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Leopard 2 Next Generation Tank
Turkey

Leopard 2 Next Generation

Leopard 2 Next Generation Tank
Unveiled / Entered Service
2011
Leopard 2 Next Generation Tank
Status
Tech Demonstrator
Steel Aces Play for free
the highly anticipated MMO tactical tank shooter for 2024.

Table of Contents

Steel Aces Play for free
the highly anticipated MMO tactical tank shooter for 2024.

Introduction

The Leopard 2 Next Generation aka Leopard 2 NG, is an upgrade package developed by Turkish company ASELSAN for the Leopard 2A4 Main Battle Tank. It was unveiled to the public at the IDEF 2011 defence expo in Istanbul, Turkey. It was originally offered to the Turkish Army and then to other Leopard 2A4 operators.

Still marketed (as of early 2024) as the Leopard 2 NG on the manufacturer’s website, the upgrade package is yet to be purchased.

Background

Leopard 2 Next Generation Tank
Leopard 2 Next Generation Tank Left, original Leopard 2A4 right.

As a member of NATO, Turkey started to receive deliveries of surplus American M60A1/A3 tanks as well as Leopard 1A1 and A3 tanks from Germany in the early 1990’s. In 2005, Turkey ordered 298 surplus Leopard 2A4 tanks from Germany, followed by a second order of 56 A4 in 2009.

Whilst being the most modern tanks in the Turkish Land Forces inventory, they still required modernisation (as proven with the Leopard 2A5 and A6).

Since the early 2000’s, the Turkish defence industry has continued to grow from implementing imported upgrade packages, to indigenous development of upgrade solutions and eventually production of their own tanks.

The Leopard 2 NG was developed by Turkish company ASELSAN. Since its first unveiling, there was little detail regarding the progress the Leopard 2NG implementation with the Turkish Army. Was it going it ahead? How many have been upgraded?

In 2016, Turkish Armed Forced Launched Operation Euphrates Shield, a cross border operation into North Syria. Engagements with ISIS resulted in multiple losses of Turkish Leopard 2A4. Germany had initially supported Turkeys intervention in Syria, but later condoned alleged treatment of Syrian Kurd’s.

This led to Germany placing a block on Turkey from upgrading its Leopard 2A4 tanks, as Germany owns the end user agreement. It was also reported Turkey was attempting to sue Germany (or the manufacturer) for the lost vehicles due to their poor armour.

In 2019, Turkish media reported that the Leopard 2 NG upgrade had not been implemented due its high cost and only a single prototype had been built.

Instead, following the lessons learnt in operation Euphrates Shield, a new up armouring program was initiated in 2018/19 with the goal of improving the vehicles survivability against RPG and ATGM weapons. The program focused on experimenting with modular armour (spaced armour), Explosive Reactive Armour and bar armour.

By 2021, 40 Leopard 2A4 received the new armour package. Developed and installed by Turkish Defence contractor Roketsan, these new tanks are designated “Leopard 2A4T1” and has no relation to the Leopard2 NG.

In May 2023 Turkish defence manufacturer BMC signed an agreement with ASELSAN as the major sub-contractor for the TİYK-LEOP2A4 Project. Under the contract, a total of 84 vehicles will be modernised with both new armour and electrical systems to improve overall protection and firepower. There is an option to increase the number of vehicles being modernised if required.

Turkish media has stated that “there will be an increase in capability similar to the Leopard 2A4 NG” and will feature the same technology used on the recently upgraded M60TM and Atlay Tanks.

Firepower

The Leopard 2 NG retains the Leopard 2A4 L44 smoothbore main gun, but offers optional upgrades such as an all electrical gun stabilization and turret traverse system.

A new digital fire control system with latest thermal sighting technology is also available, complete with multiple target tracking capability. An optional remote weapon station can be installed so the crew do not have to be exposed from incoming fire whilst operating a cupola mounted Machine Gun.

Protection

Retaining the Leopard 2A4 armour, the Next Generation features a new modular armour suite developed and manufactured by ASELSAN, that can be updated with different ceramic materials to defeat different threats.

The modular armour acts as a form of shaped armour to protect against ATGM and the rear bar armour of the hull protects against RPG attacks.

Additional protection includes a laser warning system (soft kill active protection), situational awareness camera, battlefield management system and fire suppression system.

Specifications

characteristic
Result
Main Gun
Rheinmetall L44 – 120mm, calibre Length 44 smoothbore Elevation -9 to +20
Secondary Weapons
Coaxial 7.62mm Machine Gun, Remote Weapons Station with 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
9.66m
Length Hull
7.72+m
Width
3.7+m
Height
2.48m Turret Roof
Ground Clearance
0.54m
Weight
55.1+ Tonnes
NBC Protected
yes
Standard Armor(s) Type
Steel, Composite, Spaced, Bar, Modular
Optional Add-on Armor(s) Type
Active Protection Systems
soft_kill
Crew
Commander, Gunner, Loader, Driver