Leopard 2 Next Generation Tank and Leopard 2A4

Leopard 2 Next Generation Tank beside a Turkish Leopard 2A4 Tank

The Leopard 2 Next Generation Tank is a modernisation and upgrade package for the Leopard 2A4 Main Battle Tank, developed by Turkish company Aselsan. It was shown to the public for the first time at the  IDEF 2011 Defense expo in Istanbul, Turkey.

As of 2016, the Leopard 2 Next Generation Tank is not in service with any countries. It  is offered for the future requirements of the Turkish Army. It has also been marketed with other countries operating the Leopard 2A4, often competing against the Rheinmetall Evolution and Revolution.

Leopard 2 Next Generation Tank Background

Turkey has purchased in 2 separate orders, surplus Leopard 2A4 Tanks from Germany (and Leopard 1). The first order was for 298 tanks in 2005, which were delivered between 2006 to 2010 and a second order for 56 tanks in 2009, which were delivered between 2010 to 2014.

By 2011, the Leopard 2A4 tanks in Turkish army service were over 25 years old. Due to their age they have a limited future service life as its out-dated technology is no longer manufactured and there are no availble spare parts to keep the tanks operational.

Aselsan developed the Leopard 2 NG to completely replace all out dated equipment with the latest technology and keep Turkeys Leopard 2A4’s in service (Life Cycle) for another 20 years. In addition, the vehicles armor has been improved, as has its sighting detection and active protection added.

Leopard 2 Next Generation Tank Fire Control Systems

Leopard 2 Next Generation Tank

Leopard 2 Next Generation Tank

The Leopard 2 NG features a new Digital Fire Control System by Aselsan. It features the latest generation of thermal sighting for the Gunner and Commanders Independent Sight for Hunter Killer capability. A high level of accuracy is achieved by its new ballistic computer and sensors as well as the new electrical gun laying drive. The Leopard 2 NG is now able to engage low-flying helicopters.

In addition, a new roof mounted Remote Weapon Station has been added with its own thermal sight, giving the crew additional Situational Awareness. The Driver has new thermal cameras on the front and rear for driving in all weather conditions, without help from the Commander.

Leopard 2 Next Generation Tank Communications

The Leopard 2 NG has the latest C4I systems. Through GPS tracking, the Commander has real-time information on the enemy and friendly forces locations on a battlefield display. Information can be also sent back to a Command Station, as well as routes planned for the Driver.

Leopard 2 Next Generation Tank Protection

The Leopard 2 NG has a new modular armor package with a mix of composite and steel inserts. The new armor not only offers greater protection over the frontal arc, but all round, extending along the hull and turrets side. Bar armor (aka cage) has been add to the hull rear. The new modules can be added or removed, mission dependant and features additional mine protection the hulls belly. The modular armor is speculated to be Rheinmetall Chempro GmbH AMAP range, however a search on both companies websites does not support that claim.

The new electrical gun laying drive and turret drive not only reduces the vehicles thermal signature, but reduces the risk of fire by replacing the old hydraulic versions. A new fire detection and suppression has also been installed.

A new Laser detection and warning system has also been added. Like all “soft” Active Protection Systems, it can detect when the vehicle is being targeted with a laser and where from. The crew can then either fire Vision Obscuring Grenades or slay the main gun on to the threat to engage it.

Leopard 2 Next Generation Tank Status

Turkey

The Leopard 2 NG has been trialled by the Turkish Army. The vehicle served as a test-bed for the Atlay Tank sharing the same Fire Control Systems. The tank has been displayed at the IDEF expo several times and still made availble for any future Turkish Army upgrades.

Finland

The Leopard 2 NG was offered to the Finnish Army who operate surplus Leopard 2A4, however Finland bought surplus Leopard 2A6 Tanks instead.

Leopard 2 Next Generation Tank Specifications

Firepower
Main Gun Rheinmetall L44 – 120mm, calibre Length 44 smoothbore
Elevation -9 to +20
Secondary Weapons x1 coaxial 7.62mm MG,

x1 Remote Weapon Station 12.7mm MG or 40mm Grenade Launcher

Ammunition Storage x42 120mm, x4,750 7.62mm
Mobility
Engine MTU Mb 873 ka 501, turbocharged 1500hp Diesel
Transmission RENK HSWL 354, 4 speed forward/2 reverse
Top Road Speed 68 km/h
Road Range 550km
Fuel Capacity 1160 litres
Vertical Obstacle 1.1m
Water Capability 1m (4m with Snorkel)
Trench Crossing 3m
Gradient 60%
Side Slope 30%
Dimensions
Length Gun Forward 11m
Length Hull 7.72m+
Width
3.75m+
Height 2.48m+
Ground Clearance 0.54m?
Weight 62,500kg aka 62.5 tonne combat
Protection
NBC Protected Yes
Armor Type Steel/Tungsten/Modular/Composite/Cage
Active Protection Systems Yes (soft)
Crew
Commander Yes
Gunner Yes
Loader Yes
Driver Yes
Additional Crew
Troops Carried N/A

References:

http://armstrade.sipri.org/armstrade/page/trade_register.php

Aselsan Leopard 2 Next Generation page

http://www.karasistemlerisemineri.com/extras/Defence_Turkey_NSS.pdf

http://newspepper.su/news/2011/5/26/tests-of-the-turkish-modernization-leopard-2-will-be-held-until-the-end-of-the-year/

http://defence.pk/threads/leopard-2-next-generation.107166/

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