Armor: April 28, 2001


The German Army has received the first of 350 Leopard-2 tanks upgraded to the Leopard-2A6 standard. (Funding has been provided for only 225, but is expected for the remainder.) The heart of the Leopard-2A6 is its 120mm L55 smoothbore gun, longer than the L44 gun used in previous versions. The new DM53 tungsten-penetrator ammunition, fired from the L55 gun, can destroy enemy tanks at 5,000m, considerably better than the 3,400m range of the L44 cannon. The upgrade also includes improved components for the ballistic computer. The Netherlands will convert 180 Leopard-2A5s to Leopard-2A6s. Spain has ordered 219 new Leopard-2A6s.--Stephen V Cole


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