Netherlands’ ambition for Leopard 2A8 battalion hindered

In response to a query from a parliament member, the Netherlands’ Protection Minister, Kajsa Ollongren, introduced that the nation’s present protection funds doesn’t go away room for the deliberate acquisition of a Leopard 2A8 tank battalion. To offer you some perspective, the entire projected value, together with the tanks, their repairs, and employees, is a hefty sum of 315 million euros yearly over 15 years. 

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The acquisition of the Leopard 2A8 battalion, in accordance with Olongren, would require a vital enhance within the Netherlands’ protection funds. In its present state, the deliberate army expenditure for 2024 is already a substantial 21.4 billion euros.

Germany invited the Netherlands

In Could of 2023, the German authorities knowledgeable the Krauss-Maffei Wegmann company of their plans to spend money on the acquisition of 123 Leopard 2A8 tanks. This vital enterprise was a part of a framework settlement valued at 2.9 billion euros. 

The German authorities didn’t cease there. They aimed to not solely improve their army capabilities but in addition lengthen an invite to international locations doubtlessly excited about buying a new fleet of ‘Leopards’. The Netherlands was one such nation that had earlier proven curiosity in forming its personal tank battalion. Nevertheless, a 12 months later, there was no vital response from the Dutch authorities. They attributed their inertia to the urgent ‘present points’ they have been coping with. 

Discussions have now surfaced across the latest parliamentary elections held within the Netherlands. The results of these elections is essential because it determines the formation of the brand new authorities. This authorities will in the end determine on the funding in tanks for his or her military. Nevertheless, there’s a catch – the transition of energy post-elections just isn’t progressing as hoped. The truth is, the method is more likely to drag on for an unreasonable length – a full two months, on the very least. 

German Army will receive Leopard 2A8 tanks, not the Leopard 2A7+
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Saving cash

Curiously, Dutch authorities officers are at present contemplating the idea of “cost-effectiveness” and considering the acquisition of land-based robotic warfare techniques, versus tanks. They acknowledge, nonetheless, that even a complete assortment of army robots can present solely a few third of the fight potential {that a} totally outfitted tank battalion may.

Misplaced tank fleet

The chronicle of how the Netherlands inadvertently eradicated their tank fleet, and their present efforts to rebuild, is a worthwhile narrative to revisit. Within the aftermath of the “Chilly Warfare”, the Dutch army proudly boasted a complete of 441 Leopard 2A4 tanks. Nevertheless, by the mid-90s, that determine had plummeted to a mere 200. Surprisingly, the Dutch have been enthusiastically promoting their surplus battle equipment. 

Panzer 87 or Leopard 2A4 Swiss
Picture credit score: Combating Autos

Quick ahead to 2011, the Netherlands discovered themselves with simply 73 Leopard 2A6NL tanks, the product of an improve from the Leopard 2A4. Because of funds restrictions, the Dutch military resolved to discard their Fundamental Battle Tanks [MBTs]. Curiously, that very same 12 months, Germany bought 20 of those tanks for using Bundeswehr’s operations. 

By 2015, the Dutch authorities acknowledged their mistake in dismissing their tank fleet. As an unconventional resolution, they struck a distinctive association with Germany. This concerned the Netherlands reacquiring tanks they’d beforehand offered through rental, as a part of an initiative to combine the armies of each nations. These tanks subsequently grew to become a part of the 414th Bundeswehr Panzer Battalion of the forty third Mechanized Brigade of the Dutch Land Forces, which is an integral a part of the first Bundeswehr Panzer Division.

The unknown Leopard 2A8

KMW shows Leopard 2A7 tank with Trophy APS in the Czech Republic
Picture credit score: Twitter

The Leopard 2A8 represents a vital development from the 2A7HU mannequin that Hungary beforehand deployed in 2018. The enhancements on this superior machine are genuinely astonishing. Amongst its distinctive options, it proudly contains the Trophy lively safety system, often known as APS. Developed by the Israeli agency Rafael, this ingenious system can establish and neutralize oncoming hazards, making certain that the tank stays safe and guarded. 

The enhancements don’t finish there. The Leopard 2A8 additionally integrates a 120 mm L55 smoothbore cannon, which is a standard characteristic within the famend 2A7+ mannequin. This superior {hardware} provides a higher muzzle velocity than the previous L44 mannequin discovered within the unique Leopard 2 tank, thus positioning the Leopard 2A8 as a formidable power on any battlefield. 

Contemplating the crew’s consolation, the all-new 2A8 mannequin includes a refined cooling system. As well as, the mannequin introduces enhancements like an enhanced auxiliary energy generator and an exterior phone for enhanced communication with non-crew army personnel.

Supposed capabilities of 2A8

Because it pertains to maneuverability, the 2A8 is all set to supply its drivers a vital improve. With the superior evening imaginative and prescient system, mixed with a thermal imager and a low-light amplifier, the operator’s field of regard is broadened, each entrance and rear, guaranteeing seamless navigation in low-light settings. 

Get able to see with superior readability and attain! The state-of-the-art optronics expertise enhances the tank’s surveillance capabilities. Alongside the brand new digitized controls, the operation turns into easy. Now for the perfect half: the knowledge and command system on this mannequin are leaps and bounds past what you’re accustomed to. What stands out much more is the 2A8’s potential to deploy particular ammunition that may be detonated on demand. This characteristic permits for extra tactical versatility, bolsters operational effectivity, and considerably reduces unintended harm. It’s time to get excited in regards to the outstanding developments headed your manner!

KMW shows Leopard 2A7 tank with Trophy APS in the Czech Republic
Picture credit score: Twitter

2A7+ is the final identified model

The 2A8 model just isn’t an formally acknowledged variant of the Leopard 2 Fundamental Battle Tank [MBT], a collection of tanks developed by Krauss-Maffei within the Seventies for the West German Army. The Leopard 2 has undergone a number of upgrades through the years, with essentially the most superior variant being the Leopard 2A7+. 

The Leopard 2A7+ is powered by an MTU MB 873 Ka-501 liquid-cooled V12 twin-turbo diesel engine, which supplies 1,500 PS [1,103 kW]. This engine permits the tank to succeed in a most street velocity of 68 km/h [42 mph] and a cross-country velocity of 45 km/h [28 mph]. 

The operational vary of the Leopard 2A7+ is roughly 450 kilometers [280 miles] on roads and 325 kilometers [202 miles] cross-country. This vary could be prolonged with using exterior gas tanks. By way of armament, the Leopard 2A7+ is supplied with a 120 mm L55 smoothbore gun, able to firing a number of customary NATO ammunition. It additionally options two 7.62 mm MG3A1 machine weapons, one mounted coaxially with the primary gun and one on an anti-aircraft mount. 

Leopard 2A7HU technologically superior tanks in the Bundeswehr
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The Leopard 2A7+ additionally boasts spectacular defensive capabilities. Its modular armor could be adjusted to satisfy the wants of particular missions. The tank can be outfitted with a refined fireplace management system, which incorporates thermal imaging and laser rangefinding capabilities.


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