The Leopard 2 A-RC 3.0 includes other new features over previous versions

The new version of the Leopard 2 main battle tank with an unmanned turret

This week, KNDS has presented a new version of the already famous Leopard 2 battle tank, a model with many operators.

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This new variant is called Leopard 2 A-RC 3.0 and introduces considerable new features compared to previous versions of this tank of German origin. KNDS has shown some of these new features in a video published yesterday:

The most innovative feature of this new version is that it has an unmanned turret and that it would be directed from the chassis of the vehicle. Furthermore, instead of the four crew members of previous versions of this tank, the Leopard 2 A-RC 3.0 would have three crew members sitting on the chassis.

Judging by the images released by KNDS, the driver would maintain his central seat in the front, while the commander and gunner would sit below the base of the turret, inside a highly protected cell. which would reduce the most vulnerable section of the tank by 30%, according to KNDS noted a week ago.

On the other hand, by having an unmanned turret, the Leopard 2 A-RC 3.0 would introduce another novelty: a modular linear automatic loader, capable of loading the main cannon with a rate of three shots every 10 seconds. Although KNDS has not indicated it, it can be deduced that the main gun ammunition would be housed in the rear part of the turret, as in the previous Leopard 2.

In the video we can see that the loader modular rack is aligned with that ammunition magazine to load the main gun, which would be a 120 mm smoothbore Rheinmetall L-55, a model that equips the Leopard 2 since the A6 version (and also its Spanish variant, the Leopard 2E). In the case of the main gun, the Leopard 2 A-RC 3.0 could have a 130 or 140 mm main gun.

On the turret we find two other new features of this version. The first is a 30x113 mm remote control machine gun (RCWS), especially designed against drones, which could cover a 360º angle to protect the tank from these threats. Eight smoke grenade launchers are included in the RCWS mount, reducing the presence of this passive defense compared to previous versions of the Leopard 2 (until the A7 it was usual to carry 8 on each side of the turret, while the A8 has 6 on each side).

Along with the RCWS, the Leopard 2 A-RC 3.0 includes a guided missile launcher, capable of firing while the vehicle is moving. KNDS has not indicated what type of missile this version would equip, although it does indicate its range: 6,000 meters, similar to that of the Spike-LR2 missile (5,500 meters) manufactured by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.

On the other hand, KNDS also points out that the Leopard 2 A-RC 3.0 would be equipped with an already tested active protection system (APS). KNDS does not indicate what system it would be, although a few days ago The War Zone pointed out that it could be Rafael's Trophy system, already included in the Leopard 2A8. In the images released by KNDS we see the four APS radar antennas in the corners of the tower. This system detects anti-tank missile or grenade shots, firing kinetic projectiles to cancel them before they impact the tank.

Finally, KNDS also highlights a flatter turret design, which would partially solve one of the drawbacks of previous versions of the Leopard 2: the height of its turret, which offers an easier target to the enemy . In addition, KNDS has indicated that the changes introduced in the Leopard 2 A-RC 3.0 would reduce its weight by 10%.


Images: KNDS.

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