Leopard 2A7HU technologically superior tanks in the Bundeswehr

Christoph Szalay-Bobrovniczky, Hungary’s Defense Minister, emphasized the significantly advanced technology of the Leopard 2 tanks commissioned by Hungary compared to those used by the German army.

Leopard 2A7HU technologically superior tanks in the Bundeswehr
Photo credit: Mandiner.hu

The recent delivery of three more Leopard 2A7HU tanks was warmly received by Bobrovniczky. Hungary is already equipped with eight of these powerful tanks, to expand their fleet to a formidable 44 vehicles. 

Leopard 2A7HU

The Leopard 2A7HU, also known as the Leopard 2A7HU [Hungarian Upgrade], is an advanced version of the Leopard 2A7, offering several enhancements that make it superior to its predecessor. One of the key improvements is in the area of firepower. The Leopard 2A7HU has been fitted with a new 120mm L/55 smoothbore gun, which can fire more powerful ammunition, increasing its effectiveness against both armored and unarmored targets. 

The Leopard 2A7HU also boasts superior protection compared to the Leopard 2A7. It features an advanced modular armor protection system, which can be upgraded or replaced to adapt to different threat levels. This system provides enhanced protection against a wide range of threats, including anti-tank missiles, IEDs, and other forms of explosive devices. 

Another significant improvement in the Leopard 2A7HU is its advanced fire control system. This system includes a new digital interface, which allows for faster and more precise target acquisition. It also includes a thermal imaging system for improved target detection and identification, even in low-visibility conditions. 

Better mobility

Furthermore, the Leopard 2A7HU has been designed with improved mobility in mind. It features an upgraded power pack. This pack provides increased horsepower. All these allowing the tank to traverse difficult terrain more easily and at higher speeds. This makes the Leopard 2A7HU more maneuverable and versatile on the battlefield. 

Finally, the Leopard 2A7HU also includes several upgrades aimed at improving the tank’s sustainability and operational readiness. These include an auxiliary power unit. This unit allows the tank to operate its systems without running the main engine. The Leopard 2A7HU power unit saving fuel and reducing wear and tear. It also features enhanced maintenance and diagnostic systems, which help to reduce downtime and increase the tank’s overall operational availability. 

Leopard 2A7HU technologically superior tanks in the Bundeswehr
Photo credit: Hungarian Defense Forces

2A7 makes way for 2A8

As BulgarianMilitary.com reports, the procurement agreement to obtain the current version of Germany’s Leopard 2 from Hungary was struck in 2018. This deal included purchasing five Wisent 2 support vehicles, three Leguan 2HU mobile bridges, 12 Leopard 2A4 tanks [used for training crews], and 24 PzH 2000 artillery systems. The contract’s worth was projected to be within a range of 1.6-1.8 billion euros. 

The fulfillment of the new vehicle deliveries should be completed by the end of 2028. Hungarian sources say that the expertise acquired from the development of the Leopard 2A7HU will be harnessed for the creation of a new version, the Leopard 2A8. The Leopard 2A8 is set to be manufactured for Germany [which has ordered 18 units, with an overall agreement for 105 units], Norway [54 tanks], and the Czech Republic [up to 77 tanks, including specialized ones]. 

The ‘Jewel in the crown’

The latest trio of tanks delivered to Hungary joined the ranks of the 1st Armored Brigade, augmenting the five Leopard 2A7HUs that they received at the end of last year. Additionally, the first WiSENT 2 technical support vehicle and the Leguan 2 tank bridge arrived in December. 

About the recent receipt of these latest vehicles, which represent the most up-to-date variant of the Leopard 2, Hungarian Defense Minister Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovnicky referred to them as the “jewel in the crown” of their Armed Forces’ modernization process. They are slated to replace all the T-72M1 tanks in active service, the total of which is approximated to be between 30-40, with another 130-160 units in reserve.

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