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German Leopard 2A7V tank offers the best protection in the world

According to information published by the German army, the latest generation of the main battle tank in the family of Leopard 2, called Leopard 2A7V, is one of the heaviest tanks in the world with a weight of 63,9 tons, but it offers the best protection, firepower, and mobility for a tank of this class.
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German army Leopard 2A7V main Battle Tank MBT. (Picture source Twitter account Sebastian Hebisch)

Citing German army information, the Leopard 2A7V offers the best protection in the world compared to the current modern tanks. It features state-of-the-art modular composite armor mounted on the upper front glacis plate of the hull and around the turret that offers a high level of protection. The armor is greatly increased and may match or surpass 700mm on the hull, and the turret is impenetrable. The armor provides 360° protection to the crew from anti-tank missiles, mines, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) fire.

The layout of the Leopard 2A7V is conventional for a modern main battle tank with the driver at the front right side of the hull, a turret located in the middle of the hull, and the powerpack at the rear. It has a crew of four including a driver, commander, gunner, and loader.

The Leopard 2A7V is armed with a Rheinmetall 120-millimeter L/55 smoothbore tank gun that is able to fire the latest Rheinmetall 120mm DM53 Armor-Piercing Fin-Stabilized Discarding Sabot—Tracer (APFSDS-T) ammunition, and it can use a depleted uranium penetrator. With its 120mm cannon, the tank can engage enemy vehicles with pinpoint accuracy at a distance of up to 5,000 meters. The armament can be used at a full speed during day and night conditions.

On February 22, 2021, Germany has signed a contract with Israel to purchase the Trophy active protection system (APS) for its Leopard 2A7V Main Battle Tanks (MBTs). The Israeli Trophy APS is now in service with three countries including Israel on the Merkava 4, the United States on the M1A2 SEPV V3 also called M1A2C and the German Leopard 2A7A1.

The Trophy is an Active Protection System designed and developed by the Israeli company Rafael. It is designed to protect vehicles from ATGMs (Anti-Tank Guided Missiles), RPGs (Rocket Propelled Grenades), anti-tank rockets, and tank HEAT (High Explosive Anti-Tank) rounds.

The Trophy APS consists of radar antennas, countermeasure, launcher and autoloader. When a projectile is detected, the internal computer calculates an approach vector before the projectile arrives. Once the incoming weapon is classified, the computers calculate the optimal time and angle to fire the counter-measures. The response comes from two rotating launchers installed on the sides of the vehicle which fire a very small number of MEFPs (Multiple Explosive Formed Penetrators) which form a very tight, precise matrix, aimed at a specific point on the anti-tank projectile's warhead.

In terms of mobility, the Leopard 2A7V is motorized by an MTU Mb 873 ka 501, turbocharged diesel engine developing 1,500 hp and despite its weight, the tank can reach a top road speed of 70 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 450 km.

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German Leopard 2A7V Main Battle Tank fitted with the Israeli Rafael Trophy APS Active Protection System. (Picture source Israeli MoD)

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