1:35 West German LEOPARD A4 Tank from TAMIYA

1:35 West German LEOPARD A4 Tank from TAMIYA

The Leopard 2 is a main battle tank developed by Krauss-Maffei in the 1970s for the West German Army. The tank first entered service in 1979 and succeeded the earlier Leopard 1 as the main battle tank of the German Army. It is armed with a 120 mm smoothbore cannon, and is powered by a V-12 twin-turbo diesel engine.

The most widespread version of the Leopard 2 family, the 2A4 models included more substantial changes, including an automated fire and explosion suppression system, an all-digital fire control system able to handle new ammunition types, and an improved turret with flat titanium/tungsten armour. The Leopard 2s were manufactured in eight batches between 1985 and 1992. All the older models were upgraded to 2A4 standard. Until 1994, Germany operated a total of 2,125 2A4s (695 newly built and the rest modified older versions), while the Netherlands had an additional 445 tanks. The 2A4 was also license manufactured in Switzerland as the Panzer 87 "Leopard" or Pz 87. This version included Swiss-built 7.5 mm MG 87 machine guns and communications equipment, and featured improved NBC protection system. Switzerland operated 380 Pz 87 tanks.[citation needed]

After 2000, Germany and the Netherlands found themselves with large stocks of tanks that they had no need for after the Cold War. These tanks were sold to NATO or friendly armies around the world. Among these buyers of the surplus tanks were Turkey (purchasing 354 vehicles), Greece (183), Sweden (160), Chile (140), Finland (139), Poland (128), Austria (114), Spain (108), Canada (107), Indonesia (103), Singapore (96), Norway (52), Denmark (51), and Portugal (37).

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