Turkish army in 2006-2011 years acquired from Germany 354 Tank Leopard 2A4. However, these combat vehicles did not live up to the hopes placed on them..
They participated in their first real combat tests, being involved in recent operations Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch. Leopard 2A4, Unfortunately, did not pass them successfully, faced with a new generation of anti-tank ammunition, due to the lack of active and reactive protection
– explains the unsuccessful "premiere" of "Leopards" columnist for the Turkish edition of SavunmaSanayiST.com.
In his words, in the end, it was concluded that, that the Leopard 2A4 needs improvement, especially in adapting to asymmetric warfare. In this regard, the implementation of two separate projects for the modernization of tanks began..
The first solution provides only an increase in defensive capabilities: equipping MBT with reactive protection and gratings with high ballistic strength, reinforcement of the hull with additional armor. According to this scheme, increasing the weight of the tank with 55 to 62 tonnes, will be modernized 40 machines.
Two towers of Turkish Leopard 2A4
The second project consists of a large-scale modernization of the Leopard 2A4. The main innovation is the installation of the turret of the Turkish ALTAY tank on the German platform.. As a result, the cannon is replaced in the MBT - the L55 is installed instead of the L44 of the same type of 120-mm caliber. Besides, the armor of the vehicle is enhanced and the "electronic filling" is updated, including JMA. This project will undergo modernization 81 tank with option on 250 units.
The author believes, that this option for improving the "Leopards" has a whole range of advantages. At first, due to a certain unification with the Altai, the cost of maintaining the tank fleet will decrease and the training of crews will be simplified. Secondly, due to more mass production of towers, the cost of Altai will decrease.
The observer calls the shortcomings of the Leopard modernization close to the Altai project as a shortcoming., the implementation of which slips and carries certain risks.