German army to modernize Leopard 2 A6, purchase PzH 2000 155mm ammunition

On March 20, the German parliamentary budget committee signed off on two projects for the Bundeswehr. The first project consists in the upgrading of 101 Leopard 2A6 main battle tanks into the 2A7V variant by 2026. The second project consists in the purchase of 32,000 rounds in 155mm caliber for the Panzerhaubitze 2000 (PzH 2000) self-propelled howitzers.

German army to modernize Leopard 2 A6 purchase PzH 2000 155mm ammunition 3
Leopard 2 A7V (Picture source: Army Recognition)

As already reported by Army Recognition, the German army will return 104 Leopard 2 A4 MBTs to frontline service, and upgrade them to the latest 2 A7V standard. Rheinmetall is in charge of the work. “101 Main Battle Tank Leopard 2 variants A6M2 and A6 are to be brought to a similar design level as the latest version Leopard 2 A7V. The aim is to adapt to the Leopard 2 A7V in terms of operation and logistics,” said in Federal Ministry of Defense statement. “The tanks’ systems will be standardized to make them more effective, increase protection, and allow for the exchange of crews,” added in a statement. Thanks to this project, the MBT fleet will grow from 225 up to 329. Currently, only 20 Leopard 2A7 MBTs are in service with the Germany army. The deliveries of the new batch of Leopard 2A7Vs will start late in 2019 and be completed by 2023. An earlier initiative involved upgrading 100 Leopard 2 A6 variants up to the 2 A7 standard. All upgraded Leopard 2 A7V tanks will be capable of firing Rheinmetall’s new programmable DM11 multipurpose ammunition.

The Leopard 2A7V is the latest version of German-made main battle tank (MBT) in the Leopard 2 family that was unveiled in June 2016, at Eurosatory, the international defense exhibition which was held in Paris, France. The Leopard 2A7V is fitted with a new armored modular system for the upper front glacis plate of the hull and a more powerful Auxiliary Power Unit of the current APU used on the Leopard 2A7 model. The Leopard 2A7V MBT is armed with a 120-mm L55A1 gun and can fire new generation of armor-piercing ammunition, which form a higher pressure in the barrel channel.

Second project, the Bundeswehr will receive 32,000 DM121 explosive projectiles for its PanzerHaubitze PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzers. The German artillery will get them in eight separate deliveries of munitions by 2023.

German army to modernize Leopard 2A6M2 purchase PzH 2000 155mm ammunition 2
Panzerhaubitze PzH 2000 of the Dutch army (Picture source: Army Recognition)