Army of Germany to increase power of its armoured forces with 100 additional Leopard 2 MBTs

Defence & Security News - Germany
Army of Germany to increase power of its armoured forces with 100 additional Leopard 2 MBTs.
Germany plans to procure more than 100 additional Leopard 2 tanks, a government spokesman said on Friday, April 10, 2015,  as it seeks to ensure its troops are ready for action in response to concerns over recent Russian assertiveness.
The decision to restock its military comes as NATO tries to hasten the response time of its rapid reaction force following Russia's annexation of Crimea last year and conflict in Ukraine.

"The ministry has decided to raise the upper limit for the future to 328," a defense ministry spokesman told a regular government news conference on Friday, confirming a report by German magazine Spiegel.

Just before the end of the Cold War, in the 1980s, the then West Germany had more than 3,500 tanks. Now, seventy years after World War Two, it has just 225. As a result soldiers have to share tanks and heavy equipment across different units.

Given NATO's new goals on flexibility and rapid reaction time, Germany has to ensure that it can deploy troops with the correct equipment to the right place in a short period of time, the spokesman said.

"This can only succeed if the equipment does not need to be first moved around through the country," he said.

The Leopard 2A6 is a main battle tank designed and manufactured by the German Company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW). It is the latest generation of main battle tank from the family of German Leopard currently in service with the German Armed Forces.

The main armament of Leopard 2A6 includes the 120mm L55 smoothbore gun which was developed by Rheinmetall Waffei Munition of Ratingen. A 7.62 mm Rheinmetall MG3 machine gun is mounted coaxially to the left of the main armament and a similar weapon can be mounted on the loader's hatch. Mounted on either side of the turret are two banks of four smoke grenade dischargers.

The Leopard 2A6 is fiited with an improved armour protection over the frontal arc with the turret front having a distinctive arrowhead shape. This provides a significant increase in protection against both kinetic and chemical energy attack.