UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!


Turkey - ASELSAN Leopard 2A4TM

The Leopard tanks in service with the Turkish army were especially vulnerable because they didn't have additional protection such as reactive armor, which reacts to and reduces a weapon's impact, or an active protection system (APS) to counterattack an incoming threat such as the Trophy APS used by the Israeli army. Daesh destroyed the Leopard tanks by firing anti-tank weapons at the turret, which caused the ammunition inside to explode. However, while reactive armor and APS make tanks more resistant to attack, they also make the vehicles much heavier.

"During the course of fighting in the Syrian town of al-Bath, in early 2017 the Turks' approximately 30-year-old Leopards were often shot in the rear and sometimes from the side with anti-tank weapons. There, the massive tracked vehicles are less protected. Soldiers agree that a battle in a city can't be compared with a duel on wide, undeveloped land, where tanks usually fight their targets from two or three kilometers away.

ASELSAN A.S., a Turkish Armed Forces Foundation company, would integrate all state-of-the-art systems by removing all electronic, electro-optical, electro-mechanical and electro-hydraulic systems in the tank. In this way, since all the technologically end of life materials have been removed from the system, the problem of spare parts will be removed. The life expectancy of modernized tanks will be at least 20 years, while the life cycle costs will be reduced to the lowest possible level.

ASELSAN completed the prototype production phase in a study conducted for the modernization of the Leopard 2A4 tank in 2011. The modernization project, which will take place at IDEF 2011 International Defense Industry Fair between May 10-13, is called "Leopard 2 Next Generation".

To ensure the survival level required by today's battle conditions, the ballistic protection level of the Leopard 2 modernization configuration has been enhanced with additional armor modules that provide protection against different threat varieties. Additional armor modules, roof protection, pallet protection modules, cage armor and inner wall lining were integrated on the tower and body. Ceramic surface armor modules with composite and light alloy; KE, ATGM and RPG to the minimum level by absorbing the effect of modern ammunition. With tower and body inner wall lining, the risk of creating parts that can be broken from the inner wall is minimized, and the level of protection against bombs is increased by roof protection.

The Leapard 2A4 tank's firing power ASELSAN's new Generation Fire Control System, originally developed for the ALTAY tank, will be enhanced with the Electric Top Tower Taking Unit and Remote Controlled Weapon System, which will have features that no modern tank today possesses.

The new Generation Fire Control System is designed to provide the tank with the highest level of combat. Because the system includes two independent fire control systems, the tank continues to operate at full performance, even if one of the systems has lost its functionality. System complexity is reduced by means of card-level unit functions, and system reliability is greatly increased. However, system logistics costs have been greatly reduced by using methods that would increase logistical coexistence, such as having two fire control systems having the same electronic units and using a single processor card with all the tank software installed for different system functions.

Instead of the existing hydraulic systems of the tank, Electric Turret Mounting Units will be integrated. Since the high-flammability hydraulic oils will not be used, the safety of the tank will be greatly increased. In addition, the noise level and heat generation will be greatly reduced so that the tank's detectability will be reduced to the lowest possible level. Above all, despite the increased weight and inertia of the tower due to the additional armor, stabilization and steering performance will increase significantly.

Remote Controlled Weapon System [UKSS] is a stabilized weapon system with automatic target tracking that can be remotely controlled by the weapon control unit. The UKSS can be used with 12.7 mm or 7.62 mm machine guns and 40 mm bombs to provide different requirements in a battle environment, especially in a residential battlefield.

The ASELSAN concept of ballistic and mine protection is based on additional armor modules, preserving the existing armor and without any structural changes. The ballistic protection is provided by the internal and external modules installed in the tower and the body. When the mounting interface of the additional armor modules is deemed necessary, it allows for mounting / dismounting even in field conditions. The ballistic protection map is based on modern kinetic energy and pit-mark type threat ammunition. The addition of internal and external protection modules to the mine also provides protection against conventional landmines as well as handmade explosives (EYP). The mobility advantage of lightweight armor modules ensures maximum mobility of the tank.

Laser Warning System, Command Control System, Driver Vision System and Fire Extinguishing Systems are designed to maximize the manageability of the Leopard 2A4 tank in battle. The Laser Alert System senses all the laser sources that are pointing at the tank, instantly warns the tank commander and the sniper and can launch the fog sprays at the same time. In this way, the visibility of the tank is greatly reduced and the time required for the tank to pass to the counterattack is created. In addition, the Laser Alert System is fully integrated with the TAKS, and when any laser threat is detected, the sniper and / or commander periscope can automatically target the target with the main weapon or UKSS.

Command Control System: Command Control System provides coordination and effective information exchange from battalion level to single tank in battle environment. KCS plays a significant role in situational awareness, tactical planning and quick and accurate decision-making, significantly enhancing the effectiveness of the tank's battlefield.

Soon after several Turkish M60A3, M60T and Leopard 2A4 MBTS were hit by Kornet-E/AT-14, Milan, TOW-II, 9K115-2 Metis-M and Fagot/AT-4 Anti Tank Guided Missiles (ATGMs) launched by Islamic State (ISIS) and YPG/PKK militants during Operation Euphrates Shield (carried out during August 24, 2016 March 29, 2017) in Syria, in January 2017 the SSB launched a tender for the modernization of 169 M60T, 40 M60A3 and 81 Leopard 2A4 MBTs to improve their protection level and increase their survivability against modern ATGM threats.

BMC was selected for the modernization of 84 Leopard 2A4 MBTs (sufficient to equip two tank battalions/one brigade) under different categories and a contract (according to sources valued at around US$300 Million) was signed in 2017 between BMC and the SSB. But according to a BMC official, as a result of the constantly changing requirements of the end user the Project has evolved into a completely different point. Required modifications and evolutions to answer the TAFs new requirements, that occurred during recently gained operational experiences, have been implemented on the Project structure and modernization efforts on prototype Leopard 2A4TM were launched in 2018. Modernization of the prototype Leopard 2A4TM is expected to be completed in 2019 and then Serial modernization of the remaining 83 MBTs will be initiated (either at the 1st Main Maintenance Factory Directorate or at the 2nd Main Maintenance Factory Directorate).

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list

Page last modified: 30-06-2021 12:05:27 ZULU