Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) has delivered the first Leopard 2 A7 main battle tanks (MBT) to the German Army, at its facility in Munich, Germany.
The German Army has ordered 20 Leopard 2 A7 tanks, which are a product of collaboration between multiple Nato partners and KMW, and uses the earlier Leopard 2A5, 2A6 and Leopard 2 peace support operation variants.
The tanks are a conversion of surplus Royal Netherlands Army Leopard 2A6 NLs, which were supplied by Canada as compensation for the Leopard 2A6M it had borrowed from Germany in 2007. They were then modified for operations in Afghanistan.
The tanks have been fitted with features that optimise protection against asymmetrical and conventional threats while enhancing sustainment, in addition to sighting equipment for reconnaissance.
An auxiliary power unit has been installed to ensure they are fully operational even without a main running engine and to cool the turret and crew compartment.
Additional survivability enhancements include new a drivers hatch, all-electric gun-control equipment and a combat troops control and weapons deployment system to integrate the tanks into the control network.
The Leopard 2 A7s have also been modified to fire fuse-programmable high-explosive ammunition, which is effective against bunkers and fortified positions. It can also fire the latest-generation Rheinmetall 120mm armour piercing fin stabilised discarding sabot - tracer DM63 round, IHS Jane's reported.
German Army inspector general lieutenant general Rainer Korff said the army is 'more than satisfied with the Leopard 2A7'.
The German Army hopes to upgrade its complete fleet of Leopard 2A6s to the latest Leopard 2A7 tanks, which are scheduled to be issued to the Tank Battalion 203, which currently operates 44 Leopard 2A6 tanks.
Image: The German Army's first Leopard 2 A7 main battle tank. Photo: courtesy of Krauss-Maffei Wegmann GmbH & Co.