Leopard 2A4 tank can be upgraded to a 2A7 standard and some countries will love that – Technology Org
The German main battle tank Leopard 2 was designed in the 1970’s and is still in production and in service. The most widespread version of the Leopard 2 family is the 2A4. It is partly because previous versions were upgraded to meet the 2A4 standard. However, this was still the end of the previous century and the Leopard 2 has evolved significantly since.
There have been Leopard 2A5, 2A6, 2A7, and 2A7+ versions developed, among specialized or country-specific versions of the Leopard 2. However, the Leopard 2A4 remains the most common, used by a long list of countries in and outside of NATO.
Ukraine is on that list already, because Poland already supplied the first Leopard 2A4 tanks to Ukraine as part of its military aid. Germany, Canada, Spain, Finland and other countries will provide Ukraine with Leopard 2A4 tanks. While the exact number is unknown, Ukraine may soon have around 90 Leopard 2A4 tanks. And that’s in addition to Stridsvagn 122 (Swedish version of the Leopard 2A5) and 2A6’s.
Numerous countries that are using the Leopard 2A4 main battle tanks are looking for an upgrade. These tanks were made at the end of the 20th century, but remain in service as they are still highly reliable and highly capable. For example, Austria is asking to upgrade its 2A4s to A27 standard. This work will be carried out by a German company, Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW).
Considering that the Leopard 2A4 was introduced in 1985, how can it be upgraded to the 2A7 standard, which was introduced in 2014? Well, it is the same platform.
The Leopard 2A4 has a fully digital fire-control system. It is a modern machine. All of the electronic systems were significantly upgraded in the 2A5 version, which was revealed in 1995. Furthermore, the A25 saw upgraded turret protection, which covered up the distinctive flat sides of the Leopard 2 turret.
The 2A6, introduced in 2001, has a better 120 mm gun. Finally, the Leopard 2A7 differs from the previous versions quite significantly: it has the ability to use programmable rounds, an even better fire control system, some extra armor and points to mount modular armor plates, better optics, and auxiliary power unit.
The weight difference between the 2A4 and the 2A7 is nearly 10 tons (or more with modular armor). The engine is the same MTU MB 873 Ka-501 12-cylinder twin-turbocharged diesel.
The base platform remained nearly identical. This means that in this transformation the 2A4 needs to get a new smoothbore gun, improved armor modules, a better fire control system, and some other smaller improvements. It is possible and definitely cheaper than buying brand new tanks. It is likely that if this project is successful, Austria will be followed by other operators of the Leopard 2A4. Maybe even Ukraine, one day.
Sources: Defense-ua.com, Wikipedia