The MBT Advanced Technology Demonstrator is the latest version of the Leopard 2 MBT Revolution upgrade package by Rheinmetall. The MBT Revolution offered modernisation of existing systems and improvements in armored protection for countries operating surplus Leopard 2A4 Tanks.
The MBT Advanced Technology Demonstrator has kept these upgrades, but in addition offers the latest in Hard-Kill Active Protection and the replacement of the L44 120mm smoothbore main gun with the more capable L55 120mm smoothbore. This also enables the tank to fire Rheinmetall’s latest Kinetic Energy penetrator round and programmable High Explosive ammunition.
At the DVD 2016 Defence Expo held in the United Kingdom, Rheinmetall informed us that the vehicle was fitted with all the latest technology and equipment both it and its subsidiary companies had to offer as a modular design.
This modular design means any future customer is able to select which technology and equipment they want when buying the upgrade package, as an “off the shelve” product to meet their own requirements. This was one of the main reasons the tank was renamed from “Revolution” to “MBT Advanced Technology Demonstrator” for 2016.
MBT Advanced Technology Demonstrator Upgrades
Hard-Kill Active Protection System
The MBT Advanced Technology Demonstrator is fitted with a new modular Hard-Kill Active Protection System. Mounted along the turrets sides, each module consists of sensors for detection incoming threats and countermeasures for defeating the threat. The system has been developed by German company, Defence Aid Suites (HK-DAS) ADS GmbH. The company was founded in 2006 and is part owned by Rheinmetall.
L55 120mm smoothbore main gun
The MBT Advanced Technology Demonstrator also has improved firepower with the mounting of the Rheinmetall L55 120mm smoothbore main gun. The designation “L55” refers to the calibre Length of the gun. This is measured by dividing the barrel length by the bore calibre. This means the L55 Smoothbore is 6.6m in length and is 1.32m longer than its predecessor, the L44 used on the Leopard 2A4 and Leopard 2A5.
The increased calibre Length of a tanks main gun means the round when fired, has a greater distance to travel down the barrel, allowing the energy from the combustible element to build up for longer, resulting in an increased muzzle velocity. Muzzle Velocity is measured by how many meters per second the round is travelling at the point it exits the end of the gun.
The higher muzzle velocity increases the rounds range, improves accuracy and will provide more “punch” for the DM33 APFSDS rounds (as used by the L44) to defeat modern armor.
120mm DM63 APFSDS Round
The world’s first temperature independent high performance tank ammunition, the DM 63 and DM 53 A1 (the latter is an upgraded version of the DM 53). What sets this round apart is its temperature-independent propulsion system (TIPS), which maintains its internal ballistic characteristics at a constant level through a broad temperature span. This new generation of ammunition is considerably more accurate and causes substantially less barrel erosion. The DM 63 can be used in climatic zones C2 to A1, and fired from any 120mm smoothbore tank gun.
120mm PELE Round
The company’s newly developed 120mm PELE is an inert round. It contains no explosive and is therefore extremely safe to handle. When it hits its target, the low-density material inside the projectile becomes so compressed that it causes the warhead to burst, resulting in a large number of fragments, which travel exclusively in the round’s trajectory. This is especially advantageous in the case of semi-hard targets. PELE can be retrofitted into multipurpose ammunition or armour-piercing rounds.
MBT Advanced Technology Demonstrator Operators
Model: Challenger 2 Mk2 (LEP)
Rheinmetall is 1 of 3 companies currently bidding for the British Armies Challenger 2 Life Extension Project. All 3 companies are offering a baseline configuration and a further improved optional Mk2. This will have a number of the MBT Advanced Technology Demonstrator features installed. Remote Weapon Station, L55 smoothbore main gun, Fire Control Systems and soft Active Protection System (ROSY & Situational Awareness detection unit).
MBT Advanced Technology Demonstrator
|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|
|Engine||MTU Mb 873 ka 501, turbocharged 1500hp Diesel|
|Transmission||RENK HSWL 354, 4 speed forward/2 reverse|
|Top Road Speed||68 km/h|
|Fuel Capacity||1160 litres|
|Water Capability||1m (4m with Snorkel)|
|Length Gun Forward||11.2m|
|Weight||62,500kg aka 62.5 tonne combat|
|Active Protection Systems||Yes (Hard-Kill)|
Interview with Rheinmetall at DVD 2016 Defence Expo – Rheinmetall Brochure/documents