Tag Archives: Leopard 2

Norwegian Leopard

The Norwegian Government has decided to acquire 54 Main Battle Tanks (MBT) of the Leopard 2 type from German Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, with an option to purchase an additional 18 units. The first MBTs are expected to be delivered in 2026. This represents a clear strengthening of Norwegian defence capability and national preparedness. Today’s MBTs were bought used in 2001 and are ready for replacement.

Leopard 2
Minister of Finance Trygve Slagsvold Vedum, Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre and Minister of Defence Bjørn Arild Gram at the press conference at Rena 3 February 2023 (Credit: Asgeir Spange Brekke/Forsvarsdepartementet)

«New main battle tanks are of great importance to the Armed Forces, significantly strengthening the Army. In today’s security situation, European defence cooperation is becoming increasingly important. By procuring German tanks, we ensure that Norway has the same type of tanks as our Nordic neighbors and close allies. We are also forging closer security policy ties with Germany», – says Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.

«Ensuring everyone’s safety through national preparedness is one of the most important tasks we have as political leaders. The government prioritizes defense and preparedness. Securing Norway new tanks is an important part of this preparedness. This investment increases our combat power on land, will strengthen the Norwegian Army significantly, while also offering great opportunities for Norwegian defence industry and work force through industrial cooperation», – says Minister of Finance Trygve Slagsvold Vedum.

The army has compared two strong candidates, and tests confirm both are excellent, modern vehicles meeting all requirements for a modern MBT capacity. Other factors considered and influencing the assessment include industrial cooperation opportunities, operational cooperation, logistics and life-cycle support. Based on an overall assessment of all relevant factors and conditions, the Government has concluded that the German alternative with Leopard 2 is the best for Norway.

«Main Battle Tanks are the Army’s main combat system in Norway and for our most important allies. MBTs are also central in fulfilling our obligations to NATO. By upgrading our defence with modern equipment, we make NATO stronger, which is paramount in the current security situation. We have highly skilled and motivated personnel operating our current MBTs, and we are happy to announce that we have now chosen to buy a new modern version», – says Minister of Defence Bjørn Arild Gram.

«Germany is among our main partners in the field of defence and security policy. The procurement and industrial cooperation on main battle tanks with Germany builds on and reinforces an already established strategic materiel and industrial cooperation», – says the Minister of Defence.

The Government will initially buy 54 MBTs, with an option of acquiring a further 18 units. The MBTs will be phased in from 2026 through 2031. The acquisition is within the cost limit of NOK 19.7 billion set by the Norwegian parliament.

«We are also looking at further investments in other capacities for the land force, such as long-range precision fire. In the spring of 2023, the Chief of Defence will present his advice on the future development of our Army as part of his Military Advice on the future development of the Armed Forces, says the Minister of Defence.

Birth of KANT

Germany and France are going to develop the Main Battle Tank of the XXI century. According to DefenseNews, French Nexter Group and German family-controlled Krauss Maffei-Wegmann are on track to forge a cross-border link up in the land weapons sector this year. The French state-owned company said: «On July 1, 2014, the shareholders of the two French and German companies signed a memorandum of understanding for an equally owned alliance. This project is progressing and should produce concrete results in 2015».

The Leopard 2A7+ was developed and qualified for the new tasks of the German Armed Forces. The system components, optimized to protect the crew, prove their worth, currently being in use in Afghanistan with NATO's Partner Canada
The Leopard 2A7+ was developed and qualified for the new tasks of the German Armed Forces. The system components, optimized to protect the crew, prove their worth, currently being in use in Afghanistan with NATO’s Partner Canada

On the business front, the Direction Générale de l’Armement (Defence Procurement Agency, DGA) has awarded a contract worth some €330 million ($349.4 million) to Nexter Systems to upgrade 200 Leclerc tanks and 18 tank recovery vehicles with delivery from 2020, the procurement office said in a statement March 12.

Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has written into his 2015 agenda an agreement for the joint venture deal in July or August, an announcement which caught some in industry by surprise. The proposed joint holding company is named KMW and Nexter Together, or KANT. The Bode family controls KMW through the Wegmann firm.

An accord in the summer, however, seems unlikely as there is a political drag effect due to Nexter’s privatization being caught up in an attempt to liberalize the ailing French economy. There is no problem on the industrial front as Nexter and KMW opened up their books for due diligence and that detailed examination of their businesses will lead to a valuation of the two companies. That scrutiny is going ahead smoothly even if the conclusion might miss the April 1 deadline, an industry source said. The due diligence allows the two shareholders to negotiate the valuation and whether amounts must be paid to bring each side to the 50:50 share in the holding company, noted Pierre Tran, DefenseNews reporter.

The joint holding company will take charge of commercial and product launch strategy, while industrial production will stay with the operating companies and under domestic management
The joint holding company will take charge of commercial and product launch strategy, while industrial production will stay with the operating companies and under domestic management

On the political front, France must privatize Nexter to allow the company to form the planned joint holding company with KMW. However, that will likely take longer than expected as the privatization has been written into a wide-ranging draft legislation proposed by Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron, a former investment banker who seeks to inject more competition into the domestic economy. The proposed Macron law has run into strong political resistance from both the Union pour un Mouvement Populaire conservative party and left wing of the Socialist Party. That will likely delay the joint venture agreement to the autumn, the source said.

KMW Chairman Frank Haun on January 14 told the French National Assembly defense committee the alliance would work over the next five years developing a tank – whether it be called Leopard 3, Leleo or Leoclerc – and the new heavy armored vehicle could be delivered 2025-2030 to replace the Leclerc and Leopard 2.

The Russians are working hard on tank development, and Nexter and KMW could exchange their «very interesting» technology to build replacements for the Leclerc and Leopard, Frank Haun said. Fully automated artillery, smart munitions and laser weapons are among the new weapons on which the KANT alliance would work, he added.

Nexter Chairman Philippe Burtin told the committee the SCORPION (Synergie du COntact Renforcé par la Polyvalence et l’InfovalorisatiON) Army modernization program will generate an average annual €200 million of work. The companies will have five years to see if the alliance works and if not, they can back out, Macron said.

The contract to upgrade the Leclerc tank was signed March 5
The contract to upgrade the Leclerc tank was signed March 5

Leopard goes
on the warpath

German Army begins modernizing its battle tank fleet with the Leopard 2 A7, reported Kurt Braatz, the Head of Strategy and Corporate Communications of Krauss-Maffei Wegmann. To mark the handover of the first of an initial 20 Leopard 2 A7 tanks to the German Army, Frank Haun, Chairman of the Board of Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) welcomed numerous guests from the worlds of politics, the military and business to the company’s headquarters in Munich on 10 December 2014. The German Army has ordered a total of 20 Leopard 2 A7 MBTs (Main Battle Tanks) and the last of these will soon be delivered from KMW’s Munich facility and issued to Tank Battalion 203, which currently operates 44 Leopard 2 A6s.

Leopard 2 A7
Leopard 2 A7

The new Leopard 2 A7 (the best main battle tank all over the World, I reckon) is a product of collaboration between multiple NATO partners and KMW that began seven years ago. As part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mandate, Canada decided in 2007 to borrow 20 Leopard 2 A6Ms with modern mine protection from the German Army. Adapted by KMW to Canadian requirements, the first Leopard 2 A6M CAN was available in the same year and proved itself in operation so effectively that Canada wanted to continue using it. When it was time to return the vehicles, the country acquired surplus Dutch Leopard tanks that were to be converted to the design status of the loaned German vehicles. Canada and Germany agreed that, as part of this conversion work, further modifications could be made, resulting in the Leopard 2 A7 for the German Army.

As IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly noted, the Leopard 2 A7 retains the Rheinmetall 120 mm L/55 smooth bore gun and in addition to firing the latest generation Rheinmetall 120 mm Armour Piercing Fin Stabilised Discarding Sabot – Tracer (APFSDS-T) DM63 round and can also fire the latest programmable Rheinmetall DM12 high-explosive round.

The Leopard 2 A7 not only features optimized protection against asymmetrical and conventional threats, but also has significantly enhanced sustainment. An auxiliary power unit ensures that the weapons system is fully operational even without a running main engine (!) and that turret and crew compartment are kept cool. The Leopard 2 A7 is integrated into the control network via the combat troops control and weapons deployment system. For reconnaissance, it has leading edge sighting equipment. Its range of capabilities has been adapted through the option to fire fuze-programmable high explosive ammunition. This ammunition is particularly effective against bunkers and fortified positions.

Leopard 2 A7+
Leopard 2 A7+


According to KMW, amongst others its features includes:

  • Passive all-round protection for the crew against threats such as roadside bombs, mines and bazooka fire;
  • Interface for attaching implements, such as a mine plow, mine roller or a dozer blade for clearing mines, booby traps or building debris blocking the roads;
  • Cooling system for both the turret and chassis;
  • Increased power-rated additional power generators for check-point missions;
  • Communication interface on the exterior of the vehicle for dismounted forces;
  • Combined driver’s night vision (thermal imager/image intensifier) for front and rear view;
  • Improved optoelectronics (day/night) for reconnaissance over long distances;
  • Digitized and multifunctional user concept.
Leopard 2 A7+ MBT
Leopard 2 A7+ MBT


Product specification

Length (gun at 12 o’clock):        up to 10.97 m

Width:                                                    3.77 m – 4 m

Height (turret roof):                      2.64 m

Weight:                           63.5 tonnes/70 (Military Load Classification)

Engine power:             1,100 kW (1,500 hp)

Maximum speed:       72 km/h

Cruising range:            450 km

Armament:                     120 mm/L55 or L44 smooth bore gun/7,62 mm machine gun/Light Weapon Station FLW 200 with 40 mm grenade launcher or .50 MG


M1A2 Abrams (Main battle tank)(http://usgroundforces.blogspot.ru/2014/11/m1a2-abrams.html)