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Defined: What makes the Leopard 2 so highly effective in comparison with different Western tanks?


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Following weeks of mounting political strain from in and outdoors the nation, Germany has agreed to ship Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, a potential turning level for the embattled nation in its gruelling, protracted struggle in opposition to Russia.

Germany will present Kyiv with 14 Leopard 2 tanks and associated ammunition from its nationwide shares, in addition to the required coaching to function them on the battlefield. It is going to additionally enable the export of those German-made tanks by different Western nations that want to be part of the worldwide coalition.

“This resolution follows our well-known line of supporting Ukraine to the perfect of our means,” mentioned German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in a press release.

However what precisely makes the Leopard 2 tanks so vital?

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The Leopards are developed by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW), a Munich-based defence firm, and are utilized by a number of European nations, together with Poland, Spain, Greece, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Switzerland, in addition to others like Canada and Turkey.

In line with KMW, there are 4 fashions of Leopard 2: A4, A5, A6 and the newest addition, the A7+, which the corporate describes because the “world’s most superior fundamental battle tank.”

Germany’s resolution will contain the A6 model, which has a most velocity of 70 km/h, a spread of 450 kilometres, a 120 mm smooth-bore cannon and seven.62 mm machine gun.

The Leopard is “fairly highly effective with regard to firepower. So, it will probably hearth fairly an extended vary with several types of ammunition which you could mainly form in the direction of your goal, so what you wish to hit, you may select several types of ammunition for that,” Dr. Christian Mölling, head of the Centre for Safety and Defence on the German Council on Overseas Relations (DGAP), instructed Euronews.

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“It has a really superior armour, which can also be vital for the tank crews. If you do not have to concern that any shot that hits you implies that you mainly go up in flames, it is fairly one thing that helps you psychologically.”

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“And third level is manoeuvre,” Mölling added. “It is fairly a speedy car. So this additionally offers you a sure tactical benefit in shifting out and in fairly quick, but in addition crossing distances in a fairly quick vary.”

Logistically talking, the Leopards current a key benefit over America’s M1 Abrams and the British Challenger 2: bigger shares.

“It is spare elements, it is restore, upkeep, and overhaul that must be performed. And there the pool of Leopard is far larger,” Mölling mentioned.

“Even just by cannibalising all of the tanks, you may acquire spare elements. So, the amount of choices that you need to function them is far simpler. It is a lot, a lot greater.”

Ukraine estimates it wants 300 Western tanks to launch a counteroffensive that may push Russia again to the pre-war strains.

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KMW says it has thus far delivered 3,500 Leopard models around the globe, however Western nations wish to guarantee their very own navy capabilities usually are not weakened by continued deliveries to Kyiv.

The oldest fashions of Leopards are the likeliest to be despatched to Kyiv, whereas European governments work to improve the remaining tanks or purchase the newest out there model, Mölling mentioned.

“You’ll have to make a really fast resolution on the refill. On the identical time, you need to determine which sort of tanks you assume make an vital navy distinction sooner or later, which can also be extra difficult by the Ukraine struggle,” he added.

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“Logistical sustainability in a significant struggle is a headache and is usually a nightmare, even to the preventing forces, as a result of they’re left with out that gear if the logistics do not work.”


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