KNDS Leopard 2A8 tanks may be produced in the Czech Republic

The Czech company Excalibur Army is in talks with KNDS Deutschland, formerly known as Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, for the joint production of Leopard 2A8 tanks. This information first surfaced on April 18 in the local Czech newspaper, Echo24. 

Germany showed Leopard 2A8 tank to the public for the first time
Photo credit: Dzen.ru

As BulgarianMilitary.com reported at the end of March, Prague exhibits a keen interest in acquiring 76 Leopard 2A8 tanks. The government and the army’s plans outline that these tanks should arrive on Czech soil between 2027 and 2030. The Czech Republic’s interest in the Leopard 2A8 was initially confirmed in November of the previous year. 

It seems that the Czech Republic’s intentions involve not only taking a significant role in the production of the Leopard 2A8CZ but also influencing the Leopard 2 series as a whole. Local sources suggest that the Excalibur Army is prepared to establish a new production line dedicated to mounting turrets on Leopard 2 tanks. Other Czech companies, including PBS and Ray Service, have also expressed interest in such joint production. The proposed location for this joint tank production plant is Sternberg, situated in the Olomouc region.

German Army will receive Leopard 2A8 tanks, not the Leopard 2A7+
Photo credit: Esut.de

The intentions of the German leader KNDS are to produce 20 tanks per month. This production rate has not been seen since the Cold War. Today, KNDS produces up to four tanks a month. This aligns with the ambitions of the Excalibur Army, as the company is ready to invest in new production lines and expand its personnel. The Czech Republic and the city of Sternberg’s government see an excellent opportunity for job creation if an agreement is reached. 

Currently, the Czech Republic has 14 Leopard 2A4s, received gratis from Berlin as part of the Ringtausch program – material aid given to the warring Ukraine. On February 21 of this year, new negotiations were announced regarding the acquisition of 28 additional tanks in this version. 

In a session with the Defense Committee of the Chamber of Deputies held at the end of March, Frantishek Schulz, the First Deputy Minister of Defense of the Czech Republic, laid out the prospective roadmap for the integration of Leopard 2A8 tanks into the Czech military. “We’re presently engaging with our German counterparts over the acquisition of the 2A8,” said Frantisek Schultz, the First Deputy Defense Minister. “We’re projecting a delivery timeline of 2027 to 2030.” 

KNDS Leopard 2A8 tanks may be produced in the Czech Republic
Photo by Paweł Ścibiorek, MILMAG

Delving deeper, Schultz highlighted the strategic importance of the concurrent deployment of Leopard 2A4 and 2A8 tanks. This move doesn’t only provide a protective umbrella for the active reserve of tank troops, but also sets the stage for crucial mobilization reserves, highlighted Schultz.  

Addressing concerns voiced by parliament members, Schultz clarified that the induction of Leopard 2A4 tanks would not affect the status of 2A8 tanks. “The count remains unchanged, implying a total deployment of 76 2A8 tanks across different models,” Schultz assured. Moreover, this approach will integrate 42 Leopard 2A4 tanks and three Büffel rescue vehicles that are constructed on the Leopard 2 tank chassis. 

Based on the gathered data, it is evident that the Leopard 2A8 is a compelling upgrade to Hungary’s most recent tank, the Leopard 2A7HU, which began production in 2018. The 2A8 version of this iconic Leopard tank has some truly impressive improvements for you to acknowledge. Primarily, it is equipped with the Trophy Active Protection System [APS], a respected product from the renowned Israeli firm Rafael.

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

Another worthy mention is the 120mm L55 smoothbore gun fitted on the Leopard 2A8. Echoing the highly-regarded 2A7+ model, this model surpasses the older L44 in terms of muzzle velocity, preserving the formidable might that the original Leopard 2 tank was acclaimed for. 

Not to be overshadowed by its powerful specs, the 2A8 also emphasizes the comfort of its crew. Imagine a top-notch cooling system integrated into this upcoming armored marvel. Additional enhancements include a higher capacity auxiliary generator and an external telephone, effortlessly connecting the crew with other military staff beyond their unit. 

The 2A8 aims to significantly increase its adaptability through a key upgrade tailored for the tank operator. This consists of a combined night vision mechanism and a thermal imaging camera, bundled with a low-light amplifier. This groundbreaking integration guarantees seamless navigation even in poorly lit environments, providing clear visibility from both frontal and rear perspectives.

***

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.