MSPO 2021: PGZ displays modernization package for Leopard 2A5

There are two main development batches of the Leopard 2 tank: the original models up to Leopard 2A4, which have vertically faced turret armour, and the improved batch, namely the Leopard 2A5 and newer versions, which have angled arrow-shaped turret appliqué armour together with other improvements.

Army Recognition Official Show Daily News and Web TV UMEX 2020 925 001
Modernized Leopard 2A5 (Picture source: Army Recognition)

All models feature digital fire control systems with laser rangefinders, a fully stabilised main gun and coaxial machine gun, and advanced night vision and sighting equipment (first vehicles used a low-light-level TV system or LLLTV; thermal imaging was introduced later on). The tank has the ability to engage moving targets while moving over rough terrain.

From there, the Leopard 2 Imp was then developed into the A5. There were also some improvements in the main armour composition. The interior received spall liners to reduce fragments if the armour is penetrated. The frontal "heavy" third of the side skirts was replaced with a stronger type. The commander's sight was moved to a new position behind the hatch and it received an independent thermal channel. The gunner's sight was moved to the turret roof as opposed to the cavity in the front armour in previous models. A heavier sliding driver's hatch was fitted. Turret controls went all-electric, increasing reliability and crew safety, as well as weight savings. The gun braking system was improved to prepare for the later mounting of the new L/55 gun tube and to enable the firing of more powerful ammunition, such as the DM-53 APFSDS. The first A5s were handed over to the German army tank school in 1995 and started to enter regular service with Panzerbataillon 33 in December the same year. The Leopard 2A5 DK is a variant of the Leopard 2A5 similar to the Leopard 2A6 with some small modifications, used by the Danish Army.

Leopard 2A5 modernization package for the Polish Army displayed at MSPO 2021

The Leopard 2A5 modification/modernization package includes the replacement and modernization of obsolete systems and components. In this process, domestic elements have been used, introduced into the armament of the Polish armed forces and instaled on other types of military equipment.

The scope of modifications includes, among others, four groups of upgrades :
1. Modification of the fire control system in the field of optoelectronic devices. The PERI-R17A2 (commander) and EMES-15A2 (gunner) optoelectronic have been equipped with third-generation ASTERIA KLW-1 thermal cameras manufactured by PCO S.A., which improve the view range during the day and at night, as well as the accuracy of fire.
2. Modernization of the external radio communication system: the tank has been equipped with modern, digital Radmor solutions.
3. Modification of the on-board internal communication system: the new system enables voice communication and digital data exchange between the crew members and their environment.
4. Replacement of the machine guns: the outdated MG3/MG3A1 has been replaced by a modern Polish UKM 2000 one, inducted in the Polish armed forces.
5. Rear camera and driver’s monitor: obsolete and unavailable products have been replaced with the local PCO S.A. solution, already inducted in the Polish armed forces.