MSPO 2021: First public appearance of Polish Army Leopard 2PL

At the opportunity of MSPO 2021, the Polish Army is displaying its new Leopard 2PL main battle tank whose first series production units were unveiled at MSPO 2020, the PL variant being a modernized version of the Leopard 2A4 purchased by Poland in the 2000s. The modernization has been implemented in cooperation with Rheinmetall and the Polish Armaments Group.

Army Recognition Official Show Daily News and Web TV UMEX 2020 925 001
Leopard 2PL of the Polish army displayed at MSPO 2021 (Picture source: Army Recognition)

The formal acceptance process for an additional batch of newly-modernized Leopard 2A4 tanks redesignated Leopard 2PL ended in early November 2020, at Zakłady Mechaniczne Bumar - Labedy SA's plant. The modernized tanks were to be inducted in the 1st Warsaw Armored Brigade.

The modernization of Leopard 2A4 tanks to the 2PL standard includes the replacement of hydraulic gun stabilization and turret drive systems with electric ones, improvement of the Rh-120 L44 120mm smoothbore gun and its adaptation to new types of ammunition, including programmable, while maintaining the possibility of using domestic ammunition. Leopard 2PL is also equipped with new optoelectronic systems: 3rd generation KLW-1 Asteria type thermal imaging cameras in the commander's and gunner's observation and aiming devices. The turret of the tank was equipped with additional armor modules and anti-fragmentation mats. Inside, the vehicle has new fire and explosion protection systems. The scope of the service applies to all tanks and is carried out mainly by the forces of the Polish defense industry.

The works are carried out by the Consortium formed by PGZ - Zakłady Mechaniczne Bumar-Labedy". Other entities from the group are also involved in the modernization of the Leopards : PCO, Wojskowe Zakłady Motoryzacyjne from Poznań, Zakłady Mechaniczne Tarnów, Research and Development Center of Mechanical Devices OBRUM and Rosomak. The foreign partner is Rheinmetall Landsysteme GmbH.