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The Leopard 2 Thread


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Love to see old Leopard 1 vehicles getting what they deserve. Easy and smart to do some enhancements and they still do a very good job.

 

I would guess that additional Leo 2 support will mean that the 2A4 hulls will be used for that since there is almost nothing else available.

But most interesting part will be to see if there will be some K2NO.

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19 hours ago, Rico said:

I would guess that additional Leo 2 support will mean that the 2A4 hulls will be used for that since there is almost nothing else available.

 

I’m unsure if the 12 Wisent 2 and 6 AVLB are based on the hulls of Norwegian Leo 2A4NO*, surplus hulls acquired by the manufacturer or if they are completely new ones, but whatever the case may be, additional hulls should become available as completely new tanks (there’s going to be some even if Norway end up with a Leo 2A7NO fleet) start rolling in.  

 

* Reportedly, the Norwegian Army only has 38 operational tanks, so that leaves between 14-20 tanks/hulls unaccounted for.

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  • 1 month later...
7 minutes ago, Gun Ready said:

Note that FK verion was a 6 roller chassis!

It was only a concept study with the 152 mm cannon and never built. The nickname was Leopard 2 Eber according to Ministerialdirektor Eberhardt.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

A quick search didn't turn anything up, so I apologize if this has already been asked before.

 

Most sources credit the Leo 2's hull ammo rack with 27 rounds, in a hexagonally packed arrangement of two rows of six rounds and three rows of five rounds for five rows total.  This is illustrated schematically:

vTo8Kdr.png

but actual photos show only 22 rounds, with four rows alternating six and five like so:

R6iRvJM.png

What gives?

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Note that the bottom-most row has twice the fittings for holding rounds. This is because once filled, those tubes tilt down and 5 more are placed between them and the rest of the rack. This allows better use of the space which would otherwise be inaccessible because of the torsion bars and other crap on the floor.

 

A similar solution is used in the turret rack:

l8qjoFEqleFLrm6vv03ZVWyeqWVO-rdnv5EjWFCh

Note that the edge rounds cannot be accessed until the center ones are removed.

The same solution is used in the Abrams:

297WS9w.jpg

 

Perhaps best illustrated by this pic of the 105mm Abrams rack:

Pn89c-lZ4TiVUK6u9ThmFiPCbfz5NCOjDBqan6yL

 

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On 7/11/2021 at 12:05 PM, Rico said:

Looks like a decision is likely to be influenced from the outside.

 

https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2021/07/09/poland-could-purchase-m1-abrams-tanks-from-us/

 

And now that it's been confirmed, I'd say that the K2's chances of being selected is getting comparable to that of a snowball in hell.

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15 hours ago, Rico said:

Still I would like to see L2 and K2 being compared against each other to see what the K2 is like.

It will prob still happen for the Norway bid. The problem with Poland is that the decision behind going with the Abrams is pretty dumb. Basically the first deliveries of the K2 would've began in 2025 which Poland deemed too far away. Normally this would seem like the right idea if they are worried about Russia, but then you realize that their F-35 deliveries don't start until 2024/2025, their project to replace the BMP-1 isn't expected to go into full effect until 2025. So basically they went for immediate security while ignoring that they have 40 F-16s, a SAM network with not enough ammo, and a bunch of incredibly outdated IFVs to support their shiny new tanks. So basically even if Poland did go to war with Russia before 2025 it wouldn't matter if they have a few extra Abrams or not.

 

Norway on the other hand doesn't seem to have put such a time constraint on their program and still has considers the K2 a serious bidder. Purely off of merit of the vehicle and not simply political interference I would expect the K2 to win. The electronics systems and battle management systems that Korea has seem to be a much better offering than the Leopard. If Norway is offered KSTAM then that is a massive improvement in terms of firepower. The biggest factor is probably future proofing. The K2 is an almost brand new platform and is ready to take on the weight of any future upgrades while the 2A7 is almost 10-15tons heavier than the original 2A4 and isn't exactly in the position to be taking on another 5 tons the next time an upgrade cycle rolls around without seeing some problems. With the MGCS rolling around the Germans obviously aren't going to go "alright shut down all Leopard R&D immediately", but it will definitely take a noticeable hit in terms of first party support as the years tick on.

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1 hour ago, Atokara said:

Norway on the other hand doesn't seem to have put such a time constraint on their program and still has considers the K2 a serious bidder. Purely off of merit of the vehicle and not simply political interference I would expect the K2 to win. The electronics systems and battle management systems that Korea has seem to be a much better offering than the Leopard. If Norway is offered KSTAM then that is a massive improvement in terms of firepower. The biggest factor is probably future proofing. The K2 is an almost brand new platform and is ready to take on the weight of any future upgrades while the 2A7 is almost 10-15tons heavier than the original 2A4 and isn't exactly in the position to be taking on another 5 tons the next time an upgrade cycle rolls around without seeing some problems. With the MGCS rolling around the Germans obviously aren't going to go "alright shut down all Leopard R&D immediately", but it will definitely take a noticeable hit in terms of first party support as the years tick on.

Why? What does K2 really add to justify the added expense of retraining and changing the stock of spare parts when both tanks are rendered obsolete by Armata?
At this point, it should be pretty obvious that the Norwegian and Polish programs aren't so much about acquiring a cutting edge tank for the next 20-30 years as they are about just barely keeping pace with the neighbours until a western tank with an unmanned turret becomes available.

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48 minutes ago, unreason said:

Why? What does K2 really add to justify the added expense of retraining and changing the stock of spare parts when both tanks are rendered obsolete by Armata?
At this point, it should be pretty obvious that the Norwegian and Polish programs aren't so much about acquiring a cutting edge tank for the next 20-30 years as they are about just barely keeping pace with the neighbours until a western tank with an unmanned turret becomes available.


“What does Armata add to justify the added expense of retraining and changing the stock of spare parts when it’s about to be rendered obsolete by new NATO 130/140mm guns?” 

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1 hour ago, unreason said:

What does K2 really add to justify the added expense of retraining and changing the stock of spare parts

Laser warning system, the millimeter radar being integrated offensively and defensively, better placement of the radar than what we have seen with early shots of the 2A7 w/ trophy, automatic target tracking with the FCS, RWR, OECM, better strategic mobility, HP suspension with better recoil dampening. As for parts it's hard to speak on what config it would be delivered in with it's power pack, the problem with Turkey getting the EPP RENK/MTU 883 Ka-501 was the arms embargo, but either way it seems like in 2021 Korea has gotten the kinks sorted out with their domestic solution. If the K2NO can get the EPP then there will be tons of spares. If they go with the Korean PP and Norway still considers it a serious contender then spares will be a non-problem because if they were then the K2 wouldn't be on the table in the first place. For retraining crews, at least for the Polish program it was designed to replace T-72s, so regardless the crews would need to be retrained and a 3 crew autoloaded vehicle -> 3 crew autoloaded vehicle is a much easier switch.

 

1 hour ago, unreason said:

both tanks are rendered obsolete by Armata?

https://thediplomat.com/2015/05/is-the-worlds-deadliest-tank-bankrupting-russia/

2000 Armata's by 2020 amirite?  In reality T-72 budget cuts are going to be the primary armored force of Russia well into the mid 21st century. Also the K2 is incredibly future proofed against the Armata especially with KSTAM. Afghanit has been alleged to be ineffective against TOW-2Bs, so no way is it ever intercepting KSTAM

1 hour ago, unreason said:

they are about just barely keeping pace with the neighbours until a western tank with an unmanned turret becomes available.

Not Poland as it's basically booted from ever being a part of the MGCS as that is the exact reason why they went with the Abrams instead of getting more Leopards. As for Norway they are basically planned to spend 1/4 of their yearly military expenditures just on this acquisition program which is a lot for a tank they will sideline in 30 years.

 

1 hour ago, Ramlaen said:

It is easy to claim a tank that only exist in the form of plastic models is better.

The only real difference between production K2's and the ones offered to Poland is the extra add-on armor which isn't going to magically make the K2 implode. There was no reason to make anything more than a plastic model when Poland completely skipped trials and didn't even ask for a test sample to be produced.

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36 minutes ago, Atokara said:

Laser warning system, the millimeter radar being integrated offensively and defensively, better placement of the radar than what we have seen with early shots of the 2A7 w/ trophy, automatic target tracking with the FCS, RWR, OECM

Electronic subsystems like that can be refitted to existing vehicles without significant weight gain, and present no inherent advantage of the base platform. K2 also happens to use a much lighter and more sophisticated APS.
Why the Germans would decide on Trophy with even domestic alternatives that outperform it is just puzzling.

 

36 minutes ago, Atokara said:

better strategic mobility.

Which K2 achieves by leaving its sides completely unarmoured and copying the Leclerc bulge, which comes at the cost of a gigantic gun shield weakspot, as weight in armour forward of the gun trunnion is inherently limited by the need to have it balanced for stabilised fire.
When viewed from anything but 12 o'clock ahead, the unprotected bulge even presents a third of the turret target area, part of the reason why Leclerc fared as poorly as it did in the Swedish trials regarding protection.
 

36 minutes ago, Atokara said:

As for parts, the most common parts needing changed deal with the engine and transmission both of which have interchange parts with Leopards.

Engine and transmission are of similar design, but the K2 uses much more compact and newer types compared to Leopard 2, especially if they intend to sell the new Doosan engine and the domestic gearbox, although both of those are taking their sweet time.
 

36 minutes ago, Atokara said:

For retraining crews, at least for the Polish program it was designed to replace T-72s, so regardless the crews would need to be retrained and a 3 crew autoloaded vehicle -> 3 crew autoloaded vehicle is a much easier switch.

Nobody is talking about Poland anymore. That ship's just sailed.

 

36 minutes ago, Atokara said:

Also the K2 is incredibly future proofed against the Armata especially with KSTAM. Afghanit has been alleged to be ineffective against TOW-2Bs, so no way is it ever intercepting KSTAM

That's assuming that they were so utterly stupid as to not mount any armour on the roof, which might well be the case for the North Korean glorified live targets that K2 is designed to fight, but even Strv-122 does that, and T-14's crew hatches are suspiciously thick. Such a small EFP launched from a distance shouldn't be relied on.
That you even have to think of such a creative way to approach the problem just shows how close the 12 cm gun really is to the end of its upgrade potential.
There isn't even any physical reason why other 12 cm gun platforms couldn't also use that ammunition, or why you'd even want a big, heavy tank gun just to lob velocity independent top attack munitions.

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4 minutes ago, unreason said:

Electronic subsystems like that can be refitted to existing vehicles without significant weight gain, and present no inherent advantage of the base platform. K2 also happens to use a much lighter and more sophisticated APS.
Why the Germans would decide on Trophy with even domestic alternatives that outperform it is just puzzling.

 

Which K2 achieves by leaving its sides completely unarmoured and copying the Leclerc bulge, which comes at the cost of a gigantic gun shield weakspot, as weight in armour forward of the gun trunnion is inherently limited by the need to have it balanced for stabilised fire.
When viewed from anything but 12 o'clock ahead, the unprotected bulge even presents a third of the turret target area, part of the reason why Leclerc fared as poorly as it did in the Swedish trials regarding protection.
 

Engine and transmission are of similar design, but the K2 uses much more compact and newer types compared to Leopard 2, especially if they intend to sell the new Doosan engine and the domestic gearbox, although both of those are taking their sweet time.
 

Nobody is talking about Poland anymore. That ship's just sailed.

 

That's assuming that they were so utterly stupid as to not mount any armour on the roof, which might well be the case for the North Korean glorified live targets that K2 is designed to fight, but even Strv-122 does that, and T-14's crew hatches are suspiciously thick. Such a small EFP launched from a distance shouldn't be relied on.
That you even have to think of such a creative way to approach the problem just shows how close the 12 cm gun really is to the end of its upgrade potential.


You’re embarrassing yourself

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1 hour ago, unreason said:

Electronic subsystems like that can be refitted to existing vehicles without significant weight gain,

The problem is a base K2 even back in 2014 is a lot cheaper than a 2A7+ with all the bells and whistles it currently has (but without APS based on when this doc was written).

https://www.cfc.forces.gc.ca/259/290/405/305/quendt.pdf

https://www.defence24.com/hungarian-leopard-mbts-unveiled-what-was-the-cost-analysis

If we just assume that the upgraded K2NO/K2M is around the same price as the 2A7+, it would still more way expensive to just bring the Leopard 2A7 up to a level equal to that of the K2. Even so it would be entirely left up to Norway to figure out how to mount those systems and which systems it would use which is R&D costs on top of that.

 

1 hour ago, unreason said:

Which K2 achieves by leaving its sides completely unarmoured and copying the Leclerc bulge, which comes at the cost of a gigantic gun shield weakspot, as weight in armour forward of the gun trunnion is inherently limited by the need to have it balanced for stabilised fire.

Spoiler

The Dead District: A K2M, the new K2 variant, at IDEX 2021Project MBT K2PL. Perspective without perspective

The K2 doesn't use the hollow mantlet like the Leclerc. Either way add-on armor isn't impossible. The Abrams did it with the SEPs, the Leopard did it heavily from 2A4 -> 2A5. I see no reason why it can't be done with the K2 as they advertise that they can do it. The side armor is also modular meaning it retains it's strategic mobility.

 

1 hour ago, unreason said:

Engine and transmission are of similar design, but the K2 uses much more compact and newer types compared to Leopard 2, especially if they intend to sell the new Doosan engine and the domestic gearbox, although both of those are taking their sweet time.

Yeah I explained it pretty poorly the first go around, but I tried clarifying a bit better with an edit. Basically if SK gets the rights to export the EPP then spares can be found in basically every EU country that has tried to export a tank at one point in the last 30 years which is basically everyone. If they go with the Doosan PP then Turkey will have spares along with SK and local production in Norway granted it won't be nearly as readily available which I will admit.

 

1 hour ago, unreason said:

That's assuming that they were so utterly stupid as to not mount any armour on the roof, which might well be the case for the North Korean glorified live targets that K2 is designed to fight, but even Strv-122 does that, and T-14's crew hatches are suspiciously thick. Such a small EFP launched from a distance shouldn't be relied on.

https://www.gd-ots.com/munitions/artillery/155mm-smart/

The T-14 does have soft ERA mounted on the roof, but the SMArt 155 which the KSTAM-II was modeled off of is advertised as effective against heavily armored targets as well as ERA.

 

1 hour ago, unreason said:

That you even have to think of such a creative way to approach the problem just shows how close the 12 cm gun really is to the end of its upgrade potential.

Smart top attack munitions definitely aren't the signal to the death of the 120mm. The KSTAM isn't even meant for direct attack. I'm just giving an example of how the K2 can take out a big scary Armata without even needing line of sight to it. No matter what KSTAM is a major firepower upgrade over the Leopard despite them using the same gun. Even after the T-14 enters production, the 120mm will have decades of life purely because Russia will never produce them in a meaningful capacity.

 

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Interesting discussion regarding K2/L2 but too much techical arguments.

 

You need to see it that way.

K2 is challenging L2 so it needs to be >way better< than L2 to win (not just a bit). Which is not the case

Whereas

- Leo 2A7V is available in numbers which has proven its capability.

- K2NO isn't existing in hardware right now which is a very high risk (now that Poland left) to go with for a "small" user nation.

- Topics like 130mm and APU are future music so far.

 

-> Big point - K2 is not NATO whereas all neighbours are using Leo 2A7 or 2A6.

 

-> Industry cooperation is the game winner in that acquisition (as Laser Shark already wrote -which KMW has already shown in Stridsvogn 122 project).

 

= So as long as Leo 2A7 fulfills the requested requirements there is 0% chance for the K2 to win except K2 offeres extraordinary industry cooperation.

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5 hours ago, unreason said:

K2 also happens to use a much lighter and more sophisticated APS.
Why the Germans would decide on Trophy with even domestic alternatives that outperform it is just puzzling.

Quote

KSTAM

Hoo boy.

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