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September 29, 2017updated 26 Oct 2017 8:29am

Rheinmetall to upgrade Leopard main battle tanks for German soldiers

Bundeswehr, the unified armed forces of Germany, has placed an order with Rheinmetall to upgrade its fleet of Leopard main battle tanks (MBT).

Bundeswehr, the unified armed forces of Germany, has placed an order with Rheinmetall to upgrade its fleet of Leopard main battle tanks (MBT).

The combat performance upgrade programme to be performed under the order is worth €118m.

Rheinmetall said it will upgrade 104 Leopard 2 tanks with a new design status.

The contract covers 68 Leopard 2A4, 16 Leopard 2A6 and 20 Leopard 2A7 MBTs, which will be brought up to A7V standard.

As part of the transformation, the company will eliminate obsolescent features in the fire control computers and install a new laser rangefinder and thermal imaging device.

The 68 Leopard 2A4 tanks will be equipped with new L55A1 gun, which will allow the tanks to fire the latest generation of armour-piercing ammunition.

All 104 Leopard 2A7Vs will be capable of using Rheinmetall’s new programmable DM11 multipurpose round, according to the company.

“The contract covers 68 Leopard 2A4, 16 Leopard 2A6 and 20 Leopard 2A7 MBTs, which will be brought up to A7V standard.”

Delivery of the first serially retrofitted Leopard 2 A7V tanks is expected to be delivered to Bundeswehr in 2020.

The Krauss-Maffei Wegmann-built Leopard 2 is a successor to Leopard 1 MBT produced for the German Ministry of Defence.

The Leopard 2 is currently in service with numerous countries, including Austria, Canada and Chile.

The MBT is equipped with three observation periscopes, a camera with a 65° horizontal and vertical field-of-view, and a television monitor.

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