Greece: EODH presents improved proposal for upgrade of Leonidas IFV


As reported by Savvas D. Vlassis on Doureios Ippos, the Greek company EODH presented an improved proposal for the upgrade of the TOMP Leonidas I/II IFV, after the initial notification made on December 11, 2019. The political and military authorities were informed about the improved proposal on June 4.
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EODH upgraded Leonidas IFV project (Picture source: EODH)


The improvement in the overall upgrade package comes in the form of a new, unmanned, remote-controlled turret with the 30 × 173 mm Mauser Mk 30F automatic gun. This is the cannon that was selected for the anti-aircraft system Artemis 30 manufactured by EVO (now EAS) and now withdrawn from service. Realizing that the 60 withdrawn Artemis 30 systems made available their Mauser Mk 30F (120 in number when including the spare guns) ready-to-use weapons belonging to the Armed Forces and that the EAS has a number of specific types (at least 120 reportedly) that remained unused, to choose this weapon ensured a serious reduction in the overall cost of upgrading the Leonidas IFVs. It is noted that the cost of each gun at the current price exceeds 350,000 euros.

With the improved proposal, EODH is responding to the main problem faced by all previous efforts to increase Leonidas firepower by adding a “classic” turret which led to a drastic reduction in the number of transported soldiers (4-6). This challenge has been overcome in recent years with the emergence of a new generation of remote-controlled unmanned turrets and low-weight armament platforms with limited support requirements, equipped with advanced optical electronics for target acquisition and attack. Advantages of this solution are a lightweight, a low silhouette, better protection of the gunner inside the vehicle, direct communication between crew members,
Wider elevation angles for the armament, and low noise inside the vehicle. In addition, it is easier to stabilize and control the armament, as the moving masses are smaller and require low-power servo motors with limited electrical power requirements.

The basic version of the turret weighs 950 kg, including ammunition. In the basic version, it has 7.62 mm machine gun on top of the 30mm gun, while it can optionally accept a double anti-tank missile launcher. Alternatively, the Mk 30F gun can leave room to a 20mm Mk 20 gun or 2 A14 23mm guns from existing RH-202 and Russian-designed ZU-23-2 anti-aircraft systems, respectively. Fire Control is achieved through a 3rd Generation Fire Control System (FCS) with two-axis stabilization and automatic target tracking that allows precision firing on the move.

Protection

The Leonidas allows easy adjustment of additional shielding package and the possibility of a radical upgrade of the provided protection. In the context of such a modernization, it is necessary to install a composite multi-layer armor and add internal anti-fragmentation plates. Upgrading the protection provided at level 5 on the front and at level 4 around the perimeter, ensures resistance to direct fires from 25 mm x 137 APDS-T ammunition (used by Turkish TOMA) from a distance of 1,000 meters.

The combat weight of the fully upgraded IFV version with the remote-controlled armament platform is estimated at 17 or17.5 tons, depending on the final configuration. The crew consists of a commander/gunner, a driver and an infantry group of 8 people (2 + 8).

Mobility

The expected loss of mobility due to the increase of weight is offset by replacement of the 7FA engine with a new Caterpillar C7 and an increase in power from 320 to 360 hp, plus an increase in torque from 1,100 Nm to 1,254 Nm. No problem is feared regarding an increased fatigue or hardware failure. The new engine is coupled to a new 6-speed automatic transmission, a new reversing gearbox, and modified hydraulic systems. Finally, the suspension is reinforced. The driver's controls and the entire electrical circuit are now digitized.

Additional features

Leonidas 300 can optionally receive an air conditioning system, ARVX protection system, an Auxiliary Power Supply Unit (APU), front and rear cameras, communication system and new generation intercom, Management & Control System, etc.

Savvas D. Vlassis concludes by saying that, in such a program, the Greek Defense Industry in general is expected to be largely involved, as the manufacture of the turret in Greece and its equipment with domestic sensors has been ensured.


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EODH upgraded Leonidas IFV project (Picture source: EODH)


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