Slava Novorossiya

Slava Novorossiya

Thursday, August 9, 2012


I would like to wish Singapore a Happy National Day, Singapore is now 47 years old. When I saw the National Day Parade, I noticed that they are using Leopard 2 tanks. I got the information from Wikipedia

Leopard 2A5 of the German Army (Heer)

The Leopard 2 is a main battle tank developed by Krauss-Maffei in the early 1970s for the West German Army. The tank first entered service in 1979 and succeeded the earlier Leopard 1 as the main battle tank of the German Army. Various versions have served in the armed forces of Germany and twelve other European countries, as well as several non-European nations. More than 3,480 Leopard 2s have been manufactured. The Leopard 2 first saw combat in Kosovo with the German Army and has also seen action in Afghanistan with the Danish and Canadian contributions to the International Security Assistance Force.

There are two main development batches of the tank, the original models up to Leopard 2A4 which have vertically-faced turret armour, and the "improved" batch, namely the Leopard 2A5 and newer versions, which have angled arrow-shaped turret appliqué armour together with a number of other improvements. All models feature digital fire control systems with laser rangefinders, a fully stabilized main gun and coaxial machine gun, and advanced night vision and sighting equipment (first vehicles used a low-light level TV system or LLLTV; thermal imaging was introduced later on). The tank has the ability to engage moving targets while moving over rough terrain.

Type Main battle tank
Place of origin West Germany
Service history
In service 1979-present
Used by See Operators

Production history
Designer Krauss-Maffei
Designed 1970s
Unit cost 2A6: US$5.74 million (2007)
Produced 1979-present
Variants See Variants

Weight 2A6: 62.3 tonnes (61.3 long tons; 68.7 short tons)
Length 2A6: 9.97 m (393 in) (gun forward)
Width 2A6: 3.75 m (148 in)
Height 2A6: 3.0 m (120 in)
Crew 4

Armour 2A6: 3rd generation composite; including high-hardness steel, tungsten and plastic filler with ceramic component.
Main armament 1 x 120 mm Rheinmetall L55 smoothbore gun[
42 rounds
Secondary armament 2 x 7.62 mm MG3A1
4,750 rounds
Engine MTU MB 873 Ka-501 liquid-cooled V-12 Twin-turbo diesel engine
1,500 PS (1,479 hp, 1,103 kW) at 2,600 rpm
Power/weight 24.1 PS/t (17.7 kW/t)
Transmission Renk HSWL 354
Fuel capacity 1,200 liters[3](317 gallons)
Operational range 550 km (340 mi) (internal fuel)[1] Speed 72 km/h (45 mph)


Even as the Leopard 1 was entering service in 1965, an up-gunned version with the new Rheinmetall L44 120 mm gun was being considered to keep pace with newer Soviet designs, but this was cancelled in favour of the MBT-70 "super-tank" project developed jointly with the United States. The MBT-70 was a revolutionary design, but after large cost overruns, Germany withdrew from the project in 1969.

Work on a national development was started in 1970 by Krauss-Maffei. A year later, a choice was made for it to be based on the earlier Experimentalentwicklung (later named Keiler) project of the late sixties (itself derived from the vergoldeter Leopard or "gilded Leopard"), instead of being a modified MBT-70 or Eber. The name of the design was determined in 1971 as "Leopard 2" with the original Leopard retroactively becoming the Leopard 1. Seventeen prototypes were ordered that year (only sixteen hulls were built). They had to have a maximum weight of fifty metric tons.

On 11 December 1974 a Memorandum of Understanding was signed with the USA for the possible joint production of a new MBT, after the Americans had bought and investigated prototype hull number seven in 1973. In view of the experiences in the Yom Kippur War a much higher level of protection was demanded than was implemented in the prototypes, that used heavily sloped spaced armour. The weight class was increased to sixty tons. Prototype turret number fourteen was changed to test a new armour configuration, and was turned into a blockier looking turret as a result of using vertical steel perforated armour; it already had been much more voluminous than the turret of a Leopard 1 because of a large internal ammunition storage locker in the rear bustle. The Leopard 2 thus initially used perforated armour, and not Chobham armour as is sometimes claimed. PT-14 used the 120 mm Rheinmetall gun (as eventually did the U.S. Abrams). After this, two new prototype hulls and three turrets were ordered, one (PT-20) mounting the original L7A3 105 mm gun and a Hughes fire control system, a second (PT-19) with the same fire control system but able to "swap out" the gun for the 120 mm Rheinmetall design (it was indeed so changed by the Americans), and one more (PT-21) mounting the Hughes-Krupp Atlas Elektronik EMES 13 fire control system, with the 120 mm gun.

Leopard 2 Prototype (pre-series) PT 19 (1978)    

In mid-1976 prototype 19 was assembled and shipped to the USA, together with hull number twenty and a special target vehicle to test the armour. The prototype was called Leopard 2AV (Austere Version) because it had a simplified fire control system. It arrived in the US by the end of August 1976, and comparative tests between the Leopard 2 and the XM1 (the prototype name for the M1 Abrams) prototypes were held from 1 September at Aberdeen Proving Ground, lasting until December 1976. The US Army reported that the Leopard 2 and the XM1 were comparable in firepower and mobility, but the XM1 was superior in armour protection. Today we know this was true as regards a hit by a hollow charge; but against KE-attack the Leopard 2 was almost twice as well protected as the original M1 (650 mm to 350 mm). Its more traditional multi-fuel turbodiesel engine was also more reliable, and provided similar performance with less fuel consumption, with more noise but a smaller heat signature. This type of engine also allowed for quick engine startups and shutdowns to prevent the need for long idling periods on the battlefield. Hull twenty was fitted with simulation weights; later it was discovered that these equalled only the weight of a turret without armour modules fitted, invalidating all performance data. After the comparative test the Leopard 2 hulls were returned to Germany for further evaluation, but turret 19 remained and was fitted to the hull of prototype seven, whilst its gun was changed for the 120 mm Rheinmetall. In tests until March 1977 it was found to be far superior to the 105 mm L7 mounted on the Abrams, which was confirmed by subsequent NATO tank gunnery contests.

Before tests had begun the United States had selected the Chrysler XM1 prototype for full development. In January 1977 Germany ordered a small pre-series of three hulls and two turrets, delivered in 1978. These vehicles had increased armour protection on the front of the hull. In September 1977 1800 Leopard 2 were ordered, to be produced in five batches. The first was delivered on 25 October 1979. The Dutch army had already rejected the M1 because of its high operating costs and the refusal by the Americans to fit a Dutch version with the 120 mm gun and instead ordered 445 Leopard 2s on 2 March 1979. The Swiss ordered 35 tanks on 24 August 1983 and started license production of 345 additional vehicles in December 1987. Thus hardly being a major export success in the 1980s (no tank of the latest generation was), the type became very popular in the 1990s, when the shrinking German army offered many of its redundant Leopard 2s at a reduced price. It became successful enough in Europe that the manufacturer started calling it the Euro Leopard, despite France, Britain, and Italy all operating their own MBTs. But with further non-European orders, the name "Global-Leopard" is now used instead.

The Singapore Army acquired a total of 96 ex-German Leopard 2A4s, including 30 spare tanks. Upgraded with additional AMAP composite armour in 2010 by IBD & ST Kinetics and was renamed L2SG in October 2010.

Leopard 2SG of the Singapore Army upgraded with AMAP Composite Armour and towards the rear with slat armour by IBD & ST Kinetics

Technical data
Technical Data
Leopard 2A4
Leopard 2A5
Leopard 2A6/A6M
MTU-12-cylinder-Diesel engine MB 873-Ka 501, with two exhaust turbochargers
47,600 cm3, RPM: 2,600/min
Power output:
1,500 PS (1,479 hp, 1,103 kW)
Hydro-mechanical control, reversing and steering gear HSWL 354 with combined hydrodynamic-mechanical service brake, 4 forward, 2 reverse
Suspension system:
Torsion bar spring mounted support roller drive with hydraulic dampers
Turret forward:
9,670 mm
10,970 mm

3,750 mm
2,990 mm
3,030 mm

Ground clearance:
540 mm
Wading depth without preparation:
1,200 mm
Wading depth with snorkel:
4,000 mm
Trench passability:
3,000 mm
Climbing ability:
1,100 mm
Empty weight:
52 t
57.3 t
57.6 t
A6M 60.2 t
Combat weight:
55.15 t
59.5 t
A6 59.9 t (maximum mass; 61.7 t),
A6M 62.5 t
Maximum speed:
68 km/h; backwards 31 km/h

Fuel capacity:
1,160 liters (limited to 900 liters when not in battle)

Fuel consumption and operating range:
Road: ca. 340 l/100 km, ca. 340 km
Terrain: ca. 530 l/100 km, ca. 220 km
Average: ca. 410 l/100 km, ca. 280 km
Static test: 12,5 l/h, 72–93 hours (with 900–1,160 liters capacity)

Rotation time (360°):
10 seconds

Rheinmetall 120 mm smoothbore gun L/44 and 2 machine guns
Rheinmetall 120 mm smoothbore gun L/55 and 2 machine guns

Turret weight:
16 t
21 t

Turret rotation time:

360° in 9 seconds (electric)

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