Ground Warfare

Slovak Army Receives More Leopard 2A4 Main Battle Tanks from Germany

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Slovak Army Receives More Leopard 2A4 Main Battle Tanks from Germany
Slovak Army Receives More Leopard 2A4 Main Battle Tanks from Germany

The Slovak Army’s 14 Tank Battalion Trebišov has taken delivery of its fifth and sixth 2A4 Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) out of 15 of these tanks gifted from Germany to Slovakia for the transfer of its 30 BVP-1 infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine. Whilst the tank ammunition package for Leopard 2A4 MBTs was delivered throughout August 2023, Slovakia is set to receive the spares package still this September. Tankmen of 14 Tank Battalion Trebišov are being trained on how to operate the Leopard 2A4 MBT under the command of the Bundeswehr’s tank instructors. The first Slovak tank crews completed an eight-week period of training on Leopard 2A4s at the Training Centre Lešt this August. They covered both theory and practice in all aspects of operating and maintaining the Leopard 2A4, including the use of the main gun and live firing.

The Slovak Armed Forces received delivery of the first Leopard 2A4 in December 2022, the second tank was supplied in April 2023, and the third and fourth tanks arrived in June 2023. Scheduled deliveries of the remaining tanks will continue until the end of this year. Industry-level maintenance and repairs are conducted on all of the Leopard 2A4s by Rheinmetall Landsysteme GmbH prior to their handover. By supplementing the MBTs in service with the Slovak Army, the German Leopards will strengthen the warfighting capabilities of the Slovak Army’s Heavy Mechanised Brigade and Slovakia’s defences. The Leopard 2A4 was officially introduced to the public at the Slovak International Air Fest (SIAF) earlier this month.

Slovak tank crews have successfully fired their inaugural shots from the Leopard 2A4 tank.
Slovak tank crews have successfully fired their inaugural shots from the Leopard 2A4 main battle tanks. (Photo by Slovak Ministry of Defence)

Trials of the first Leopard 2A4 main battle tank to verify some of its technical specifications and tactical performance parameters have been completed on the test tracks and firing range at the Military Technical and Testing Institute Záhorie. The results of the trials are currently being analyzed and evaluated by the Ministry of Defence. As the main battle tanks undergo trials before entering service with the Slovak Army, it is also necessary to get Slovak tank crews trained on the Leopard 2A4 main battle tank platform. Towards this end, training in all aspects of operating the Leopard 2A4 main battle tank will be led by Bundeswehr instructors at the Training Center Le as early as this summer.

As part of the live-firing test, the 120mm Rh120 L/44 gun as the main armament and the 7.62mm MG3 machine gun as the secondary armament on-board the main battle tank platform were fired, both from a static vehicle and while on the move. In addition, the smoke screen test showed how the smoke grenades would generate a thick smoke screen to mask the main battle tank’s location and movement. Test procedures to check the tank’s technical specifications, mobility, ammunition, and ergonomics are still scheduled to be conducted over the next two weeks. So far, no problems with the main battle tank have been reported. The trails are due to be complete on March 31, 2023.

Slovak Tank Crews Complete First Combat Firing with Leopard 2A4 Main Battle Tanks
The first-ever combat firing of Leopard 2A4 tanks marks the culmination of the inaugural 8-week training course for members of the Trebišov Tank Battalion. (Photo by Slovak Ministry of Defence)

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