Leopard 2 A4
Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Also Known As: Leopard 2 A4M CAN, Leopard 2 A4NO and Strv 121
Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall Defence
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Description: The Leopard 2 is a heavyweight Main Battle Tank (MBT) designed to replace Leopard 1 in the German Army countering the soviet-made T-72. The Leopard 2 features high mobility, protection, improved survivability over previous main battle tanks and a 120mm smoothbore gun. More than 3,000 Leopard 2 have been produced to date for 11 European nations. Due to this fact the Leopard is truly called the Euro Leopard 2.
The Leopard 2 main battle tank is the result of cooperation between Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall. As the proven Leopard 1 technology follow-on, the Leopard 2 features high availability and low life cycle costs. It can operate day/night and in all-weather conditions.
The Leopard 2 modular design clears the way for rapid and easy modernization and upgrading programs. It was deployed for the first time in the 1990s during the former Yugoslavia conflict. It has not been involved in military campaigns, like the M1 Abrams and the British Challenger, but it is considered as one of the best main battle tanks currently in service.
The Leopard 2 was first deployed by the German Army (Bundeswehr) in 1979. The Leopard 2 A4 was the first production model and includes an L44 120mm smoothbore main gun (44 calibers long). Austria, the Netherlands, Denmark and Switzerland ordered the Leopard 2 A4 main battle tank. Poland, Spain, Norway and Sweden have purchased/leased secondhand Leopard 2 A4s. There are plans to upgrade many of these tanks to plus modern A5/A6 configuration.
In early August 2005, Greece and the German government achieved an agreement on the sale of 183 Leopard 2 A4 and further 150 Leopard 1 A5 coming from the Bundeswehr (German Army) inventory. The agreement was in connection with the purchase of 170 Leopard 2 A6 or Leopard 2 HEL by the Greek Army in 2004. In 2005 Germany and Turkey agreed on the transfer of 298 surplus Leopard 2 A4 main battle tanks from the Bundeswehr inventory.
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