Polish Army Upgraded Leopard 2PL Main Battle Tanks
Polish Army Upgraded Leopard 2PL Main Battle Tanks

Polish Army Receives First Upgraded Leopard 2PL Main Battle Tanks

Polish defence industry company Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa (PGZ SA) announced that it finished the construction process of the first two upgraded Leopard 2PL main battle tanks to the Polish Army. This week, the first batch of Leopards 2PL has been picked up by the User at Zakłady Mechaniczne “Bumar-Łabędy” S.A. in Gliwice. The tanks will have new fire and explosion protection systems, electric cannon and turret hydraulic stabilization systems, and improved Rh-120 L44 smoothbore gun. It is equipped with optoelectronic KLW-1 Asteria III generation thermal imaging camera. Additional armor modules are mounted on tank tower. The main battle tanks will be delivered to the 10th Armored Cavalry Brigade stationed in Świętoszów.

Polish Army Upgraded Leopard 2PL Main Battle Tanks
Polish Army Upgraded Leopard 2PL Main Battle Tanks (Photo Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa)

In 2002 Germany donated to Poland a a total of 128 Leopard 2A4 tanks from the German Army stocks. In 2013 German MoD signed a contract with Poland to sell another 14 Leopard 2A4 tanks, plus 105 newer Leopard 2A5 tanks, and Bergepanzer 2 armored recovery vehicles from the army stocks. In 2015 the Polish MoD selected Rheinmetall of Germany as a favorite bidder to upgrade the older Leopard 2A4 tanks. An upgraded version was developed by Rheinmetall in cooperation with a number of Polish companies. It is called the Leopard 2PL. The Leopard 2PL upgrade is broadly similar to the Rheinmetall Revolution MBT. The MBT Revolution is a modular upgrade package to the Leopard 2A4 main battle tanks.

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Polish Army Upgraded Leopard 2PL Main Battle Tanks
Polish Army Upgraded Leopard 2PL Main Battle Tanks (Photo Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa)

The Polish Leopard 2PL has improved armor protection. An Advanced Modular Armor Protection (AMAP) composite armor kit, developed by the IBD Deusebroth company of Germany, was fitted to the turret. This armor is a part of Rheinmetall Revolution upgrade package. It uses new nano-ceramics materials and modern titanium and steel alloys. This armor provides higher level of protection against wide range of threats. Up-armored turret of the Leopard 2PL offers higher protection than turret of the Leopard 2A5, however it can not match protection level of the Leopard 2A7. The armor kit is modular, so damaged armor modules can be replaced in field conditions.

Polish Army Upgraded Leopard 2PL Main Battle Tanks
Polish Army Upgraded Leopard 2PL Main Battle Tanks (Photo Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa)

The Leopard 2PL tank retains a 120 mm/L44 smoothbore gun of its predecessor. However the gun was modified by Rheinmetall to be compatible with newly-developed high pressure ammunition, such as programmable DM11 high-explosive air-burst ammunition, and high power DM53 and DM63 armor-piercing rounds. The programmable rounds enable to engage targets behind cover and within buildings. These multi-purpose DM11 rounds can be also used against enemy troops, armored vehicles and low-flying helicopters. The gun can also fire any other standard NATO 120 mm tank ammunition. The gun is loaded manually by the loader. A total of 42 rounds are carried inside the tank.

Polish Army Upgraded Leopard 2PL Main Battle Tanks
Polish Army Upgraded Leopard 2PL Main Battle Tanks (Photo Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa)
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