In 2007 Chile bought 234 Leopard 2A4 tanks from Germany. These were modified and called the Leopard 2A4CHL. The institution’s new tanks were given the CHL designation by their manufacturer KMW because they have a series of modifications, including a communications system from Elbit’s Tadiran company and the installation of a special kit on the turbochargers of the 12-cylinder MTU MB 873 Ka 501 4 engines , which allows them to operate without overheating problems at 4,300 meters above sea level. The Leopard 2A4CHL use in their 120 mm L/44 smoothbore guns HEAT DM 12 multipurpose ammunition and KE DM 33 A2 and DM 63 armor piercing projectiles stabilized by fins with sabot disposable casing (APFSDS) from the German manufacturer Rheinmetall Defence. To this type of ammunition it recently added the IM HE-T high explosive tracer ammunition from Nammo.
120mm IM HE-T
The 120mm IM HE-T High Explosive Cartridge provides the armor forces with a devastatingly powerful HE warhead that greatly improves infantry support capability.
The IM HE-T will complement the tank’s current main gun ammunition with an Insensitive full-bore HE warhead capable of defeating a target set that includes bunkers, fortifications, light armor and personnel.
The two-mode hand-settable fuze allows the tank commander to select a point detonating (PD) function for maximum fragmentation/blast, or a delay function for detonation after target penetration.
Cartridge Weight: 25kg
Projectile Weight: 16kg
Cartridge Length :943mm
Fuze: Point Detonating and Delay
Tracer Burning Distance: > 4000m
Muzzle Velocity: >1,000m/s
Target Accuracy (S.D.): ≤ 0.40mils
Explosive Charge: 3.2kg IM Explosive
The Chilean solution to anti-tank missiles, the Israeli multispectral cloack
In 2015, a FibroTex package was installed in a Leopard 2A4CHL of the Chilean army. The kit tested was called “multispectral cloak” and was intended to be deployed on mobile and static platforms. The kit does not protect against attack but provides electro-optic mimicry and protection against electromagnetic detection, which helps make the tank much more difficult to detect and therefore not as easily prey to anti-tank missiles or other infrared-guided devices (SWIR) or thermal systems. It is presumed that the Chilean army implemented this kit to deal with the large number of anti-tank missiles that its neighbor Peru has, but since the Chilean army manages its purchases in secret, it cannot be confirmed 100% that they have bought many of these kits but at least 1 prototype has been seen using the fibrotex kit, although this company has been selling to Chile since 2001 this type of camouflage and systems, even so there are images that show that the kit was implemented in Chilean tanks and also on the same official website of the FibroTex company Chilean tanks appear with the kit implemented.
Leopard 2A4 CHL using the multispectral layer
Improvements made in Chile
The company Fábricas y Maestranzas del Ejército (Famae) plays a central role in sustaining the Chilean Leopard 2A4CHL battle tanks. In recent years, the Chilean public company has implemented, through the Research, Innovation and Development Management (I2D), a series of programs to improve the capabilities of the Leopard 2A4CHL tanks, among which the change of the Peri periscope gyroscopic system stands out R-17 A1 to be able to use Leopard 1V tank gyros and modification of the digital ballistic computer card incorporating Nammo’s 120 x 57 mm HE-T ammunition shooting table , which allows the execution of long and accurate indirect shots and firing against fortified targets and bunkers.
Chilean soldier loading a DM 33 A2 ammunition
Chilean soldiers posing next to a 120mm IM HE-T ammunition from Nammo
Slow Motion Video Showing IM HE-T Hitting Concrete Wall. The one used by the Leopard 2A4 CHL
Fibrotex kit in action
- 4 (commander, gunner, ammunition man, driver)
- Primary: Rheinmetall 120mm L/44 smoothbore gun
- HEAT DM 12, IM HE-T, KE DM 33 A2 and DM 63
- Secondary: 7.62 x 51mm Rheinmetall MG-3 coaxial machine gun, 7.62 x 51mm Rheinmetall MG-3 anti-aircraft machine gun and 2 x 76mm Wegmann octuple smoke launchers.
- Primary: Rheinmetall 120mm L/44 smoothbore gun
- Length: 7.72m
- Width: 3,7m
- Height: 2.6m
- Weight: combat weight 55 tons
- Engine: MTU MB 873 Ka 501 4 12-cylinder polyfuel that develops a maximum power of 1,500 hp at 2,600 rpm
- Maximum speed: 72km/h
- Average ground speed: 51km/h
- Power to weight ratio: 27.27 hp/ton
- Transmission: Renk HSWL 354 with four forward and two reverse gears
- Fuel capacity: 1,200 liters
- Autonomy: 550 kilometers
- Slope: 60%
- Side slope: 30%
- Vertical obstacle: 1 meter
- Horizontal obstacle: 3 meters
- Wading capacity: 2.25 meters
- Suspension: torsion bars
- NBC system: yes
- Fire control system: EMES-15 from Atlas Electronics
- Night vision system: WBG-X thermal camera from Carl Zeiss (today Hensoldt)
- Multispectral cloak
- El Leopard 2A4 CHL, la respuesta chilena al desierto y la altura
- Rheinmetall ofrece su munición al Ejército de Chile
- Mobile – Fibrotex Inc.
- La Infantería de Marina de Chile compra redes de mimetismo de Fibrotex
- Chile organiza un simposio internacional sobre el futuro de armas y municiones