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MSPO 2020: Polish army unveils Leopard 2PL tank MBT modernized version of 2A4 version.

| 2020

At MSPO 2020, Defense Exhibition in Poland, the Polish army has unveiled the first series production of Leopard 2PL Main Battle Tank (MBT), a modernized version of the German-made Leopard 2A4 acquired by Poland in the 2000s. The modernization is currently being carried out in cooperation with German company Rheinmetall and the Polish Armaments Group.

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Polish Army unveils new Leopard 2PL Main Battle Tank at MSPO 2020, September 7, 2020. (Picture source Twitter account Juliusz Sabak)

According to information released during the edition 2020 of MSPO, defense exhibition, the Polish army could acquire this year 12 modernized Leopard 2A4 Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) under the name of Leopard 2PL.

On December 28, 2015, an agreement was signed between the Armament Inspectorate (pol. Inspektorat Uzbrojenia) and a consortium consisting of PGZ and Zakłady Mechaniczne Bumar-Łabędy for the modernization of 128 Leopard 2 tanks with an option for another 14 units. The German partner of the consortium was the German company Rheinmetall Land System, which in the past co-produced Leopard 2 tanks.

The modernization of the Leopard 2A4 to the 2PL standard includes a new armor package mounted around the turret to increase the protection against modern anti-tank missiles and rocket-propelled grenades. The armor of the hull and suspension have not been upgraded due to the significant increase in vehicle weight and cost reduction. Special anti-splinter liners have been installed on the floor of the tank to protected the crew against mine explosions or blast of IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices). The fro

The sights of the gunner and tank commander have been modernized by adding Polish thermal imaging cameras of the third generation KLW-1 Asteria made by Polish company PCO. Driver awareness has also been improved by installing a KDN-1 Nyks day/night rear camera also produced by PCO. A monitor-control panel for the commander was installed, which enables: alternative image transmission from the modernized EMES 15 sight and PERI R17A3L4 CP instrument and performing a full test of the turret.

The main armament of the Leopard 2PL remains the same, consisting of one 120 mm smoothbore gun L/44 designed by the German company Rheinmetall, but it was modified to fire new types of ammunition including DM63 armor-piercing shell and programmable DM11 ammunition. The gun stabilizer system of the cannon and turret drives were changed from hydraulic to purely electric. The second armament includes one 7.62mm coaxial machine gun mounted to the left side of the main armament and one 7.62mm machine gun fitted to the hatch of the loader.

The Leopard 2PL has a crew of four with the driver located at the front right side of the hull. The turret is mounted at the center of the hull with the commander and gunner on the right and the loader on the left.

Polish army unveils Leopard 2PL tank MBT modernized version of 2A4 version MSPO 2020 925 002
Close view of the armor package mounted on the Leopard 2PL turret. (Picture source Twitter account Juliusz Sabak)

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