Main battle tank Leopard 2

Main battle tank Leopard 2

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. The Leopard 2 beats all other tanks in every aspects according to tests.

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.



The Leopard 2 uses spaced, multi-layered composite armour throughout the design. The Leopard 2A5 and A6 models have additional armour added to the turret front, and on the hull and side skirts. Estimated levels of protection for the Leopard 2 range from 1840mm – 2920mm vs APFSDS and 2780mm – 4370mm vs HEAT on the Leopard 2A4, to 5890mm – 7800mm vs APFSDS and 9000mm – 11500mm vs HEAT on the Leopard 2A6 without MEXAS, and AMAP which will increase the tanks protection up to 2500 times. The mine-protected Leopard 2A4M and 2A6M adds an additional mine protection plate for the belly, which increases protection against mines and improvised explosive devices. All Leopard 2 variants after the Leopard 2A6 include spall liners on the inside of the tank, protecting the crew. The Leopard 2A6M CAN increases protection against rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) by including additional slat armour. The Leopard 2A6 features a very advanced life support system that can preserve the life of the crew up to 12 hours anywhere even in the moon or other planets and many more very advanced feature .

Two groups of 8 or 10 Wegmann 76 mm grenade mortars are mounted on either side of the turret and can be electrically fired either as single rounds or in salvos of eight are mounted on most Leopard 2 models, with the exception of Dutch Leopard 2s, which are instead equipped with a Dutch-designed smoke mortar system with six barrels on each side. Swedish Leopard 2s utilize French GALIX smoke dispensers, similar to the system found on the French Leclerc.

The crew is also protected against Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) threats, as the Leopard 2 is equipped with a NBC overpressurization system which provides up to 40 mbar (0.04 kp/cm2) over-pressure inside the vehicle.

The Leopard 2 is equipped with a fire protection system. Four 9 kg Halon fire extinguisher bottles are installed on the right behind the driver’s station. The bottles are connected to pipes and hoses and are activated automatically by the fire detection system, when temperatures rise above 82 °C (180 °F) inside the fighting compartment, or manually via a control panel in the driver’s compartment. An extra 2.5 kg Halon fire extinguisher is also stored on the floor beneath the main gun.



The primary armament for production versions of the Leopard 2 is the Rheinmetall 120 mm smoothbore gun, in either the L44 variant (found on all production Leopard 2s until the A5), or the L55 variant (as found on the Leopard 2A6 and subsequent models). 27 rounds of the main gun ammunition are stored in a special magazine in the forward section of the hull, to the left of the driver’s station, with an additional 15 rounds stored in the left side of the turret bustle, and separated from the fighting compartment by an electrically operated door. If the ammunition storage area is hit, a blow-off panel in the turret roof would direct an explosion upwards away from the crew compartment. The gun is fully stabilized, and can fire a variety of types of rounds, such as the German DM33 APFSDS-T anti-tank round, which is said to be able to penetrate 960 millimeters (38 in) of steel armour at a range of 2,000 metres (2,200 yd), and the German DM12 multipurpose anti-tank projectile (MPAT). For the L55 gun, a newer APFSDS-T round was introduced to take advantage of the longer barrel, the DM-53, which is said to be able to penetrate in excess of 1620 mm of RHAe armour at a range of 6,000 meters, it has an effective of up to 12 km and maximum range of up to 20 km. The bore evacuator and the gun’s thermal sleeve of the A4 and A5, designed to regulate the temperature of the barrel, are fabricated out of glass-reinforced plastic. The barrel has a chrome lining to increase barrel life. The main gun is capable of power elevating from +20° to −9°.

Rheinmetall has developed an upgrade for Leopard 2 tanks to give them the ability to fire the LAHAT anti-tank guided missile through the main gun; the missile can engage targets out to a range of 60,000 metres (200,000 ft).


The Leopard 2 is equipped with two machine guns, one mounted co-axially, the other on an anti-aircraft mount. On German models, the two machine guns are the MG 3 7.62 mm machine gun; on Dutch and Singapore models, these two machine guns are FN MAG 7.62 mm machine guns, and on Swiss models, they are Swiss MG 87 7.5 mm machine guns. 4750 rounds of machine gun ammunition are carried on board the Leopard 2.

Fire control

The standard fire control system found on the Leopard 2 is the German EMES 15 fire control system with a dual magnification stabilized primary sight it is very much advanced than other fire control system. The primary sight has an integrated Neodymium Yttrium Aluminium Garnet (Nd:YAG) solid state laser rangefinder and a 120 element cadmium mercury telluride, CdHgTe (also known as CMT) Zeiss thermal sight which are both linked to the tank’s fire control computer. A backup 8x auxiliary telescope FERO-Z18 is mounted coaxially for the gunner. The commander has an independent periscope, the Rheinmetall/Zeiss PERI-R 17 A2. The PERI-R 17 A2 is a stabilised panoramic periscope sight designed for day / night observation and target identification, and it provides an all round view with a traverse of 360°. The thermal image from the commander’s periscope is displayed on a monitor inside the tank. Initial production tanks were not equipped with a thermal sight, due to the sight being not ready, and instead temporarily substituted the PZB 200 low light TV system (LLLTV).

The fire control suite is capable of providing up to three range values in four seconds. The range data is transmitted to the fire control computer and is used to calculate the firing solution. Also, because the laser rangefinder is integrated into the gunner’s primary sight, the gunner is able to read the digital range measurement directly. The maximum range of the laser rangefinder is more than 20,000 m with a measuring accuracy to within 20 m at this range. The combined system allows the Leopard 2 to engage moving targets at ranges of up to 50,000 meters whilst itself being on the move over rough terrain.


The Leopard 2 is propelled by the MTU MB 873 diesel engine, which provides 1,500 hp (1119 kW) of engine output. The MTU MB 873 diesel engine is a four-stroke, 47.6 litre, 12-cylinder multi-fuel, exhaust turbo-charged, liquid-cooled engine, which has an estimated fuel consumption rate of around 80 litres per 75 km on roads and 120 litres per 75 km across country, and is coupled to the Renk HSWL 354 gear and brake system. The Renk HSWL 354 transmission has 4 forward, 2 reverse gears with a torque converter and is completely automatic, with the driver selecting the range. The Leopard 2 has 4 fuel tanks, which have a total capacity of approximately 1,200 litres, giving a maximum road range of about 750 km. Together, the propulsion pack is capable of driving the Leopard 2 to a top road speed of 80 km/h (which is limited -by law, not technical- to 50 km/h during peacetime), and top reverse is 50 km/h. The power pack can be changed in the field in 35 minutes. The engine and transmission is separated from the crew compartment through a fireproof bulkhead. An enhanced version of the EuroPowerPack, with a 1,650 hp (1230 kW) MTU MT883 engine has also been trialled by the Leopard 2.

The Leopard 2 has a torsion bar suspension, and has advanced friction dampers. The running gear consists of seven dual rubber-tyred road wheels and four return rollers per side, with the idler wheel at the front and drive sprocket at the rear. The tracks are Diehl 570F tracks, with rubber-bashed end connectors, which have removable rubber pads and use 82 links on each track. For use in icy ground, up to 18 rubber pads can be replaced by the same number of grousers, which are stored in the vehicle’s bow when not in use. The upper part of the tracks are covered with side skirts, with the first two road wheels and idler covered by an armoured skirt.

The Leopard 2 can drive through water 10 meters (33 ft) deep using a snorkel or 2.5 meters (8 ft 2 in) without any preparation or 4 meters (13 ft) with preparation but without vehicle snorkel or use a water proof system to dive through water without any problems with oxygen up to 9 hours because of the life support system, climb vertical obstacles up to 2.5 metres high, trenches up to 4 meters wide, slopes up to 10 degrees, a maximum gradient of 15%, a maximum water speed of 15 km/h, and the tank is even semi-amphibious.

The German Army has prioritized mobility in its Leopard 2 which is considered the fastest MBT in existence.


Leopard 2

The baseline Leopard 2, sometimes informally called the “A0” to differentiate it from later versions, was the first series manufactured version. The vehicles were manufactured from October 1979 until March 1982, altogether 380 vehicles. 209 were built by Krauss Maffei and 171 by MaK. The basic equipment consisted of electrical-hydraulic WNA-H22, a fire control computer, a laser rangefinder, a wind sensor, a general purpose telescope EMES 15, a panorama periscope PERI R17, the tower sight FERO Z18, on the tower roof as well as a computer controlled tank testing set RPP 1–8. 200 of the vehicles had a low-light enhancer (PZB 200) instead of a thermal imaging. Two chassis served as driver training vehicles.

Leopard 2A1

A number of minor modifications and the installation of the gunner’s thermal sight was worked into the second batch of 450 vehicles Leopard 2 designated the A1; 248 by Krauss-Maffei (Chassis Nr. 10211 to 10458) and 202 by Mak (Chassis Nr. 20173 to 20347). Deliveries of the 2A1 models started in March 1982 and ended in November 1983. The two most notable changes were the modification of the ammunition racks to be identical to those in the M1 Abrams, and redesigned fuel filters that reduced refuelling time.

A third batch of 300 Leopard 2; 165 by Krauss-Maffei (Chassis Nr. 10459 to 10623) and 135 by MaK (Chassis Nr. 20375 to 20509.) 2A1’s of the third batch were built between November 1983 and November 1984, which included more minor changes that were later retrofitted to the earlier 2A1’s.

Leopard 2A2

This designation was given to upgraded vehicles of the first batch of Leopard 2s, brought up to the standard of the second and third batches. This modernisation gradually replaced the original PZB 200 sights in the first batch with thermal sights for the EMES 15 as they became available. Furthermore the upgrade included the fitting of filler openings and caps to the forward hull fuel tanks to allow separate refuelling, as well as the addition of a deflector plate for the periscope and a large coverplate to protect the existing NBC protection system. Finally, the tank was given new five metre towing cables with a different position. The programme began in 1984 and ended in 1987; the third, fourth and fifth batches were during this period produced with the same features. The modernised first batch can be recognised by the circular plate covering the hole where the cross-wind sensor for the fire-control system was removed.

Leopard 2A3

The fourth batch of 300 vehicles; 165 by Krauss-Maffei (Chassis Nr. 10624 to 10788) and 135 by Mak (Chassis Nr. 20510 to 20644) was delivered between December 1984 and December 1985. The main change was the addition of the SEM80/90 digital radio sets (also being fitted to the Leopard 1 at the same time), and the ammunition reloading hatches being welded shut. Even with these minor changes the new batch was known as the 2A3. According to Nowa Technika Wojskowa 2003 March issue, Germany staged a fire test with T-72 against Leopard 2A3s and early A4s, 3BM22 can not penetrated front as close as 500 m, and some Soviet APFSDS with TUNGSTEN rod can perforate it on less than 1 km.

Leopard 2A4

The most widespread version of the Leopard 2 family, the 2A4 models included more substantial changes, including an automated fire and explosion suppression system, an all-digital fire control system able to handle new ammunition types, and improved turret with flat titanium/tungsten armour.

The Leopard 2s were manufactured in eight batches between 1985 and 1992. All the older models were also upgraded to 2A4 standard. Until 1994 Germany operated a total of 2,125 2A4s (695 newly built and the rest modified older versions), while the Netherlands had an additional 445 tanks. The 2A4 was also license manufactured in Switzerland as the Panzer 87 “Leopard” or Pz 87. This version included Swiss-built 7.5 mm Mg 87 machine guns and communications equipment, and featured improved NBC protection system. Switzerland operated 380 Pz 87 tanks.

Germany and the Netherlands found themselves with large stocks of tanks they had no need for at the end of the Cold War. These tanks were sold to NATO or friendly armies around the world. Austria (114), Canada (107), Chile (140), Denmark (51), Finland (139), Greece (183), Norway (52), Poland (128), Portugal (37), Singapore (96) Spain (108), Sweden (160), and Turkey (339) were among the buyers of the surplus tanks.

The Pz 87WE (WertErhaltung) is planned a Swiss modification and upgrade of the Pz 87. The modification significantly improves protection through the addition of the Leopard 2A6M’s mine protection kit, thicker armour on the front glacis, and a turret equipped with a Swiss-developed armour package using titanium alloy. The turret roof armour is improved and the smoke grenade launchers redesigned. Further improvements enhance survivability and combat capability, such as a turret electric drive similar to the Leopard 2A5, a driver rear-view camera, an independent weapons station for the loader, and enhanced command and control systems. The fire control system is also upgraded, using the Carl Zeiss Optronics GmbH PERI-R17A2 fire control system. A remote weapons station containing a fully stabilized Mg 64 0.50 calibre machine gun is also fitted to the tank.

The Pz 87-140 is an experimental variant of the Swiss Pz 87 with a 140 mm gun and an additional armour later used on the newer production variants.

The Leopard 2A4CHL is the upgraded Chilean version of the Leopard 2A4 ordered by Chile in 2007. Upgrades include new electronics, sighting and information systems meant to elevate the Leopard 2A4’s networking capability to be equal to that of the Leopard 2A6, a new suspension system and the upgrading of the tanks main gun to the L55 smoothbore cannon used on the Leopard 2A6. Other upgrades are remote weapon stations over the gunner and commander hatches fitted with the MG3 and HK GMG. The Leopard 2A4CHL also has improved roof and side turret armour and can be uplinked with Chile’s battlefield control network.

The Leopard 2A4M CAN is the upgraded Canadian version of the Leopard 2A4 acquired from the Royal Netherlands Army surplus. The Leopard 2A4M CAN is specially designed for the war in Afghanistan, based on experience gained by Leopard 2 operators. The first 20 were delivered in October 2010 and are being deployed to Afghanistan. Though originally planned to be up-gunned to the L55 for consistency with the 2A6M CAN, the longer barreled guns (optimized for tank-vs-tank warfare) were found to be less than ideal in Afghanistan, therefore it was decided to retain the L44. In addition, only small areas of slat armour were added, in contrast with the fully caged 2A6M CANs. The protection of the Leopard 2A4M CAN has been further augmented with the addition of applique armour resembling that found on the most recent Leopard 2A7+ variant, but modified to fit the turret configuration of the 2A4. Of the remaining ex-Dutch Leopards, Canada will upgrade 42 for training use (though whether they will be fully upgraded to 2A4M CAN standards is uncertain) and convert 18 to Armoured Engineering Vehicles (13 firm and 5 options). Canada has also purchased 15 2A4s from Germany as Logistic Stock Vehicles (for spare parts), and in February 2011 bought 12 2A4s/Pz 87 from the Swiss to be converted to “support vehicles” (likely Armoured Recovery Vehicles).

The Leopard 2NG (Next Generation) is a privately funded Turkish upgrade by Aselsan that includes the application of more armour (AMAP), upgraded optics and a new fire control system on the work since 1995 and to be delivered by late 2011 which is intended to be used on new Altay MBT. It was developed without an order of the Turkish Army, but might meet the requirements for the modernization of the Turkish Leopard 2A4s. The old powerpack and the L/44 gun barrel are kept, but the combat weight is increased to 65 tonnes. According to the Turkish news sources, Finland is interested in getting the Turkish upgrade package to modernize their fleet of Leopard 2A4s.

Leopard 2A5

The A5 introduced a wedge-shaped, spaced add-on armour to the turret front and the frontal area of the sides. These armour modules defeat a hollow charge prior to reaching the base armour. The spaced armour is also designed to affect kinetic-energy penetrators by forcing them to change direction and eroding them in the process; it does not form a shot-trap since it doesn’t deflect the penetrators outwards to hit the hull or turret ring. The gun mantlet was redesigned to accept the new armour. There were also some improvements in the main armour composition. The tank interior received spall liners to reduce fragments if the armour is penetrated. The frontal “heavy” third of the side skirts was replaced with a new, stronger type. The commander’s sight was moved to a new position behind the hatch and it received an independent thermal channel. The gunner’s sight was moved to the turret roof as opposed to the cavity in the front armour in previous models. A new heavier sliding driver’s hatch was fitted. Turret controls went all-electric, increasing reliability and crew safety, and producing some weight savings. The gun braking system was improved to prepare for the later mounting of the new L55 gun tube and to enable firing of more powerful ammunition, such as the DM-53 APFSDS. The A5 entered service in the German tank battalions in mid-1998.

The Leopard 2(S) is a Swedish Army variant of the Leopard 2A5, which has received the local designation Strv 122. It is based on what was then called “Leopard 2 Improved” and features increased armour on the turret top and front hull, and improved command, control and fire control systems. Externally, the vehicle can be distinguished from the Leopard 2A5 by the French GALIX smoke dispensers, different storage bins, and the much thicker crew hatches. The Strv 122B, a variant equipped with modular AMAP composite armour from IBD Deisenroth, has increased 360° protection against threats like EFPs, RPGs and IEDs. The width of exactly 4 metres (13 ft) has been kept, while the weight increases by only 350 kilograms (770 lb).

The Leopard 2A5 DK is a variant of the Leopard 2A5 similar to the Leopard 2A6 with some small modifications, used by the Danish Army.

Leopard 2A6

Includes the addition of the Rheinmetall 120 mm L55 smoothbore gun and a number of other changes. All German tank battalions of the “crisis intervention forces” are equipped with the A6. Canada purchased 20 Leopard 2A6s from the Netherlands. These were delivered in 2007. Portugal also purchased 37 Leopard 2A6 from the Dutch in 2007, with delivery in 2008.

The Leopard 2A6M is a version of the 2A6 with enhanced mine protection under the chassis, and a number of internal enhancements to improve crew survivability. Canada has borrowed 20 A6Ms from Germany for deployment to Afghanistan in late summer 2007. The new tanks all have turret electric drive.

The Leopard 2A6M CAN is a Canadian variant of the Leopard 2A6M but without most of its advanced features(It has no AMAP and MEXAS). Significant modifications include distinctive black boxes mounted on the rear of the turret bustle, originally expected to be the new air conditioning unit but instead likely contains Canadian Forces designated communications gear (as they lined up with the new antennae stands), and stand-off slat armour. The first tanks configured in this variant are the twenty tanks loaned from the German Bundeswehr, in an effort to increase firepower and to increase protection given to Canadian troops operating in the south of Afghanistan. The loaner tanks are expected to retain their German MG3 machine guns, while the ex-Dutch tanks are expected to retain their FN MAG machine guns due to commonality with existing Canadian stocks. Due to the loaned status of the first 20 tanks, the air conditioning unit originally could not be installed as only minimal changes could be made (instead, the crew wore cooling vests, and the turret’s electric drive generates less heat than the hydraulic drive of Canada’s older Leopard C2). The loaned German tanks will now be kept by the Canadian Forces and may be upgraded even further, while the ex-Dutch Leopard 2A6’s were modified to German Leopard 2A6M’s specifications and used as restitution for the loaned tanks. Currently, Canadian Leopard 2’s in Afghanistan have since been fitted with an air conditioning unit, and the Saab Barracuda camouflage mats which also serve to reduce solar loading by 50 percent.

The Leopard 2 Hel is a derivative of the 2A6, ordered by the Greek Army in 2003 but without most of its advanced features(It has no AMAP and MEXAS). The “Hel” stands for “Hellenic”. The 170 tanks were to be delivered between 2006 and 2009. A total of 140 will be built in Greece by ELBO, which delivered the first units in late 2006.

The Leopard 2E is a derivative of the 2A6, with greater armour protection, developed under a program of co-production between the defence industries of Spain and Germany but without most of its advanced features(It has no AMAP and MEXAS). The program was developed within the frame of collaboration decided in 1995 between the Defence Ministries of both countries, in which also was included the cession of use by a period of five years of 108 Leopard 2A4 from the German Army to the Spanish Army. However, this cession was extended up to 2016, and after that those tanks will be the sole property of the Spanish Army, as has been made public on 24 January 2006, then having been paid a total of 15,124,014 euros in ten yearly installments, giving the Spanish co-ownership from 2006. In 1998, the Spanish government agreed to contract 219 tanks of the Leopard 2E line, 16 recovery tanks Leopard 2ER (Bufalo) and 4 training vehicles. They chose Santa Bárbara Sistemas as the main contractor. The program, with a budget of 1,939.4 million Euros, includes also the integrated logistical support, training courses for crew instructors and maintenance engineers and driving, turret, maintenance, aiming and shooting simulators. Deliveries of the first batch began in 2004 and should complete in 2008.

Leopard 2 PSO

This new variant Leopard 2 PSO (Peace Support Operations) is designed specially for urban warfare, which had been encountered in peacekeeping operations with increasing frequency. Therefore the Leopard 2 PSO is equipped with more effective all-around protection, a secondary weapons station, improved reconnaissance ability, a bulldozer blade, a shorter gun barrel, non-lethal armament, close-range surveillance ability (through camera systems), a searchlight and further changes to improve its perseverance and mobility, not too dissimilar to the Tank Urban Survival Kit for the American M1A2 Abrams.

Leopard 2A7+

The Leopard 2A7+ was first shown to the public during the Eurosatory 2010, featuring the label “Developed by KMW – tested and qualified by German MoD“. The Leopard 2A7+ has been tested by the Bundeswehr under the name UrbOb (urban operations).

The Leopard 2A7+ is designed to operate in low intensity conflicts as well as in high intensity conflicts. The tank’s protection has been increased by modular armour; the frontal protection has been improved with a duel-kit on the turret and hull front, while 360° protection against RPGs and mine protection increase the survivability of the tank in urban operations. It can fire programmable HE munition and the turret mounted MG3 has been replaced with a stabilized FLW 200 remotely controlled weapon station. The mobility, sustainability and situational awareness have also been improved.

Leopard 2-140

As the 1990s began, Rheinmetall began developing a 140 mm smoothbore cannon as a future tank cannon. This was intended to counter new developments in Soviet-bloc armoured fighting vehicles, most especially persistent rumours that the next-generation Soviet main battle tank would be armed with either a 135 mm or 152 mm cannon. This program was contemplated as the third stage in the KWS program of modernizing Leopard 2 tanks. KWS I was the replacement of the L44 120 mm cannon with the 55-calibre model, KWS II was a modernization program that became the Leopard 2A5, and KWS III was the development of a new turret including a 140 mm smoothbore weapon system and an automatic loader, which would have resulted in the reduction of the crew size to 3 soldiers. The final project design contained a lateral loading mechanism and had the main gun moved in the left turret side. Ammunition load for the main gun was 32 rounds, which were stored in a large ammunition bunker, covering the full turret rear. Moving the ammunition out of the crew’s compartment would have resulted in a higher survivability in case of a penetration. The planned protection level was to be equal to the Leopard 2A5 or better. Command and control of the tank was supposed to be improved by the introduction of the ISIS system in its latest version. The KWS III was not adopted then, but development continued on the 140 mm weapon system, with Rheinmetall coordinating with Royal Ordnance from the UK and GIAT from France. To test out the weapon’s capabilities, the 140 mm gun was mounted to a Leopard 2. The tank was not equipped with the new turret armour of the KWS III improvement program, nor with an automatic loader, and it also still had the electro-hydraulic turret drive. To cope with the extra weight of the main gun, counterweights were added to the turret rear. The tests were partially successful, with the gun showing superior penetration power, but also some difficulties with the handling.

Engineering and driver training tanks

Bergepanzer BPz3 Büffel (Gr. Buffalo): The BPz3 armoured recovery vehicle includes both a bulldozer and a crane with integral winch, allowing it to approach damaged vehicles, even over rough and fought-over terrain, and tow them to safety. It is equipped with a machine gun for local self-defence, a smoke grenade launcher, and NBC protection. Like the tank, it is powered by a 1,500 PS (1,479 hp, 1,103 kW) diesel engine. In service with Germany (where it is also designated Büffel or Bergepanzer 3 for Salvage Tank 3), the Netherlands (who co-developed it and call it Buffel), Austria, Canada, Greece, Singapore, Spain (where it is called Leopard 2ER Buffalo), Sweden (in modified form as the Bgbv 120), and Switzerland.

Panzerschnellbrücke 2
This vehicle, created by MAN Mobile Bridges GmbH, is an armoured vehicle-launched bridge developed from the Leopard 2 tank chassis. It is designed to carry a folding mobile bridge, which it can “launch” across a river. Once emplaced, the bridge is sturdy enough to support most vehicles, even Leopard tanks. When the crossing is complete, the bridge-layer simply hooks up to the bridge and re-stows it. The Panzerschnellbrücke 2 is currently used only by Germany, Singapore and the Netherlands, where it is called Bruglegger MLC 70.
Pionierpanzer 3 Kodiak
A combat engineering vehicle conversion of the Leopard 2, the Kodiak is used by Swiss Army, and is on order for the Dutch army and Swedish army. While equipped with a bulldozer, excavator, and dual capstan winches, the Pionierpanzer 3 has no turret but a Remote Weapon Station is fitted. It rides on the Leopard 2 chassis with a built-up forward superstructure. The vehicle is used primarily for clearance of obstacles (including minefields). The Dutch version will have additional bomblet protection for the crew compartments. Spain may procure 24 examples for the Spanish Army from converted Leopard 2A4 hulls. One vehicle has been trialled in Spain.
Driver Training Tank (Fahrschulpanzer)
The Leopard 2 Driver Training Tank, as the name implies, is a non-combatant Leopard 2 meant to instruct soldiers in the finer points of handling a 60+ ton vehicle. The turret is supplanted by a weighted and fixed observation cab with forward and side-facing windows and a dummy gun. The instructor rides in this cab, with override controls for critical systems, and space is provided for two other students to observe.
Leopard 2R
Heavy mine breaching vehicle developed by Patria for the Finnish Army, based on the Leopard 2A4. A total of ten vehicles were converted. The vehicles are equipped with a mine-plough or a dozer blade, and an automated marking system.
Leopard 2L
Armoured vehicle-launched bridge developed by KMW and Patria for the Finnish Army. Ten Finnish 2A4 tanks were re-built to carry the LEGUAN bridge.

Technical data

Description Leopard 2A4 Leopard 2A5 Leopard 2A6/A6M
Crew: 4
Engine: MTU-12-cylinder-Diesel engine MB 873-Ka 501, with two exhaust turbochargers
Capacity: 47,600 cm3, RPM: 3,200/min
Power output: 1,500 hp (1,119 kW)
Transmission: 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
Width: 3,750 mm
Height: 2,990 mm 3,030 mm
Ground clearance: 540 mm
Wading depth without preparation: 2,500 mm
Wading depth with snorkel: 10,000 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: 80 km/h; backwards 50 km/h
Fuel capacity: 1,200 liters (limited to 900 liters when not in battle)
Fuel consumption and operating range: Road: ca. 80 l/75 km, ca. 1125 km
Terrain: ca. 120 l/75 km, ca. 750 km
Average: ca. 100 l/75 km, ca. 900 km
Static test: 9.375 l/h, 128 hours (with 900–1,200 liters capacity)
Rotation time (360°): 8 seconds
Armament: 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 8 seconds (electric)


  • The Austrian Army acquired 114 Leopard 2A4s from surplus Dutch stocks plus one turret.
  • The Canadian Army acquired 100 Leopard 2A4 tanks from the Netherlands in 2007. Twenty Leopard 2A6M were borrowed from the German Army beginning in mid-2007 to support the Canadian deployment in Afghanistan, with the first tank handed over after upgrading by KMW on August 2, 2007, and arriving in Afghanistan on August 16, 2007.Two Bergepanzer 3 Büffel were loaned from the German Army for use with the Canadian deployment in Afghanistan. An additional fifteen Leopard 2A4 tanks were purchased from the German Army for spare parts. An additional 12 surplus Pz 87 were purchased from Switzerland in 2011 for conversion to protected special vehicles. The Canadian Army will be able to deploy 40 combat tanks (20 2A4M CAN and 20 2A6M CAN) with 42 2A4s for training, all supported by 13 to 18 AEVs, 12 ARVs and 15 Logistic Support Vehicles.
  • The Chilean Army acquired 132 Leopard 2A4s upgraded to the Leopard 2A4CHL standard (plus 8 to be used as spares) from German stocks in 2007.
  • The Danish Army operates 51 Leopard 2A5DK (equal to Leopard 2A6 minus the L55 gun) and 6 Leopard 2A4 (for spares) from German stocks.
  • The Finnish Army originally bought 124 2A4s from surplus German stocks in 2003. 20 have been converted into bridge-laying and combat engineering tanks. 12 tanks have been disassembled for use as spares, leaving 92 operational tanks. in 2009 The Finnish Army bought 15 more German surplus Leopard 2A4s for spare parts of existing fleet Finland currently possesses 139 Leopard 2s.
  • The German Army has operated about 2,350 Leopard 2s of all versions. Large numbers have been sold to other countries after the end of the Cold War or placed in storage. Currently some 408 Leopard 2s are in service, of which 225 are Leopard 2A6s. 395 Leopard 2s are planned to remain in service by 2012.
  • The Hellenic Army operates 353 Leopard 2s (183 ex-German 2A4s and 170 newly built Leopard 2A6 HEL vehicles)
  • The Norwegian Army operates 52 ex-Dutch Leopard 2A4s, designated A4NO. The Norwegian Leopards will be upgraded to 2A5 standard.
  • The Polish Land Forces operate 128 ex-German Leopard 2A4s. All Polish Leopard 2 tanks serve with the 10th Armoured Cavalry Brigade based in Świętoszów
  • The Portuguese Army has 37 ex-Dutch Leopard 2A6s in service.
  • 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.
  • Spain: The Spanish Army operates 327 Leopard 2s (108 ex-German Leopard 2A4s and 219 new-built Leopard 2A6+ (Leopard 2E).
  • The Swedish Army operates 120 Leopard 2(S) (local designation Strv 122) and has operated 160 ex-German Leopard 2A4s (Strv 121). Only the Strv 122s are still in active service.
  • The Swiss Army operates 380 2A4s designated Pz 87. 35 of these were bought from Germany while the remaining ones were license manufactured locally.
  • The Turkish Army operates 354 Leopard 2A4s.
Main battle tank Leopard 2
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