The Leopard 2 PL tank has been developed by the Rheinmetall Company for the Polish Army.
German Rheinmetall Company presented to public the upgraded Leopard 2 PL tank at the IDEX 2017 international arms exhibition, the WarSpot information website reported. This version, intended for the Polish Army, is a future development of the Leopard 2A4 tank. In 2002-2003, 128 tanks of this type were delivered free of charge to the Polish Armed Forces. Since 2015, their upgraded version, designed to bring the tanks practically to the level of the Leopard 2A6, has been developing.
The Leopard 2 PL is equipped with an outboard composite armor, which significantly improves the protection against some types of ammunition, and has increased ballistic protection of the tower. Hydraulic stabilization mechanisms of the gun and turret drives of the tank were replaced with electrical ones that allowed to improve work of mechanisms and increase space inside the tank. The Leopard 2 PL is also equipped with cameras, which improve the visual field of a driver, and a new surveillance system for a crew. The L44 weapon system was also upgraded and allows to use new, more powerful projectiles. Other distinctive features of the tank include an automatic extinguishing system, an increased ammunition equipment, an auxiliary power unit, improved mine protection, and increased weight of the tank (from 56 to 60 tons).
The Leopard 2A4 is the most common version of the Leopard 2 tank. In total, about 2,500 tanks of this version were produced without taking into account the Swiss Pz 87 licensed copy. Since 2000, Germany has been actively selling the tanks to allied states, and, at the moment, these fighting vehicles are in service in 18 countries, including Turkey, which bought 354 tanks.
However, the Leopard 2A4 tanks have already shown their ‘weakness’ during the military operation of the Turkish Army on the territory of Syria. According to numerous reports, Turkey has lost at least 10 Leopard tanks in the country.