The Leopard 2 is a main battle tank developed by Krauss-Maffei AG, now Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW), of Munchen, Germany. The Leopard 2 is a successor to the successful Leopard 1.

The Leopard 1 was first produced in 1963 by Krauss-Maffei for the German Ministry of Defence and more than 6,000 vehicles have been exported to Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Italy, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, Turkey and Australia.

The successor to the Leopard 1, the Leopard 2, was first produced in 1979 and is in service with the armies of Austria, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden and Spain, with over 3,200 produced. The Finnish Army is buying 124 and the Polish Army 128 used Leopard 2A4 tanks from Germany. In August 2005, Greece placed an order for 183 used Leopard 2A4 and 150 Leopard 1A5 tanks from German Army reserves.

In November 2005, an agreement was signed for the sale of 298 German army Leopard 2A4 tanks to Turkey. Deliveries are planned from 2006 to 2007. In March 2006, Chile signed a contract for the acquisition of 140 Leopard 2A4 tanks from the German Army. The first was delivered in December 2007.

The Leopard 2A6 includes a longer L55 gun, an auxiliary engine, improved mine protection and an air-conditioning system. The German Army is upgrading 225 2A5 tanks to 2A6 configuration, the first of which was delivered in March 2001. The Royal Netherlands Army upgraded 180 of its 2A5 tanks to 2A6 configuration, the first of which entered service in February 2003. In March 2003, the Hellenic Army of Greece ordered 170 Leopard 2 HEL (a version of the 2A6EX). 30 are being assembled by KMW, the remainder by ELBO of Greece. The first locally built tank was delivered in October 2006.

Spain has ordered 219 Leopard 2E (a version of the 2A6 with greater armour protection), 16 recovery tanks (CREC) and four training vehicles. The first 30 are being built by KMW and the rest are being license-built in Spain by General Dynamics, Santa Barbara Sistemas (GDSBS). The first tank was handed over to the Spanish Army in June 2004 and deliveries should complete in 2008.

Another variant is the Leopard 2(S), which has a new command and control system and new passive armour system. 120 Leopard 2(S) have been delivered to the Swedish Army. Deliveries concluded in March 2002.

In December 2006, it was announced that Singapore is to buy 66 refurbished Leopard 2A4 tanks from the German Army, plus 30 additional tanks for spares. The tanks will enter service with the Singapore Army in 2008.

In April 2007, Canada purchased up to 100 Leopard 2 tanks from the Dutch Army and leased 20 Leopard 2A6M tanks from the German Army. KMW delivered the first of the leased 2A6M tanks, which has been upgraded with improved mine protection and slat armour, in August 2007. The tank was deployed to Afghanistan later in August 2007. The Dutch army retains a fleet of 110 2A6 tanks.

In October 2007, Portugal purchased 37 Leopard 2A6 tanks from the Dutch Army, to be delivered 2008–2009.

LEOPARD 2A6 MAIN BATTLE TANK – SPECIFICATIONS
Crew 4
Weight 62 metric tons
Length 7.7 m
Width 3.7 m
Height 3.0 m
Armament 1 x Rheinmetall 120 mm L55 smoothbore gun
1 x coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun
1 x 7.62 mm anti-aircraft machine gun
Maximum speed 72 km/hr
Maximum range 500 km
Powerplant MTU MB 873 multi-fuel, 1500 hp
Transmission Renk HSWL 354
Gunner’s sight Rheinmetall Defence Electronics EMES 15 with thermal channel and laser rangefinder
Commander’s sight Rheinmetall Defence Electronics PERI-R17A2 with thermal channel

Fuchs

June 16, 2008

TPz (Transportpanzer) Fuchs (fox) is an armoured personnel carrier developed by Daimler-Benz and built by Thyssen-Henschel (now Rheinmetall Landsysteme) in 1979. It was the second wheeled armoured vehicle to be fielded in the Bundeswehr. It is used for various different tasks including troop-transport, engineer-transport, bomb disposal, NBC (Nuclear, Biological and Chemical) reconnaissance and electronic warfare. By mixing and matching the different models and retrofit kits, today more than 90 different combinations are possible, 32 of which have so far been produced. The TPz Fuchs is thus also referred to as a “retrofit platform”.

The vehicles engine is a Mercedes-Benz Model OM 402A V-8 liquid-cooled diesel with an output of 320 hp. It has a max speed of 105 km/h and a range of 800 km. Fuchs is 7.33 m long, 2.98 m wide and 2.37 m high. It weighs 18.3 tons with the capability to carry additional 6 tons in equipment. The 6×6 APC is characterized by high performance over all terrains and low noise. Its rear-mounted propellers and 360° turning range, enable the vehicle to take water obstacles in its stride at up to 10km/h.

Armament

The TPZ Fuchs can be equipped with up to three Rheinmetall MG3 general purpose machine guns, one of which is mounted on a manually controlled turret. Fuchs’ of the Armoured Reconnaissance Battalion, Panzergrenadiers (mechanized infantry), the Franco-German Brigade, the mountain infantry and the Jäger (rangers) of the German Army are also armed with MILAN anti-tank-guided missiles (in this configuration max. two MG3s can be mounted).

Improvements over the years

The vehicle’s ability to withstand high-performance, armour-piercing ammunition fired not only from small arms but also from lightweight carriage-mounted machineguns, as well as shrapnel (e.g. from artillery rounds), and to augment its protection against anti-personnel and antitank mines had to be improved.

Due to the weight and volume restrictions they had to use advanced armour materials to meet the protection specifications. Compared to equally effective steel or aluminium alloy armour, modern armour materials enable weight savings of 50% or more.

The modular armour protection system used in the TPz Fuchs encompasses six harmonized, complementary elements which in part operate in coordinated fashion:
add-on armour mounted to the exterior of the vehicle housing;
anti-mine protective plating in the wheel cases;
reinforced bullet-proof windows;
reinforced bullet-proof visors for shielding the window exteriors;
spall-lining of all interior surfaces of the vehicle compartment, and
a shielded gun mounting (except on the medical vehicles).

Type    Armoured personnel carrier
Place of origin     West Germany
Service history
Used by    Bundeswehr
Production history
Manufacturer    Thyssen-Henschel
Produced    1979-present
Specifications
Weight    18.3 t
Length    7.33 m
Width    2.98 m
Height    2.37 m

Primary
armament    Up to three Rheinmetall MG3
Secondary
armament    MILAN anti-tank guided missile, smoke grenade launchers
Engine    Mercedes-Benz Model OM 402A V-8 liquid-cooled diesel
320 hp
Payload capacity    6 t
Suspension    6×6
Operational
range    800 km
Speed    105 km/h
10 km/h (in water)

Fennek

June 16, 2008

The Fennek, named after the fennec (a small species of desert fox), or LGS Fennek, with LGS being short for Leichter Gepanzerter Spähwagen in German (Light Armoured Reconnaissance Vehicle), is a four wheeled armed reconnaissance vehicle produced by the German company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Dutch Defence Vehicle Systems. It was developed for both the German Army and Royal Netherlands Army to replace their current vehicles.

History

In April 2000, the prototype vehicle finished field trials and in December 2001 a combined order was placed. 410 were ordered by the Royal Netherlands Army (202 reconnaissance, 130 MRAT (medium range antitank) and 78 general purpose versions) and 216 by the German military (178 reconnaissance, 24 combat engineer, 10 Joint Fire Support Teams and four artillery observer versions). Germany plans an overall purchase of approximately 300 Fenneks. The first vehicle was delivered to the Netherlands in July 2003 and the first to Germany in December of the same year. Deliveries will continue to take place until 2008.

The Dutch SP Aerospace company, which produced the Fennek for the Dutch military, was declared bankrupt in August 2004. A new company called Dutch Defence Vehicle Systems (DDVS) was created to continue the production of the vehicles for the Royal Netherlands Army.

Specifications

The Fennek has four wheels with selectable two or four wheel drive. It has a Deutz diesel engine producing 179 kW, giving it a top speed of 115 km/h. Tire pressure can be regulated by the driver from inside the vehicle to suit terrain conditions.

Various weapons can be fitted, such as a 12.7 mm machine gun for the Dutch reconnaissance version, a Rafael Spike anti-tank missile on the Dutch MRAT version or a 40 mm automatic grenade launcher (HK GMG) for the German vehicles. The Royal Netherlands Army also placed an order at the Turkish company Aselsan for 18 Raytheon Stinger surface-to-air missile launchers to be fitted on the Fennek.

The vehicle is protected all-round against 7.62 mm rounds and additional armour can be added if the mission requires. The air conditioning system provides protection against nuclear, biological and chemical warfare and the crew compartment is protected against anti-personnel mines.

Operational record

Both Germany and the Netherlands have deployed Fennek reconnaissance vehicles to Afghanistan in support of ISAF. On November 3, 2007 a Dutch Fennek was hit by an improvised explosive device killing one and wounding two other occupants. The vehicle and its crew were taking part in an offensive operation targeting the Taliban in the province of Uruzgan, Afghanistan.  In another incident a German Fennek was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade. Its hollow charge jet penetrated the vehicle through the right front wheel rim, passed through the vehicle and blew the left door off the hinge. Thanks to the spall liner the crew sustained only negligible injuries.

Specifications

Type    Armoured car
Place of origin     Germany,  Netherlands
Weight    9.7 tonnes
Length    5.71 m
Width    2.49 m
Height    1.79 m
Crew    3

Primary
armament    HK GMG 40 mm grenade autocannon (German version), M2HB 12.7 mm machine gun (Dutch versions)
Secondary
armament    Not applicable
Engine    Deutz diesel
239 hp (179 kw)
Power/weight    24,6 hp/tonne
Suspension    Selectable 4 wheel drive
Operational
range    860 km
Speed    115 km/h

german kampfschwimmer

June 9, 2008

KSK

June 9, 2008

A video on the special forces of the German Bundeswehr.