GERMAN TANKS - Technology, Development & History - NATO Mar 13, 2022 16:00:05 GMT -7
Post by pieter on Mar 13, 2022 16:00:05 GMT -7
These Leopard 2 tanks are actiove as NATO tanks today in Poland, the Baltic states and West-European army exercises.
Germany has fielded about 2,125 Leopard 2 main battle tanks in various versions, but most of the tanks were sold following the German reunification. Other countries bought newly or locally built tanks.
The Netherlands ordered 445 Leopard 2 tanks on 2 March 1979, after examining the results of the Leopard 2AV in the United States. It became the first export customer of the Leopard 2 and the vehicles were delivered between July 1981 and July 1986. The Swiss army decided to purchase Leopard 2 tanks over the M1A1 Abrams after trialling both tanks between August 1981 and June 1982. The Swiss decision was made on 24 August 1983 and the funding was subsequently approved by the government in 1984. Thirty-five of the tanks were delivered by Kraus-Maffei by June 1987; Eidgenössische Konstruktionswerkstätte Thun started license production of 345 additional vehicles in December 1987.
Dutch Leopard II in Bosnia January 1996
The Leopard 2 became very popular in the 1990s, when the shrinking German army offered many of its redundant Leopard 2s at a reduced price. It became successful enough in Europe that the manufacturer started calling it the Euro Leopard, despite France, Britain, and Italy all operating their own MBTs. But with further non-European orders, the name "Global-Leopard" is now used instead.
Poland received 128 Leopard 2A4 tanks from German army stocks in 2002. In 2013 Poland ordered a further 119 ex-German Leopard 2s. Finland bought 124 used Leopard 2A4 tanks and six armoured bridge-layer Leopard 2L tanks from Germany in 2002 and 2003. The tanks served as replacement for the old Soviet-made T-55 and T-72M1. The Netherlands resold 114 of their tanks (and one turret) to Austria, 80 to Canada in 2007, another 52 tanks to Norway, 37 to Portugal and finally 100 to Finland.
Polish Army Leopard 2A4 main battle tank , Warszawa 15.08.2017
In 2005, Turkey ordered 298 Leopard 2 tanks from German army stocks. The Leopard 2 was already chosen in 2001 after successfully competing one year earlier in the Turkish army trials against the T-84 Yatagan, Leclerc and a version of the M1A2 Abrams fitted with a German MTU diesel engine. Turkey already wanted to buy 1,000 Leopard 2 tanks in 1999, but the German government rejected such deal.
Singapore bought 96 Leopard 2 tanks from Germany in 2006. Chile bought 172 ex-German Leopard 2A4 tanks and 273 Marder 1A3 IFVs in 2007.
Indonesian Army Leopard 2A4+ of the 8th Cavalry Battalion
Indonesia ordered 103 Leopard 2 tanks and 42 Marder 1A3 IFVs in 2013. At first the export of heavy weapons to Indonesia was not allowed by the German government, due to the questionable human rights record of Indonesia. 61 of the 103 Leopard 2 tanks will be upgraded by Rheinmetall to the Leopard 2RI standard, based on Rheinmetall's Revolution modular upgrade concept.
Qatar ordered 62 Leopard 2A7 tanks and 24 Panzerhaubitze 2000s in 2013 The delivery of the tanks started in late 2015 and the first tanks were displayed on a military parade on 18 December 2015.
Saudi Arabia has shown interest in buying the Leopard 2 since the 1980s. However, due to the political circumstances and the questionable situation of human rights in Saudi Arabia, no deal was made. Saudi Arabia renewed its intention of buying Leopard 2 tanks in 2011. While earlier news reports suggested an interest in buying about 200 tanks, later reports revealed an increased order of 600 to 800 tanks. The German government at first approved the deal, but canceled it later due to human rights concerns and Saudi Arabia's military intervention in Bahrain.
The Leopard 2 was also tested by the United Kingdom. In 1989 the Leopard 2 was evaluated as possible replacement for the Challenger 1 tank. Ultimately the British armed forces decided to adopt the locally made Challenger 2. The Australian Army evaluated ex-Swiss Army Leopard 2s as a replacement for its Leopard 1AS tanks in 2003, but selected the M1A1 AIM instead due to easier logistics. More modern versions of the Leopard 2 or M1 Abrams, such as the Leopard 2A6 were not considered due to their higher price.
In December 2018, Hungary placed an order for 44 Leopard 2A7+s and 12 second-hand 2A4s. The order coincided with the procurement of 24 Panzerhaubitze 2000, and is expected to replace Hungary's current fleet of T-72 tanks "no sooner than 2020".
Polish Army Leopard 2A4 main battle tanks