The Leopard 2 is a main battle tank developed by Krauss-Maffei in the 1970s for the West German Army. There are two main development batches of the tank: the original models up to Leopard 2A4, which have vertically faced turret armour, and the improved batch, namely the Leopard 2A5 and newer versions, which have angled arrow-shaped turret applique armour together with other improvements. All models feature digital fire control systems with laser rangefinders, a fully stabilised main gun and coaxial machine gun, and advanced night vision and sighting equipment. The tank has the ability to engage moving targets while moving over rough terrain. The interior received spall liners to reduce fragments if the armour is penetrated. The frontal "heavy" third of the side skirts was replaced with a stronger type. The commander's sight was moved to a new position behind the hatch and it received an independent thermal channel. The gunner's sight was moved to the turret roof as opposed to the cavity in the front armour in previous models. A heavier sliding driver's hatch was fitted. Turret controls went all-electric, increasing reliability and crew safety, as well as weight savings. The gun braking system was improved to prepare for the later mounting of the new L/55 gun tube and to enable firing of more powerful ammunition, such as the DM-53 APFSDS. The first A5s were handed over to the German army tank school in 1995 and started to enter regular service with Panzerbataillon 33 in December the same year.
KFOR - Starting on 12 June 1999, 28 Leopard 2A5 tanks were deployed by the German army as part of the Kosovo Force (KFOR) to Kosovo. The vehicles of Panzerbataillon 33 and 214, were sent from Macedonia to Prizren. They were used for patrols, protecting checkpoints and bases as well as part of the show of force.