Leopard 2A7 MBT
Main Battle Tank - Germany
The Leopard 2A7 is a modernized version of the Leopard 2A6 main battle tank. The main features of this new upgrade of the Leopard 2 tank include new armor, an energy system, a crew compartment cooling system, and a new weapon engagement system. The Leopard 2A7 is fundamentally different from the KMW variant 2A7+ and is not optimized for combat in urban terrain. The first tanks were delivered to the German army in December 2014. A total of 14 vehicles were produced for Tank Battalion 203, plus four more going to the Armoured Corps Training Centre and one vehicle at the Technical School for Land Systems and School for Technology of the Army. In May 2017, Germany and the Company Kraus-Maffei Wegmann signed a contract to upgrade the 20 existing Leopard 2A7s into the Leopard 2A7V variant. According to pictures and video published on Twitter on January 10, 2022, two Leopard 2A7NO, a Norwegian improved version of the Leopard 2A7 Main Battle Tanks were sent to Norway to conduct trial tests in the framework of a program launched by the Norwegian Ministry of Defense to acquire a new fleet of tanks. In May 2022, the Czech Minister of Defense Jana Černochová announced negotiations with Germany for the purchase of 40 Leopard 2A7 tanks. The Norwegian government officially announced on Friday, February 3, that it has decided to acquire 54 tanks of the Leopard 2A7NO type from Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW). On February 10, 2023, the Greek government approved the upgrade of 123 Leopard 2A4 tanks of the Hellenic army to the 2A7 version. Citing information published on Twitter on March 8, 2023, Italy looks to purchase 250 Leopard 2A7 tanks.
Leopard 2A7 variants:
- Leopard 2A7+ Duel Operations: a demonstrator which was built by KMW based on a Dutch Leopard 2A6 and optimized for duel operations on the modern battlefield.
- Leopard 2A7+ Urban Ops: upgrade of Leopard 2A6 fitted with new armor and special equipment to perform urban combat operations.
- Leopard 2A7V: modernized version of Leopard 2A7 Main Battle Tanks (MBT), proposed to the Bundeswehr by Rheinmetall
The main armament of the Leopard 2A7 is similar to the Leopard 2A6 consisting of one L/55 120mm Rh 120 smoothbore gun, one MG3A1 7.62x51mm caliber coaxial machine gun, and a 7.62 mm MG3 machine gun mounted on loader hatch located on the left side of the roof turret. Eight 76mm smoke grenade dischargers are mounted on each side of the turret. The weapon system is adapted for firing DM11 high-explosive (HE) rounds with an adjustable fuse.
|Design and protection|
The design of the Leopard 2A7 is similar to the original Leopard 2A6 with the driver seated at the front of the hull on the right side, the turret is in the center of the vehicle with the commander and gunner on the right, and the loader on the left. The hull has been modified to attach add-on armor elements. The standard armor can be fitted with additional modules to increase protection all around the tank against anti-armor weapons. The Leopard 2A7 can be easily identified from the Leopard 2A6 because there is a ventilation grille at the right rear of the hull for the 20 kW auxiliary power unit based on the Steyr Motors M12 TCA UI engine. The Leopard 2A7 has a length of around 10.97 m, a width of up to 3.81 m, a turret roof height of 3.03 m, and a weight of 64,500 kg.
|The turret of the Leopard 2A7 is protected with new armor all around.|
|The Leopard 2A7 is motorized with an MTU MB 873 Ka-501 liquid-cooled V12 twin-turbo diesel engine developing 1,479 hp. at 2,600 rpm coupled to a Renk HSWL 354 transmission with four forward and two reverse gears, with a torque converter and is completely automatic, with the driver selecting the range. The torsion bar suspension consists on each side of seven dual rubber-tired road wheels with the idler at the front, the drive sprocket at the rear, and four track-support rollers. The Leopard 2A7 can run at a maximum road speed of 70 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 450 km.|
|Like all models in the Leopard 2 family, the standard equipment of the Leopard 2A7 includes a collective NRBC system, power pack preheating, crew compartment heater, a fire extinguishing system, electric bilge pumps, and an escape hatch in the hull floor behind the driver. To increase the comfort of the crew in hot and humid regions, the Leopard 2A7 is equipped with an energy system and crew compartment cooling system installed at the rear of the turret. The tank is also equipped with the SOTAS-IP intercommunication system and infantry phone box, a fire suppression system in the turret fighting compartment, a PERI R17A3 commander’s panoramic sight with third-generation thermal-imaging system as well as UltraCaps in the turret, and hull to optimize the onboard electrical system. On February 22, Germany has signed a contract with Israel to purchase the Trophy active protection system (APS) for its Leopard 2A7 Main Battle Tanks (MBTs).|
|It's easy to recognize the Leopard 2A7 model, there is a ventilation grille at the right rear of the hull.|
|120 mm / L55 smoothbore cannon, 12.7 mm machine gun, 40 mm grenade launcher, and 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun.||All-around armor against modern ATGW Anti-Tank Guided Weapons and RPG Rocket Propelled Grenades threats.|
|Germany, Denmark, Norway||64,500 kg|
|Collective NRBC system, power pack preheating, crew compartment heater, a fire extinguishing system, electric bilge pumps, thermal imaging system, auxiliary power unit, crew compartment cooling system, panoramic sight for the commander||450 km|
|4||Length: 10.97 m; Width: 3.81 m; Height: 3.64 m|
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Pictures - Video