War in Ukraine – Welt Analysis: Why the German Leopards are critical


The Leopard 2 they are probably the most powerful tanks in the world. But for Ukraine to benefit, it needs more than 14 tanks announced that he will send Berlin, as he comments to the German newspaper “Die Welt”.

The German-built battle tank is equipped with a 120 mm gun, has a diesel engine, has night vision equipment so that it can fight around the clock, a laser rangefinder, a thermal periscope, a fire control system with instrument stabilization and other advanced technologies. It can neutralize targets on the move while moving over rough terrain.

It is an evolution of the Leopard 1 (it also exists in the Greek army) and the manufacturer KMW speaks of a “success story” that combines firepower, armor and agility.

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Leopard 2 I Technik I Bundeswehr



The main advantage of Leopard 2, what makes them seen by many allies as the most suitable option for Ukraine is that they exist in sufficient quantities so that a sufficient number can be sent to Kyiv.

They are also “easier” in terms of maintenance and logistics, and there are plenty of them in European countries so they can easily get to Ukraine – as well as being effectively supported with spare parts, expertise and crew training.

Biden announced the $400 million shipment of 31 Abrams

In the meantime, Joe Biden announced the shipment of 31 Abrams tanks, worth 400 million dollars, to Kyiv. With their statements, Biden and Scholz confirmed the climate of recruitment, at a time when the Kremlin is preparing to escalate aggressive actions.

While the American president, with his speech, focused on strengthening Ukraine, Moscow – through its ambassador to the US – issued threats, speaking of “blatant challenge» against the Kremlin.If the U.S. decides to send tanks, justifying the move with defense-enhancing claims, that won’t work» emphasized the ambassador in particular.

As for the tanks to be dispatched in Ukraine, Biden noted: “These are the most powerful tanks in the world». The US will provide Ukraine with expertise and training to ensure these tanks are used in combathe added.

Elsewhere in his speech, Biden expressed his gratitude for the German stance, stressing that Berlin has taken a step forward. The commitment to help Ukraine is a global commitmentBiden noted and thanked all NATO members for their contribution.

The story of Leopard began… with failure

The Leopard 2 was a failed weapons project that Germany had promoted together with the US. In 1963, the two countries wanted to jointly develop a tank type “Battle Tank 70”. But the project failed, despite the fact that Berlin had spent hundreds of millions of German marks on its development.

However, the effort was not in vain. From the late 1960s, the experience gained from trying to develop a similar tank was applied to new national construction projects. The US developed the M1 Abrams, a tank that is as popular with the Ukrainian military today as the Leopard 2, considered the “pride” of the Berlin army.

For a long time, the Scholz federal government refused to deliver tanks from German stocks to Ukraine, despite all diplomatic efforts and domestic political pressure. The motivations for this refusal were politically and militarily unclear, however, yesterday Scholz’s decision to send tanks to Ukraine was leaked by international media, which pointed out that the German government had done so while securing US support.

The great interest shown by the military of Kiev for the Leopard 2 it was and is understandable, comments the German newspaper “Die Welt”. After World War II, approximately 60 to 70 different models of tanks were developed worldwide. Among them there were also strange proposals, for example, an American tank that should even be powered by a nuclear reactor.

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One of the tanks that has entered the ground force catalogs of many armies is the Leopard 2. It is considered by some to be the best tank of the last few decades and the best tank to date. Leopard 2s are used by 18 troops worldwide. It was first presented to the public in 1977 and was the first vehicle to bear the number 10001. It is now in the ‘Tank Munster’ Museum. Since joining her quiver Bundeswehr, the “Leo” has undergone increases in its combat value. Basically, it represents a whole generation of vehicles, the variants of which have different properties depending on the version.

Its shape has also changed over the years. Characteristic is the pointed front on the tower. The first models had an angular tower, which was only replaced by the flattened, characteristic shape of the 2A5 version in the 1980s, by which even non-professionals can easily recognize the “Leo”. The Leopard 2 A6s represent the most technologically mature version of the Leopard 2.

The main technical characteristics of the Leopard 2 A6

Its weight is 62.3 tons, it has an overall length with the barrel of 9.97 meters (length 7.7 meters), a width of 3.74 meters, an overall height of 3 meters, while its crew is four. The tank has a total horsepower of 1,500 horsepower and a gearbox Renk HSWL 354, which allows it to move at a speed of 68-72 km/h on the road surface and 55 km/h off-road, while its autonomy reaches 500-550 km.

The tank’s horsepower-to-weight ratio is 24 hp per ton, which gives it great agility on the battlefield. His armament Leopard 2 A6 consists of the basic 120 mm/L55 smoothbore gun of the company Rheimetall AG. The tank also has an automatic gun feeding system and the process is performed by the loader.

It has a total of 42 rounds for the main gun, of which 15 are ready for use and the rest stored in an explosion-proof compartment, located in the front of the chassis to the left of the driver’s seat. The tank’s MG-3 machine gun has a 7.62mm caliber as does the machine gun, which is manned by the crew chief on the roof.

Finally, a total of 16 smoke generators are placed on either side of the tower. The Leopard 2A6 Fire Control System consists of the gunner’s main sight with a two-axis stabilized mirror, the Laser rangefinder, the Ophelios thermal camera, the gunner’s and leader’s control unit, the leader’s display, the computer, the controls commander, the ballistic computer, the gun elevation sensor and the wind sensor.

The existence of the leader’s autonomous periscope with the integrated thermal camera, enables the crew to be able to deal with multiple targets. Additionally, a GPS system is fitted, while the Iniochos Battle Management System can be fitted.

The armor of the tank is what distinguishes the Leopard 2 A6 from the rest of the versions, at least externally as it has been increased by the addition of third generation synthetic armor plates that form an arched configuration at the front of the tank. These parts of the armor can be removed if the tank is hit. In addition, it has full roof armor.

This means that the tank is protected against hits from submunitions, bombs, and surface-to-surface missiles. The Soviet T-62 was the first main battle tank to be equipped with such a gun. But the Germans followed suit. The first western tank to be armed with a standard 120 mm gun was called the Leopard 2.

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