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Posted On: 19 July 2013 01:16 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:13 pm

How good are Qatar’s new Main Battle Tanks ?

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It has been widely reported that Qatar plans to buy 100+ Leopard main battle tanks from Germany. But how good are they really? And what would this mean to Qatar’s combat readiness? Read on in this Qatar Chronicle exclusive… The German Leopard 2 Main Battle Tank or MBT first entered service in 1979 and succeeded the earlier Leopard 1 as the main battle tank of the German Army. Development of the Leopard 2 main battle tank had begun in 1970. In those days a clash between NATO and the Warsaw Pact was possible and the German Army needed a well protected MBT, which was superior to the models introduced in the Eastern Block. Shielding Composite armor of the Leopard 2 tank is similar to British Chobham. It offers good protection against armor-piercing rounds and ATGWs. Vehicle is fitted with NBC protection system and automatic fire suppression systems. The crew is also protected against Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) threats, as the Leopard 2 is equipped with a NBC overpressurization system which provides up to 4 mbar (0.004 kp/cm2) over-pressure inside the vehicle. The Leopard 2 is equipped with a fire protection system. Four 9 kg Halon fire extinguisher bottles are installed on the right behind the driver’s station. The bottles are connected to pipes and hoses and are activated automatically by the fire detection system, when temperatures rise above 82°C (180 °F) inside the fighting compartment, or manually via a control panel in the driver’s compartment. Firepower The Leopard 2 main battle tank is armed with a fully-stabilized Rheinmetall RH-M-120 120-mm smoothbore gun. Vehicle carries 42 rounds for the main gun. 15 rounds are stored in the turret bustle, while the rest are carried in front of the hull. The turret bustle is separated from the fighting compartment and has a blow-out panels. The Leopard 2 normally uses two types of ammunition – the APFSDS-T and HEAT-MP-T rounds. The APFSDS-T round penetrates about 450 mm at 2 000 m range. It is worth mentioning that since it’s introduction some generations of APFSDS-T rounds were developed and used by the German Army. The HEAT-MP-T round is effective against both soft and hard targets. Secondary armament consists of two 7.62-mm machine guns. One of them is coaxial, while another is mounted on top of the roof. Rheinmetall has developed an upgrade for Leopard 2 tanks to give them the ability to fire the LAHAT anti-tank guided missile through the main gun; the missile can engage targets out to a range of 6,000 metres (20,000 ft). Engine Vehicle is powered by MB-837 Ka501 turbocharged diesel engine, developing 1 500 horsepower. The Leopard 2 can be fitted with a deep wading kit. After preparation it can ford water obstacles up to 4 m deep. All in all, we believe the Leopard 2 packs some serious heat and is among the top 3 tanks in the World. The acquisition would be a serious boost to Qatar’s military. Source : Qatar Chronicle