopard 2A5 can run at a maximum road speed of 72 km/h and the top reverse is 31 km/h. The suspension on each side consists of seven dual rubber-tired road wheels and four return rollers per side, with the idler wheel at the front and drive sprocket at the rear. The upper part of the tracks is covered with side skirts, with the first two road wheels and idler covered by an armored skirt. The Leopard 2A5 can drive through water 4 meters deep using a snorkel or 1.2 meters without any preparation. It can climb vertical obstacles over 1.1 m. The tank is able to negotiate a slope of up to 60% and a side slope of 30%.|
|Standard equipment on the Leopard 2A5 includes a collective NBC system, power pack preheating, crew compartment heater, a fire extinguishing system, electric bilge pumps, and an escape hatch in the hull floor behind the driver. The commander's roof-mounted periscope has a thermal sight whose image is transmitted to a monitor inside the turret. This allows the commander and gunner to engage targets under all weather conditions and also allows them to operate as a hunter and killer team. The commander's monitor can also show the gunner's day and night vision images while the commander can see his own day vision through his eyepiece. The rear part of the hull is equipped with a TV camera with a monitor for the driver which has a 65° field of view in horizontal and vertical planes. The Leopard 2A5 is also fitted with a hybrid navigation system based on fiber-gyro technology with GPS support enabling the tank commander to navigate in any operational environment. The tank is also equipped with a new laser range finder to reduce reaction time. The fire control computer and laser rangefinder allow the Leopard 2A5 to engage moving targets at ranges of up to 5,000 meters whilst itself being on the move over rough terrain.|
|One 120mm smoothbore gun, one 7.62mm coaxial machine gun, and one 7.62mm anti-aircraft machine gun.||Stand spaced multilayer armor, improved armor protection over the frontal arc and composite armor.|
|Germany, Greece, Poland, Spain, Sweden||55,400 to 62,500 kg|
|Collective NBC protection system, power pack preheating, crew compartment heater, a fire extinguishing system, electric bilge pumps and an escape hatch, computer firing system, laser range finder, thermal sight, night/day vision systems||450 km|
|4||Length: 9.67 m; Width: 3.77 m; Height: 2.64 m|
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