Gliwice-based Bumar-Łabędy delivers 16 modernized Leopard main battle tanks to Polish Army. LThe Leopard 2PL is a main battle tank used by the Polish Army, and is a modernized version of the older Leopard 2A4 tank, phased out by Germany and first acquired by Poland in the 2000s. The modernisation is currently being carried out in cooperation with Rheinmetall and the Polish Armaments Group (Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa PGZ). The first Leopard 2PL tanks were delivered to military units in May 2020. By the end of 2020, 12 Leopard 2PL tanks were delivered to Polish Army.
On December 28, 2015, an agreement was signed between the Armament Inspectorate (pol. Inspektorat Uzbrojenia) and a consortium consisting of PGZ and Zakłady Mechaniczne Bumar-Łabędy for the modernization of 128 Leopard 2 tanks with an option for another 14 units. The German partner of the consortium was the German company Rheinmetall Landsysteme, which in the past co-produced Leopard 2 tanks. The contract originally assumed that all copies of the base order would be transferred by 2020 and those from options for 14 machines by 2021.
The most visible difference in comparison with a standard Leopard 2A4 is the changed shape of the turret, a result of additional armour. Other changes include replacement of the hydraulic gun stabilisation system with an electric one and improvements to the L44 smoothbore gun, which will now be able to fire more advanced types of ammunition, including the DM63 and DM78 CSDS-T/DM88. The 2PL variant also features PCO’s KLW-1 ASTERIA thermal vision camera for the gunner and commander, as well as PCO’s KDN-1 NYKS reverse camera. Total vehicle weight is increased by 4t to 59.2t.
Two versions of the vehicles were developed: the Leopard 2PL version, which is currently supplied to the military, and the Leopard 2PLM1, which was created by decision in 2018. The 2PLM1 version are equipped with an EGPT compartment warning system, a system protecting the network electronics against the start-up time, modification operating modes of the laser rangefinder, an additional socket for batteries and the PIX combination, allows the commander to automatically rotate the optoelectronic head of the PERI observation and aiming device to the “six o’clock” and “twelve o’clock” position relative to the tank’s hull.