The Leopard 2 is a third generation German main battle tank (MBT). Developed by Krauss-Maffei in the 1970s, the tank entered service in 1979 and replaced the earlier Leopard 1 as the main battle tank of the West German army. Various iterations of the Leopard 2 continue to be operated by the armed forces of Germany, as well as 13 other European countries, and several non-European states around the world, including Canada, Chile, Indonesia, and Singapore. Some operating states have licensed the Leopard 2 design for local production and domestic development.
There are two main development tranches of the Leopard 2. The first encompasses tanks produced up to the Leopard 2A4 standard and are characterised by their vertically faced turret armour. The second tranche, from Leopard 2A5 onwards, has an angled, arrow-shaped, turret appliqué armour, together with other improvements. The main armament of all Leopard 2 tanks is a smoothbore 120 mm cannon made by Rheinmetall. This is operated with a digital fire control system, laser rangefinder, and advanced night vision and sighting equipment. The tank is powered by a V12 twin-turbo diesel engine made by MTU Friedrichshafen.
In the 1990s, the Leopard 2 was used by the German Army on peacekeeping operations in Kosovo. In the 2000s, Dutch, Danish and Canadian forces deployed their Leopard 2 tanks in the War in Afghanistan as part of their contribution to the International Security Assistance Force. In the 2010s, Turkish Leopard 2 tanks saw action in Syria. In 2023, Ukrainian Leopard 2 tanks saw action in the Russo-Ukrainian War.
As of May 2023, Ukraine deployed a number of Leopard 2s to the Russo-Ukrainian War against Russia in preparation for their 2023 counteroffensive. During Ukrainian attacks in Zaporizhzhia Oblast on 8 June 2023, a Russian artillery strike on a Ukrainian vehicle column at Novopokrovka, destroyed at least one Leopard 2A4 tank. Additionally, more Russian drone footage from the same day also show several M2A2 Bradley fighting vehicles and at least one Leopard 2A6 damaged or destroyed. As of 11 June 2023, at least one Leopard 2A4, three Leopard 2A6 and three Leopard 2R were lost in combat.
As of 23 February 2023, confirmed transfers to Ukraine from army stockpiles include 14 2A4 from Poland, 8 2A4NO from Norway, 8 2A4CAN from Canada, 10 2A4 from Spain, an unknown number of battle tanks from Finland. The Netherlands agreed to help procure and supply ammunition for the tanks. Ukrainian tank operators began training on the vehicles in February 2023 and they are expected to arrive in Ukraine in March. The first 4 Leopard 2A4 tanks from Polish stocks were delivered to Ukraine on 24 February 2023. The remaining 10 arrived after 7 March. The 8 Norwegian tanks were delivered on 20 March 2022. All 8 Canadian Leopard 2A4CAN were delivered by 18 April 2023. An additional 50 Leopard 2A4 tanks are being prepared for Ukraine by Rheinmetall, with 30 refurbished as of 4 March 2023. The remaining 20 tanks could be ready by the end of 2023 or early 2024, according to a company spokesperson. On 20 April 2023 the Netherlands and Denmark announced the joint procurement of 14 Leopard 2A4 from German defense industry stocks for Ukraine, with delivery scheduled for Q1 2024.
In this page you can download free PNG images: Leopard tank PNG images free download
In this gallery "Leopard tank" we have 17 free PNG images with transparent background.