The MBT Evolution was unveiled at the 2014 Eurosatory defence expo held in Paris, France. The MBT Evolution is the latest version of the Leopard 2 Evolution originally by IBD Deisenroth Engineering, but now marketed by Rheinmetall. It should not be confused by the more advanced MBT Revolution also by Rheinmetall, which includes a new digital architecture.
Both vehicles have an almost identical modular armor and share the same AMAP composite armor inserts, but lacks the MBT Revolution Hard Kill Active Protection System.
The MBT Evolution is marketed as an armor upgrade package to prolong the service life of older Leopard 2A4 Tanks sold from German Army surplus. Existing mobility components are not upgraded.
MBT Evolution Armor
The MBT Evolution employees a modular armor package over the hull and turrets front and side. The rear hull is covered in cage armor. The modules can be fitted with the various AMAP ceramics by Rheinmetall Chempro GmbH.
AMAP armor is the successor to the companies highly successful MEXAS armor system used not only on the Leopard 2A5 and Leopard 2A6 tanks, but a number of other military vehicles within the NATO Alliance.
AMAP has several different next-generation armor inserts, each tailored to a specific threat that could be installed in the Evolution modular armor system as per the clients requirements, depending on the perceived scenario. In addition, AMAP featured an Active Protection System called AMAP-ADS, which is a hard kill type.
The Evolution modular armor not only offers next-generation protection over the frontal arc, but all-round protection for fighting in-built up areas, but also on the turret roof protecting the fighting compartment from top attack.
MBT Evolution Active Protection
Lacking the AMAP-ADS hard kill active protection, the MBT Evolution is fitted with the 40mm Rosy_L smoke protection system. Mounted on top of the front of the turret, it is able to generate dynamic smoke screens as well as spontaneous, large-area and multispectral interruption of the line of sight (LOS).
Rosy_L effectively counters all TV-, EO-, IR-, IIR-, laser- and SACLOS-guided weapons. Rosy_L comprises a basic system with a control device and one to four ROSY launchers per vehicle. By means of a one-click adapter, the system can be quickly mounted to the vehicle without tools, and just as quickly removed and stowed.
MBT Evolution Status
The MBT Evolution is not listed as a product on Rheinmetall’s website, with the only main reference being a press release announcing its participation at the 2014 Eurosatory defence expo.
Model: Leopard 2SG
182 surplus Leopard 2A4 were ordered from Germany in 2007. Deliveries started in the same year and were completed in 2012.
Since then a large number have been upgraded with elements of the IBD Evolution package and re-designated the Leopard 2SG, which visually looks more similar to the MBT Evolution than the earlier Leopard 2 Evolution.
MBT Evolution Specifications
|Main Gun||Rheinmetall L44 – 120mm, calibre Length 44 smoothbore
Elevation -9 to +20
|Secondary Weapons||x1 coaxial 7.62mm MG, x1 7.62mm MG|
|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||9.67m|
|Weight||60,000kg aka 60 tonne combat|
|Active Protection Systems||No (but maybe optional)|