Official Delivery of Leopard 2s in Germany
(Source: Chilean Ministry of Defence; issued Nov. 14, 2007)
(Issued in Spanish only; unofficial translation by defense-aerospace.com)
SANTIAGO, Chile --- During a ceremony in Munich, Germany, the Chilean Army today took delivery of 140 Leopard 2A4 main combat tanks acquired to partially renovate the armored vehicle inventory.
Attending were the Ministers of Defence of Chile, José Goñi Carrasco, and of Germany, Franz Josef Jung; the Supreme Commander of the Chilean Army, General Óscar Izurieta Ferrer; the Inspector-General of the German Army, General Hans Otto Bude; the Chilean Ambassador to Germany, Marigen Hornkohl; representatives of Krauss-Maffei Wegman (KMW); delegations of both countries’ Defence Ministries and armies, as well as other guests.
Concurrently, a Joint Declaration was signed between the two armies covering German cooperation for personnel training and logistic support for the vehicles, that will be delivered to Chile between December 2007 and mid-2009.
THE LEOPARD 2A4
The operational requirements established by the Chilean Army for its new armoured vehicles, that will form the backbone of its ground forces, were as follows:
-- night combat and one-the-move firing;
-- technical support;
-- availability of spare parts and variety of suppliers;
-- simulation equipment;
-- growth potential allowing future equipment upgrades;
-- maintenance and repairs provided by industry;
-- qualification of systems;
-- training, both in Chile and overseas, of crews and technical personnel;
-- infrastructure and telecommunications;
-- upgrade of support vehicles.
Given these requirements and market availability, it was decided to accept the offer by the German Army of Leopard 2A4 tanks, which are the natural successor to the Leopard 1 currently in service, some of which will remain in service alongside the Leopard 2 for some
The Leopard was developed by Krauss Maffei Wegmann in the early 1970s. Production began in 1979. From the beginning, the Leopard received a series of improvements that, in 1984, led to the 2A4 model, which is fitted with the new computer and improved armour protection.
The Leopard 2A4 and other variants of the vehicle have digital fire-control systems, a laser rangefinder, a stabilized main gun with coaxial machine-gun, as well as a thermal imaging system for the gunner. It can be driven into water up to 4 meters deep, using a special snorkel, and can cross vertical obstacles up to 1 meter high. It is powered by a diesel engine allowing a top speed of 72 km/h, and its main armament is a Rheinmetall 120mm cannon.
Its advantages include good night combat capabilities, thanks to light intersifiers and thermal imaging sight; fast turret traverse (titanium/tungsten alloy); a fire-control computer that increases the range and effectiveness of its main gun and, finally, an improved crew comportment safety system, with fire-detectors and the option of over-pressuring for defence against biological and chemical attacks.
Countries That Operate Leopard Tanks:
-- Austria: 114 Leopard 2NL (A4);
-- Denmark: 51 Leopard 2 A5EX ;
-- Germany: 870 Leopard 2;
-- Netherlands: 110 Leopard 2 A6;
-- Norway: 52 Leopard 2 NL (A4);
-- Switzerland: 232 Pz87 of which 148 are mothballed or on sale;
-- Sweden: 160 Leopard 2 A4 (Strv 121) y 120 Leopard 2 A5EX (Strv 122);
-- Spain: 108 Leopard 2 A4 and 219 Leopard 2E (up-armoured Leopard 2A6);
-- Finland: 124 Leopard 2 A4;
-- Poland: 128 Leopard 2 A4;
-- Greece: 183 Leopard 2 A4 and 170 Leopard 2 HEL (Leopard 2 A6EX);
-- Turkey: 298 Leopard 2 A4.