First trial tests for new German Army Leopard 2A7V Main Battle Tank
According to a video published on the YouTube account of the German army on September 21, 2020, the Technical Center of the German army located in Meppen, has conducted first trial tests of the new German army Leopard 2A7V Main Battle Tank (MBT), a modernized version of the Leopard 2A6 MBT.
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New German Army Leopard 2A7V Main Battle Tank during the trial tests. (Picture source German army)
The new Leopard 2A7V Main Battle Tank (MBT) has a total weight of around 60 tons and is powered by an MTU Mb 873 ka 501, turbocharged diesel engine developing 1,500 hp. It can run at a maximum road speed of 68 km/h, with a maximum cruising range of 550 km.
The design of the Leopard 2A7V is similar to the Leopard 2A7, keeping a crew of four, including a driver located at the front-right of the hull. The commander and gunner are on the right of the turet, and the loader on the left. The engine compartment is located at the rear of the hull; it is separated from the fighting compartment by a fireproof bulkhead.
The main armament of the Leopard 2A7V consists of a Rheinmetall 120 mm L/55 smoothbore tank gun able to fire the latest Rheinmetall 120 mm DM53 Armor-Piercing Fin-Stabilised Discarding Sabot - Tracer (APFSDS-T) ammunition, using a non-depleted uranium penetrator, which gives the Leopard 2A6 an additional combat range of 1,600 meters and much better armor penetration characteristics. The secondary armament includes a 7.62 mm Rheinmetall MG3 machine gun mounted coaxially to the left of the gun.Another 7.62mm machine gun can be mounted on the loader's hatch.
The Fire Control Systems of the Leopard 2A7V has been modified to program the DM 11 High Explosive round. The time-delay fuse of the DM 11 can be programmed after the loading to detonate at a specific point in the projectile’s flight path: the round can be timed to explode for maximum effect either above, in front, or inside a target. This type of ammunition can be used to support infantry units and destroy fortified positions as well as for engaging light and medium-weight armored vehicles.
The Leopard 2A7V features include hull mine protection, upper glacis added modular armor, 20 kw Auxiliary Power Unit, high-performance power supply, third-generation Attica thermal imaging unit for both commander’s independent sight and gunner's sight, Spectus multi-spectral driver’s vision device, new NBC and air conditioning systems, as well as the integration of C4I systems to meet the requirements of networked operations.
The Leopard 2A7V is already in service with Denmark. The Danish army will receive a total of 44 of them by 2022. The German army will have received 104 Leopard 2A7Vs by 2023. German company KMW (Krauss-Maffei Wegmann) will be responsible to retrofit older Leopard 2s to the A7V standard. The first serially retrofitted Leopard 2A7Vs should be delivered to the German army in 2021.