IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis

Leopard 2 Battle Tanks

17th July, 2023 Security

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  • Italy is planning to buy German-made Leopard 2 Battle Tanks to boost its ground forces in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Leopard 2


  • The Leopard 2 is a Third-Generation German Main Battle Tank (MBT).


  • It has a range of about 500km (311 miles).


  • Developed by Krauss-Maffei in the 1970s, the tank entered service in 1979.


  • It has a top speed of 68km/h (42mph).

Main Weapon

  • Equipped with a 120mm smooth bore gun as its main armament, it is also armed with two coaxial light machine guns.
  • It has a fully-digital fire-control system.


  • As well as being used by the German military, Leopard 2 has been in wide service in Europe, with more than a dozen countries using the tank, as well as a number of other countries including Canada.
  • The tanks have been deployed in Kosovo, Bosnia, Afghanistan and Syria (by Turkey) where several were lost to anti-tank missiles.

Trivia: Battle Tanks Generation

First Generation

  • The first generation consists of the medium tanks designed and produced directly after World War II that were later redefined as main battle tanks.

Second Generation

  • The second generation had enhanced night-fighting capabilities and in most cases NBC protection.
  • An NBC (nuclear, biological, chemical) suit, also called a chem suit, or chemical suit is a type of military personal protective equipment.
  • NBC suits are designed to provide protection against direct contact with and contamination by radioactive, biological or chemical substances, and provide protection from contamination with radioactive materials and all types of radiation.
  • Most western tanks of this generation were armed with the 105 mm Royal Ordnance L7 tank gun.

Third Generation

  • The third generation of main battle tanks is characterized by composite amour, smooth bore main cannons and computerized stabilized fire control systems, which allow firing on the move as well as very high first-hit probability on targets up to 2000m.


  • Next-generation or fourth-generation tanks are still under development or at the early stages of their generation.
  • While the term "(fourth) next generation" has no formal basis, these main battle tanks are using the latest technology and designs to compete in the current advanced warfare environment.


Q. Consider the following statements with reference to Leopard 2.

1.    The Leopard 2 is a Fourth-Generation German Main Battle Tank (MBT).

2.    It has a range of about 1000 km.

3.    It has a fully-digital fire-control system.

4.    It has a top speed of 68km/h (42mph).

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 3 and 4 only

(d) None of the above.

Correct Answer: (c) 3 and 4 only