The Leopard 2 was an offshoot of the MBT-70 -- a cancelled joint development project between the USA and West Germany undertaken in the late 1960s. Even though the US had withdrawn from the project, the West Germans, under the auspices of Krauss-Maffei, continued research and development on the renamed Leopard 2 project. In 1977, the first production vehicles were delivered and exported to the smaller Dutch Army while the West German Bundeswehr waited a couple of years before it too was equipped with the powerful new main battle tank. The Leopard 2 is outfitted with a laser rangefinder, thermal-imaging equipment, and nuclear, biological and chemical defense system (NBC), and can conduct shallow amphibious operations. Its fire control system is unusual because the cartridge cases are combustible, which can lead to internal fires. The Leopard 2 has a 30% better power-to-weight ratio than the Leopard I, which results in increased cross-country mobility and a higher survivability rate on the battlefield.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a German Kampfpanzer Leopard 2A5 main battle tank that was attached to AR Einsatzbataillon, 1 Mechanisiertes Batterie, then deployed to Orahovas, Kosovo, during 2000.
Now in stock!
Length: 5.25 inches
Width: 2 inches
Historical Account: "Big Cat" - The Leopard 2A5 (previously known as the Leopard 2 (Improved)) offers many improvements over its predecessor including additional armor over the frontal arc and a new commander's station with periscopic sight. The most significant change to the hull of the Leopard 2 A5 is the new driver's hatch, which is now electronically operated and slides to the right to open. A deflector is mounted to the left of the driver's station, with stowage brackets for camouflage support poles. A camera mounted above the rear cooling air outlet is connected to a monitor on the driver's dashboard to enable him to reverse at high speed, without needing directions for the commander. The road wheels are now made of steel, replacing those made of aluminium. Some Dutch and German Leopard 2's are being upgraded to this standard while Spanish and Swedish orders are being filled as Leopard 2A5's (the Swedish variant, the Leopard 2 Improved KWS2, has several differences from the Leopard 2A5 and is designated the Stridsvagn 122 in Sweden).
The layout on the Leopard 2A5 is conventional with the driver seated in the right front, turret center with commander and gunner on the right and loader on the left, engine and transmission in the rear. The 120mm smooth bore main gun is fully stabilized. Leopard 2 variants include the Buffel ARV and a driver training vehicle (the traditional turret is replaced with an observation type turret). A Leopard 2 based AVLB is being developed for the German and Dutch Armies.