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Leopard 2A4 Main Battle Tanks with new armor in Service with Ukrainian Army

According to a tweet by OSINTtechnical on July 15, 2023, Ukrainian forces from the 33rd Mechanized Brigade were seen operating a Leopard 2A4 tank fitted with Kontakt-1 Explosive Reactive Armor (ERA). Let's take a closer look at the capabilities of these two components.
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Leopard 2A4 Main Battle Tank with ERA Kontakt-1 (Picture source: Twitter account OSINTtechnical )

On an ever-evolving battlefield, protection remains a top priority for any modern armored vehicle. To address this concern, the Ukrainian Leopard 2A4 has been equipped with additional protection in the form of Kontakt-1 ERA. The Explosive Reactive Armor is a crucial defense mechanism that mitigates the impact of anti-tank weapons, providing an extra layer of protection for the crew and critical components of the tank, they come to reinforce a weak point of the leopard 2A4. According to our latest information, Ukraine has received 47 Leopard 2A4 tanks. 

The Kontakt-1 ERA is designed to activate upon impact from incoming projectiles, effectively neutralizing their penetration capabilities. This technology significantly reduces the risk of damage caused by rocket-propelled grenades, anti-tank missiles, and similar threats. By integrating the Kontakt-1 ERA into the Leopard 2A4, the 33rd Mechanized Brigade can confidently engage adversaries while minimizing the risk of critical damage.

The Leopard 2A4 main battle tank is undoubtedly one of Germany's most iconic creations in military technology. With a powerful combination of armament, armor, and mobility, the Leopard 2A4 has established itself as one of the most formidable and versatile tanks used by numerous countries worldwide. The tank is equipped with a smoothbore 120mm L55 gun, complemented by a coaxial 7.62mm machine gun, ideal for engaging infantry and lightly armored targets.

Beneath the layer of Explosive Reactive Armor, the Leopard 2A4 is protected by standard multi-layer armor with enhanced protection on the front of the turret, while the interior of the turret has been equipped with spall liners. Weighing 62,000 kg in combat condition, the Leopard 2A4 is a heavy combat tank that retains remarkable mobility. Designed to be fast and responsive, it can reach a maximum speed of 72 km/h on roads, allowing it to move swiftly across various types of terrain. This mobility is essential for strategic positioning on the battlefield and evading potential threats.

The Leopard 2A4 is equipped with a range of accessories and capabilities that further enhance its performance on the field. It features infrared night vision, enabling it to maintain operational superiority even during nighttime operations. Additionally, the tank is equipped with an NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) protection system, ensuring the crew's safety in the event of a chemical or contamination attack.

Among the users of this tank are Austria, Canada, Chile, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Switzerland, Sweden, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey, and of course, Ukraine. The presence of the Leopard 2A4 in these various armies attests to its success and reputation as a preferred combat tank.

Now, it remains to be demonstrated how effective the Leopard 2A4 will be on the Ukrainian battlefield, particularly with the explosive reactive armor positioned throughout the tank. There is no doubt that this should enhance the tank's protection. The Leopard is an aging model, and it will also be crucial to assess the capabilities of the Ukrainians to maintain and repair such vehicles in the long term.

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