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 With Firing Test Rig Turret
Leopard 2 with Altay Firing Test Rig Turret was first revealed during delivery ceremony of T-155 Fırtına self-propelled howitzer in 2021. It was BMC’s one of many attempts of Leopard 2A4 modernization. BMC modernization package never really proceeded, and many of its component remains unknown. From the looks of it, Leopard 2A4’s hull received Altay’s armor package, turret is replaced with one of test rig’s turret and upgraded with Altay’s technologies. Although turret is from Altay, it is reported that the Leopard retained 120 mm L/44 Rheinmetall Rh-120, instead of MKE 120mm L/55. I’m still not sure if its L/44 or L/55, but it just makes no sense to replace already functioning L/55 with L/44, still sites that report this prototype is armed with L/44. Although this specific prototype never received an official designation, it got the nickname of Leotay, combination of Leopard and Altay.
Although it is not fully known if the armament is Rh-120 120mm L/44 or MKE 120mm L/55, FTR turret offers state-of-the-art technologies and brings Leopard’s lethality to modern standard. Turret is fitted with ASELSAN’s remotely controlled weapon system with 12.7mm heavy machine-gun, increasing firepower of its secondary armament. Fire control system is ASELSAN’s state-of-art VOLKAN-II Fire Control System which is specifically designed for Altay.
SARP Remote Controlled Weapon Station
SARP is a compact, remotely operated stabilized weapon platform with high-precision surveillance capabilities and superb firepower. It can be integrated onto vehicles or fixed posts to provide firepower against air, ground, and asymmetric threats. SARP has ability to mount 7,62mm machine-gun, 12.7mm heavy machine-gun and 40 mm automatic grenade launcher in accordance with the operational needs.
• Laser Range Finder
• Day and Night Imaging
• Gyro Aided Stabilization
• Automatic Target Tracking
• Shoot-On-the-Move Capability for Stationary and Moving Targets
Brochure with More Information
Leopard retains original EuroPowerPack which consists of MTU MB 873 Ka-501 diesel engine coupled with RENK HSWL 354 transmission system. Leopard’s mobility takes a hit with the increase in weight. FTR Turret weights approximately 25 tonnes, with the additional armor on hull tanks weigh close to 67 tonnes, 12 tonnes heavier thank base model Leoapard 2A4.
Modernization offers top notch protection values with additional armor package and active protection system. Armor package is appears to be same as Altay’s armor package, KSAP modified by ROKETSAN with boron carbide elements, with additional ERA/NERA to hull and turret. ASELSAN’s AKKOR active protection system is also present, it offer 360° protection against incoming threats.
Specifications of KSAP
AKKOR, abbreviation of Aktif Koruma, is a soft-kill, hard-kill APS system developed by ASELSAN. AKKOR provides 360-degree coverage against incoming threats in both unconventional and regular warfare environment. Thanks to its modular structure, AKKOR can be integrated variety of fighting vehicles.
• Hard-Kill Ability
• Soft-Kill Ability
• Fast Response Time Against Asymmetric Threats.
• High effectiveness against thermal and laser guided missiles with multi spectral smokescreen
• 360 degree protection
• Operational Against Multiple Threats
ASELSAN AKKOR Brochure (In Turkish)
SSB Brochure (In Turkish)
AKKOR Info Video
- Crew: 4
Dimensions and Weight
- Mass: 67.15 Tons ˀ
- Length: 7.3 m
- Width: 3.9 m
- Height: 2.6-2.7 m
- Main Armament:
• Rheinmetall Rh-120 120mm L/44 Smoothbore Cannon
• MKE 120mm L/55 Smoothbore Cannon
- Secondary Armament:
• FN MAG 7.62mm Co-Axial Machine Gun
• SARP Remotely Controlled Weapon Station Mounted M2HB 12.7mm Heavy Machine-Gun
- Ammunition Capacity
∙ 42 Tank Rounds
∙ 4600 7.62mm Co-Axial Machine Gun
∙ 2000 x 7.62mm Machinegun Rounds
- Main Armament:
- 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
∙ ROKETSAN Boron Carbide Armor Based on KSAP
∙ Explosive Reactive Armor
∙ Slat Armor
- Active/Passive Protection System: AKKOR
- Smoke Grenades: 16x
- Night Sight
- Thermal Sight
- Laser Range Finder
- Laser Warning Receiver
- 360° Close Range Surveillance System
- Hunter-Killer Capacity (Commander’s Override)
- Night Sight
Implementation to War Thunder
Leopard 2A4 with Altay Firing Test Rig Turret is best reserved for potential Turkish Tech Tree. I would be extremely good Event vehicle, since its a one-off vehicle. In game, it would fare similar to Altay albeit with slightly less firepower (if it is armed with L/44). BR-Wise, It could be placed somewhere between 11.3-11.7. Its top notch armor protection with Active Protection system would make this Leopard a quite competitive vehicle.
BMC Leopard 2A4 Modernisation Video