Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) handed over 20 LEOPARD 2 A7, the latest version of the Leopard 2 main battle tank (MBT tanks), to the German Army last week.
The LEOPARD 2 A7 is a product of collaboration between multiple NATO partners and KMW that began seven years ago. Canada decided in 2007 to borrow 20 LEOPARD 2 A6Ms with modern mine protection from the German Army as part of the ISAF mandate.
Adapted by KMW to Canadian requirements, the first LEOPARD 2 A6M CAN was available in the same year and proved itself in operation so effectively that Canada wanted to continue using it. When it was time to return the vehicles, the country acquired surplus Dutch LEOPARD tanks that were to be converted to the design status of the loaned German vehicles.
Canada and Germany agreed that further modifications could be made, resulting in the LEOPARD 2 A7 for the German Army as part of this conversion work.
The battle tank not only features optimized protection against asymmetrical and conventional threats, but also has enhanced sustainment. An auxiliary power unit ensures that the weapons system is fully operational even without a running main engine and that turret and crew compartment are kept cool.
The LEOPARD 2 A7 is integrated into the control network via the combat troops control and weapons deployment system. For reconnaissance, it has leading edge sighting equipment. Its range of capabilities has been adapted through the option to fire fuzeprogrammable high explosive ammunition. This ammunition is particularly effective against bunkers and fortified positions.