Ground Warfare

Austria Launches €560 Million Upgrade of Leopard 2 Tanks and Ulan Infantry Fighting Vehicles

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Austria Launches €560 Million Upgrade of Leopard 2 Tanks and Ulan Infantry Fighting Vehicles

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Austria Launches €560 Million Upgrade of Leopard 2 Tanks and Ulan Infantry Fighting Vehicles
Austria Launches €560 Million Upgrade of Leopard 2 Tanks and Ulan Infantry Fighting Vehicles

Austria’s Defense Minister Klaudia Tanner announced in the presence of Chief of Staff General Rudolf Striedinger and the commander of Tank Battalion 14, Colonel Jörg Loidolt, that around 561 million euros will be invested in innovations to the Leopard 2A4 main battle tank and the Ulan infantry fighting vehicle. This was followed by the transfer of command of the Panzergrenadier Battalion 35 at a military ceremony. The Austrian Army Panzergrenadier brigades equipped with main battle tanks and infantry fighting vehicles, which were fully manned at all times.

Austrian Army Leopard 2A4 main battle tanks (Photo by Ali Schafler/Bundesheer)
Austrian Army Leopard 2A4 main battle tanks. (Photo by Ali Schafler/Bundesheer)

The Austrian Army Leopard 2A4, which was received second-hand by the Dutch armed forces, replaced the American M60A3 in the late 1990s. 48 of the “Leopard” tanks are used by Panzer Battalion 14 based in Wels. After more than 20 years, the foundations for further use have now been laid. Many components that have now become obsolete are being replaced. In addition, the ability to fight at night is restored by swapping the optics for the commander, gunner and driver. The turret hydraulics are replaced by an electric drive.

Austrian Army Ulan (ASCOD) infantry fighting vehicles
Austrian Army Ulan (ASCOD) infantry fighting vehicles. (Photo by Manuel Pils/Bundesheer)

The “Ulan” infantry fighting vehicles system was introduced in the Austrian Army in 2002. It is used in a number of 102 by Panzergrenadierbataillon 13 based in Ried/Innkreis and by Panzergrenadierbataillon 35 in Großmittel. After 20 years, the urgently needed security of supply can also be restored here. With the replacement of the optics for commanders, gunners and drivers, the systems are modernized. Likewise, electronic components for the turret drive are replaced, the electrical system is refurbished and the drive components are exchanged.

Austrian Army Leopard 2A4 main battle tanks
Austrian Army Leopard 2A4 main battle tanks. (Photo by Daniel Trippolt/Bundesheer)

The first Leopard 2A4 main battle tank will be handed over to the manufacturer Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) in 2023. All upgrades will be completed by 2030. The expense is around 191 million euros. The first Ulan infantry fighting vehicles will be handed over to the manufacturer GDELS-Steyr in 2023. Here, too, all measures will be completed by 2030. The cost is around 370 million euros. Austria has spent considerable amounts of money modernizing its military arsenal.

Austrian Army Ulan (ASCOD) infantry fighting vehicles.
Austrian Army Ulan (ASCOD) infantry fighting vehicles. (Photo by Manuel Pils/Bundesheer)

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