Armor: September 8, 2001


Even though Germany feels there is no immediate danger of a major war in Europe, they are still upgrading their armored forces. Currently, Germany has 2,000 Leopard 2A5 tanks (in 28 tank battalions.) This force is being reduced to 13 battalions. But the 350 tanks are being upgraded to 2A6s. This will involve increasing protection and firepower. The gun is replaced by one with a longer (21.8 feet versus 17.4 feet.) barrel using improved ammunition. The A6 will be air conditioned and have a TV camera in the rear so the driver can quickly maneuver the tank in reverse. This is a critical maneuver if you are under fire and need to seek some cover real fast. The turret has improved composite armor and the fire control system now allows the main gun to go after helicopters. Each tank has a GPS and improved electronics. The A6 version weighs 60 tons (the U.S. M1 weighs 70 tons.)


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