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Main Battle Tank

Leopard 2A5

Crew 4
Dimensions and weight 
Total weight in combat order   62.5 t 
Overall length   9668 mm 
Chassis length  7722 mm
Overall width   3740 mm 
Overall height   2480 mm
Armament 
Main gun  120-mm smoothbore gun Rh-M-120 L44
Barrels length 46.7 caliber
Machine guns 2 x 7.62-mm
Traverse range   360 degrees 
Combat load
Main gun 42 rounds
Machine gun 4750 cartridges
Mobility 
Engine power  1500 h.p.
Maximum road speed  72 km/h 
Autonomy on roads  500 km 
Maneuverability 
Slope  30
Vertical step  1.15 m
Ditch  3 m
Ford with preparation 4 - 5 m
In the second part of the 80-ties in West Germany intensive work to create new main battle tank "Panzerkampfwagen-2000" (also known as Leopard 3) which had to change main battle tank Leopard 1 in Bundesver armed forces. In 90-ties changed political situation caused the end of this project in 1996. However new technologies intended to use in "Panzerkampfwagen-2000" project were used to modernize existing German tanks Leopard 2.

There were three modernization programs known as KWS I, KWS II and KWS III. The first programs main objective was to instal more modern 120-mm gun and to develop modernized projectiles for new barrel. II - control systems deep modernization and additional armor. III - was researching ability to use 140-mm main gun.

Later KWS II was used in Leopard 2A5 and KWS I in Leopard 2A6 EX.

The biggest part of modernization work was done by "Krauss-Maffei" company. In 1990 it presented test tank TVM-2 which became etalon for Leopard 2A5 modification after some years of polygon and armed forces tests.

Leopards 2A5 main difference is solidly increased armored defense. Turret frontal part is covered by wedge shaped module additional armor. Modules have built-in dynamic armor elements which can be changed in field conditions. Increased turrets weight made necessary to change electro hydraulic turrets rotation mechanism into more powerful and reliable electrical mechanism. The biggest developers merit is that increased tank's weight doesn't affected somehow on mobility. These both improvements solidly increased tanks combat vitality in the battlefield. Drivers equipment was increased by installed electronic view systems allowing to change direction on the move without amount of speed. Changed transmission.    

Increased tanks fire power. Appeared ability to use tank against low flying air targets by main gun fitted with special projectiles.

"Krupp-Atlas-Electronic" company modernized fire control systems. Tanks commander got panoramic sight with integrated  thermo vision system which results are shown on special indicator. This improvement allowed commander personally to observe battlefield at night. Commander also got Global Positioning System (GPS) devise. Gunners combined sight has laser rangefinder with modernized processor preventing appearance of second false echo signal.

Modernized Leopard 2A5 is one of the most modern tanks  comparing mobility, fire power and defense. However it's weight in 62 t makes it hard to transport and maintain.

Initially Bundesver armed forces decided to modernize all 2125 Leopard 2 main battle tanks to Leopard 2A5 standard but in case of financial problems this number was decreased till 669 main battle tanks. Till 1998 Bundesver got 225 modernized Leopards 2A5.

Germany was followed by other countries which had Leopards 2 in their armed forces. Spain was planning to built under license 250 new Leopards 2A5 till year 2003 by Santa Barbara. Tanks are also built in Sweden under license under indexation Strv-122.

The latest modernization on Leopard 2 main battle tank became Leopard 2A6 EX.  


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