The German Army Technical Center has conducted first trial tests of the new Leopard 2A7V Main Battle Tank (MBT). The design of the Leopard 2A7V is similar to the Leopard 2A7, keeping a crew of four, including a driver located at the front-right of the hull. The commander and gunner are on the right of the turet, and the loader on the left. The new Leopard 2A7V Main Battle Tank (MBT) has a total weight of around 60 tons and is powered by an MTU Mb 873 ka 501, turbocharged diesel engine developing 1,500 hp. It can run at a maximum road speed of 68 km/h, with a maximum cruising range of 550 km.
The main armament of the Leopard 2A7V consists of a Rheinmetall 120 mm L/55 smoothbore tank gun able to fire the latest Rheinmetall 120 mm DM53 Armor-Piercing Fin-Stabilised Discarding Sabot – Tracer (APFSDS-T) ammunition, using a non-depleted uranium penetrator, which gives the Leopard 2A6 an additional combat range of 1,600 meters and much better armor penetration characteristics. The Fire Control Systems of the Leopard 2A7V has been modified to program the DM 11 High Explosive round. The time-delay fuse of the DM 11 can be programmed after the loading to detonate at a specific point in the projectile’s flight path.The secondary armament includes a 7.62 mm Rheinmetall MG3 machine gun mounted coaxially to the left of the gun. Another 7.62mm machine gun can be mounted on the loader’s hatch.
Rheinmetall Group was awarded a contract in June 2013 to provide L55 smoothbore guns and 120mm ammunition for approximately 60 Leopard 2A7+ battle tanks. Cassidian Optronics, a subsidiary of Airbus Defence and Space, secured an order from Krauss-Maffei Wegmann in March 2014 to provide optical and optronic equipment for the Leopard 2A7+ battle tank. Saab delivered Barracuda mobile camouflage systems (MCS) to equip new Leopard 2A7V MBTs of the German Army in December 2017. The Leopard 2A7V features include hull mine protection, upper glacis added modular armor, 20 kw Auxiliary Power Unit, third-generation Attica thermal imaging unit for both commander’s independent sight and gunner’s sight, Spectus multi-spectral driver’s vision device, new NBC and air conditioning systems, as well as the integration of C4I systems to meet the requirements of networked operations.
The Leopard 2A7V is already in service with Denmark. The Danish army will receive a total of 44 of them by 2022. The German Army will have received 104 Leopard 2A7Vs by 2023. German company KMW (Krauss-Maffei Wegmann) will be responsible to retrofit older Leopard 2s to the A7V standard. The first serially retrofitted Leopard 2A7Vs should be delivered to the German Army in 2021. The contract worth $843 million (Euro 760 million) to modernise Bundeswehr’s fleet of Leopard tanks was inked in 2017. The involves transforming a total of 68 Leopard 2A4, 16 Leopard 2A6 and 20 Leopard 2A7 Main Battle Tanks, and bringing them up to A7V standard.