LEOPARD 2 MBT (development)

In January 1970, the USA and Germany Governments suspended the MBT/KPz-70 joint program, deciding each country to continue the development of a new tank in a separate way. Germany decided to take advantage of the experience accumulated in the previous project and ordered Krauss-Maffei to build 16 chassis and 17 turrets prototypes for a new tank. Between 1972 and 1974, chassis PT.1 to PT.11 and PT.13 to PT.17 were delivered along turrets T.1 to T.17. These prototypes were equipped with different combinations of engines, guns, fire control systems and optics. Ten of the turrets carried a 105mm smoothbore gun and the remaining seven carried a 120mm smoothbore gun. It was intended that the new tank had a maximum weight of 50 tons and that certain fire control systems could be coupled in a Leopard 1 turret. However, after the experiences from the Yom Kippur War, the armour of the design was strengthened and it was allowed to reach a maximum weight of 60 tons. In 1974, a new agreement was signed between USA and Germany to standardize certain components for the future tank that both nations were going to build in the 80s. Porsche, Krauss-Maffei and Wegmann built two new chassis, (PT.19 and PT.20), and three new turrets, (T.19, T.20 and T.21), according to German and American military specifications, giving rise to the “Leopard 2 AV” (Austere Version). From September to December 1976, the new turrets and chassis were brought to the USA and were tested in Aberdeen Proving Ground, (Maryland), shortly after the American XM-1 prototype from Chrysler and General Motors did. After demanding tests between the German and American prototypes, the US Army proclaimed the American XM-1 as the winner of the contest. After this decision, Germany continued the final development of their prototypes, resulting the PT.20 chassis and T.21 turret prototypes as the winners. Finally, in 1977, a contract was signed with Krauss-Maffei and Krupp MaK companies to produce 1,800 Leopard 2 main battle tanks.

LEOPARD 2 prototypes gallery and more info

LEOPARD 2 AV prototypes gallery and more info


Información adicional

Ficha Completa
Country of origin

West Germany


Krauss-Maffei – Krupp MaK


Main Battle Tank


From 1972 to 1978



Combat weight

Prototype PT.19 T.20: 54,700 kg

Dimensions (length x width x height)

Prototype PT.19 T.20: 9.61 x 3.70 x 2.48 (turret roof) meters

Armour, (maximum)

Composite: classified

Power plant

Prototype PT.19 T.20: 1 x MTU MB 873 Ka.501 multi-fuel engine, 1,500 hp


Prototype PT.19 T.20: 68 km/h


Prototype PT.19 T.20: 500 km


Prototype PT.19 T.20: 1 x 120/55mm gun + 2 x 7.62mm MGs + 2 x 8 smoke grenade dischargers


Prototype PT.19 T.20: 42 x 120mm rounds + 3,000 x 7.62mm rounds


18 prototype chassis + 20 prototype turrets