Greek indigenous solution for Leonidas IFV upgrade by EODH

To replace its ageing Leonidas IFVs, Greece was proposed to buy refurbished M2A2 Bradleys but even this « amicable » proposal appears very expensive. The Hellenic Armyalso abandoned plans to acquire up to 415 furbished and possibly upgraded ex-German army Marder 1A3 IFVs.
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EODH's proposal to upgrade the current fleet of Leonidas IFVs (Picture source: EODH)

Today, the Hellenic Army operates a fleet of about 2,175 APCs including M113s, locally produced Leonidas and some Soviet-made BMP-1s previously operated by the East-German Democratic Republic’s army and sold after Germany’s reunification. They all need to be replaced, as well as the current fleet of Leonidas.

The « cheaper » solution proposed by the Greek company EODH to upgrade the current fleet of Leonidas includes the replacement of the existing 320hp engine with the American-made 6-cylinder Caterpillar C7 engine that delivers 360 hp. The new engine works with a 6-speed automatic transmission and modified hydraulic systems.

The upgrade package also includes strengthening the vehicle's suspension with new torsion bars and digitizing the driver's seat. Optionally and if the user wishes, the vehicle can be installed air conditioning system, RBXP protection, auxiliary power supply unit, reversing and front-facing cameras, new technology communication system, high-performance intercom system as well as Management and Control System.

To improve the protection of the vehicle, EODH has prepared an additional shield package which can be installed externally without much difficulty due to the slopes of the vehicle. This includes the installation of composite multilayer shielding (composite) and the addition of internal anti-fracture lining (Spall Liner), while if the user wishes it can be installed in the vehicle and anti-mine protection as well as new seats suspended from the roof for better protection of the transported person. from mine explosions.

Thanks to the proposed package, Leonidas protection in the front arch becomes Level 5 and perimeter Level 4, which allows the vehicle to withstand direct hits from a distance of 1 km from ammunition 25 x 137 APDS-T using the M242 Bushmaster cannon of the Turkish Toma ACV-15.

Regarding the firepower of the upgraded Leonidas, EODH proposes the remote-controlled stabilized turret jointly designed with a foreign company, which can be manufactured in Greece.

The new turret does not have a basket inside the vehicle, which allows the transport of at least 8 fully equipped soldiers as well as the two-member crew of the vehicle, ie the driver and operator of the remote-controlled turret. The armament of the turret includes the main caliber 30 x 137 Mauser Mk30-1 Model F, the conjugated machine gun of 7.62 mm, a set of Greek-made smoke launchers and the set of day/night sensors made in Greece, while there is provision for a pair of anti-tank missile launchers from Greek Army stockpiles or a new system.

The turret has a 3rd generation Fire Control System with stabilization on both axes and automatic target tracking that allows the system to fire in motion using day cameras, thermal camera and Laser rangefinder.

An important factor that contributes to the reduction of the cost of implementation of the Greek package is the existence of 120 Mauser Mk30-1 Model F guns of the Artemis 30 system which has been withdrawn from the arsenal of the ES as well as 100-120 additional cannons of the same type in the manufacturer's warehouses. of EAS company.

The total weight of the vehicle with full load and the new remote-controlled turret ranges between 17 and 17.5 tons, while the cost of upgrading per unit will be around 1 million euros.

The implementation of the modernization program can be carried out even in the Base Factories of the HS, further reducing the cost, while the extensive participation of the Greek defense industry could rightly give this program the characterization as National.

As much as it sounds excessive, there is almost no subsystem of the proposed upgrade package except of course the propulsion utensil that can not be manufactured in Greece by domestic companies.

In a Greece that is being tested by the COVID-19 Pandemic, the little money that is available for the ES programs, since most of it will be channeled for the armament programs of the Armed Forces and the Armed Forces, must be used properly and effectively. Leonidas is a system for which the ES has the support infrastructure ready, while the subsystems that will be installed in it will be basically made in Greece with what this means for the cost and support times.