|This page is about the German medium tank Leopard 2A4. For other versions, see Leopard 2 (Family).|
The Leopard 2A4 is a rank VI German medium tank with a battle rating of 10.0 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.79 "Project X".
Survivability and armour
The Leopard 2A4's kinetic protection is reasonable, with the turret cheeks near-invulnerable to all but the most powerful rounds (e.g. CL3143) and the upper front plate capable of protecting against less powerful rounds (e.g. M735) - however besides these sections the remainder of the vehicle is largely vulnerable to high-powered kinetic rounds; of note are the weak lower front plate and the gun mantlet, both of which are reasonably visible targets, as well as the gunner's optics.
The vehicle sports significantly better all-round chemical protection, with an upper hull and turret essentially immune to all but the most powerful ATGMs frontally, with upwards of 800mm worth of equivalent protection in places. Despite this, it's advisable to be wary of incoming ATGMs as a well-placed round may sneak past the heavily protected areas - and some missiles such as those of the ADATS will slice straight through even the turret cheeks.
As with most other MBTs, the 2A4 is particularly vulnerable from the sides and back.
The Leopard 2A4 is reasonably survivable, with some degree of crew spacing. However, from certain angles, the crew are placed in a straight line and successful penetration may impact three of the four crew members, resulting in a crew knock-out. In addition, well-placed side shots may impact all three turret crew members.
Ammunition is stored in the primary ammunition storage in the rear of the turret, or in the secondary storage next to the driver. The primary rack provides crew protection through the use of blow-out panels, however only has space for 15 rounds. When more than 16 rounds are taken to battle, ammunition will be stored in the significantly more vulnerable hull rack.
The Leopard 2A4's protection proves acceptable for long-range combat, although it's ill-advised to remain in one location for any extended period of time to avoid opposing vehicles being able to hone their shots onto your weak spots. The 2A4's protection should not be relied upon in urban or other close-range environments.
|Armour||Front (Slope angle)||Sides||Rear||Roof|
|Hull|| 35 mm (53-82°) Upper glacis
40 mm (50-51°) Lower glacis
30 mm (82°) Driver's hatch
| 10 mm (5°) Upper hull
35 mm (0°) Lower forward hull
20 mm (0°) Lower rear hull
5 mm (0°) Side Skirts
100 mm (0°) Composite screening
|20 mm (12-50°) All rear||20 mm (0-8°) Hull roof incl. engine deck|
|Turret||35 mm (0-6°) Cheeks incl. Gunner optics
35 mm (1°) Mantlet
120 mm Rear Mantlet Plate
| 35 mm (0°) Forward
15 mm (0°) Rear
| 10 mm (10°) Basket
20 mm (70°) Turret underside
|40 mm (82-85°) Forehead Armour |
14 mm (72-77°) Forward sides
20 mm (89°) Rear turret incl. cupolas
5 mm (84°) Basket
|Hull|| Upper+Lower glacis
90 - 350 mm Kinetic
243 - 600 mm Chemical
|Turret|| Turret cheeks
420 - 800 mm Kinetic
535 - 820 mm Chemical
100 - 270 mm Kinetic
300 - 480 mm Chemical
| Side armour |
194 - 260 mm Kinetic
280 - 400 mm Chemical
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
The Leopard 2A4 is powered by an MTU (MOTOREN-UND TURBINEN-UNION FRIEDRICHSHAFEN GMBH) MB 873 Ka-501 engine which produces a whopping 1,500 hp (1,100 KW), resulting in a power-to-weight ratio of slightly over 27 hp per tonne, compared to the ratio of the early Abrams and identical to the T-80U. As such, the Leopard 2A4 is quite mobile despite weighing over 55 tonnes, comfortably able to reach 72 km/h on-road and well capable of keeping up with its competitors. This allows for an active, aggressive playstyle, using the Leopard's high speed and good acceleration characteristics to get into an early flanking position or take early cap points - though it is important to keep in mind that opposition forces might attempt the same.
The Leopard 2A4 has a maximum reverse speed of 31 km/h which it reaches easily, allowing for a quick retreat in sub-optimal situations.
Modifications and economy
The first modifications to research should be Parts, FPE, and the DM13 round. After that, aim for the NVD, DM23, Laser rangefinder, or mobility upgrades, depending on the desired play style.
The famous Rheinmetall L/44 120 mm cannon is mounted as the primary armament on the Leopard 2A4, offering a balance of firepower, accuracy and sustained rate of fire. The 2A4 has three rounds available to it: DM12 HEAT-FS, DM13 APFSDS and DM23 APFSDS. Of these, only DM12 is available when the vehicle is stock, with DM13 a tier 1 and DM23 a tier 4 modification. The L/44 is reasonably accurate at long range with any ammunition, however minor round deviation may be evident at extreme ranges (over 2000m).
It's advisable to primarily rely on the best available APFSDS round for engaging other MBTs, however, retaining a couple of DM12 rounds can prove valuable for the hull break effect against lighter vehicles such as the ADATS.
|120 mm Rh120 L/44||Turret rotation speed (°/s)||Reloading rate (seconds)|
|Ammunition|| Type of
|Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)|
|10 m||100 m||500 m||1,000 m||1,500 m||2,000 m|
|Ammunition|| Type of
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive Mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
|42||16 (+26)||1 (+41)||No|
First stage only: 16 rounds (15 in rack + 1 in gun), stored within blow-out protected containment.
The 2A4 is equipped with one pintle-mounted machine gun and one coaxial machine gun. These can be used as an anti-air deterrent or for clearing out light obstacles and crew from open vehicles.
|7.62 mm MG3A1|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
Usage in battles
The Leopard 2A4 may feel somewhat sluggish when stock, and the DM12 HEAT-FS round may appear to be relatively ineffective. Prior to researching improved rounds and engine modifications, it may be wise to play conservatively.
Once the vehicle's modifications are all researched, however, the 2A4 becomes significantly more mobile and has a competitive, albeit not impressive round in the DM23 APFSDS. The 2A4 can be used comfortably in both urban and rural environments, providing the vehicle's weaknesses are kept in mind. While it is capable in most forms of engagement, it does lack the precision of the British Challenger MBTs or the extreme round velocities of the Russian T-64/T-80 series. The 2A4 also has a particularly large and blocky profile, making for a particularly visible target in many situations.
Considering the above, a Leopard 2A4 player should utilise its great mobility and competitive gun to get into early positions to pick off unsuspecting targets, rather than attempting to engage opposing forces head-on.
Pros and cons
- Powerful engine, high top speed and acceleration
- Good neutral steering system
- Good gunner sight magnification for long-range engagements
- Reasonably high-velocity kinetic rounds
- Competent DM23 APFSDS
- Turret armour is mostly effective for hull-down engagements
- Primary ammunition is contained within a storage unit with blow-out panels
- Generation 1 thermals in the gunner sight
- Hull armour is mediocre, particularly against kinetic rounds
- The stock DM12 HEAT-FS round can prove relatively ineffectual when compared to DM13/DM23, particularly against targets with ERA
- The gunner's optics are a weak spot, enemies who know how to aim can cripple your gun and kill your crew
- The gun mantlet is relatively weak while being quite prominent, penetration can disable the gun or knock turret crew out
- The turret cheeks can be penetrated by most APFSDS rounds when hit at the right angle
- Secondary ammunition storage is extremely vulnerable, although this is avoidable by carrying no more than 16 rounds
- Both machine guns are relatively light calibre, suffer from mediocre gun elevation and will not prove to be much more an annoyance to aircraft, particularly helicopters
- Blowout panels are unreliable and have a low capacity
Based on the testing results gathered from the various different Leopard 2K prototypes, a new Leopard 2 prototype was constructed that would be more representative of the final version of the vehicle. Designated as Leopard 2AV, the new prototype featured a redesigned hull and turret over the Leopard 2K. Furthermore, the prototype was tested with two different cannons; the British L7 105mm rifled and the German Rheinmetall 120mm smoothbore cannon.
In 1976, the Leopard 2AV was sent overseas to the United States to be comparatively tested against the new American state-of-the-art XM1 Abrams. During testing, the Leopard 2AV proved itself as a good counterpart to the Abrams, outperforming its competitor in terms of fire accuracy, whilst demonstrating somewhat inferior protection and gun handling. Upon arriving back to its homeland with positive testing results, the decision was made to begin mass production of the Leopard 2 in 1977.
The production version Leopard 2, however, differed from the AV prototype in receiving an increased level of protection before mass production began. Mass production of the Leopard 2 started in 1979 with the Leopard 2A0 forming the first batch that would enter service with the German Bundeswehr in late 1980.
Throughout the production period of the early Leopard 2 versions, modernization and upgrades were being applied on the assembly line in order to keep the newest Leopards up to the latest standards. These modernization efforts mostly involved the upgrading of internal modules such as the aiming and communications systems. As a result of this, all early Leopard 2s (A0-A4) were visually neigh identical to each other. The Leopard 2A4 was the final early Leopard 2 variant before the more advanced and heavily upgraded subsequent Leopard 2 versions made their appearance as part of a new wave of modernization efforts.
A total of 695 Leopard 2A4s were built out of the total of 2.125 early Leopard 2s that were manufactured between 1979 - 1991. The Leopard 2 and its variants served primarily with the German Bundeswehr, but a number of export vehicles were sold to nations world-wide, ranging from Canada and Chile, over Denmark and Austria to Greece and Turkey to name a few.
|Germany medium tanks|
|Pz.III||Pz.III B · Pz.III E · Pz.III F · Pz.III J · Pz.III J1 · Pz.III J1 TD · Pz.III L · Pz.III M · Pz.III N|
|Pz.IV||Pz.IV C · Pz.IV E · Pz.IV F1 · Pz.IV F2 · Pz.IV G · Pz.IV H · Pz.IV J · Pz.Bef.Wg.IV J|
|Pz.V||Panther A · Panther D · Panther F · Panther G · Ersatz M10 · Panther II|
|Trophies||▀M4 748 (a) · ▀T 34 747 (r)|
|Post-war||KPz-70 · mKPz M47 G · M48A2 C · M48A2 G A2 · M48 Super|
|Leopard 1||Leopard I · Leopard A1A1 · Leopard A1A1 (L/44) · Leopard 1A5 · C2A1|
|Leopard 2||Leopard 2K · Leopard 2A4 · Leopard 2 PL · Leopard 2A5 · Leopard 2A6|