German parliament approves funding for Leopard 2 upgrades

German Leopard 2
German Leopard 2A7 main battle tank | Image credit: Bundeswehr

The German Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced 20 March that the German parliament has approved funding for the upgrade of Germany’s Leopard 2 main battle tanks (MBT).

The MoD said in a statement, “101 Main Battle Tank Leopard 2 variants A6M A2 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. The standardization of the systems is required with a view to effective and low-risk personnel deployment. The crews must be able to fulfill their mission even under extreme conditions in stressful situations. Therefore, tank crews must be able to perform all mechanical operations during combat operations completely automated. Furthermore, the crews must be able to be replaced at any time. The modernization of the main battle tanks should be completed by 2026. Among other things, the Leopard 2 will receive a new target system, new radios and modified fire control computers.”

The Leopard 2A7V is the latest version of German-made Leopard 2 MBT and will be able to use Rheinmetall’s new programmable 120mm HE DM11 multipurpose round. The 2A7V will have a new armoured modular system for the upper front glacis plate of the hull and a more powerful Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) than the current APU used on the Leopard 2A7 model.

The procurement of 36,000 rounds of 155 mm ammunition for the Panzerhaubitze (PzH) 2000 self-propelled howitzer (SPH) was also given the go-ahead.