Ground Warfare

KNDS Unveils Leopard 2 A-RC 3.0 Main Battle Tank with Unmanned Turret

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KNDS Unveils Leopard 2 A-RC 3.0 Main Battle Tank with Unmanned Turret

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KNDS Unveils Leopard 2 A-RC 3.0 Main Battle Tank with Unmanned Turret
KNDS Unveils Leopard 2 A-RC 3.0 Main Battle Tank with Unmanned Turret

KNDS (KMW + NEXTER Defense Systems) has unveiled the Leopard 2 A-RC 3.0, a cutting-edge variant of the renowned Leopard 2 tank, now equipped with an unmanned turret. This advanced design innovation marks a pivotal evolution in armored combat vehicles, offering enhanced capabilities and superior crew protection. The Leopard 2 A-RC 3.0’s most notable feature is its unmanned turret, a design choice that fundamentally alters the tank’s operation and crew configuration. By relocating the crew to a specially protected compartment or capsule, KNDS has reduced the number of onboard personnel to three. This compartment is fortified to provide maximum protection, significantly enhancing crew survivability in hostile environments. The Leopard 2 A-RC 3.0 is armored with reactive protection, and there is potential for integrating an active protection system, further enhancing its defensive capabilities.

Leopard 2 A-RC 3.0 Main Battle Tank with Unmanned Turret. (Photo by KNDS)
Leopard 2 A-RC 3.0 Main Battle Tank with Unmanned Turret. (Photo by KNDS)

It is equipped with an automatic loading mechanism capable of firing three shots in just 10 seconds. This turret is adaptable, supporting the installation of 120mm, 130mm, or 140mm guns, thus offering a versatile firepower solution tailored to various combat scenarios. While the exact ammunition capacity remains undisclosed, KNDS has assured that it surpasses the standard load of the traditional Leopard 2. The turret can be outfitted with a remote weapon system featuring a 30x113mm gun and a mortar for deploying smoke screens. This system also offers the flexibility to integrate anti-tank missiles and drones, extending the tank’s combat capabilities beyond conventional engagements. The tank’s firepower is augmented by a guided missile system, enabling it to engage targets beyond line of sight while on the move. The inclusion of a remote-controlled 30mm weapon system enhances its versatility, allowing for effective deployment against near-field and aerial threats.

Leopard 2 A-RC 3.0 Main Battle Tank with Unmanned Turret. (Photo by KNDS)
Leopard 2 A-RC 3.0 Main Battle Tank with Unmanned Turret. (Photo by KNDS)

The turret itself boasts a low-profile design, minimizing the tank’s visibility and making it a more elusive target on the battlefield. It measures 7.95 meters in length (11.17 meters including the gun), 3.73 meters in width, and 2.4 meters in height (2.84 meters with the periscope). With a ground clearance of 500 millimeters, the tank combines robust protection with impressive mobility. Powered by a 1500-horsepower engine, the Leopard 2 A-RC 3.0 can reach speeds of up to 65 kilometers per hour and has a maximum road range of 460 kilometers. These specifications underscore the tank’s capability to navigate diverse terrains swiftly and effectively. Depending on the configuration, the tank’s weight varies around 60 tons.

Leopard 2 A-RC 3.0 Main Battle Tank with Unmanned Turret. (Photo by KNDS)
Leopard 2 A-RC 3.0 Main Battle Tank with Unmanned Turret. (Photo by KNDS)

KNDS positions the Leopard 2 A-RC 3.0 not just as an interim solution pending the introduction of the next-generation Main Ground Combat System (MGCS), but as a crucial technological precursor to it. Notably, the Leopard 2 A-RC 3.0 maintains full backward compatibility, allowing any current Leopard 2 variant to be upgraded to this new standard. This modular approach ensures that the tank can be customized to meet the specific needs of various customers. This unveiling comes in the wake of a breakthrough agreement between Germany and France in March to develop the MGCS, a next-generation tank intended to replace both the Leopard 2 and the French Leclerc. KNDS, alongside Rheinmetall, will lead the development of this ambitious project, with Nexter set to manufacture 50% of the systems, while the remaining half is shared between the two German contractors.

Leopard 2 A-RC 3.0 Main Battle Tank with Unmanned Turret. (Photo by KNDS)
Leopard 2 A-RC 3.0 Main Battle Tank with Unmanned Turret. (Photo by KNDS)

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