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Battle tank Leopard 2
Kampfpanzer Leopard 2

The successor to the Leopard 1, the Leopard 2, was first produced in 1979. A variety of upgrade programs and options are available for the Leopard 2. These include the Atlas Elektronik Vehicle Integrated Command and Information System (IFIS), a digital command and information system. The Leopard 2 has had technical improvements under Upgrading Level I and Level II programs. A new smoothbore gun, the 120 millimetre L55 Gun, has been developed by Rheinmetall GmbH of Ratingen, Germany to replace the shorter 120 millimetre L44 smoothbore tankgun on the Leopard 2. It permits effective use of a new APFSDS-T round, DM53 (LKE II), with a longer rod penetrator, and which is under development. The German Army has decided not to buy the DM43 APFSDS-T round (aka LKE 1), rather to wait and upgrade to the DM53.


A variety of MBT variants from 2A1 to 2A4 denote minor changes, as well as FCS upgrades. Combat support variants include an armored recovery vehicle.
  • Pz87: Swiss variant with indigenous machineguns, communications and FCS, and improved NBC equipment.
  • Dutch Leopard 2: Uses indigenous equipment as noted above.
  • Leopard 2A5/Leopard 2 (Improved): Recent upgrade with spaced armor added to turret front, and increased armor on hull and side skirts. Other improvements include improved stabilization, suspension, navigation, fire control, and hatch design.
  • Leopard 2E: A derivative of the version A5a developed under a program of comanufacture between the industries of Spain and Germany. The program is developed within the frame of collaboration decided in 1995 between the Ministries of Defense of both countries, in which also the cession of use by a period of five years of 108 Leopard 2A4 from the German Army to the Spanish was. On 23 December 1998 the Spanish Cabinet approved the comanufacture contract, designating Santa Bárbara Blindados (SBB - Armored company Santa Barbara) as the main contractor. The Leopard 2E/ER and its elements will be made totally in Spain, with German technological support. SBB, a branch of the National Company Santa Barbara (Empresa Nacional Santa Bárbara -ENSB) in Seville, is responsible for the final assembly, integration and tests of the vehicles.
  • Strv 121: The Swedish Army has taken delivery of 160 ex-German Army Leopard 2 MBTs under the designation Strv 121.
  • Strv 122: Early in 1998 the Swedish Army took delivery of the first of 120 brand new Leopard 2 MBTs, based on the German Leopard 2A5 but with many improvements, under the local designation of the Strv 122. This Swedish-licensed variant resemblies the Leopard 2A5 with an indigenous turret and other upgrades. The tank features French Galix active protection system and improved command and control. Sweden developed an HE-T round designed to range 2,000 meters or more for its Leopard-2 and Strv-122 tanks. With additional armor, Strv 122 will weigh 62 mt.


Alternative Designations Swiss Pz 87, Swedish Strv 121
Date of Introduction 1979
Proliferation At least 7 countries
Crew 4
Combat Weight (mt) 55.15
Chassis Length Overall (m) 7.69
Height Overall (m) 2.79
Width Overall (m) 3.70
Ground Pressure (kg/cm 2 ) 0.83
Automotive Performance
Engine Type 1,500-hp Diesel
Cruising Range (km) 550
Speed (km/h)
Max Road 72
Max Off-Road 45
Average Cross-Country 40
Max Swim N/A
Fording Depths (m) 1.0 Unprepared, 4.0 with snorkel
Radio INA
Armor, Turret Front (mm) 700 KE/1,000 against HEAT rounds
Applique Armor (mm) Track skirt
Explosive Reactive Armor (mm) N/A
Active Protective System Galix
Mineclearing Equipment No
Self-Entrenching Blade No
NBC Protection System Yes
Smoke Equipment Smoke grenade launchers, 8 each side of turret
Main Armaments
Caliber, Type, Name 120-mm smoothbore gun M256
Rate of Fire (rd/min) INA
Loader Type Manual
Ready/Stowed Rounds 15/27
Elevation (°) -9 to +20
Fire on Move Yes
Auxiliary Weapon
Caliber, Type, Name 7.62-mm (7.62x 51) Machinegun MG3A1
Mount Type Turret Coax
Maximum Aimed Range(m) INA
Max Effective Range (m)
Night INA
Fire on Move Yes
Rate of Fire (rd/min) 1,200
Caliber, Type, Name 7.62-mm (7.62x 51) Machinegun MG3A1
Mount Type Turret Cupola
Maximum Aimed Range(m) INA
Max Effective Range (m)
Night INA
Fire on Move Yes
Rate of Fire (rd/min) 1,200
ATGM Launcher N/A
Main Gun Stabilization WNA-H22, 2-plane
Rangefinder Laser neodymium
Infrared Searchlight Yes
Sights w/Magnification
Day Krupp-Atlas EMES-15, 12x / FERO Z18 secondary, 8x
Field of View (°) 5/10
Acquisition Range (m) INA
Night Zeiss thermal imager
Field of View (°) INA
Acquisition Range (m) INA
Commander Fire Main Gun Yes
Caliber, Type, Name
120-mm APFSDS-T, DM43
Maximum Aimed Range(m) 3,500
Max Effective Range (m)
Night INA
Armor Penetration (mm) 450 at 2,000 meters
120-mm APFSDS-T, US Olin GD120
Maximum Aimed Range(m) 3,500
Max Effective Range (m)
Day 3,000
Night INA
Armor Penetration (mm) 520 at 2,000 meters
120-mm HEAT-MP-T, DM-12A1/US Olin M830
Maximum Aimed Range(m) INA
Max Effective Range (m)
Day 2,500
Night INA
Armor Penetration (mm) INA
Other Ammunition Types US-produced M829, M829A1 APFSDS-T; US M830A1 HEAT-MP-T (MPAT), GE DM12A1 (US copy M830) HEAT-MP-T (MPAT)