The Hungarian Ministry of Defence (MoD) signed a contract with Germany’s Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) on 19 December to buy 44 new Leopard 2A7+ main battle tanks (MBTs) and 24 Panzerhaubitze (PzH) 2000 self-propelled howitzers (SPH). The contract, is worth more than $565 million and included in addition 12 used Leopard 2A4 tanks for training purposes. According to the Hungarian Ministry of Defense sources, the new combat vehicles will replace the in-service Soviet-era T-72 tanks and artillery systems. The project represents a further step toward greater interoperability between European armed forces.
Deployed by more nations than any other, the Leopard 2 is the world’s finest main battle tank. The Leopard 2A7+ main battle tank was developed by German Krauss-Maffei Wegmann in cooperation with the German Army. The Leopard 2A7+ is intended for urban warfare, low intensity conflicts, as well as conventional military operations. The Leopard 2A7 is fitted with additional composite armor kit. It is the latest generation of passive armor, which provides higher level of protection against wide range of threats. Protection of the hull floor was also increased to withstand blasts for landmines and improvised explosive devices. This MBT has a modular armor, so damaged modules can be easily replaced in field conditions.
The Leopard 2A7+ main battle tank is armed with a Rheinmetall 120 mm / L55 smoothbore gun. The same gun is used on the Leopard 2A6. It has better fire accuracy and longer range, comparing with the previous Leopard 2 tanks. The gun is loaded manually and is compatible with all standard NATO ammunition, as well as newly developed DM11 programmable HE rounds. These programmable multi-purpose munitions enable to engage targets behind cover and within buildings. These rounds can be also used against enemy troops, armored vehicles and low-flying helicopters. Secondary armament consists of a 12.7 mm machine gun. It is mounted in remotely controlled weapon station on top of the roof. There is also a coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun.
The powerful PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzer is the world’s most advanced artillery system, capable of providing crucial fire support in a wide variety of operational scenarios. The Panzerhaubitze 2000 , abbreviated PzH 2000, is a German 155 mm self-propelled howitzer developed by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) and Rheinmetall for the German Army. This unsurpassed weapons system combines long range – it can fire standard NATO rounds up to 30 or 40 km and engage targets at distances of up to 56 km with enhanced range munitions – with excellent battlefield mobility. Rugged and reliable, it has proven highly effective in action with the German and Dutch armies, etc.
Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, a member of the German-French defense technology group KNDS, leads the European market for highly protected wheeled and tracked vehicles. At locations in Germany, Brazil, Greece, Mexico, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the USA more than 4.000 employees develop, manufacture and support a product portfolio ranging from air-transportable, highly protected wheeled vehicles through reconnaissance, anti-aircraft and artillery systems to main battle tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and bridgelaying systems.