The new Leopard 2A4 fleet is intended to replace the Czech T72M1.
The first Leopard 2A4 tank has been delivered to the Czech Republic, according to an announcement by the Czech Ministry of Defense on December 21, 2022. This is part of an agreement to supply 14 Leopard 2A4 tanks as compensation for the T-72 tanks of Soviet origin donated by the Czech Republic to Ukraine, as military aid against the Russian invasion begun on February 24.
The new Leopard 2A4 fleet is intended to replace the Czech T72M1. 14 tanks that had previously been decommissioned by German and Swiss Armies to be purchased by Germany from company Rheinmetall Landsysteme, and then to be donated to the Czech Republic. Czech Republic to later pay complete upgrade for the 14 tanks to 2A7+ standard and purchase additional 59 new tanks that will be delivered by the end of 2023.
The revealed images show that the new Czech tank painted in an olive green color, unlike the German main battle tanks, which wear the tricolor camouflage of NATO black, brown and green. The Czech Army has announced that in addition to 14 Leopard 2s donated by Germany, 1 more will be a recovery vehicle. The Czech Army had 30 T-72M4CZ and 46 T-72M1. According to wikipedia, at least 40 T-72M1 donated to Ukraine.
The Leopard 2A4 is the widespread version of the Leopard 2 family, released in the 1980s. Germany purchased 2,125 tanks of this variant, which have either been withdrawn from service or upgraded to newer versions. Most of the stored Leopard 2A4s were leased or sold to other countries, including Spain, Poland, Greece, Finland and Sweden. In 2016, the Czech Army had already taken an interest in the Spanish Leopard 2A4s in storage with the aim of replacing their old T-72s, but ultimately the idea did not prosper.
The 2A4 version is fitted with a three-man turret armed with a 120mm, L44 smoothbore gun operated with the Stabilized Control System. The fire control system enables the MBTs to maintain accuracy even while on the move. Further enhancements include the use of more lethal and versatile kinetic energy and multipurpose ammunition. The tank is powered by a turbocharged diesel engine developing 1,500 hp, for a top road speed of 72km/h and up to 60 km/h in cross-country terrain.
In addition to receiving these Leopard 2A4s, the Czech Republic has proposed the purchase of 50 Leopard 2A7+, the most recent and advanced version of this German main battle tank. Key features of this new upgrade include new armor, an energy system, a crew compartment cooling system, and a new weapon engagement system.
Leopard 2A7 retains the Leopard 2A6’s weapon system including a L/55 120mm Rh 120 smoothbore gun, a MG3A1 7.62 mm caliber coaxial machine gun, and a 7.62 mm MG3 machine gun mounted on the loader hatch located on the left side of the roof turret. With the improved kinetic energy ammunition DM53, the L55 gun can fire to a range of 5,000 m.
The Leopard 2A7’s maneuverability is provided by an MTU MB 873 Ka-501 liquid-cooled V12 twin-turbo diesel engine developing 1,479 hp, coupled to a Renk HSWL 354 transmission with four forward and two reverse gears. It can run at a maximum road speed of 70 km/h and a maximum cruising range of 450 km.