The Leopard 2 MBT Revolution is a former upgrade package, developed and manufactured by Rheinmetall for the Leopard 2A4 Tank. A number of sources confuse the Leopard 2 Evolution as the Leopard 2 MBT Revolution.
The IBD Deisenroth Engineering Evolution, which only featured AMAP armor upgrades, was unveiled at the CANSEC 2009 show in Ottawa, Canada. The MBT Revolution was unveiled at Eurosatory 2010 and featured an AMAP Armor package and a new digital architecture.
Rheinmetall have since introduced a new version of the Leopard 2 Evolution, called “MBT Evolution“. The Leopard 2 MBT Revolution package has also been improved and is now marketed as the “MBT Advanced Technology Demonstrator“. Source fighting-vehicles.com
Leopard 2 MBT Revolution
The MBT Revolution at a glance:
- Protection concept: Comprehensive protection from all current threats, including RPG 7, landmines, IEDs, bomblets, large-calibre KE ammunition and EO-, IR- and laser-guided weapons.
- Digital turret core system: Fully integrated network capabilities, fully interoperable subsystems and components, with significantly shorter reaction times and smaller additional space requirements.
- Fire control technology: An improved first round hit probability, especially when firing on the move.
- New commander’s periscope: Night fighting and observation capabilities, improved range and higher elevation angles (up to 70°).
- Situational awareness system: 360° day and night near-field view of the vehicle’s immediate surroundings, with automatic alarm and target-tracking functions.
- Command and control system: New capabilities include real-time blue force tracking and red force visualization, augmented reality and MIP-DEM-based interoperability.
- Commander’s brake: A revolutionary innovation that enables the commander to stop the tank in critical situations
- Secondary armament: State-of-the-art remote control weapon station, fully stabilized and flexibly configurable.
- Ammunition: The world’s first temperature-independent KE tank round and the latest generation of programmable HE ammunition.
- Climate control: High performance air conditioning coupled with a new insulation concept in the fighting compartment, improved ventilation and thermal protection for the magazine.
- Auxiliary power unit: High electric power generation (17 kW) and optimized intelligent energy balance of the vehicle.
- External two-way communications system: Enables the crew to communicate with people outside of the tank.
- Embedded logistics: Provides comprehensive monitoring of vehicle- and weapon system-relevant logistical data; linked with a central logistical information and evaluation system.
- Weight class: MLC 70
Leopard 2 MBT Revolution Requirement
Originally entering service in 1985, a total of 11 countries have purchased surplus Leopard 2A4 Tanks. The MBT Revolution upgrade package has been developed to extend their service life beyond 2035, with replacement of key components and additional features produced by Rheinmetall and its subsidiary companies. Source fighting-vehicles.com
Leopard 2 MBT Revolution Operators
The MBT Revolution is a modular upgrade package to the Leopard 2A4 main battle tanks. It was developed by Rheinmetall. This MBT was first revealed in 2010. It is also referred as Leopard 2A4 Evolution. The Leopard 2A4 was the most widespread version of the Leopard 2. It is still used by a number of countries in large numbers. So the market for upgrades remains substantial. Indonesia plans to obtain 61 Revolution MBTs.
Indonesian Leopard 2RI: Details
Rheinmetall to upgrade Polish Army’s Leopard 2 tanks: Here
Rheinmetall to modernize 128 Leopard 2 tanks of the Polish Army in cooperation with Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa and ZM Bumar-Łabędy S.A.
Under the contract, Rheinmetall will supply key capabilities for the upgrade. Included will be electronics and weapon technology to bring the tanks to Leopard 2 PL standard, which corresponds to the German Leopard 2 A5 and A6.
The contract is worth nearly $244.8 million for Rheinmetall.
By combining numerous individual components and measures, Rheinmetall created a comprehensive 360° protection concept that addresses virtually every current threat. Thanks to the use of highly advanced materials and technologies, the increase in weight is comparatively small. Further advantages include easy mounting and dismounting of the protective modules on the vehicle’s exterior; the need for structural alteration is negligible.
Modular in design, the protection package contains the following elements:
- Lateral protection of turret and hull against IED blasts, including shrapnel resulting from the detonation of multiple artillery shells or large explosively formed projectiles.
- Protection of the hull against large-calibre KE rounds, precision guided munitions and guided and unguided antitank weapons.
- Protection of the roof against artillery bomblet fragments.
- Protection of the turret against large-calibre KE rounds, precision guided munitions and guided and unguided antitank weapons.
- Protection of the vehicle’s underside and interior from mine blasts.
- Decoupled magazine
- ROSY, Rheinmetall’s unique new smoke/obscurant system, provides 360° protection against TV-, EO-, IR-, IIR-, laser and SCALOS-guided weapons. Unlike conventional smoke/obscurant systems, ROSY not only generates an instantaneous multispectral interruption of the line of sight in less than 0.6 seconds, it also produces a dynamic wall of smoke/obscurant which provides moving vehicles with lasting protection from multiple attacks.
The Revolution main battle tank is better suited for urban warfare and low-intensity conflicts. It is worth noting that original Leopard 2 tanks were developed during the Cold War and were intended for high intensity conflicts based on tank battles in open terrain. The tank has improved overall protection. It is fitted with new Advanced Modular Armor Protection (AMAP) composite armor package. It uses new nano-ceramics materials and modern titanium and steel alloys. This armor provides higher level of protection against wide range of threats. The AMAP armor can be done is different compositions and armor configuration depends on customer requirements. Various configurations do different jobs. Some are used for RPG attacks, the other are used for IED attacks.
AMAP composite armor
Advanced Modular Armor Protection (AMAP)
The MBT Revolution has a new Advanced Modular Armor Protection (AMAP) upgrade, which contains the various passive AMAP composite armor offered by Rheinmetall Chempro GmbH. The modular armor extends the length of the turret and most of the hull for improved protection in built-up/urban area’s. The rear section of the hull is fitted with cage armor. Source fighting-vehicles.com
The tank is also fitted with a mine protection package. This MBT has a modular armor, so damaged modules can be easily replaced in field conditions. Tank is also fitted with new Rheinmetall ROSY smoke grenade dischargers. These set up a smoke screen within 0.6 seconds. Overall the Revolution MBT is less vulnerable to ambushes, RPG rounds, anti-tank missiles, improvised explosive devices and mines.
ROSY smoke screen system
The unique 40mm Rosy_L smoke protection system offers light military and civilian vehicles protection from unexpected attacks, e.g. during patrols or when travelling in convoys. Unlike the conventional smoke protection systems in use, Rosy_L is able to generate dynamic smoke screens as well as spontaneous, large-area and multispectral interruption of the line of sight (LOS). Moreover, its multimission capability represents a sure defence against stream and wave attacks. Due to its integrated IR jamming and decoying capabilities, Rosy_L effectively counters all TV-, EO-, IR-, IIR-, laser- and SACLOS-guided weapons. Rosy_L comprises a basic system with a control device and one to four ROSY launchers per vehicle. By means of a one-click adapter, the system can be quickly mounted to the vehicle without tools, and just as quickly removed and stowed.
The latest version of Rosy is the modular Rosy_Mod. It is designed for small weapon stations and light vehicles of the kind used by special operations forces. Rosy_Mod is integrated directly into the vehicle without a surface-mounted launcher, thus making it undetectable. Source rheinmetall-defence.com
The Revolution MBT is only slightly heavier than its predecessor. It weights 60 t, comparing with 56.6 t of the original Leopard 2A4.
In 2010 Singapore upgraded its 96 ex-German Leopard 2A4 tanks with the AMAP composite armor, which is a part of the Revolution upgrade package. Upgraded tanks are known as the Leopard 2SG. (*Note Singapore only operates 66 the remaining 30 are used as spare parts)
Singapore Leopard 2SG and Leo 2A4
The Revolution MBT retains a fully-stabilized 120-mm / L44 smoothbore gun of the Leopard 2A4. The gun is loaded manually. It is compatible with all standard NATO 120-mm tank munitions, as well as the latest programmable HE rounds. These rounds enable to engage targets behind cover and within buildings. A total of 42 rounds are carried for the main gun. 15 rounds are stored in the turret bustle and are ready to use, while remaining rounds are stored in the hull.
Rheinmetall smoothbore L44 gun
120-mm / L44 smoothbore gun
L44 – is a highly successful 120mm, 44 cal (length) smoothbore cannon. Designed and manufactured by the German Company, Rheinmetall, for the Leopard 2 up to and including the A5 variant. It is built under licence in Egypt for the M1 Abrams, in Israel for the Merkava III & IV (AKA MG251 & MG253 modified), Japan for the Type 90, South Korea for the K1 A1 (AKA KM256) and in the US for the M1 Abrams (AKA M256).
It can fire APFSDS, HEAT, MPAT, Canister and HE-FS.
L55 – is the successor to the L44. it to is a 120mm, 55 cal (length) smoothbore cannon, designed and manufactured by the German Company, Rheinmetall. With its extra length it provides a higher muzzle velocity. It is currently used on the Leopard 2 A6 and the newly developed South Korean K2 Black Panther. It did complete trials on the British Challenger II, but there are no plans in the near future to equip it. It can fire the same rounds as the L44. Source tanknutdave.com
120mm HE DM 11 Tank Ammunition
Rheinmetall developed its 120mm x 570 DM11 cartridge on behalf of the German MoD. From the technical standpoint, it is characterised first and foremost by the programmability of the chambered round and by its airburst capability. The necessary system modifications (programmability) can be retrofitted into any modern MBT with a 120mm smoothbore gun. Modular in design, the DM11 consists of warhead with a programmable fuse as well as a ballistic cowl, tailfin assembly, drive band, combustible casing with propelling charge, and a newly designed case base containing the primer and an integrated data cable for programming.
The DM11 is designed for engaging lightly armoured targets such as vehicles, antitank positions (whether dug-in or in the open), field fortifications, double reinforced concrete walls as well as earth and timber bunkers .
Furthermore, thanks to its high precision and maximum effective range of up to five kilometres, it can be used for penetrating barriers and engaging targets taking cover behind walls, etc., as well as for breeching enemy defences and creating avenues of approach for friendly forces in built-up areas. Source miltechmag.com
120mm KE DM63 / DM53 A1 Tank Ammunition
DM53 120mm KE Projectile (Rheinmetall)
The DM53 round was designed to maximize the performance of KE projectiles fired from 120mm smoothbore guns such as the L44 (15% improvement) or L55 (30% improvement in muzzle energy). The DM53 is in service with the German, Swiss and Netherlands Armies. The complete round weighs 21.4kg, the projectile (with sabot) weighs 8.35kg and propellant: 8.9kg. The projectile’s length is 745mm, and with chamner pressure of 5,450 generated during firing, the muzzle velocity is 1,750 m/sec (L55 barrel) and 1,670 m/sec. (L44 barrel). The DM53 has been optimized to lass than 0.2 mil accuracy.
DM 53-A1 is an advanced version of the DM 53. Currently being supplied in series to the armed forces of Germany, Austria and Turkey as the DM 63. DM53-A1 was selected by the armed forces of Finland and Denmark.
DM63 KE Cartridge (Rheinmetall)
The DM63 round is based on the DM53, with modified propulsion-based Temperature Independent Propulsion System (TIPS) utilizing the SCDB technology. The new type uses 8.45 kg of pure bulk powder to achieve nearly the same muzzle velocity of the DM53 (1,650 m./sec on L44 barrel). The propellant modifications aimed at improving the accuracy through a wide operational temperatures (-46 +63C) ensuring safe operation extreme climate zones, and minimizing the erosion of the barrel. Source defense-update.com
120mm PELE Tank Ammunition
PELE technology makes it possible to produce fully inert projectiles. The new technology modifies the projectile performance characteristics, significantly enhancing the accuracy of tank and artillery fire, while substantially reducing the risk of collateral damage. Non-explosive PELE ammunition consists of a high-density casing containing a core made of low-density, low-compressibility material. Upon impact with the target, the low-density material inside the shell is compressed to such an extent that the casing bursts, generating numerous fragments that are propelled in the direction of fire. This way, the round’s lethal impact is restricted to a defined space or limited area, reducing the likelihood of collateral damage. PELE and ALP make it possible to manufacture warheads containing little or no explosive. Moreover, existing ammunition can be inexpensively retrofitted with PELE and ALP technology. Both technologies can be integrated in full- and sub-caliber rounds, and fired from current and future weapon systems.
Image: from the web
In August 2006 Rheinmetall Defense acquired the industrial property and trademark rights of PELE and ALP. According to Rheinmetall, the company plans to market them in conjunction with ammunition procurement and upgrade programs both at home and abroad. Concurrently, negotiations are underway with Diehl BGT Defence GmbH & Co. KG of Überlingen, Germany to acquire licenses in various special caliber segments. Source defense-update.com
The Revolution MBT is also fitted with a remotely controlled weapon station, armed with a 12.7-mm machine gun. There is also a coaxial 7.62-mm machine gun.
Remote Weapon Station 12.7mm MG
Our weapon stations meet a wide range of specific customer requirements such as:
- Integration of small and medium calibre weapons
- Integration of a broad variety of optical modules
- Operation as a standalone system or as part of a network of systems
Full stabilisation, super elevation, long-range day/night all-weather sights, smoke protection systems, and the capability to integrate NATO and non-NATO weapons are available options on certain models. Source rheinmetall-defence.com
This main battle tank is fitted with new state-of-the-art fire control system. It has improved first round hit probability. The Revolution MBT also has improved reconnaissance and observation capabilities. The commander has new 360° periscope, which gives the vehicle a hunter/killer capability. The tank is also fitted with a battlefield management system.
The Seoss digital fire control unit, which stands for “stabilized electro-optical sensor system”, provides an enhanced vision capability. Two-axis stabilized, it is equipped with a Saphir thermal imaging device, a daylight camera and an eye-safe laser rangefinder. The data required for evaluating the situation – including the target, system status, range and ammunition type – appear on a display in the fighting compartment. Seoss enables day and night engagement of targets even when the tank is on the move, including in periods of limited visibility. The user can choose between a 360° panoramic view of the battlefield or a coaxial, weapon-aligned perspective. Seoss also features an integrated fire control computer for six different types of ammunition. Source rheinmetall-defence.com
Seoss – Stabilized Electro-optical Sighting System
Seoss enables accurate engagement of targets while on the move, both day and night and under conditions of limited visibility. Perfect for high-end combat vehicles, Seoss stabilized electro-optical sensor system is a compact digital fire control unit. Featuring dual-axis stabilization, the Seoss can be mounted without difficulty to any suitable surface on the vehicle. It is equipped with a Saphir® thermal imaging device, a daytime camera and an eye-safe laser rangefinder. All the data necessary for evaluating the situation appear on a display conveniently located in the interior of the vehicle. Apart from the target, these include the system status, range and type of ammunition.
- Primary stabilized
- 2-axis stabilized sensor head with: Thermal imager 3rd generation, high resolution daylight CCD camera (optional), eyesafe laser range finder, integrated fire control and stabilization electronics
- Detection, recognition, identification and engagement of moving and stationary targets also on the move
- Interface to battle management system (optional)
- Very compact design and low weight
- Easy integration without extensive turret modification (no turret penetration)
- High degree of logistic communality between the versions (sector or panoramic)
- Available as Seoss-sector, Seoss-panoramic and Seoss-MOUT
Seoss – Image: militaer-wissen.de
In addition, an integrated Situational Awareness System, SAS, provides a panoramic view of the immediate vicinity of the tank, automatically detecting and tracking potential targets, helping to relieve pressure on the crew. The SAS consists of two to four modules, each covering 3 x 60°, plus high-definition colour cameras and high-performance night vision components. An interface to the fire control unit enables instant transmission of detected target data, enabling immediate engagement of emerging threats, primarily with the newly developed Qimek weapon station.
Commander and gunner below
SAS – 360° viewer daylight camera and thermal imager module
The SAS modules provide vehicle crews with a complete 360° panoramic closeup view for enhanced local situational awareness. It features a high-resolution daylight camera as well as high definition colour cameras. Source rheinmetall-defence.com
SAS modules – Image: militaer-wissen.de
Vehicle has a crew of four, including commander, gunner, loader and driver.
C4I and network-enabled warfare capabilities
Featuring uniform system architecture, Rheinmetall’s INIOCHOS command and information system is available for very echelon from brigade headquarters all the way down the individual soldier on the ground. A growing number of countries, including Greece, Spain, Sweden and Hungary have already opted for C4I solutions from Rheinmetall.
INIOCHOS is a family of tactical command and control systems whose functionalities can be adapted to specific operational spheres, e.g. a tactical operations centre, tactical vehicle or dismounted infantry. One of its most prominent features is systematic application of NATO interoperability standards, a critical advantage during international operations. This standardized system enables soldiers from participating nations to generate and share a common, role-oriented operating picture.
The INIOCHOS family consists of a command post system for brigade and battalion level operations (INIOCHOS C), a tactical vehicle C4I system (INIOCHOS V), and an application optimized for dismounted troops, INIOCHOS S.
Designed to support modern tactical operations, INIOCHOS incorporates the full range of current interoperability standards used in combined and joint operations. User- and role-specific configurability, scalability and a concept enabling joint use mean that this system is equally effective at every level from brigade to individual soldier. The flexible communications concept enables all participants to remain in direct contact via the combat radio net.
An entirely new air conditioning and ventilation concept ensures maximum crew comfort even in warmer climates. Air conditioning and thermal insulation in the fighting compartment, coupled with optimum ventilation and separate cooling of the driver’s compartment, result in a level of efficiency never attained before. Moreover, by ensuring that the ammunition on board remains fully functional, thermal insulation of the magazine contributes to operational safety. Thanks to intelligent control, the new climate control system automatically adapts to changing ambient conditions, assuring optimum use of energy. Simple cleaning and maintenance procedures are an added plus. source rheinmetall-defence.com
Auxiliary power unit
APU unit for illustration – Image: jenoptik.com
APUs have become increasingly important, especially in light of recent technical developments. Using an APU can optimize a vehicle’s energy balance. In many cases battery capacity is insufficient, especially when older types are used. If the battery power drops below a certain level the engine has to be started to recharge them. This results in excessive fuel consumption as well as producing unwelcome noise and heat. Fitting an APU can solve this problem. source rheinmetall-defence.com
The Revolution MBT also retains the MTU MB-837 Ka501 turbocharged diesel engine, developing 1 500 horsepower. Vehicle is fitted with auxiliary power unit, which powers all systems when the main engine is turned off. Cross-country performance is similar to that of its predecessor.
MTU MB-837 Ka501 turbocharged diesel engine
Since 2011 a broadly similar upgrade programme is offered by the Aselsan of Turkey. These are referred as the Leopard 2 Next Generation. It was locally developed as a private venture to meet a possible requirement of the Turkish Army. Source military-today.com
Leopard 2 Next Generation: Details
||Rheinmetall L44 – 120mm, calibre Length 44 smoothbore
Elevation -9 to +20
||x1 coaxial 7.62mm MG,
x1 Remote Weapon Station 12.7mm MG or 40mm Grenade Launcher
||x42 120mm, x4,750 7.62mm
||MTU Mb 873 ka 501, turbocharged 1500hp Diesel
||RENK HSWL 354, 4 speed forward/2 reverse
|Top Road Speed
||1m (4m with Snorkel)
|Length Gun Forward
||62,500kg aka 62.5 tonne combat
|Active Protection Systems