Leopard 2A4 (ERA) - Meeting The Bare Minimum

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Leopard 2A4

Background

History of Leopard 2s in Turkish Armed Forces dates back to 2000s, to Tank 2000 Tender. Turkish Armed Forces open a tender for 250 modern tanks for Turkish Land Forces Command. Scope of this tender was to increase armored capabilities TLFC, acquire further know-how and update the existing infrastructure for building and maintaining modern armor. Four, later five, contenders from four countries were announced. Those tanks were: M1A2SEP, later M1A2, USA – Leopard 2A6EX, Germany – Leclerc, France – T-84-120 “Yatağan”, Ukraine. After extensive test in Turkey, Leopard 2A6EX was completed all tests with outstanding performance and announced as winner of Tank 2000 Tender. Turkish and German sides failed to agree in matter of technology transfer and local production, which sealed the fate of Tank 2000 Tender.

Fast forward to 2005, Turkey showed interest to buy secondhand Leopard 2A4s from German Army surplus. 365 Million Euro worth deal for 298 Leopard 2A4 was made and tanks were delivered between 2006 - 2010. Later additional 56 Leopard 2A4 was bought in 2009, delivered between 2010 – 2014. Since then, Leopard 2A4 is one of the most important assets of Turkish Armed Forces.

Leopard 2A4 (ERA)

This Leopard 2A4 fitted with ERA was the first step of modernization of Leopard 2s of Turkish Armed Forces. It was revealed during Minister of National Defense’s visit to 2nd Main Maintenance Factory in March 2019. Leopard was spotted near M60T, though no information was given. This project went nowhere, instead in September 2019 another similar modernization attempt spotted, which again later abandoned.

General Specifications
Firepower

There is not much to say about firepower as it appears to be improved at any capacity. Main armament is still Rheinmetall Rh-120 120mm L/44 cannon. Secondary armament seems to be consisting of single co-axial 7.62mm machinegun, commander’s machinegun seems to be missing. Though tank retains its machinegun mount, so it could potentially have another 7.62mm machinegun in cupola mount.

Mobility

Mobility is another aspect of the tank which is not touched. Tank is still powered by proven EuroPowerPack which consists of MTU MB 873 Ka-501 diesel engine coupled with RENK HSWL 354 transmission system. There is most certainly a decrease in performance due to weight of additional ERA. I would say it not a substantial decrease since only turret and frontal upper plate received ERA blocks.

Protection

Leopard’s protection is the only real thing got enhanced in this modernization attempt, even then it is not exactly topnotch. Turret face received explosive reactive armor in spaced manner to create spaced armor effect to further increase protection especially against CE threats. Turret sides also received explosive reactive armor in similar manner as well as sides of engine bay. Upper frontal plate received additional armor too due to low quality of the image and lack of information it is hard to point out if its ERA or NERA but from the looks of, it might be a NERA or some other form of composite armor as it looks like to be a one single block of armor instead of smaller ERA ones.

Performance of ROKETSAN’s Explosive Reactive Armor is top of its class. Test showed that ROKETSAN ERA has invulnerable most of the contemporary CE threats including RPGs, ATGMs and HEAT Rounds. Int tests, ROKETSAN ERA stopped PG-7VR, which is a tandem RPG with 600mm behind-the-ERA penetration, with minimal residual penetration, and completely stopped 125mm HEAT round. Alongside image proofs, production catalogue states that ROKETSAN ERA protect against PG-7VR, KORNET, TOW-2A, Konkurs and other tandem-warhead ATGMs. It is also stated that, ROKETSAN ERA provides enhanced protection against APFSDS rounds too, but protection values are unknown.

Specifications

  • Crew: 4
  • Dimensions and Weight
    • Mass: +55 Tons ˀ
    • Length: 8.1 m
    • Width: 4.3 m
    • Height: 2.8 m
  • Armament
    • Main Armament: Rheinmetall Rh-120 120mm L/44 Smoothbore Cannon
    • Secondary Armament:
      • MG3 7.62mm Co-Axial Machine Gun
      • MG3 7.62mm Machine Gun
      Or
      • FN MAG 7.62mm Co-Axial Machine Gun
      • FN MAG 7.62mm Machine Gun
    • Ammunition Capacity
      ∙ 42 Tank Rounds
      ∙ 4600 7.62mm Co-Axial Machine Gun
      ∙ 2000 x 7.62mm Machinegun Rounds
  • Mobility
    • Engine: MTU MB 873 Ka-501 Diesel Engine, 1500 Horsepower
    • Transmission: RENK HSWL 354 Automatic Transmission, 4 Forward, 2 Reverse
    • Suspension: Torsion Bar
    • Maximum Speed: 70 km/h
    • Power to Weight: > 27.2 hp/t
  • Protection
    • Armor:
      ∙ Explosive Reactive Armor
      ∙ Non-Explosive Reactive Armor ⁽ˀ⁾
      ∙ Composite Add-On Armor ⁽ˀ⁾
    • Active/Passive Protection System: None
    • Smoke Grenades: 16x
  • Accessories
    • Night Sight
      ∙ Gunner
      ∙ Commander
      ∙ Driver
    • Thermal Sight
      ∙ Gunner
    • Laser Range Finder
      Implementation to War Thunder

Leopard 2A4 (ERA) should be reserved for potential Turkish Tech Tree. It would make quite good Event vehicle, especially on easier ones. Since there is not much change on Leopard 2A4, it would perform more or less the same, though with slightly better protection. BR-Wise, I would say it would fit between 10.3-10.7.

Additional Photos

Spoiler

Videos

Sources

Spoiler

Savunma Bakanı Hulusi Akar 2’nci Ana Bakım Fabrikası’nda | DefenceTurk

Savunma Bakanı Hulusi Akar 2’nci Ana Bakım Fabrikası’nda | DefenceTurk

https://twitter.com/SavunmaSanayiST/status/1108983882932776960

https://twitter.com/ssysfakb/status/1108986677786226689

https://m5dergi.com/savunma-haberleri/turk-leopard-2lere-sessiz-sedasiz-modernizasyon/

LEOPARDİZM – TAHSAVUNMA’nın Arşivi

The Dead District: Turkey one step closer to Leopard-2A4 upgrade

https://www.c4defence.com/en/quiet-modernisation-for-turkish-leopard-2-tanks/

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