Leopard 2A5DK Tank upgraded for the Afghanistan War

Leopard 2A5DK Tank upgraded for the Afghanistan War

The Leopard 2A5DK Tank is the current Main Battle Tank of the Danish Army. In service since 2002, it is fitted with the full armor package developed during the KWS II program.

This gives the Leopard 2A5DK (and Swedish Strv 122)  better protection than the standard Leopard 2A5 & A6 tanks in both German/Dutch Army service (or those surplus sold to other countries).

It was deployed with Danish Forces during the War in Afghanistan and fitted with the additional mine armor upgrade of the Leopard 2A6M.

Leopard 2A5DK Tank History

Denmark had operated the Leopard 1A3 since 1976 and later upgraded them to the Leopard 1A5 standard with Danish equipment modifications (Leopard 1A5DK). These tanks were deployed as part of SFOR and successfully engaged hostile Bosnian Serb forces, namely a T-55 Tank.

In 1997, the Danish Army purchased 51 surplus Leopard 2A4 Tanks from German Army reserves. In June 2000, the Danish Army commissioned the original manufacturer KMW, to reconditioned all 51 tanks and upgrade them to the Leopard 2A5, complete with the full KWS II armor package.

Leopard 2A5DK Afghanistan

Leopard 2A5DK in Afghanistan fitted with Saab Barracuda camouflage mats and Cage Armor

Deliveries to the Danish Army started in 2002 and were completed in 2005. In 2007 Denmark deployed 3 Leopard 2A5DK Tanks to Afghanistan to support ISAF troops in the South of the country, scoring a number of successful engagements with the Taliban.

In 2008, the driver of a Leopard 2A5DK was lost after the his vehicle was hit by an IED. This loss resulted in the Leopard 2A5DK being fitted with the mine resistant add-on belly armor of the Mine protection package of the Leopard 2A6M (also used on the Leopard 2A6M CAN, also deployed with ISAF).

Other modifications were made to the vehicle included Saab Barracuda camouflage mats, which  serve to reduce solar loading by 50 percent.

Leopard 2A5DK Tank Upgrades

The Leopard 2A5 Tank resulted from upgrades developed during the KWS II program. The German Army Leopard 2A5 did not receive all the available KWS upgrades, which were later featured on the Leopard 2A6EX export tank.

Leopard 2A5DK Live Firing

Leopard 2A5DK Live Firing

The Leopard 2A5DK has additional upgrades featured on the Leopard 2A6EX, namely the added frontal hull armor module (upper glacis & partially lower) and the Auxiliary Power Unit. This is located in the rear of the hull, right side of the engine, resulting in a new box-shaped conture.

The vehicle is fitted with an Air-Conditioning system, with the main cooling unit added to the rear of the turret resulting in a modified shape. The rear storage bin is new and has racks for carrying spare rubber pads and  snow grouses for the tracks.

Leopard 2A5DK 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
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%
Length Gun Forward 9.67m
Length Hull 7.72m
3.75m (with side front hull armor)
Height 2.48m (roof top)
Ground Clearance 0.54m
Weight 59,500kg aka 59.5 tonne combat
NBC Protected Yes
Armor Type Steel/Tungsten/Modular/MEXAS
Active Protection Systems No
Commander Yes
Gunner Yes
Loader Yes
Driver Yes
Additional Crew
Troops Carried N/A


Live Firing Images

Leopard 2 Main Battle Tank 1979-98 by Michael Jerchel and Mike Badrocke Buy on Amazon