Dragon DRA60052 German Kampfpanzer Leopard 2A6 Main Battle Tank - 3./Panzerbataillon 403, Schwerin-Sternbuchholz, Germany, 1991 (1:72 Scale)
"If the tank succeeds, then victory follows."
- Major-General Heinz Guderian, "Achtung Panzer!"
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 Even though the US had withdrawn from the project, the West Germans, under the auspices of Krauss-Maffei, continued research and development on the renamed Leopard 2 project.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.
This particular 1:72 scale vehicle is attached to the Bundeswehr's 3./Panzerbataillon 403, which was based out of Schwerin-Sternbuchholz, Germany, during 1991. Sold Out!
Length: 5.25 inches
Width: 2 inches
Release Date: January 2005
Historical Account: A new smoothbore gun, the 120 millimeter L55 Gun, has been developed by Rheinmetall GmbH of Ratingen, Germany to replace the shorter 120 millimeter L44 smoothbore tank gun on the Leopard 2. The extension of the barrel length from calibre length 44 to calibre length 55 results in a greater portion of the available energy in the barrel to be converted into projectile velocity.
Based on the military requirement for firepower enhancement, Rheinmetall W & M further improved the performance of this gun and pertaining KE-ammunition. A 130 cm increase in barrel length plus other modifications resulted in a higher projectile velocity and increased KE-performance. The 120 mm L55 weapon is compatible with the current MBT-types in service throughout NATO, as they can easily be retrofitted.
A further performance increase of the Leopard 2A6 was achieved by the introduction of the DM 53 (LKE II) round. This round has a significantly higher penetrating capability than other current types of KE-rounds and is considered a guideline when equipping current or future systems. The secondary target spectrum is covered by the ultra-modern secondary rounds (HE and MP).