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22 hours ago, SH_MM said:

Btw. when the Leopard 2A7V was developed, the German Army created a document with all desirable upgrade options and then investigated the possible upgrade paths - specifically in regards to schedule and the budget. This document already included several upgrades beyond the Leopard 2A7V, such as a harkill active protection system and automated tracking function for the optics. However by the assessment of the German military no currently available systems on the market would have the maturity/technical readiness level to become adopted now.

 

The current proposed features of a "Leopard 2Ax" (future upgrade after 2A7V, so essentially 2A8 or if adopted in several parts an even higher number) include:

  • 1,200 kW engine
  • active hardkill protection system
  • all round vision thanks to additional digital optics
  • automated tracking feature for the (main?) optics
  • improved ammunition
  • a remote weapon station

Essentially the Leopard 2 is meant to become equivalent to Rheinmetall's Leopard 2 ADT, but with a more powerful engine and made by KMW as main contractor...

 

 

Any link to the document? Or atleast a timetable for the 2A8?

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1 hour ago, Ramlaen said:

I'm more worried about the fact they only have slightly more MBTs in service than the UK.

With the right amount of money and effort, you can repair and prepare tanks and AFVs much more quickly than making new ones and staffing them, along with the infrastructure they require.

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3 hours ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

I'm more worried about the fact they only have slightly more MBTs in service than the UK.

With the right amount of money and effort, you can repair and prepare tanks and AFVs much more quickly than making new ones and staffing them, along with the infrastructure they require.

 

In general I'm under the impression that they are frequent maintenance issue in the German army (be it the Heer or the Luftwaffe) and that each time a defect or maintenance issue is detected they tend to immediately forbid the  whole fleet to operate without taking the time to assess if the defect is generic or not, which lead to problematic availability rate (it's a good thing to be prudent, but it pose other problems).

 

They tend to do their maintenance a little too much "by the book" without taking in account capability (a defect may prevent a vehicle to do some task but it not always render it completely unfit for service).

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On 27.10.2017 at 3:15 PM, Willy Brandt said:

Any link to the document? Or atleast a timetable for the 2A8?

 

Unfortunately the document is not available for the public and no timetable has been agreed upon yet.

 

5 hours ago, Ramlaen said:

 

In general Focus is a rather reputable source, but one has to distinguish between their website and the printed magazine. They got sued for copying too much web-content from other news agencies (including paraphrasing content from other sites that is hidden behind paywalls...). In this case the article is correct, but ignores a few aspects. I.e. it doesn't include the upgrade of the 2A4/2A6/2A7 tanks to the new 2A7V configuration. Therefore it appears that most tanks would be lacking spare parts, while in reality the largest number of tanks are currently being upgraded. That said, the amount of tanks in need of spare parts is too high.

 

The problem is that the German military has to worry about too many things at the same time. This includes issues finding new recruits (the job is not considered attractive in the largely pacifist German society), getting money for new arms purchases, getting money for upgrading existing systems and some of our "special" politicans. Last year defence spending increased by 7.9% compared to the previous year, but the money was mostly invested into higher wages (the private sector including private military contractors pay much better than the military). The fact that the German Minister of Defence, who has been critized for her incompetency, prefers to insult the soldiers and even sue some of them is not helpful either. The lack of a new government (parties have yet to agree on a coalition) might be actually good for the military, given the outlook...

The German MoD is pretending that the numbers are good, because this are enough tanks for the land component of NATO's Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (aka "NATO's spearhead" in German news), of which Germany will take the lead beginning in 2019. Still the MoD announced that keeping (a larger number of) the Leopard 2 tanks running is one of the focuses of the MoD.

 

Honestly I wouldn't be surprised, if the situation became worse in the next years. Not only due to funding issues, but also given that the reason for the Leopard 2A7 receiving the ATTICA thermal imager being the fact that no new spare parts for the OPHELIOS-P (thermal imager used in the Leopard 2A5/2A6 commander's sight) are being made. Even after the introduction of the Leopard 2A7V, there will be only 154 tanks with ATTICA thermal modules... so there need to be follow-up contracts for upgrading the older tanks or half of the tanks won't have a working commander's sight during night.

 

 

It should be noted that other countries have similar problems with spare parts. In 2010 it was reported that only 57 out of 114 Austrian Leopard 2A4s were combat ready following a lack of spare parts. Even worse was the situation with the ASCOD Ulan, where only 22 out of 112 were combat ready during a few weeks in Fall 2010. In 2016 the Italian Army supposedly had only 30 combat ready Ariete tanks (out of 200).

 

3 hours ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

I'm more worried about the fact they only have slightly more MBTs in service than the UK.

With the right amount of money and effort, you can repair and prepare tanks and AFVs much more quickly than making new ones and staffing them, along with the infrastructure they require.

 

The data from Focus (it was actually originally reported by the Funke media group) is not including the Leopard 2A7V tank, so it will rather be 312 Leopard 2 tanks in 2019/2020. The British Army has 168 Challenger 2 tanks in operational units (59 of the 227 current Challenger 2 tanks are used for training or stored in reserve).

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Hello everyone,

There`s a more reliable source for the readystate of the Leopards: Augengeradeaus.de 
That`s a german defence blog by the probably most notable german journalist for military and defence topics.
Summed up for the not german speaking crowd:
244 Leos are currently in service (the +100 which were bought back from the industry are still paper tanks). The actual number intended for active units is 184.
95 of 244 Leos are in " green state"
89 are in maintenance caused by usage-depending wear
53 are right now at KMW getting upgraded or maintenanced
7 are given to several companies or WTDs ( Wehrtechnische Dienststelle) as reference models.

This results in 38% ready in total and 51,6% ready if only the active-duty number is considered.
Contrary to what has been stated before the upgrade programme is included in the numbers.
And since these numbers are the numbers which were given to the federal parliament by the MoD,
they are probably a bit sugarcoated but all in all reliable.

Some of the comments below the article are worth to be mentioned, too:
Not really suprisingly this readyness for MBTs in Germany is nothing new and actually better then in the mid 90`s.
The drastic reduction in fundings was harshest for systems which were belived to be obsolet after the Cold War -

like MBTs. Some former servicemen are speaking of only 10 out of more the 100 tanks in their unit were in a working condition
around 1997.
Well these things happen if you start to belive that the russian bear has become a teddy bear and universal peace is near...
 

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To put the 95 Leopards into context:
How many operational Leclercs does France have?
Or how many operational MBTs does Poland/UK/Belgium or even the US have?
How many countries are currently upgrading their tanks and are not only looking for the upgrades but their tanks are in the factories already?
From the top of my head Russia (of course), the US (SepV3) and Germany (A7V). Looking for upgrades is still as far as i know Czech, Poland, Denmark.

When are those 53 Leopard 2A7V coming back?
When are those new old 100 Leopard 2A4 (upgraded to what? 5/6/7/7V/8?) coming into service?

Compared to most other NATO countries the current number and future quality and number of tanks seems even pretty good.

Compared to the UK for example:
-Talk about around 40 operational Tanks
-Still no winner for the CR2 LEP contract or a signed contract
-Talk about cuts to the Challenger fleet

-No future tank program being even talked about

 

P.S: I think after decades of close to 100% readiness and thousands of tanks people expectation for readiness numbers are maybe a bit distorted. I agree the current number of tanks and their readiness is too low but compared to the 90s and early 2000s they are getting far better (atleast for Germany). So maybe look forward and not too far backwards.

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12 hours ago, Jägerlein said:

Contrary to what has been stated before the upgrade programme is included in the numbers.

 

No, the figure is misleading. Only 36 (16 Leopard 2A6 and 20 Leopard 2A7 tanks) will be upgraded to the 2A7V configuration, but also 62 Leopard 2A4 tanks. The number used in the report (57 tanks) includes the parallel upgrade of Leopard 2A6M tanks to the Leopard 2A6M+ configuration. Of the 36 2A6 & 2A7 tanks to be upgraded to the Leopard 2A7V, the majority remains still in service and will be upgraded later (in fact 18 of the 20 Leopard 2A7 tanks will be the last tanks to receive the upgrade!). At the same time 68 Leopard 2A4 tanks are also being upgraded, the upgrade of these tanks takes longer (because more work has to be done), but AFAIK at least some of them have already been sent to the industry.

 

1 hour ago, Willy Brandt said:

How many operational Leclercs does France have?
Or how many operational MBTs does Poland/UK/Belgium or even the US have?

 

France ordered the upgrade of 200 Leclerc tanks in 2015 as part of SCORPION programme. The number of active tanks is probably be greater. The United Kingdom has only 227 Challenger 2 tanks left in inventory, of which 168 tanks are belonging to active units; probably a few of these are in need of repair. After the introduction of the Ajax, the British Army might downsize from three active tank battalions to only two. Belgium has given up on tanks. They never bought a modern tank (only Leopard 1s) and decided against modernizing them in the late 1990s/early 2000s. Instead Belgium operates a handful of Piranha IIIC 8x8 vehicles, of which 40 are armed with a 90 mm gun, while 32 are armed with a 30 mm ATK Mk44 gun.

Poland has one of the largest tank fleets in Europe, consisting of 247 Leopard 2 tanks (of which half are supposed to be modernized by Rheinmetall & Obrum to the new Leopard 2PL variant), some 230-240 PT-91 tanks and more than 150 operational T-72 tanks. The The US military has some ~2,000 M1A1/M1A2 Abrams tanks in active units with a similar amount of modern tanks in reserve/storage. I haven't kept up with the latest US Army plans, but supposedly they want to have something between 10 and 17 armored brigade combat teams (ABCT). Latest informations suggests that there were 14 ABCTs in 2016 with a new (15th) ABCT being set up in October 2017. Each ABCT has 90 M1A1/M1A2 Abrams tanks, hence there should be 1,350 Abrams tanks operated by the Army. The National Guard has either 5 or 6 ABCTs (there were originally six, but one was deactivated in 2016), adding 450-540 M1A1/M1A2 Abrams tanks over the Army's operational tank fleet. Supposedly the USMC bought a total of 403 M1A1 tanks, but it appears that not all are operational.

 

1 hour ago, Willy Brandt said:

How many countries are currently upgrading their tanks and are not only looking for the upgrades but their tanks are in the factories already?

 

Incomplete list:

Germany (50 Leopard 2A6M+, 104 Leopard 2A7V), Poland (128 Leopard 2PL, PT-91M2 amount TBD),  Denmark (38 tanks to Leopard 2A7/V), France (200 Leclerc Scorpion XLR), UK (Challenger 2 LEP bidding under way, amount TBD), Russia (T-90M), US Army (90 M1A2 SEP v2 to be fitted with Trophy, M1A2 SEP v3), Indonesia (Leopard 2RI) etc.

In factory are German tanks for conversion to Leopard 2A6M+/2A7V tanks, Leclerc tanks,Polish 2A4 tanks to become Leopard 2PLs and probably the M1A2 SEP v2 aswell as maybe the Danish tanks. Rheinmetall has been upgrading 2A4 tanks to the Leopard 2RI configuration for Indonesia, I don't know if they finished this contract already. Also Russia might have already started upgrading the T-90A to the T-90M variant.

 

1 hour ago, Willy Brandt said:

When are those 53 Leopard 2A7V coming back?

 

Those are not all 2A7V tanks. This is a mixed value, most of the tanks are understood to be Leopard 2A6M tanks being upgraded to the 2A6M+ model (inofficial name).

The Leopard 2A7V deliveries are set to begin in 2019. The very first two of these tanks are taken from the 20 Leopard 2A7 tanks and will be used for testing if everything works as expected. After these two initial Leopard 2A7Vs, the next 16 will be created from Leopard 2A6 tanks, which will be ready for service in 2020. Directly after the conversions of the 2A6 tanks are finished, 68 Leopard 2A4 tanks will be converted to the Leopard 2A7V. The last remaining 18 Leopard 2A7 tanks are scheduled for the 2A7V upgrade after the Leopard 2A4 tanks.

 

1 hour ago, Willy Brandt said:

When are those new old 100 Leopard 2A4 (upgraded to what? 5/6/7/7V/8?) coming into service?

 

68 Leopard 2A4 tanks will be converted to the 2A7V configuration. 32 tanks will remain in the Army's stock for conversion to support vehicles (recovery vehicles, engineering vehicles, bridgelayers), used as spare parts or upgraded at a later time (if there is a requirement for a larger tank fleet); AFAIK the final decision hasn't been made yet.

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18 hours ago, SH_MM said:

 

The The US military has some ~2,000 M1A1/M1A2 Abrams tanks in active units with a similar amount of modern tanks in reserve/storage. I haven't kept up with the latest US Army plans, but supposedly they want to have something between 10 and 17 armored brigade combat teams (ABCT). Latest informations suggests that there were 14 ABCTs in 2016 with a new (15th) ABCT being set up in October 2017. Each ABCT has 90 M1A1/M1A2 Abrams tanks, hence there should be 1,350 Abrams tanks operated by the Army. The National Guard has either 5 or 6 ABCTs (there were originally six, but one was deactivated in 2016), adding 450-540 M1A1/M1A2 Abrams tanks over the Army's operational tank fleet. Supposedly the USMC bought a total of 403 M1A1 tanks, but it appears that not all are operational.

 

The 15 (eventually 16) ABCTs include the National Guard units. My understanding is there are 1,605 M1A2 SEP/SEPv2 and 791 M1A1 SA, with the rest being older M1A1s. The USMC only has 3 active tank battalions out of their 403 M1A1 FEP.

 

This isn't accounting for the new SEPv3 made out of M1A1s.

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People are pushing hard for new Leopard 2 A7Vs for the Norwegian Army it seems. It's been a long time since I've seen this level of engagement on a subject that doesn't involve 'distriktspolitikk'. From BFO:

 

Quote

New tanks now!

 

The Army's 80s era Leopard 2 A4 tanks are currently among the oldest in Europe, and are hopelessly outdated compared to other countries' Leopard tanks (which we cooperate with in Lithuania), and not least in comparison to our state-of-the-art CV-90 infantry fighting vehicles. Our old LEO 2 A4 communicates badly with our fully digitized CV-90s. The prerequisite for the modernization of the CV-90 was that our LEO 2 A4 tanks would receive the same modernization, so that they would together form a modern and very powerful capacity for the Army, and an important piece in a network-based defense. Now the Ministry of Defense and the Ground Power Review have postponed new acquisitions or modernization of our tanks until after 2025.

 

Supposedly this is done to await new technology. This is nonsense, because a 5th generation MGCS (Main Ground Battle System) will most likely not be on the market until 2035-2040! This has been confirmed during Offisersbladet's visit to the tank manufacturer Krauss Maffei Wegmann, as well as the German professional authority at a FSi-full-day ground power Seminar on November 22 (Association of Defense and Security Industries). In 2035-2040 our LEO 2 A4 will have been on the scrapyard for a long time!

 

Pushing a rapid modernization of our tanks so far out of time can prove critical to the Army. Because it's a fact that our tanks will soon be non-operational. They are struggling with catastrophically poor access to spare parts, technical failures, system failures, stabilization systems, sensors, etc. It's actually so bad, that more people may risk receiving a driving prohibation.

 

The Defense Commander recommended a balanced structure in all domains based on an accumulated increase in the defense budget of approximately NOK 175 billion in the twenty-year period. But when the Air Force receives its F-35, P-8 Poseidon, it uses tens of billions on EBA on Ørland and its establishment on Evenes with QRA and P-8 Poseidon base, and the Navy gets its new submarines, the wallet is empty and there was little left for the army.

 

But the solution is closer than we think.

The Offisersbladet has been in contact with sources in Germany and a great many sources in Norway, and learned the following:

- Our tanks can be updated to the latest LEO 2 A7v in over a two-year period, starting in 2019.

- The German state / army has said yes to let Norway into a tightly packed production line.

- Krauss Maffei Wegmann has confirmed that during the upgrade of our tanks, they can lend us modern

LEO 2 A6 tanks, to maintain operational status / preparedness in the Army and during deployments with NRF VJTF.

- They are supposedly also willing to look at several forms of settlement (repayment over time, leases, etc.).

 

So why should we not do this now? Now we have to appeal to a single parliament, to do the only thing, namely to go for a modernization of the Army's tanks now!

 

Read the expanded article in the December issue of Offisersbladet.

 

Source: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1491162317605805&id=119205921468125 

(translated from Norwegian w. Google Translate and by me)

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The government, its supporting parties and the largest opposition party have settled on an interim tank solution, meaning "new" tanks, either leased or loaned, from 2019. This will ensure that the Army can maintain its tank capacity until after 2025 when the real replacement should be ready. How many or from where isn't clear at this point, however.

 

Source: https://www.aftenposten.no/norge/i/OnnBWE/Enighet-om-Haren-og-Heimevernet---men-noe-stort-loft-far-de-ikke

 

Per the Offiserbladet article I posted earlier, it seemed possible for Norway to loan some Leo 2A6s from Germany, but that was only for a couple of years while our own tanks were being upgraded. Now we're talking about a much longer period of time, and in contrast to the earlier ABC-Spürfuchs deal, the Norwegian government seems more  interested in holding an open competition instead of committing to buying new tanks from KMW when the loan period is over. I guess leasing is a more realistic option.

 

Would you mind sharing your thoughts on this, @SH_MM ? 

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That's quite interesting. As far as I know, there aren't really any modern (i.e. 2A6/2A7) Leopard 2 tanks available for loan or leasing. Germany doesn't seem to be interested in giving tanks away considering that they are upgrading older tanks and want to increase then German tank fleet. The Netherlands have sold most of their 180 Leopard 2A6 tanks to Canada (20), Portugal (37) and Finland (100) - all these countries don't . The 16 last Dutch Leopard 2A6 tanks were incorporated into the German army (together with 2 tanks loaned from Germany they are operated by Dutch crews). That leaves only Greece with 170 Leopard 2A6 and Spain with 219 as other sources of the Leopard 2A6. The Leopard 2A5 is only operated by Poland, Sweden and Denmark, all these countries are currently upgrading/enlarging their tank fleets.

 

The market for new leased/loaned tanks isn't really there. The M1 Abrams might be available - and maybe the Leclerc tank. I can imagine that the German industry manages to persuade the government for some kind of odd deal, that would end in Norway being offered German 2A6 tanks, while the Norwegian Leopard 2A4 tanks  then are added to the Leopard 2A7V upgrade. In the end we have loaned/leased Leopard 2 tanks to the Netherlands, Canada, Sweden and Spain over the past two/three decades.

AFAIK Rheinmetall and KMW still own a few Leopard 2 tanks, so they might upgrade them and offer them in 2019 or they use these tanks to replace the German ones loaned/leased to Norway. The former could mean that Rheinmetall might in theory be able to offer a variant of the Leopard 2 ADT (formerly known as "Revolution" until Rheinmetall saw that some customers - i.e. non-democratic countries or those with instable democracies - might link the word "revolution" to something bad).

 

I don't really know if a Leopard 2 replacement will be ready in 2025. The MGCS might still need a few years, so essentially they have to replace the leased/loaned tanks Leopard 2 tanks (or a version of the Leclerc/Abrams).

 

 

 

___

On an unrelated note:

Austrian Leopard 2A4 "upgrades"

 

gitter-7.jpg

Leopard 2A4 for riot controll

 

schild-10.jpg


Leopard 2A4 with shield for the loader

 

... and the latest upgrade:

BK9PwTc.jpg?1

 

Leopard 2 with new external storage racks!

 

Each tank made as limited edition (one piece per upgrade).

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Quote

KMW proposes European Leopard 2 fleet

Sebastian Schulte - Jane's Defence Weekly
04 December 2017

German armoured vehicle producer Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) has proposed the creation of a European main battle tank (MBT) fleet. The company proposes in the 24 November issue of the German defence newsletter Griephan Briefe upgrading obsolete versions of its Leopard 2 MBTs from various countries to a common EU standard and leasing them to nations that require them. The proposal comes in the wake of a project launched by the European Defence Agency (EDA) aimed at optimising existing European MBT capabilities. The EDA issued a request for information to EU defence industry associations on 22 September to elaborate a business case for upgrading the EU-wide Leopard 2A4 fleet to the A7 version.

 

Source

 

 

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46 minutes ago, Willy Brandt said:

@Laser Shark

Is the Danish 2A7 in reality a 2A7V or a mix between the two? Because the frontal armor is definitely not part of the A7 version. Also does it use a .50 or a FN MAG as a Coax Machine gun?

 

It does look like it has more in more in common with the A7Verbessert than the regular A7, but as it's based on the A5DK, there is most likely going to be some differences between the German and Danish vehicles (the final designation is probably going to be A7DK).

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1 minute ago, Laser Shark said:

 

It does look like it has more in more in common with the A7Verbessert than the regular A7, but as it's based on the A5DK, there is most likely going to be some differences between the German and Danish vehicles (the final designation is probably going to be A7DK).

Makes sense. Any info on what are the upgrades of the A7DK?

Also what about the Coax MG? is it still a MG3?

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39 minutes ago, Willy Brandt said:

Makes sense. Any info on what are the upgrades of the A7DK?

Also what about the Coax MG? is it still a MG3?

 

Yes, the coax is still an MG3. Somehow I forgot to answer that question in the previous reply.... Sorry about that.

 

As for the Danish Leo upgrade, it includes the following improvements:

 

Quote

- Installation of New Operating Concept (replacement of analogue technology with digital solutions) and integration with the Army's Tactical Communication Network.

 

- Maintaining the development potential of its weapon systems (all vehicles) including the outfitting of a 120 mm L 55 A1 gun (only 16 vehicles). Modification of protection against mines and Improvised Explosive Devices.

 

- Modification / replacement of auxiliary power unit, air conditioner, protection system (against chemical, bacteriological as well as nuclear threats) and vehicle camera support systems.

 

- Improved Fire control and observation systems.

 

- Modification of the undercarriage and driveline to the new total weight.

 

- A number of minor modifications to maintain the tanks robustness and use based on experience from Afghanistan.

 

Source (in Danish, page 17): https://www2.forsvaret.dk/omos/publikationer/forsvarsavisen/Documents/Forsvarsavisen 01 2017a.pdf

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The Danish military ordered the upgrade of of 38 Leopard 2A5DK tanks. Only 16 of these will be upgraded to the full Leopard 2A7(V) configuration including the new high-pressure L/55A1 tank gun and a mine protection plate. The rest of the tanks will undergo a basic upgrade only, but retain the L/44 gun and lack any sort of new anti-mine plating below the hull's belly.

 

Posted a few weeks ago in this topic:

Leopard%20opgraderes_Kilde%20FMI.png?ito

 

12 minutes ago, Willy Brandt said:

So what is this thing on the top right of the barrel?

 

Looks like a gun-firing simulator device, it can also be seen on other tanks:

039g.jpg

 

(empty)

 

thumb2-leopard-2a5dk-tanks-4k-royal-dani

(more than half full)

 

1 hour ago, Willy Brandt said:

Because the frontal armor is definitely not part of the A7 version.

 

It is the same frontal armor as fitted to the Leopard 2 KVT and subsequent new production models (Strv 122, Leopardo 2E, Leopard 2A6HEL); however the Leopard 2A5DK tanks were originally Leopard 2A4 tanks from the German Army. The Danish military is the only one who adopted this armor when upgrading older tanks.


The German Leopard 2A7V prototype from Eurosatory has similar armor, but with more (and smaller) screws. Also the armor is segmented in three pieces, so I believe that the hull armor is slightly different - the armor composition might be the same, but it is mounted in a different manner:

 

leopard-2a7-006-800x445.jpg

 

54 minutes ago, Willy Brandt said:

Also what about the Coax MG? is it still a MG3?

 

As you can see in one of the earlier pictures of a 2A5DK tank, this "barrel extension" is fitted during training sometimes and probably is part of the gun-firing simulator equipment.

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15 minutes ago, SH_MM said:

 

As you can see in one of the earlier pictures of a 2A5DK tank, this "barrel extension" is fitted during training sometimes and probably is part of the gun-firing simulator equipment.

 

Perhaps the barrel extension is some kind of coax flash hider? (The M1 has something like that)

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