PhotogaleriesLEOPARD 2 (A1-A4) MBT gallery 4 2023-05-192023-05-20 Javier (Polish Leopard 2A4 image). In 2015 the Polish Ministry of Defense signed a contract with a consortium of Polish companies for the modernization of the first 128 Polish Leopard 2A4s to a new variant called the Leopard 2PL. Subsequently, in 2018, it was agreed to include the last 14 Leopard 2A4s, arrived in 2014, in the modernization programm in order to have the entire fleet updated. (Finnish Leopard 2A4 image). In 2002 Finland initiated the requirements to equip its army with new battle tanks to replace the old Soviet T-55AM and T-72M1 tanks. A year later, the acquisition of 124 Leopard 2A4s from the German surplus was agreed. It was decided to convert 6 of these tanks into armored engineer/mine breaching vehicles (Leopard 2R), another 6 into bridgelayers vehicles (Leopard 2L) and another 12 would be kept in reserve for spare parts. (Finnish Leopard 2A4 image). In 2009 Finland placed an additional order for 15 Leopard 2A4s from Germany, used as spare parts. All Finnish tanks belong to those built during the first six batches of production. In 2015 most of the Finnish Leopard 2A4s had been placed in reserve, 4 were converted into bridge launchers (Leopard 2L) and 7 chassis were used to replace the same number of T-55AM tank chassis used in the Marksman anti-aircraft vehicles (SPAAG). (Greek Leopard 2A4 image). In 2005 Greece decided to increase its large, if somewhat outdated, tank fleet with the Leopard 2A4. The agreement consisted of the purchase of 183 tanks from the German surplus stock. In 2022 the Greek government began negotiations with Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) for the modernization of all Leopard 2A4s to the A7 variant. Currently some sources indicate that only 123 vehicles could finally be updated, although the ASPIS reactive armor installation is being studied for the 60 tanks that would not be modernized to the A7 variant. (Turkish Leopard 2AMT image). In 2006 Turkey was the next country to add Leopard 2A4 tanks to its powerful armored forces under designation Leopard 2AMT. A total of 354 tanks were purchased from Germany, coming from the surplus held in reserve. In 2020, the modernization of the entire fleet was approved in several phases under the “TIYK-LEO 2A4 Project”. The first phase began in 2021 with the upgrade of 40+40 vehicles to the “TR” variant equipped with modular ERA reactive armor, new fire control system and mobility improvements. (Turkish Leopard 2AMT image). In a second phase, the Turkish firm Roketsan plans to modernize another 250 Leopard 2A4 to the Leopard 2A4TR variant. The modernization package is called “Next Generation” (NG) and was developed by the Turkish firm Aselsan in 2011. All Leopard 2AMTs are expected to be modernized by 2026. (Turkish Leopard 2AMT image). Despite this tank’s long history of service in many armies, only Turkish Leopard 2A4s have seen combat action. In December 2016, and in view of the weakness shown by the M-60T Sabra tanks, the Turkish High Command decided to deploy the Second Armored Brigade with their Leopard 2AMTs on the Syrian border within Operation Euphrates Shield against ISIS. Before the arrival of the Leopard 2AMTs, the Turks had lost around a dozen M-60T Sabra tanks to Kurdish and ISIS anti-tank missiles, and unfortunately the Leopards would meet the same fate. (Turkish Leopard 2AMT image). It is clear that any vehicle can be destroyed, no matter how well protected it is. But when the tactics are not adequate, what happened to the Turkish Leopard 2AMT happens. During the Battle of Al-Bab, which took place between November 6, 2016 and February 23, 2017, there are images that confirm that the Turkish Army lost at least 10 Leopard 2AMTs. After analyzing some videos and reports, the conclusion is that what happened is due to sending the tanks without infantry or support vehicles to fight in an urban environment, which is by definition the most dangerous for any armored vehicle. Furthermore, these tanks were used more as self-propelled guns from static and isolated positions than as battle tanks, with the well-known result. (Turkish Leopard 2AMT image). The ineptitude of the Turkish crews goes to the extreme of remaining outside their Leopard 2AMT less than 2 km from the enemy and some videos show the impassiveness of the Turkish tanks while receiving second missile attacks, without even making any attempts to evade or try to take cover, as if nobody had noticed what was happening. There are images that show the destruction of 8 Leopard 2AMT by AT-5 Konkurs and AT-7 Metis missiles and IEDs and it is said that another 2 were captured by ISIS, although they were later destroyed by the Turkish Air Force. (Chilean Leopard 2A4CHL image). In 2007 the Leopard 2A4 “crossed the pond” and arrived to the Chilean Army, which had chosen it in 2006 to progressively replace the Leopard 1V in service. After having evaluated offers from Germany, Switzerland and The Netherlands, Chile opted for the German offer. The agreement contemplated the delivery of 140 Leopard 2A4 for 125 million dollars plus a large overhaul for the entire fleet for another 112 million dollars. (Chilean Leopard 2A4CHL image). The new Leopard 2A4CHL were assigned to 3 newly created Armored Brigades, probably becoming the most powerful units in all of Latin America. These tanks have some of their own modifications such as a special turbocharger kit to be able to operate without problems at 4,300 meters above sea level and a Tadiran/Elbit communications system. They also use IM HE-T tracer high explosive rounds made by the Norwegian firm Nammo for the 120mm gun. (Chilean Leopard 2A4CHL image). It is rumored that Chile bought around 60 Leopard 2A4s in 2009 under more than advantageous conditions, bringing the total to almost 200, although this is without official confirmation. In 2013 it was decided to modernize all the Leopard 2A4CHL to the A5 variant, as well as the acquisition of 100 Leopard 2A5 from the German surplus, although the status of this last proposal is unknown. (Canadian Leopard 2A4CAN image). In 2009 Canada agreed with the Netherlands to purchase 80 Leopard 2A4 tanks held in reserve by the latter country. In addition, they purchased 15 similar tanks from German surplus to use as spare parts. Of this batch, 20 vehicles were upgraded to the Leopard 2A4M variant for deployment to Afghanistan, where they arrived in December 2010. (Canadian Leopard 2A4CAN image). In 2010, another 42 tanks were overhauled and repaired, which went on to perform training duties and the remaining 18 were transformed to Wisent 2 “Ram” AEV engineer vehicles. The current number of Leopard 2A4CAN in service is unknown, although it is estimated that there are no more than 15 or 16 active tanks. (Singaporean Leopard 2A4 image). In December 2006 Singapore announces its decision to purchase 66 refurbished Leopard 2A4 tanks along with another 30 for spare parts from the German surplus stock. The first vehicles arrive in September 2007 and were assigned to the 48th Battalion, Singapore Armored Regiment (48 SAR), but it was not until October 2008 when they reached operational level. Subsequently, until 2012, Singapore received at least another 60 Leopard 2A4s, bringing the total to 156, although Germany stated that it had exported 161 to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms database. (Singaporean Leopard 2A4 image). Germany delivered another 7 tanks in 2016 and another 18 in 2017, bringing the total number of Leopard 2A4 tanks to 186 although the Singapore Government does not confirm any figures. Several sources claim that the total number of Leopard 2A4 delivered is around 225, but these data are unconfirmed. In 2010 the Singapore Army decided to modernize its Leopard 2A4 fleet with the “Evolution/MBT Evolution” package from Rheinmetall Chempro GmbH. This package is characterized by the installation of Advanced Modular Armor Protection (AMAP) composite armor that greatly increases the overall protection level of the vehicle. The modernized tanks are designed Leopard 2SG. (Indonesian Leopard 2A4 image). In 2013 Indonesia acquired 103 refurbished Leopard 2A4 tanks from the German surplus stock. These tanks were delivered between 2014 and 2016 and 42 of them were actually Swiss Panzer 87 Leopard 2s, which were sold to Rheinmetall in 2010. They are the first main battle tanks in service with the Indonesian Army and in 2016-2017 61 tanks have been upgraded with the Rheinmetall Revolution package (Leopard 2RI). However, the other 42 tanks have also received the set of upgrades except the AMAP armor kit. These tanks are called Leopard 2A4+. (Czech Leopard 2A4 image). In 2016 the Czech military showed interest in the Spanish Leopard 2A4 retired a few years earlier. These tanks were in such poor condition that they made the transaction unfeasible, so the Czech authorities began contacts with Germany. These contacts have materialized in May 2022 in the acquisition of 14 refurbished Leopard 2A4 from Rheinmetall. These tanks are of German and Swiss origin and the first one was delivered to the Czech Army in December 2022. (Hungarian Leopard 2A4HU2 image). In December 2018, Hungary signed an agreement for the acquisition of 44 new Leopard 2A7+ tanks and another 12 second-hand Leopard 2A4 from the German surplus. These last tanks serve to train the crews and tactical use until the Leopard 2A7+ arrive. The Leopard 2A4HU2, as they have been officially called, arrived in December 2020. (Slovakian Leopard 2A4 image). In August 2022 Slovakia joined the growing list of users of the Leopard 2A4 tank. On this occasion, the Slovak Ministry of Defense signed an agreement with Germany whereby it will receive 15 Leopard 2A4s from the German surplus in exchange for the shipment to Ukraine of 30 BVP-1 Infantry Fighting Vehicles kept in reserve. The first of the Leopards arrived in December 2022 and the rest will arrive throughout 2023. (German Leopard 2A4 image). In mid-January 2023, NATO and several other countries approved the sending of battle tanks to Ukraine within the framework of military aid to defend themselves from the Russian attack perpetrated in February 2022. Eleven countries agreed to donate battle tanks to Ukraine in the shortest possible time, since a large-scale offensive by the Russian Army was feared after the end of winter. (Polish Leopard 2A4 image). The United States promised to send 31 M-1A1 Abrams, the United Kingdom 14 Challenger 2 and Canada and a several European countries promised to send a good number of Leopard 2 tanks, especially of the A4 variant. After some German reluctance, Germany finally granted permission for countries using the Leopard 2 tank to donate these vehicles to Ukraine. Permission from Germany was essential as it was the manufacturing country and so stated in the sales contracts, although Poland had already expressed its willingness to send these vehicles even in the event that Germany had not given its approval. (Spanish Leopard 2A4 image). After evaluating the donor countries their delivery options, the following quantities have finally been reached: – Canada 8 Leopard 2A4CAN – Denmark and the Netherlands jointly 14 Leopard 2A4 from German industry stock – Norway 8 Leopard 2A4NO – Poland 14 Leopard 2A4 – Spain 6 Leopard 2A4 (plus 4 additional in a second shipment) – Germany 18 Leopard 2A6 – Portugal 3 Leopard 2A6 (plus 3 additional) – Sweden 10 Strv.122 (Leopard 2A5). Of course these quantities make up a first shipment, which will be followed by another of about 100 Leopard 1A5s from stocks in Germany, Denmark and Netherlands. (Canadian Leopard 2A4CAN for Ukraine image). Unfortunately, it seems that the Leopard 2 will finally have to face the enemies for which it was designed in the middle of the Cold War, the Russian tanks. The 14 Polish and 8 Norwegian Leopard 2A4s arrived in Ukraine in March 2023, the 8 Canadians did so in mid-April 2023 and the 6 Spanish arrived on April 28, 2023. After the first shipment, another 4 tanks are already being reconditioned to its immediate shipment to Ukraine, as the Spanish Government had promised. (Spanish Leopard 2A4 for Ukraine image). The Spanish Leopard 2A4s have been reconditioned by General Dynamics European Land Systems – Santa Bárbara Sistemas (GDELS-SBS) in Seville, and have required an investment of around 5 million euros. Afterwards, they have been subjected to rigorous tests that guarantee their full operability and safety. In addition, between February and March 2023, the Spanish Army has trained a contingent of 55 Ukrainian soldiers in handling these tanks; 40 crew members and 15 technical specialists.