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German Army unveils cutting-edge Leopard 2A7V tank showcasing groundbreaking military technology

The 1st Panzer Division of the German Army introduced the Leopard 2A7V Main Battle Tank (MBT) during the open day event on June 17, 2023. This tank, which has recently entered service with the German army (Bundeswehr), is the latest variant of the Leopard 2 MBT series.
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The new Leopard 2A7V MBT main Battle Tank was presented during a live demonstration at the 1st Panzer Division headquarters. (Picture source Army Recognition)

Originally unveiled by the German defense company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW), now KNDS, at the Eurosatory defense exhibition in Paris in 2016, the Leopard 2A7V exemplifies the continuous evolution of Germany's flagship tank. This development comes in response to the planned upgrades for the preceding Leopard 2A6, aligning with Bundeswehr's forthcoming procurement projects announced between 2017 and 2018.

The Leopard 2A7V boasts a conventional layout for modern MBTs, with the driver stationed at the front right side, the turret in the middle, and the powerpack at the rear. This advanced war machine is manned by a crew of four – a driver, a commander, a gunner, and a loader.

Lauded as one of the most protective modern tanks, the Leopard 2A7V integrates state-of-the-art modular composite armor mounted on the front glacis plate and the turret. This advanced armor arrangement promises 360° protection to the crew from various threats, including anti-tank missiles, mines, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) fire.

Equipped with a Rheinmetall 120-millimeter L/55 smoothbore tank gun, the Leopard 2A7V is capable of launching Rheinmetall 120mm DM53 Armor-Piercing Fin-Stabilized Discarding Sabot—Tracer (APFSDS-T) ammunition and employing a depleted uranium penetrator. This weapon system facilitates highly precise long-range engagements, allowing the tank to hit targets up to 5,000 meters away.

Furthermore, this tank variant has the capacity to fire the new DM11 High Explosive – Fragmentation – Tracer (HE FRAG-T) tank ammunition, offering an adaptable programmable fuse, designed for tackling non-armored and lightly armored targets, penetrating barriers, and neutralizing targets behind cover.

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The Leopard 2A7V represents one of the best main battle tanks in the world in terms of firepower, protection, and mobility. (Picture source Army Recognition)

The Leopard 2A7V is also outfitted with a novel ATTICA-GL thermal imager for the gunner and an ATTICA-Z thermal imager for the commander, both manufactured by Hensoldt. The imagers significantly enhance detection, recognition, and identification distances compared to their predecessors, allowing the crew to identify targets beyond the main gun's effective combat range.

For improved night driving, the tank includes the Hensoldt SPECTUS II or III optic at the hull's "nose", featuring a thermal imaging system combined with an image intensifier. This upgraded technology provides enhanced clarity and contrast for the driver. Additionally, a reinforced rear drive camera has been incorporated, comprising a thermal imager.

The Leopard 2A7V is powered by the MB 873 multi-fuel capable diesel engine. It also boasts a modified final drive to handle increased combat weight, sacrificing some top speed for better acceleration. Although the top speed is slightly reduced to 63 km/h, the acceleration performance has been noticeably improved compared to the heavier earlier models such as the Leopard 2A6M and 2A7 tanks. The transmission has also been hardened to withstand the additional weight without compromising its lifespan.

With the arrival of the Leopard 2A7V, the Bundeswehr has significantly enhanced its armored warfare capabilities. The advanced protection, firepower, and imaging systems of the tank indeed make it a formidable addition to the German Army's arsenal.

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