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Turkey is modernizing part of its 354 Leopard 2 A4 main battle tanks, which it acquired from the Bundeswehr between 2008 and 2013. The tanks designated as Leopard 2 A4 T1 receive not only improvements in command and control equipment but also increased protection against the threat in current combat environments.

After the first modernized battle tanks were presented to the public in February 2021, the head of the Turkish Presidium for Defense Industry (SSB), Ismail Demir, announced via Twitter that Aselsan had started mass production of kits for increased armor protection.

The new protection package was developed in the Roketsan Ballistic Protection Center, which has just gone into operation. Building on the existing ballistic protection of the Leopard 2 A4, the protection is increased with add-on modules for the tower and hull, with additional roof protection, heavy chain aprons and cage armor. With liners in the hull and tower as well as mine-friendly seats and arrangement of the equipment, the crew is better protected against the effects of ordnance. A halon-free fire suppression and extinguishing system also contributes to this.

Mehr Schutz für türkische Leopard 2 A4
Mehr Schutz für türkische Leopard 2 A4

Because of the attitude of the federal government after the sale of the main battle tanks, Turkey has been looking for a way to increase the number of tanks. As a result, the Altay main battle tank was developed, the introduction of which is still a long time coming.

Gerhard Heiming