What’s so cool about Leopard 2 tanks? Impressions of Ukrainian soldiers – Technology Org

Ukrainian soldiers are already halfway through their training intended to master the control of the German main battle tank Leopard 2. So far, their impressions are on the highest level. What is so special about these armored vehicles that Ukrainians like the most?

A German Army Leopard 2 tank.

A German Army Leopard 2 tank. Image credit: US Army

The first 14 Leopard 2A4 tanks already reached Ukraine. Another 21 units should be supplied by Germany and Portugal by the end of March. Then, the number of these machines would be enough to form a separate battle consisting of Ukrainian Leopard 2 tanks.

The web portal ArmyInform recently published an interview with Senior Sergeant Yevhen Martynyuk, a fighter of the 17th Tank Brigade named after Konstantin Pestushko. The soldier shared his impressions about the training process and the advantages of this German tank.

“We study electrical equipment, engines, protection — in short, different systems. On the simulators, it is possible to enter malfunctions. We are learning to look for electrical damage where something burned or locked,” explained Yevhen Martynyuk.

Training process: maintaining Leopard 2 tanks.

Training process: maintaining Leopard 2 tanks. Image credit: Yevhen Martynyuk / Ukrainian Army

The teaching staff also note that Ukrainian military students learn very fast, often completing tasks faster than required.

Leopard 2 is not what we are used to. In fact, it’s like a car – the key turned and you are ready to go,” the senior sergeant compared the new armored vehicles with the T-80.

Yevhen Martynyuk says that despite its heavy weight, the German tank demonstrates impressive dynamics, and quickly picks up speed under different circumstances. All Leopard modifications are heavy: the Leopard 2A4 weighs 55 tons, while the Leopard 2A6 racks up to 62.5 tons. But this parameter is not really an obstacle: the vehicle can go at a speed of 31 km/h (19 mph) in reverse mode.

“Under conditions when you need to quickly move away from position, this is a significant plus. The T-64 or T-72 can go backward at 5 km/h (3 mph) at the best scenario.”

The soldier is also fond of the automatic transmission: here, it is very sensitive and responsive, and switches gears nearly instantly.

Martynyuk describes the main gun of the Leopard 2 tank as a “sniper rifle”. Of course, it is a cannon, not a rifle, but its effective hit range of up to 4 km (2.5 miles) at night and up to 5 km (3 miles) during the day leaves a very positive impression. The imaging systems are extremely functional – it is possible to identify targets nearly at the same distance of 4-5 km (2.5-3 miles). The gun turret can make a full-circle turn in just 9 seconds.

And what concerns the convenience – the crew has much more space inside this tank, almost enough for quality sleep time, when you have such an opportunity. “In terms of ergonomics, everything is much more convenient than we are used to,” says the Ukrainian tank operator.

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