Leopard 2 A7V main battle tank

The "V" stands for "verbessert" (improved) – meaning that the tank's combat efficiency has been enhanced.
At first glance, the additional value of the Leopard 2 A7V is hardly recognizable. However, the upgrade has a lot to offer

A main battle tank crosses a clearing, raising gray dust.

After almost two years of testing, the first new Leopard 2 A7V main battle tanks will now be delivered to the units. In November 2020, the new battle tank passed one of the last tests during the tactical suitability testing conducted by the Army Concepts and Capabilities Development Centre at the Senne training area in East Westphalia. 30 of the thoroughly tested vehicles will now be delivered to 393 Tank Battalion in Bad Frankenhausen. In 2023, the Thuringian battalion will be part of NATO's Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTFVery High Readiness Joint Task Force ). A total of 104 Leopard 2 A7V main battle tanks are to be handed over to the Bundeswehr in the next three years.

The upgrade has a lot to offer

  • A main battle tank crosses a sandy range of a training area.

    A better view

    Until now, the commander of a Leopard 2 main battle tank had to guide the driver when reversing or moving into a position in poor visibility. Thanks to an improvement of the optronic cameras and the installation of an enhanced rear-view camera for the driver, the crew now has a good view of everything even in poor visibility and darkness. The third-generation vision devices provide a level of detail for reconnaissance so far rarely found in main battle tanks. The Leopard 2 used to be equipped with first-generation devices. Now, both the commander's and the gunner's stations are provided with third-generation devices.

    According to the new arrangement concept, grousers are now stowed on the back of the turret. They can be used to replace individual normal track pads to improve grip in difficult conditions, for example when driving on icy, snow-covered, muddy or slippery ground.

  • A main battle tank on a large patch of brown grassland with a bright muzzle flash emerging from the gun

    Greater firepower

    On the battlefield, the new Leopard 2 A7V benefits from a greater capability to prevail in one-on-one situations. The barrel of the 120 mm smoothbore gun has been hardened and can be used to fire future, modern extended-range ammunition. With this ammunition, the Leopard 2 A7V can achieve a maximum effective range of up to 5,000 metres. Less impressive, but all the more effective, is the tank's new communications capability. Digital electronics enable networking with the Battle Management System (BMSBattle Management System) – the new digital command and control technology on the battlefield. It enables the troops, from main battle tanks to individual soldiers, to exchange important information in combat in an uncomplicated and time-saving manner and thus gain a tactical advantage. The BMSBattle Management System displays the own position and the positions of friendly forces on an electronic map. In addition, the system allows control lines, tactical missions and orders to be transmitted. Once spotted, the position of an enemy can be marked on the map and thus transmitted to all other friendly forces. Furthermore, the crew can make use of an air-conditioning system to enhance their sustainability.

  • A main battle tank crosses a sandy patch and seems to take off at full speed

    Powerful drive system

    The chassis has been reinforced by an additional protection module fitted at the front to protect the Leopard against armour-piercing ammunition. The additional armour, however, puts the new Leopard 2 A7V into a higher weight class. The 63.9-ton combat vehicle therefore is equipped with a more powerful drive system and a modified drive train.

    The higher weight thus does not affect acceleration and off-road performance. Powered by a 1,500-hp engine, the tank ploughs its way across the battlefield just like its predecessor did.

    With this this in mind, the slightly decreased peak speed is acceptable. Despite its weight, the state-of-the-art Leopard can reach a theoretical maximum speed of 63 kilometres per hour.

Collective defence

Army forces with advanced basic capabilities for special operations

In 2023, 37 Armoured Infantry Brigade is part of NATO's rapid response force known as the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTFVery High Readiness Joint Task Force ).