In the last issue of "military-industrial complex" been told how after the termination of joint work with the Yankees to build a promising tank MBT-70 West Germans decided independently to design a third-generation tank. By the time one hundred percent in Germany managed to revive the tank building, and experts at the German got hold of a lot of experience in the development and improvement of the MBT Leopard 1.
From one to the other modifications
The tank Leopard 2A1 (produced in 1982-1984) established thermal sight, increased armor protection (new filler in composite armor), increased the reliability of a number of systems and units. Total 750 was such machines. In addition, all Leopard 2 tanks upgraded to the level of 2A1. They were designated Leopard 2A2.
300 Leopard 2A3 tanks modification (1984-1985) equipped with the latest radio SEM 80/90 and upgraded parking brake, there were other small improvements. Was introduced tricolor camouflage pattern.
The tanks Leopard 2A4 (1985-1990, 695 units) appeared digital ballistic computer, brand new fire suppression system in the ammunition shot went DM 33 with armor-piercing discarding sabot projectile, the core of which was the increased value of the case length to diameter.
More significant changes endured design of the tank Leopard 2A5 (in 1995, 1998, previously upgraded the level of 225 cars 2A4). On the frontal part of the tower and the machine body armor installed modules are expensive with elements of the integrated dynamic protection, introduced Ballistic hit, electric stabilizer upgraded MSA Krupp Atlas. In the commander's panoramic sight embedded imager, an image which is displayed on a special display. This enables the commander of the crew, without the help of others to monitor the situation on the battlefield in the black clock. In a laser rangefinder combined Gunner used an improved microprocessor, eliminating the occurrence of the secondary, the wrong echo. The combat weight of the tank have gained 62.5 tons.
The last modification of the German became the main tank Leopard 2A6 (2001-2003). This machine is a Leopard 2A5, armed with 120-mm gun with a barrel length of 55 calibres. In ammunition shells DM53 introduced with the reference speed of 1750 meters per second. Fire these munitions can be carried out on targets at ranges up to 5000 meters. Maximum efficiency is obtained projectile acts because of its great length, mass, speed, flight and durable material used to produce it. It is made of a special alloy solid on the basis of depleted uranium. For option 2A6 were upgraded all 225 Leopard 2A5 tanks.
The above modification supplied to arm the Bundeswehr. But one can not ignore the German machine options that are available and delivered in the armies of other countries. Much less that the Leopard 2 — one of the few modern tanks, whose creation has lasted now, with almost only for export.
Armored "mercenaries" and "peacekeepers"
First overseas version of the German tank was the Leopard 2NL, created for the armed forces of the Netherlands. In the years 1982-1986, they bought 445 tanks. This machine was modified A4 kitted 7.62-mm machine guns FN MAG, 12 smoke grenade launchers (6 for each side of the tower), the radio station and the device monitoring the driver's Dutch production. In 1997-1998, 114 of their own Leopard 2NL Dutch sold in Austria and another 57 (2001-2002) of Norway. From 1996 to 2000 year 180 tanks were upgraded at 2A5NL version of Leopard. Since 2003, 180 Leopard 2NL upgraded to Leopard version 2A6NL.
In 1995-1996, Spain received on the criteria rent 108 Leopard 2 tanks. Machines hitherto operated in the army of the kingdom, but he does not belong.
In December 1998, Germany and Spain have signed an agreement for the licensed production of 239 Leopard 2A5 tanks. Their serial production was due to be implemented in the company of General Dynamics Santa Barbara Sistemas. In fact, immediately after the occurrence of a 120-millimeter cannon with a barrel length of 55 calibres 2A5E project turned into 2A6E. First serial tank left the factory shops at the end of 2003. Aaplet planned to finish by March 2008. But on this day, apparently because of financial difficulties made just 20 of Spanish Leopard 2A6E.
The main performance characteristics of the Leopard 2
|Combat weight (t)||55.15|
|The crew (people)||4|
|height (on the roof of the tower)||2790|
|gun Rheinmetall Rh-120 120 mm||1|
|MG 3 coaxial machine gun 7.62 mm||1|
|anti-aircraft machine gun MG 3 7.62 mm||1|
|launchers to launch smoke grenades||16|
|stabilizer arms (two-plane electro)||WHA-H22|
|laser rangefinder sight with integrated thermal channel||EMES-15|
|panoramic periscope sight / monitoring device commander||PERI-R17|
|Reservation (protivosnaryadnoe combined) — the equivalent on resistance (building / tower) (mm):|
|from 120-mm solid-body BPS||450-470/450-470|
|from 120-mm CS with monobloc warhead||650-700/650-700|
|MTU MB 873 Ka-501 (12-cylinder V-twin four-stroke liquid cooled) power (hp) (at 2600 rev / min)||1500 (1100 kW)|
|Box: Renk HSWL-354/3, double-flow hydro, contains a hydrodynamic torque converter with lock-up clutch, automatic planetary gear (4 +2) and steering with double differential and hydrostatic transmission|
|Chassis seven doubles rubber rollers on board, four single rubberized support rollers, drive gear position at the rear with removable gear rings (engagement lantern), steering wheel, suspension with torsion bar solo disc friction dampers on the 1 -, 2 -, 6 -, and 7th hardpoints, track width of 630 mm with a RLL parallel type with jointed rail track links with a treadmill and removable rubber pads|
|Highest speed (km / h)||72|
|In store speed (km)||550|
|the angle of elevation (g)||30|
|width of the trench (m)||3|
|wall height (m)||1.1|
|fording depth (m)||0.8 (s OPVT 4)|
|Communications: SEM 70 radio and intercom|
There is evidence of a brand new treaty providing for the issue of up to 249 tanks in 2016. Perhaps, it is about renegotiating an old agreement with the extension of delivery times and a certain increase in their volume.
In December 1985, the Swiss Parliament adopted a decision on the purchase of 380 Leopard 2 and taking them into service under the designation Pz.87. First 35 cars were built in Germany, and others — in the Swiss municipality tank factory RUAG Land Systems in the town of Thun until 1993 with the rate of assembly of the tank 73 times a year. Pz.87 corresponds to the option A4, but it set the standard machine guns Swiss, South American radio station AN/VRC-12, British newcomer fire suppression system, and improved anti-nuclear (ESD), and a number of other smaller improvements.
In 1994, a contract was signed for the supply of 160 Leopard 2A4 tanks from the Bundeswehr's presence in Sweden, where the machines were designated Strv 121. In December 1997, the Nazis passed the Swedish army first of 120 ordered tanks Leopard 2A5. With all of this 29 of them were carried out in Germany and Sweden (company BAE Systems Bofors manufactured the tower, after that, they were equipped with a German company Wegmann and vorachivalis in Sweden, just as firms BAE Systems Hagglunds and Krauss-Maffei gathered the body), and 91 — is exclusively in Sweden under license. The tank has been called Strv 122, became the first in Europe battle machine, curb Tank Information Management System (TIUS).
The last modification of the Leopard 2 as a main battle tank for the future in 2002 elected the Greek army. In 2003, signed a contract for delivery in 2006-2009, 170 MBT Leopard 2A6EH granted in Greece designation Leopard 2HEL. The agreement provided that the first 30 cars will bring the company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, and the other 140 — Greek company ELVO. 56 of 170 tanks will be performed in the commander's version with additional means of communication. All tanks are equipped Leopard 2HEL TIUS Iniochos company Rheinmetall Defence Electronics, and computer-MSA thermal imaging system Ophelios. 1st Leopard 2HEL entered the tests in 2005. Clearly the number of MBT made of this type in the current time to call hard, but there is reason to believe that because of the financial crisis of delivery of tanks is seriously behind schedule.
Meanwhile, in 2005, Germany has sent to Greece 183 Leopard 2A4 tanks from the presence of the Bundeswehr.
It must be emphasized that the vast family of combat and support vehicles, as was the case with the Leopard 1, based on the Leopard 2 was established. Exceptions were only the ARV and training tank, without which it could not do without.
The first production tank Leopard 2 was passed Bundeswehr October 25, 1979. Now these machines are equipped with all the staff of German tank battalions of the Army. In warfare Leopard 2 is never involved. From 1999 to the multinational peacekeeping force in Kosovo — KFOR — came 214th Tank Battalion (Pz.Btl.214) Bundeswehr Leopard 2A5 MBT kitted out. In the multinational force in Bosnia — SFOR — in 2003, was the 101st Tank Battalion, the Dutch armed forces, which had also Leopard 2A5.
As of January 1, 2010 Leopard 2 tanks of various modifications are made in the armies of Austria (114 units, the former Dutch), Germany (over 1000 of them 225 Leopard 2A6), Greece (183 Leopard 2A4), Denmark (57 2A5DK Leopard) , Spain (128, of them 20 Leopard 2A6E), the Netherlands (262 A5 and A6), Norway (57, former Dutch), Poland (128 Leopard 2A4), Portugal (37 Leopard 2A6), Singapore (96 Leopard 2A4 of their 30 designed for disassembly for spare parts), Turkey (298 Leopard 2A4), Finland (124 Leopard 2A4), Chile (118), Switzerland (380) and Sweden (280).