Leonidas II

Leonidas APCThe Leonidas APC is based on the Steyer Daimler Puch model 4K7FA, and was built domestically by Steyer Ellas (now ELBO) starting in 1982. Additional units were also sold to the National Guard of Cyprus. The Greek Industry of Vehicles [ELBO] manufactured the Leonidas-2 armored vehicle for battle and personnel transport. ELVO produced or coproduced Leonidas I, Leoniclas II, and Pandur APCs.

The vehicle was the final selection for meeting the Army's operational needs in March 1987. Deputy Minister of National Defense Th. Stathis made the relevant announcement and added that the complete agreement with the Austrian company which made the vehicle will be signed after about a month and that ELVO would start its massive production immediately. The first vehicle was to be delivered after 9 months. In its first phase the program provided for the production of 292 vehicles at a cost of 22 billion drachmas.

Stathis said that Leonidas-2 was selected over the British vehicle Warrior because it is cheaper by 51 percent and despite the fact that operationally the Warrior ranked 4 percent better. However, the fact that the Austrian company offered higher and more specific offset benefits played an important role in the choice of Leonidas-2. Stathis said also that Greek production of the vehicle starts at a high percentage (25 percent) and will gradually reach 100 percent; that the total outflow of exchange is limited to 16 percent (about 3.7 billion drachmas); and that the price of the new, improved "Leonidas-2 is by 8.5 percent lower than that of Leonidas-1, whose production had begun in 1984.

According to Stathis, for all exported parts favorable financing terms were secured with a 12-year loan, a low interest rate, and a 3-year grace period. The Leonidas-2 vehicle can transport eight men and has a crew of two. A 20-30 mm or 90-105 mm cannon, or a Tooy-type anti-tank mortar or an 81-120 mm mortar can be installed in its turret. Besides Austria, Morocco, Nigeria, Tunisia, Argentina and Bolivia also have the 4K7FA.

Significant new questions concerning the 324 armored personnel carriers and tanks of the "Leonidas II" class were raised04 December 1987 during the signing of the related contract between the Ministry of Defense and the Austrian company Steyer. According to data the ministry made public, the contract contained many significant variations from the terms officially announced by Deputy Minister of Defense Theodore Stathis on 15 April 1987. Specifically, the number of vehicles to be constructed was increased (from 292 to 324) while the cost of the overall program was increased disproportionately (from 22 to 28.5 billion drachmas). Thus while the increase in the number of tanks was 11 percent the increase in cost was almost 30 percent. Also, the amount of "offset benefits" was reduced from 17.5 to about 11 billion drachmas, while the outflow of foreign exchange went up from 3.7 to 13.5 billion drachmas.

This contract, the signing of which was unexpectedly delayed for over six months (it was initially announced in May 1987) raised questions from the very outset since its terms showed that the Steyer had already decided to produce such vehicles of a newer type which it promised to develop in "joint production on equal terms" with Greece. On the other hand, press reports — not denied by the ministry — said that the experts of the Army General Staff and its chief, Gen. Vellidis, had rejected this specific vehicle.

These questions, which brought back to surface the need for a clear view of what was taking place in military procurement, were not dealt with by the civilian leadership of the Defense Ministry which cancelled a press conference it had previously announced. Alternate Minister of Defense S. Yiotas signed the contract with Steyer. In addition to this contract which dealt with the offsets, another contract was signed between the ministry and the Greek Weapons Ministry [ELVO] which undertook the joint production of the "Leonidas II" vehicle.

Leonidas I, was sent by his countrymen to oppose the Persians at the straits of Thermopylae, where he and his 300 companions all fell except one, who returned home only to meet the scorn and reproaches of his countrymen. This celebrated battle was fought 480 years before the Christian era. Leonidas I, King of Sparta, son of Anaxandrides. He succeeded his half-brother, Cleomenes I., about BC 491.

When, in BC 480, the Persian monarch Xerxes approached Greece with an immense army, Leonidas was sent with 300 Spartans and a small auxiliary force to occupy the narrow pass of Thermopylae, which lay between the sea and Mount Callidromus, a spur of the range of Eta. For two days the Greeks successfully, resisted the overwhelming force of the Persians and frustrated every attempt to force the pass. At the end of the second day's conflict, a Malian named Ephialtes repaired to the Persian camp and pave information of a secret path across the mountains which the Greeks had neglected to occupy, and at daybreak on the next day Leonidas learned that the Persians were pouring across the mountains to attack him in the rear. Then Leonidas sent away his auxiliaries, gathered his 300 Spartans, together with their attendants, about him, and prepared to defend his post. In the fight that ensued Leonidas himself soon fell, but the remaining Greeks retreated to a hillock near the road and made their last stand. They fell, fighting, to a man.

Cleomenes II succeeded his brother Agesipolis II on the throne of Sparta, BC 371. The power of his country was then on the decline, and he possessed not the requisite talents to restore it to its former state. He reigned sixty years and ten months without having done anything worthy the notice of posterity. Leonidas II. (c.285-230 BC), son of Cleonymus, and grandson of Cleomenes II, was the colleague of Agis, and succeeded Areus II. He brought back to Sparta an Eastern wife and Eastern ideas; and was dethroned by the ephors (241) because of his opposition to the reforms of King Agis IV. He was driven from his throne by his son-in-law Cleombrotus ; but afterwards recalled about the 135th Olympiad, BC 238. He came back to power in 240, after a brief exile at Tegea; put King Agis to death; and ruled alone for four years in a tyrannical and despotic manner. Cleomenes III, son of Leonidas II, ascended the Spartan throne BC 230. Dissatisfied at the prevailing manners of Sparta, he resolved to bring about a reform, and to restore the institutions of Lycurgus, after the example of Agis, who had lost his life in a similar attempt. Thinking that war would furnish the best opportunity for the execution of his design, he led his forces against the Achaeans, who were commanded by Aratus, and greatly distinguished himself. Returning after this to Sparta, with a portion of his army, he put to death the Ephori, made a new division of the lands, and introduced again the old Spartan system of education.

Armament  : 1 x 12.7 mm MG
Ammunition  : 1,500 x 12.7 mm
Length Hull : 5.87 m
Width : 2.50 m
Height : 1.69 m
Weight : 14.8 t
Soldiers : 2 + 8
Power/Weight : 21.6 hp/t
Engine : STEYR 7FA, inline 6-cylinder water-cooled diesel, producing 320 hp at 2,300 rpm.
Transmission : ZF Synchronized, 6 gears forward and 1 reverse.
Maximum Speed : 63.6 km/h
Maximum Range : 520 km
Vertical Obstacle : 0.8 m
Trench : 2.1 m

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