Polish army receives its first modernized Leopard 2PL MBT Main Battle Tanks

The PGZ consortium implementing the contract with the Armament Inspectorate for the modernization of Leopard 2A4 tanks for the Polish army has formally completed the process of collecting the first two tanks in the 2PL standard. Works aimed at collecting the next three vehicles are to be completed this week. The formal collection of vehicles is an important stage in the program, enabling the start of delivery of subsequent batches of modernized Leopard 2PL MBTs.
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New Polish army Leopard 2PL MBT Main Battle Tank at MSPO defense exhibition in Poland, September 2019. (Picture source: Army Recognition)

Over the past two weeks, very intensive work has been carried out to complete the tests of the Leopard 2PL tanks and start passing vehicles to the User. Last May 8, tests of the modernized Leopard 2PL tank ended with a positive report. This week, the first batch of Leopards 2PL has been picked up by the user at Zakłady Mechaniczne "Bumar-Łabędy" S.A. in Gliwice. The vehicles will be delivered to the 10th Armored Cavalry Brigade stationed in Świętoszów.

Andrzej Kensbok, President of the Management Board of PGZ S.A. said: “Delivery of the first units is a key stage in the Leopard 2PL program. Acceptance of these vehicles by the user opens for our Consortium the possibility of supplying further batches of these tanks. The Leopard 2PL program is one of our priorities, and the last weeks were a time of intense work in which the new management board of Bumar Łabędy was very much involved. We see these effects today, and this is just the beginning because next, ready tanks are already waiting for the start of acceptance procedures”.

The Leopard 2PL project aims to significantly improve the combat capabilities of the Leopard 2A4 tanks used so far in the Polish army, in terms of firepower, ballistic protection and situational awareness, as well as crew work comfort, with wide involvement of the national defense industry.

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Modernized Leopard 2PL tested before delivery (Picture source: PGZ)

Elżbieta Wawrzynkiewicz, president of the board of Zakłady Mechaniczne "Bumar-Łabędy" S.A., said: “Work on modernizing and restoring the technical condition of Leopard 2A4s allowed our plants to acquire new competences. We have built a logistics base for repairs and are currently working on securing the supply of spare parts and increasing the level of "Polonization" of the Leopard 2PL. Our goal is to establish the potential for regeneration and production of selected elements of the tank, conducting the necessary certification and entering the supply chains for this military equipment. Given the many years of exploitation of Leopards, this solution will translate into benefits for both us and our client”.

Modernization to the 2PL standard includes, among others, replacement of the hydraulic stabilization system of the cannon and turret drive with electric ones, improvement of the Rh-120 L44 smoothbore gun and its adaptation to new types of ammunition. The Leopard 2PL is also equipped with the installation of optoelectronic systems, including the KLW-1 Asteria III generation thermal imaging camera in the sight and sighting devices of the commander and gunner. Additional armor modules are mounted on the tank turret, the inside the vehicle has new fire and explosion protection systems. All tanks will also undergo service, mainly with the forces of the Polish Defense Industry, aimed at rebuilding the full efficiency of these machines.

The works are carried out by the PGZ Consortium - Zakłady Mechaniczne "Bumar-Łabędy". Other Group entities are also involved in the modernization of Leopard: Warsaw PCO, Wojskowe Zakłady Motoryzacyjne from Poznań, Zakłady Mechaniczne Tarnów, OBRUM Research and Development Center for Mechanical Devices and Rosomak from Siemianowice. The partner is Rheinmetall Landsysteme GmbH.

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Modernized Leopard 2PL MBTs ready for delivery (Picture source: PGZ)