DEFEA 2023: KMW from Germany unveils new tank technology demonstrator based on Leopard 2A7 MBT

At DEFEA 2023, a defense exhibition in Greece, the German company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) introduces a new technology demonstrator of the future Main Battle Tank (MBT) based on the LEOPARD 2A7, the world's most advanced main battle tank currently in production for Hungary, with upgrade programs in effect for Germany, Sweden, Denmark, and other countries.
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German Company KMW Krauss-Maffgei Wegmann unveils new tank technology demonstrator based on Leopard 2A7 MBT at DEFEA 2023 defense exhibition in Greece. (Picture source Army Recognition)

The LEOPARD 2 serves as the foundation for European armored forces and has proven its efficiency in various regions, including Arabia, the Far East, and the Americas. Its success is built upon an exceptional core design, continuous development, and successful upgrade implementations for numerous countries. Its effectiveness in combat and crisis situations highlights the significant operational value of this weapon system. It has seen successful deployment in Afghanistan by the Canadian and Danish forces and in Kosovo by the German forces. Moreover, LEOPARD 2 tanks has consistently demonstrated its superiority in various international trials.

The LEOPARD 2A7 is equipped with a 120 mm L55 A1 gun, the world's most potent 120 mm tank gun. Coupled with advanced Kinetic Energy (KE) ammunition from multiple manufacturers, it achieves maximum penetration capability, extending the engagement range beyond 5,000 meters.

The tank's fire control system, optimized for high first-round hit probability, enables swift and accurate target engagement from stationary positions or on the move. The commander and gunner have independent, fully stabilized panoramic surveillance abilities for day and night, ensuring a rapid response time and the ability to swiftly engage multiple targets.

The tank's main gun ammunition comprises sub-caliber armor-piercing KE projectiles and programmable High Explosive (HE) projectiles, both fin-stabilized, allowing the LEOPARD 2 to neutralize distant targets effectively. A 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun is installed as secondary armament, and a modular remote-controlled weapon station can be mounted on the turret, providing an additional observational tool for the crew to improve situational awareness.

KMW from Germany unveils new tank technology demonsrator based on Leopard 2A7 MBT 925 002
The Leopard 2A7 demonstrator is considered as the most protected main battle tank in the world. (Picture source Army Recognition)

The LEOPARD 2A7 is the best-protected main battle tank globally for tank-to-tank engagements, with its armor designed to withstand its powerful weapon system. KMW has developed additional protection kits based on recent asymmetric conflicts and urban area operations, which can be mounted within a day using a forklift or an Armored Recovery Vehicle (ARV).

Additional armor kits are available for specific mission requirements and can be ordered at a later date without any technical restrictions, provided the vehicle is equipped with multi-function protection kit interfaces.

The tank's survivability on the battlefield is further enhanced by an NBC protection system, 76 mm multi-purpose grenade launcher tubes, fire warning, suppression and extinguishing systems, and the installation of a Spall Liner. KMW also offers the integration of the Active Protection System (APS) TROPHY, neutralizing the most known types of chemical energy threats.

The LEOPARD 2's mobility is one of its defining features, attributed to its powerful 12-cylinder multi-fuel engine from MTU, delivering 1,500 hp. This, in combination with the RENK transmission, results in a high power-to-weight ratio, providing impressive speed. The tank's superior reverse speed and pivot turn ability, along with an optimized final drive for improved torque, ensure its supremacy in the battlefield.

The tank's advanced suspension system with hydraulic shock absorbers, torsion bars, friction dampers, and rubber-bushed connector track, effectively isolates the crew and the system's critical components from terrain influence. The Leopard 2A7 can traverse almost any geographical environment, including lakes and rivers up to a depth of 4 m. It can reach a maximum road speed of 60 km/h and a reverse speed of 28 km/h and can negotiate a slope of 60%, and a side slope of 30%. The tank can cross a ditch of 3.0 m and climb a vertical obstacle of 1.05 m.