Demining Leopard vehicles in Ukraine cannot work in 35-degree heat

When it comes to enduring 35-degree heat, the German Leopard 2R tank-based demining machines, supplied to the Ukrainian army from Finland, are somewhat of a hot mess. The demanding temperature requires additional engine cooling, a necessity that unfortunately leads to operational disruptions. 

Finnish Leopard 2Rs will clear a path through Russian minefields
Photo credit: Twitter

Of the three remaining demining machines of this type in the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ arsenal, all reportedly came to a grinding halt during operations on the Zaporizhzhia Front in the Orekhovsky direction. Interestingly, after dispatching these Leopard tank-based demining machines to the Ukrainian army – machines that turned out to be disappointingly ineffective – the Finnish army keeps rolling with their tried-and-tested counterparts based on the Soviet T-55 tanks. 

8 Leopards and 3 French AMX-10 tanks destroyed in a day - Russia
Photo credit: MoD Russia / Twitter

Even though a considerable number of the T-55 tanks have long been retired from the Finnish army, a handful of these resilient vehicles are still in service. They are paired with robust tracked mining machines, a purchase dating back to the Soviet era. 

In the late 1950s, Finland’s Ministry of Defense added about seventy units of T-54A tanks to their military fleet. Fast forward nearly 25 years, and these Soviet tanks underwent a comprehensive modernization, including the installation of state-of-the-art multi-channel sights, heat-protective covers for weapons, smoke grenade launchers on the turrets, and side screens for the chassis. 

Demining Leopard vehicles in Ukraine cannot work in 35-degree heat
Photo credit: Finnish Army

The 56-tonne Leopard 2 tanks, originally obtained from Germany, were equipped with KMT-5M heavy chain trawlers to transform them into mine-clearing engineering machines. However, the “R” modification proved to be less efficient, particularly in winter conditions. Consequently, all six units of this equipment were handed over to the fighters of the Kyiv regime.

What is Leopard 2R heavy mine breaching vehicle?

The Finnish Leopard 2R Heavy Mine Breaching Vehicle is a specialized military vehicle designed for demining operations. It is based on the Leopard 2A4 main battle tank and has been modified to perform mine-breaching tasks. The vehicle is equipped with a mine plow and a mine roller system that can clear a path through minefields. It is also fitted with a mine detection system that can locate and mark the position of mines.

Demining Leopard vehicles in Ukraine cannot work in 35-degree heat
Photo by Juhani Karvonen

The Leopard 2R is operated by a crew of three, including a driver, a commander, and a demining specialist. The vehicle is heavily armored and can withstand small arms fire and mine blasts. It is powered by a 1,500-horsepower diesel engine and can reach a top speed of 68 km/h. The Leopard 2R has a range of 550 km and can operate in temperatures ranging from -40°C to +50°C.

The Leopard 2R Heavy Mine Breaching Vehicle has been used by the Finnish Defense Forces in various peacekeeping missions around the world. It has also been exported to other countries, including the United Arab Emirates and Switzerland. The vehicle has proven to be an effective tool for demining operations, but it has certain limitations. For example, it cannot operate in extreme heat conditions, such as those found in desert environments.

How does Leopard 2R work?

The Leopard 2R is a heavy mine breaching vehicle that is designed to clear minefields quickly and efficiently. The vehicle is equipped with a large plow that is used to push aside mines and other obstacles in its path.

The plow is made of hardened steel and is designed to withstand the force of explosions from mines and other explosive devices. In addition to the plow, the Leopard 2R is also equipped with a mine roller system that is used to detonate mines before the vehicle passes over them.

Demining Leopard vehicles in Ukraine cannot work in 35-degree heat
Photo credit: Twitter

The mine roller system consists of a series of heavy rollers that are attached to the front of the vehicle. As the vehicle moves forward, the rollers spin and detonate any mines that are in their path. The Leopard 2R is also equipped with a mine-clearing line charge [MICLIC] system that is used to clear a path through minefields.

The MICLIC system consists of a rocket-propelled line charge that is fired from the vehicle and detonates mines in a wide area. Overall, the Leopard 2R is a highly effective mine-clearing vehicle that is designed to operate in a variety of challenging environments.

***

Follow us everywhere and at any time. BulgarianMilitary.com has responsive design and you can open the page from any computer, mobile devices or web browsers. For more up-to-date news, follow our Google News, YouTube, Reddit, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook pages. Our standards: Manifesto & ethical principles.