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Do Leopard 2 Upgrades Solve The Problems Of The Original 2A4?


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#1 On the way

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 0432 AM

By now, everyone knows of the performance of the Turkish Army Leopard 2A4s bought from Germany, and used in Syria against ISIS and what other opposition. There has been lots of media coverage on the 10 or 11 Leo 2 A4s destroyed via mines, Russian build ATGWs, IEDs, suicide truck bombing, etc. Even before the deployment of their Leos to this conflict, other Leo 2 operators have modified and upgraded their Leo 2s. Canada has its 2A6M, there is the A7V, RM's Revolution upgrades, etc. Just how effective are these upgrades? Was there a fundamental flaw with the base vehicle (meaning A4 configuration) such that it could be defeated by IEDs and mines? Apparently, even the Germans and certainly the Turks were surprised that their Leo 2s were as easily defeated as their Pattons. If so, do all these upgrades mentioned above make any difference if there is a flaw in the base design? How confident can an army with a fleet of lets say upgraded A6s or even A7s be when their Leos are faced with modern ATGW and RPGs, and against 125mm APFSDS rounds?


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#2 GARGEAN

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 0852 AM

A tank that is destroyed should have a flaw. Great logic born by decades of myths of utter superiority of western tech...
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#3 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 0911 AM

Utterly unproven myth, invalidated by multiple middle eastern wars. Uhuh.

 

I think all it really needs is an APS system. I think we are moving into the point where actual armour of a vehicle is of secondary importance to mobility and visibility. The only armour it really needs is an active protection system.


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#4 Panzermann

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 0947 AM

A tank that is destroyed should have a flaw. Great logic born by decades of myths of utter superiority of western tech...

 

Not only western tech. Invincible tank myth in general. The turks lost their Leopards to their own ineptitude. e.g. driving in broad daylight out through a village, knowing that there is dug in enemy infantry nearby. Against mines, well you can run road clerance, but it is still a gamble with mines. Etc. etc. It comes down to a lack of training and doctrine.


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#5 seahawk

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 1049 AM

If you park a tank in an outpost surrounded by higher terrain controlled by ATGM equipped infantry no tank is invincible.


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#6 Adam Peter

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 1129 AM

"Between 2010 and 2012 the U.S. supplied 140 refurbished M1A1 Abrams tanks to Iraq. In mid-2014, they saw action when the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant launched the June 2014 Northern Iraq offensive. During three months, about one-third of the Iraqi Army's M1 tanks had been damaged or destroyed by ISIL and some were captured by opposing forces. By December 2014, the Iraqi Army only had about 40 operational Abrams left. That month, the U.S. Department of State approved the sale of another 175 Abrams to Iraq."

 

And you worry about eight Leopards?


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#7 methos

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 1144 AM

Tanks get destroyed by weapons designed to destroy tanks - where is the surprise?


Edited by methos, 11 November 2019 - 1148 AM.

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#8 Interlinked

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 1215 PM

Tanks get destroyed by weapons designed to destroy tanks - where is the surprise?

I think the word "contemporary" needs to be included somewhere in that statement. A 9M14 (AT-3 "Sagger" for the Cold Warriors among us) missile has a very low probability of destroying any M1 model unless it comes in from the side or rear.

The important part is that it's evident that Soviet missiles from the 1970's to 1980's have a decent chance of destroying tanks from the 1980's like the Leo 2A4 in a frontal hit.

Edited by Interlinked, 11 November 2019 - 1328 PM.

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#9 bojan

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 1237 PM

Any side hull hit on practically any modern tank with Sagger, even oldest ones will result in penetration.

Also, modernized versions have improved penetration over original 400mm.


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#10 Interlinked

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 1328 PM

Any side hull hit on practically any modern tank with Sagger, even oldest ones will result in penetration.

Also, modernized versions have improved penetration over original 400mm.


Good point. The side armour isn't particularly strong.

Edited by Interlinked, 11 November 2019 - 1329 PM.

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#11 alejandro_

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 1418 PM

The Leopard 2 in it's earlier versions was considered to have the lower protection of Western tanks from the same era (Challenger, Abrams). In subsequent versions it was improved, and the weak point created by the gunner sight eliminated, thus you could say that the upgrades solved the issues.

 

 

Blindaje%2BChallenger-1.jpg

 

Issues in Syria have more to do with training. In any case, Leo-2A4 is not exactly new, I was not that surprised about the losses.


Edited by alejandro_, 11 November 2019 - 1419 PM.

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#12 methos

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 1422 PM

The Leopard 2 in it's earlier versions was considered to have the lower protection of Western tanks from the same era (Challenger, Abrams). In subsequent versions it was improved, and the weak point created by the gunner sight eliminated, thus you could say that the upgrades solved the issues.

 

 

That is not entirely correct. M1 Abrams (original model) had even lower protection (along the frontal arc, but more side armour), based on other declassified UK reports. The Turkish Leopard 2s have roughtly the same level of anti-HEAT protection on the turret as the Challenger 1 (i.e. the 700 mm steel equivalency along the frontal arc), but a much better hull protection.


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#13 KV7

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 1712 PM

The original M1 was about 390-400mm vs KE for the front turret right ?


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#14 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 0228 AM

 

The Leopard 2 in it's earlier versions was considered to have the lower protection of Western tanks from the same era (Challenger, Abrams). In subsequent versions it was improved, and the weak point created by the gunner sight eliminated, thus you could say that the upgrades solved the issues.

 

 

That is not entirely correct. M1 Abrams (original model) had even lower protection (along the frontal arc, but more side armour), based on other declassified UK reports. The Turkish Leopard 2s have roughtly the same level of anti-HEAT protection on the turret as the Challenger 1 (i.e. the 700 mm steel equivalency along the frontal arc), but a much better hull protection.

 

 

Yes, but it has the cavity on the turret front. On Challenger 1, there is no cavity. Its bolted on the turret side.


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#15 GARGEAN

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 0241 AM

The original M1 was about 390-400mm vs KE for the front turret right ?

350 is more likely. Anyways, as usual, measuring in precise mm count is not great.
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#16 methos

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 1119 AM

The original M1 was about 390-400mm vs KE for the front turret right ?

 

Against KE the Brits accessed the front with 320-340 mm steel-equivalent protection along a 50° arc.400 mm "at the turret front" (which might mean head-on instead of minimum protection along an arc) is stated in a CIA report.

 

All these values are very flexible, because of the different steel types used by each country and how values were measured/estimated.


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#17 Special-K

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 0227 AM

"Between 2010 and 2012 the U.S. supplied 140 refurbished M1A1 Abrams tanks to Iraq. In mid-2014, they saw action when the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant launched the June 2014 Northern Iraq offensive. During three months, about one-third of the Iraqi Army's M1 tanks had been damaged or destroyed by ISIL and some were captured by opposing forces. By December 2014, the Iraqi Army only had about 40 operational Abrams left. That month, the U.S. Department of State approved the sale of another 175 Abrams to Iraq."
 
And you worry about eight Leopards?


Serious question - is it unreasonable to expect a greater level of competence from Turkish troops than from Iraqi troops?

What would the difference have been if the Iraqi troops had been equipped with Leopard-2A4 tanks and the Turks equipped with Iraqi model M1-A1 tanks?



-K

Edited by Special-K, 13 November 2019 - 0230 AM.

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#18 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 0235 AM

Well the Turks dont run away and abandon usable equipment like the Iraqi's best I can tell. They seem to lack tactical ability, which the Iraqi's, when they get their shit together, dont. Horses for courses perhaps.


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#19 RETAC21

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Posted 17 November 2019 - 0957 AM

Unrelated but interesting, the story of how the Leopard 2 ended up in Spain (In Spanish)

 

https://ensantabarba...te-i-mayo-2010/

https://ensantabarba...-ii-julio-2010/

https://ensantabarba...eptiembre-2010/


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#20 Sardaukar

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Posted 21 November 2019 - 0713 AM

Leopard 2A5/6/7 are quite well protected from front.

 

But no tank is invincible, especially from side and rear. And as said, tanks KO'd by anti-tank weapons..no surprise there.

 

Lot of mentioned issues were because of poor tank tactics, tank is not isolated entity nor should it be if used properly.


Edited by Sardaukar, 21 November 2019 - 0713 AM.

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