The Pz 87 Leopard 2 is the Swiss designation of a Swiss licence built Leopard 2A4 Main Battle Tank. Pz stands for “Panzer” or rather “tank” in English and the 87 refers to the year deliveries of the first vehicles to the Swiss Army. The licence for the production of 380 vehicles was obtained in 1984. The first 35 vehicles were built-in and supplied by Germany while the rest were built-in Switzerland. Production ceased in 1993.
The Pz 87 Leopard 2 differed from the Leopard 2A4 in that it uses AN/VCR 12 radio sets, has x2 7.5mm Machine Guns (coaxial and Cupola Mounted) and has additional snow grouses on the turrets side.
Another interesting addition to the vehicle is the large circular tubes mounted across the hull rear. These are actually muffler to reduce engine noise in built-up area’s.
A Pz 87 was used during the development phase of the joint KWS III project, to see if a 140mm bore calibre main gun could be installed on the Leopard 2. This would have required changes in the turret to accommodate the larger rounds and autoloader.
A single Pz 87 was fitted with a 140mm main gun, however Germany eventually went with the longer 120mm smoothbore (L55) and the Pz 87 prototype was reverted back to a standard gun tank.
The Pz 87 WE Leopard 2 (Werterhaltung) is the most modern version of the Pz 87. In 2013 the final Pz 87 WE of the 134 upgraded was delivered to the Swiss Army. In 2013 the final Pz 87 WE of the 134 upgraded was delivered to the Swiss Army. Of the remaining original Pz 87, a number have been sold to Canada and Germany. Others have been converted in to Combat Engineer Vehicles and others placed into storage.
Pz 87 Leopard 2 Tank Specifications
|Main Gun||Rheinmetall L44 – 120mm, calibre Length 44 smoothbore
Elevation -9 to +20
|Secondary Weapons||x1 coaxial 7.5mm MG, x1 7.5mm MG|
|Ammunition Storage||x42 120mm, x4,750 7.5mm|
|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|
||3.75m (with side front hull armor)|
|Height||2.48m (roof top)|
|Weight||55,000kg aka 55 tonne combat|
|Active Protection Systems||No|
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