Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

A new era for Leopard 2. The KNDS conglomerate presented a tank with an unmanned turret

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Jun14,2024

A new era for Leopard 2. The KNDS conglomerate presented a tank with an unmanned turret

The other day, KNDS presented its vision for the development of its Leopard 2 tank. The key change was the unmanned turret, which will receive a 140-mm gun.

The association of companies KNDS presented a promising version of the Leopard 2 tank with an unmanned turret with the index A-RC 3.0. Focus collected everything that is known about the novelty.

KNDS, which consists of the German company Krauss Maffei Wegmann and the French NEXTER Defense Systems presented a new version of Leopard 2, which is significantly different from all previous versions . The main feature is a new turret with no crew inside. Three soldiers will be located in a special protected capsule. This should increase the security of the crew by 30%.

The new generation Leopard 2 – key features

Revolutionary Tower

Most attention is paid to the tower. Leopard 2 A-RC 3.0 will have a reduced crew from four to three fighters. The loader will be replaced by an automatic loader, which will provide 3 shots in 10 seconds. And it will be possible to integrate guns from 120 mm to 140 mm caliber into the tower itself. In addition, the machine's ammunition should be increased.

The integration of a 30-mm automatic cannon with remote control, a mortar for establishing a smoke screen and the integration of anti-tank missiles or drones is also expected.

140-mm cannon

The modularity of the tower will allow installation of guns of different calibers depending on the needs of the customer. A few days earlier, KNDS showed another round of tests of the 140 mm Ascalon gun. The program involves not only an increase in caliber, but also the development of ammunition with programmable detonation and high-precision projectiles for firing without direct information. The increased caliber of the gun should be able to penetrate all future tanks for 50 years, because the size of the ammunition and the energy of the shot will increase. In 2025, it is planned to test the gun as part of the tank.

Emergence of dynamic protection

An atypical solution can be called the appearance of dynamic protection (DZ) on the tank body. In the Russian-Ukrainian war, the Leopard 2 was equipped with the “Kontakt-1” anti-aircraft missile system already by the Ukrainian military in order to increase the level of protection. Now the Leopard 2 A-RC 3.0 offers a DZ immediately, it is concisely located around the perimeter of the machine. There is also an option to integrate the complex of active protection (KAZ), probably the Israeli Trophy. The complex should destroy anti-tank threats.

Mobility and speed

The updated Leopard 2 A-RC 3.0 “lightens up” to less than 60 tons. Currently, the penultimate version of the Leopard 2A7+ weighs about 72 tons. Weight reduction will increase transportability, mobility and reduce fuel consumption. At the same time, the engine power will remain at the previous level — 1500 hp This distinguishes the Leopard 2 concept from the upcoming Abrams M1E3, which will receive a hybrid power plant to be able to move without sound.

Will the Leopard 2 A-RC 3.0 be relevant

The Russian-Ukrainian war shows how the role of tanks on the battlefield has changed in the absence of dominance of one side in the air. Unmanned aerial vehicles, FPV drones, precision-guided munitions, and ATGMs have revolutionized the use of tanks. Often, the Armed Forces use tanks as artillery to compensate for ammunition shortages and preserve equipment. It is also necessary to install “barbecues” above the tower or above the engine-transmission compartment. The Russian army is particularly active in building “barn tanks” that are used for assault.

So, one of the most important stages for any future tanks is defense against drones. For this, the Leopard 2 A-RC 3.0 has a UAV warning system (no details about its operation), a 30 mm automatic cannon, an unmanned turret and a KAZ. Leading developers are already working on making active defense effective against drones, not just anti-tank grenades or missiles.

Western tanks are equipped with ejection panels that fly out when the ammunition arrives. This is done so that the energy from the BC detonation does not go inside the car and increases the chance of survival of the tankers. Soviet and post-Soviet tank construction creates tanks with such a design that the ammunition is located around the crew and there are no ejection panels in case of detonation, as well as an isolated box for storing shells. Because of this, the chances of survival of the crew are almost zero, and impacts lead to bright detonations.

An unmanned tower should further increase the chances of survival of tankers, because the emplacement will be even more isolated from the fighters. In addition, there is a possibility that the German-French concern envisaged strengthening the protection of the tower from above so that FPV drones could not destroy the machine.

It should be noted that the concepts of creating unmanned towers existed even in the USSR, and later in Ukraine. In particular, the “Nota” project assumed that the tower would be unmanned. The Russian Federation also created its own version of the “tank of the future” in the form of the “Armata”, in which the tankers are separated from the turret by a capsule. However, the Russian machine has a weak turret, as shown tank specialist Andriy Tarasenko, and therefore the “Armata” remains vulnerable to drones. The cost of the T-14 turned out to be too high for the occupiers.

KNDS also emphasizes that their Leopard 2 A-RC 3.0 is an interim option until the next-generation MGCS platform appears. It should be completely new and with advanced systems, but its appearance is not expected for the next 15-20 years.

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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