Tunisia in talks with Germany to acquire Leopard 2A5 Main Battle Tanks

We cannot officially confirm this information, but according to news published on the "Tactical Report" website on January 13, 2022, Tunisia could be in talks with Germany to acquire military equipment including Leopard 2A5 Main Battle Tanks (MBT).
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German army Leopard 2A5 Main Battle Tank. (Picture source Army Recognition)

Citing the "Global Security" website, in 2014 Tunisia was considering a five-year plan aimed at developing and modernizing its army. Germany announced plans to give Tunisia funds to buy armored vehicles to help combat ISIS. The exact figure was not revealed but the “double digit million” sum would come from a 100 million euro fund to strengthen southern partner states.

By 2005 the army had slowly acquired 84 main battle tanks (30 M-60A1s and 54 M-60A3s). It had 54 obsolescent Steyr SK-105 Kuerassier light tanks, and 69 relatively low-grade armored reconnaissance vehicles, including 24 Saladins and 45 AML-90s. It had about 268 APCs, including 140 M-113 A-1/2s, 18 EE-11 Urutu, and 110 Fiat F-6614s. During the 2020s, this entire fleet would seem eligible for replacement.

According to the military balance 2021, the Tunisia army has a total of 84 Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) including 30 American M60A1 and 54 M60A3. A total of 48 Austrian light tank SK-105 Kürassier armed with a 105mm cannon are also part of the current combat tracked vehicles in service with the Tunisian armed forces.

The Leopard 2A5 is the first improved variant in the Leopard 2 MBT family and it was introduced in 1990. The Leopard 2A5 has been equipped with new improved armor. The turret is fitted with a wedge-shaped add-on modular armor. The front of the hull is fitted with add-on modular armor panels.

Citing Rheinmetall Defense information, the main armament of the Leopard 2A5 includes a 120 mm/L44 smoothbore gun. However, when upgrading the A4 to the A5 design status, measures have already been taken on the system side to prepare for the subsequent fitting of the longer L55 series weapon system. A 7.62 mm machine gun is mounted coaxially to the left of the main armament and a similar weapon can be mounted on the loader's hatch. Mounted on either side of the turret are eight smoke grenade dischargers.

The design of the Leopard 2A5 is divided into three compartments including driver position at the front, turret in the center, and power pack at the rear. The tank has a crew of four with the driver is seated at the front of the hull on the right side. The turret is mounted in the center of the hull with the commander and gunner on the right and the loader on the left.

The Leopard 2A5 MBT is powered by an MTU MB-873 Ka-501 turbocharged diesel engine developing 1,500 hp. coupled to a transmission Renk HSWL 354 hydrokinetic planetary gear shift with 4 forward and 2 reverse gears. The tank can run at a maximum road speed of 72 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 550 km.