The German Army has taken delivery of the first three modified and upgraded ‘German-Dutch’ Leopard battle tanks from defence manufacturer Kraus Maffei Wegmann.
Leopard 2 A6MA2 battle tanks will be able to communicate digitally with Dutch forces using the new communication and information system.
Royal Netherlands Army landing forces commander lieutenant general Leo Beulen said: “In operations high in the spectrum of force and as part of credible deterrence, the tank is indispensable.
“The Leopard offers a unique combination of firepower, protection, terrain and can be used in all weather conditions. And now the tank is also fully up-to-date digitally.”
Since 2015, soldiers from the two countries formed 414 Tank Battalion under the command of 43 Mechanized Brigade from Havelte in the Netherlands.
The Dutch brigade is part of the German 1 Panzer division, which allows soldiers from both countries to learn each other’s military techniques, culture and language.
The battlefield management system helps the German-Dutch 414 Tank Battalion fully participate in the Dutch brigade.
A delivery of 17 modernised battle tanks is expected to arrive with the 414 Tank battalion before July, bringing the total number of vehicles to 40.
Upgraded German battle tanks will be deployed to participate in the German-Dutch contribution to the Nato flash force next year.
Leopard 2 A6 version is equipped with the 120mm L55 smoothbore gun and can engage targets at a distance of up to 6,000m.
Upgraded Leopard 2A6MA2 tanks feature the Blue Force Tracking System, which enables them to distinguish their own troops to considerably reduce the risk of attacking them.