11 March 2019

Leopard 2A5: This Time We Are Dead Serious

The German Leopard 2A5 was a main focus of one of our past April Fools’ Events. Not much time has passed since then, and we are now happy to present you this new top-tier vehicle in the German ground forces tech tree – this time we are dead serious!

Briefly: this is the modernized version of previous modifications of the Leopard 2 main battle tank. Its main difference lies in its noticeably better-armoured turret, especially around the front.

History

In 1988, German engineers began work on modernizing the Leopard 2 main battle tank. Improvements were made to the tank’s defensive capabilities, primarily the turret armour. Moreover, the 2A5 model was fitted with an electric stabiliser instead of the electro-hydraulic variant that the previous versions used.

The gunner received improved and less vulnerable optics, and the tank commander – a panoramic periscope with thermal imaging. The build of the driver’s hatch was also modified, along with several other minor improvements made to the general design.

Leading to the 2A5 modernization program being officially approved by the military officials of Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands. It is interesting to note that the models exported to the last two countries on the list were actually different from the ones issued to the German army – for instance, the Bundeswehr tanks received no extra frontal hull armour. Production of Leopard 2A5 tanks began in 1995. Overall, 350 earlier-version Leopards were upgraded as a result of the program.

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In War Thunder, the Leopard 2A5 will be at rank VII of the German Ground Vehicles tech tree and can be researched right after the 2A4. The tanks primary-armament, the wonderful Rheinmetall L/44 gun, remained unchanged on this variant. However, this version of the Leopard does receive a new type of projectile that packs even more punch than the rest – the fin-stabilized discarding-sabot DM33 shell with a penetration capacity of up to 480 mm on normal impact.

The turret underwent the most noticeable changes – the gun mantlet was completely overhauled and each of its sides were fitted with massive hollow armour modules that provided extra protection to the front and shoulders of the turret. These modules are destructible though and unlike ERA able to survive several shots producing a combined defensive effect. The multilayered wall structure of such one module serves as the first threshold for redistributing the blast impact of a HEAT round or guided missile, while the hollow part plays the role of spaced armour plating.

Beneath these modules, however, you will find the same combined turret armour that the previous versions of the Leopard are equipped with, but with more advanced filler between plates. The turrets front sides keep your vehicle well protected on their own - with up to 600 mm of protection against kinetic rounds, and up to 850 mm against chemical shots.   

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Aside from the turret, the armour of the front of the hull was enhanced as well. Even though the German 2A5s, unlike the exported builds, received no additional armour modules, new material filler inside the combined armour pack allows for a decent boost in frontal hull defences, primarily against HEAT rounds.

The Leopard 2A5 turned out a worthy top-tier tank for one of the most popular in-game nations. Good maneuverability, a precise gun with new high-penetration projectiles, and almost perfect stabilization with incredibly sturdy defences thanks to the new turret design. Should cater to the bravest and most combative tacticians on the battlefield. This new Leopard is excellent – and we are dead serious about it!


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