To mark the handover of the first of an initial 20 LEOPARD 2 A7 tanks to the German Army, Frank Haun, Chairman of the Board of Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) welcomed numerous guests from the worlds of politics, the military and business to the company’s headquarters in Munich on 10 December.

Representing the Inspector General was General Lieutenant Rainer Korff, who accepted the vehicle on behalf of the German Army from Frank Haun, the Canadian Ambassador Marie Gervais-Vidricaire and President of the Army Supplies Division (BAAINBw), Harald Stein.

The LEOPARD 2 A7 is a product of collaboration between multiple NATO partners and KMW that began seven years ago. As part of the ISAF mandate, Canada decided in 2007 to borrow 20 LEOPARD 2 A6Ms with modern mine protection from the German Army. Adapted by KMW to Canadian requirements, the first LEOPARD 2 A6M CAN was available in the same year and proved itself in operation so effectively that Canada wanted to continue using it.

When it was time to return the vehicles, the country acquired surplus Dutch LEOPARD tanks that were to be converted to the design status of the loaned German vehicles. Canada and Germany agreed that, as part of this conversion work, further modifications could be made, resulting in the LEOPARD 2 A7 for the German Army.

The LEOPARD 2 A7 not only features optimised protection against asymmetrical and conventional threats, but also has significantly enhanced sustainment. An auxiliary power unit ensures that the weapon system is fully operational even without a running main engine and that turret and crew compartment are kept cool.

The LEOPARD 2 A7 is integrated into the control network via the combat troops control and weapons deployment system. For reconnaissance, it has leading edge sighting equipment. Its range of capabilities has been adapted through the option to fire fuze-programmable high explosive ammunition. This ammunition is particularly effective against bunkers and fortified positions.

Krauss-Maffei Wegmann GmbH & Co. KG leads the European market for highly protected wheeled and tracked vehicles. At locations in Germany, Brazil, Greece, Mexico, the Netherlands, Singapore, the United Kingdom, the USA and Turkey some 3.200 employees develop, manufacture and support a product portfolio ranging from air-transportable, highly protected wheeled vehicles through reconnaissance, anti-aircraft and artillery systems to main battle tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and bridgelaying systems. The armed forces of more than 30 nations worldwide rely on tactical systems by KMW.