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 Even though the US had withdrawn from the project, the West Germans, under the auspices of Krauss-Maffei, continued research and development on the renamed Leopard 2 project.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.
Now Minichamps has created a gorgeous 1:35 scale diecast replica of the Bundeswehr's all-powerful Leopard 2 main battle tank. This stunning recreation features a rotating turret, elevating gun, working suspension, and treads that are made of flexible metal links! This particular tank has been painted in a fabulous winter camouflage pattern and was attached to the Bundesheer's 1.Zug 4 Pz. Abteilung 214, Panzerbrigade 21, 1. Panzer Division, which was based at Augustdorf, Germany in 1993. Sold Out!
Length: 10.5 inches
Width: 3.75 inches
Height: 2.75 inches
Release Date: July 2005
Original Issue Price: $99.99
The central warning system light was also installed in a small housing on the hull, in front of the driver's station, for better observation by the driver when driving unbuttoned. In addition, the ammunition supply hatch in the left side of the turret was deleted.
Production of 100 examples in the seventh batch of vehicles began in May 1989 and ended in April 1990, with 55 built by Krauss-Maffei and 45 by MaK. An eigth batch was built between January 1991 and March 1992, with 75 vehicles being delivered, 40 of which were built by Krauss-Maffei and a further 35 by MaK. Improvements included slight modifications of the base mounts for the smoke grenade dischargers, and a muzzle reference system was fitted to the right side of the 120mm main gun, near the barrel's end. This modification was subsequently retrofitted to the vehicles produced in the previous batches.