Le Leopard 2 proves effective and resistant in Ukraine

Many questions remained unanswered regarding the real effectiveness of the tank Leopard 2 in combat, particularly after the poor performance of Turkish forces against Kurdish fighters in 2019.

In fact, the German tank's engagement in the Ukrainian conflict was a baptism of fire for this armored vehicle, long presented as the best tank in the world. The first results are now available, and reveal that the Leopard 2 lived up to its reputation on the Ukrainian battlefield.

Indeed, of the 71 tanks Leopard 2 delivered to Ukrainian forces to date, only five have actually been destroyed, and ten damaged, even though the armored vehicle is intensively used by the armies of Kyiv on several difficult fronts.

According to information collected by Forbes, this is an excellent result, in comparison with other heavy tanks in service in Ukraine, although no factual comparison data was given on this subject.

Very good survival rate of the crews of the Leopard 2

What is on the other hand, it is the very good capacity of the German tank to protect its crews. Indeed, of the 5 tanks destroyed, and the 10 damaged, the Ukrainian armies did not record any deaths among the crew members.

Bradley Leopard 2A6 destroyed ukraine e1687878972158 MBT battle tanks | Germany | Russian-Ukrainian conflict
This photo, dating from the beginning of the Ukrainian counter-offensive, had been widely distributed and commented on, in particular to discuss the quality of Western equipment delivered to Ukraine. It now seems that the vast majority of the crews of this probably poorly planned offensive survived, and that the armored vehicles themselves could have been recovered and then sent for repairs by the Ukrainian forces.

This constitutes a remarkable result, according to comments from the Kyiv command, much better than the models of Soviet or Russian origin still in the bulk of the Ukrainian armored corps.

This observation does not only apply to Leopard 2, but for many Western armored vehicles. This is particularly the case for the American Bradleys and the German Marders, which also have survival rates for the crews and personnel transported that are significantly higher than those of the Soviet-designed BMPs and BMDs.

The Threat of the Russian Lancet-3 Prowler Munition

Interestingly, but not really flattering for the German tank, two of the five tanks destroyed were said to have been destroyed by Russian Lancet lurking munitions. In this case, it would be a Leopard 2A4 and an A6, while the Lancet-3 prowling munition only carries a military charge of three kilos of explosive, revealing a real weakness of the tank on its horizontal surfaces.

This Twitter thread lists the 5 tanks Leopard 2 Ukrainians destroyed in combat

It is true that Leopard 2, like all armored vehicles of its generation, had not been designed to resist vertical strikes (low probability in the 80s), which explains the success of the Lancet-3 against the other Ukrainian T-72 heavy tanks, T-64 and T-80.


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