Kyiv insists on getting it. What distinguishes German Leopard tanks?
As the war in Ukraine nears the end of its first year, Kyiv is urging western allies to provide modern main battle tanks to counter Russian forces, as there has been talk for some time of a particular model that Ukrainians specifically want, namely Leopard 2 tank made German.
But why does Ukraine prefer this type of tank? For example, what distinguishes it from its American-made “Abrams” or other tanks?
Other countries have offered other tanks, like the UK, which promised 14 Challenger 2 models earlier this month.
But the speed and ease of use of the Leopard 2, as well as the fact that there are already a large number of them in Europe, made it more attractive to Kyiv.Washington Post“.
The most advanced in Soviet times
First introduced in 1979, the Leopard 2 has been upgraded several times since then, earning it a reputation as one of the best main battle tanks in the world.
It was designed by West German arms manufacturer Krauss-Maffei Wegmann to replace the original Leopard tank that entered service in 1965.
The Leopard II is also more advanced than many of the Soviet-era tanks used by both Russian and Ukrainian forces.
Even older versions of the tank have modern optics, including a thermal imager that allows day and night use, as well as zoom and a laser rangefinder for tracking targets.
Leopard Armor (AFP)
Fast despite its weight
According to the manufacturer, the tank should move at a top speed of about 44 miles per hour despite its 55-ton weight.
The Leopard 2 also has a variety of crew protection features.
It’s powered by a diesel engine that’s relatively easy to refuel, giving it an extended range of around 210 miles on the road.
It also uses standard NATO 120mm ammunition, giving Ukraine access to a wider range of suppliers than current tanks that require 125mm ammunition.
Leopard Armor (AFP)
How many Leopard 2 and where are they located?
In addition, researchers estimate that there are more than 2,000 Leopard 2 tanks in Europe.
According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies, more than half are believed to be older 2A4s and 2A5s, including more than 200 stored in Germany itself.
Ukraine focused on this type of tank precisely because there are many of them in Europe and they are relatively easy to bring to the battlefield. But as part of agreements with buyer countries, the federal government has to sign and approve them before they can be exported.
#Kyiv #insists #distinguishes #German #Leopard #tanks