Bwmod Leopard 2A6
The Leopard 2 is a main battle tank that entered service with the German armed forces in 1979, being developed following the failed US-German MBT 70 project. It is today in service with the armies of
Austria, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden and Spain, with over tanks 3,200 produced. The Finnish Army is buying 124 and the Polish Army 128 used Leopard 2A4 tanks from Germany. Greece has also decided to purchase a Leopard 2 variant. The Leopard 2 has a crew of four, the vehicle commander, a driver, a gunner and a loader. Combat weight is nearly 60 tons. Since the time of its introduction, the Leopard 2 underwent several improvement programmes resulting in the Leopard 2A4 in 1985. Beginning in 1995, the KWS Phase II programme resulted in the Leopard 2A5 with improved armor protection, an all-electric turret drive, an independent commander\'s thermal sight and other improvements. In 2001, the first Leopard 2A6 was handed over. This latest version (KWS Phase I) differs from the A5 in having a main gun with a longer barrel (L/55 instead of L/44), enabling the A6 to fire more powerful kinetic energy rounds. The main gun is a 120 mm smoothbore gun developed by Rheinmetall. 42 rounds are stowed in total consisting of the DM53/DM63 kinetic energy round (APFSDS-T) and the DM22 high-explosive round (HE-MP-T), the latter replacing the old DM12A1 multipurpose round. Additionally, there is a coaxial machine gun and an air defence machine gun. Although already in service for more than 25 years, there are currently no plans to develop a follow-on to the Leopard, which has proved to be one of the best main battle tanks currently fielded.