Leopard 2 / 2A5 (Concord 7501 - Mini Color Series)
By Walter Bohm
Publisher: Concord Publication 2004 50 Pages
PDF 11 MB
Leopard 2 battle tanks form the backbone of NATO's armored units. Mobility, firepower and armor protection ore balanced Together lo the optimum in this weapons system, and it shows in their records of high reliability and operating safety. Because of Ihe outstanding results achieved by the tank's powerful 120mm gun. the Leopard 2 teams have won foremost recognition in many of NATO's international competitions, such as the Canadian Army Trophy (CAT). The Leopard 2 weapons system has now been in use for 15 years In the tank and tank reconnaissance units of the German Army, as well as among other NATO partners.
The development of the Leopard 2 wos initiated in 1969 with the end of the governmental agreement between the Federal Republic of Germany and the USA on the joint 'Battle Tank 70' project. The developmental aims, which were set very high at that time, could not be realized because of the costs, which had exceeded DM 830 million The increasing financial requirements forced the joint German/American "Tank 70/Main Battle Tank 70' project lo be abandoned. Both countries now concentrated their efforts on the development of their own national projects. The USA built the XM-1 and Germany concenlrated on the further development of the Leopard 1
At the beginning of 1970 the German Army decided to develop a completely new type ot tank, the 'Leopard 2', based on the experimental development of the 'Golden Leopard' that was continued along with the joint 'Kpz 70* project. Kraus-Moffei in Munich was selected os the general contractor for the development of the new Leopard 2 battle tank because of their experience in constructing the Leopard 1. In the next few years 17 prototype turrets fitted with 105mm and 120mm guns from Rheinmetoll were made, as well as 16 chassis. The company delivered the first prototypes of the Leopard 2K battle tank from 1972 to 1973.