Leopard 2K

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This page is about the German medium tank Leopard 2K. For other versions, see Leopard 2 (Family).
Leopard 2K
germ_leopard_2k.png
GarageImage Leopard 2K.jpg
ArtImage Leopard 2K.png
Leopard 2K
AB RB SB
9.7 9.7 9.7
Class:
Research:260 000 Specs-Card-Exp.png
Purchase:710 000 Specs-Card-Lion.png
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Description

The forerunner to the Leopard 2 was in many ways a return to form of what the Leopard 1 was designed as: the sacrifice of armour for incredible speed and firepower. The Leopard 2K started life as a project after the US-German MBT/KPz-70 program fell apart in 1970, as an urgent program to replace the now aging Leopard 1. There had been prior attempts at modernization and development, such as the "vergoldeter Leopard" (gilded Leopard) program in 1967 which aimed to install an autoloader and coaxial autocannon to the Leopard 1, and the Bundeswehr decided to re-use parts of this development in a series of vehicles nicknamed "Keiler", or "tusker". This resulted in two separate vehicles being prototyped and tested: The Leopard 2FK, which was armed with a gun/launcher system similar to the KPz-70's, and the Leopard 2K, armed with a smoothbore 105 mm cannon. The Bundeswehr declared the 2K as the superior design in 1971, and development of the 2FK was abandoned as a result.

There were 16 Leopard 2K prototypes produced (the 17th hull was cancelled), the first 10 equipped with the 105 mm smoothbore gun and the later 6 with the 120 mm smoothbore. These prototypes went through technical tests in between 1972 and 1975, but were ultimately held back due to development of the EMES-13 rangefinder stalling and the MLC 50 requirements (roughly 47.5 tons), which were insufficient in providing adequate protection against enemy tank fire. Unfortunately for the Leopard 2K, the lessons learned during the Yom Kippur War in 1973 alerted the Bundeswehr to the fact that armour was still very much relevant in tank engagements, which led to the easing of restrictions on weight to MLC 60 (55 tons). Coupled with the EMES-13 system finishing development, development moved on to produce what became the Leopard 2AV, while the Leopard 2K was rejected due to its perceived inadequate armour against potential threats, ending its development.

Introduced in Update 1.77 "Advancing Storm", the Leopard 2K is what the Leopard 2 could have been, following up on the Leopard 1's design choices in low armour in exchange for near unmatchable mobility and firepower. A titular glass cannon, the Leopard 2K is not heavily armoured and can be penetrated almost anywhere by contemporary tank rounds. However, what the 2K lacks in armour it more than makes up for in the other two areas; speed and firepower. The 120 mm smoothbore cannon has enough penetration to simply point and click at the upper plate of very common enemies at this BR such as the T-72AV (TURMS-T), and coupled with the laser rangefinder can accurately fire shells at extreme ranges with adequate zoom on its optics. The vehicle is also equipped with an Rh202 autocannon on the roof, which is operated by the gunner, which lets the vehicle still fire the gun even when on 2 crew. The autocannon has a high traverse rate and has a high rate of fire, and can engage both enemy light vehicles, barrels, tracks and aircraft ubiquitously. The mobility is the standout feature of this tank, with an eye-watering 30 hp/t power-to-weight ratio that lets it barrel across the map faster than almost anyone else. Even the extremely mobile XM1 (GM) is just shy of 30 at 28.9 hp/t, and outside of vehicles such as the VT1-2 with its horrifying 50.6 hp/t it can outpace just about all MBTs it can face in the positioning game. This combination of the 20 mm autocannon, high damaging 120 mm smoothbore cannon and mobility that is almost unmatched by any other means the Leopard 2K is a beast of a tank that performs best when used to the extreme, going from firing position to firing position and always being unexpected.

General info

Survivability and armour

Smoke grenades
Creation of a smoke screen in front of the vehicle
Armourfront / side / back
Hull59 / 29 / 12
Turret122 / 45 / 29
Crew4 people
Visibility88 %

The Leopard 2K has what can mostly be described as superficial armour. It can stop some autocannon fire to the upper plate and some areas of the turret but most contemporary rounds be they autocannon or tank caliber will go straight through. The vehicle should be treated as having almost no armour, and taking any sort of enemy fire should ideally be avoided at all costs to increase survivability.

Armour Front (Slope angle) Sides Rear Roof
Hull 160 mm Upper
120 mm Lower
65 / 95 mm* Top
35 / 110 mm* Bottom
38 / 48 mm* 20 mm
Turret 160-350 / 220-500 mm* Turret front 60 / 90 mm* 46 / 96 mm* 20 mm

* Kinetic / Chemical

Notes:

  • Suspension wheels are 15 mm thick, tracks are 20 mm thick, and torsion bars are 10 mm thick.

Mobility

Reverse gearbox
Forward and backward movement is possible at the same maximum speed
Speedforward / back
AB81 / 81 km/h
RB and SB73 / 73 km/h
Number of gears8 forward
8 back
Weight50.0 t
Engine power
AB2 862 hp
RB and SB1 500 hp
Power-to-weight ratio
AB57.2 hp/t
RB and SB30.0 hp/t
Game Mode Max Speed (km/h) Weight (tons) Engine power (horsepower) Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)
Forward Reverse Stock Upgraded Stock Upgraded
Arcade 81 81 50 2,032 2,862 40.64 57.24
Realistic 73 73 1,327 1,500 26.54 30

The mobility of the Leopard 2K is astonishing, making it one of the most agile MBTs at its BR if not in the entire game. A HP/t of 30 means that it easily outruns the sluggish T-72s in the Soviet tree, and it can even give the XM1 (GM) a run for its money while being significantly up-armed in terms of firepower. You will almost always be the front of the vanguard on your team, and very few vehicles on either side will be able to compete with you to advantageous positions.

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB4 421 → 6 578 Sl icon.png
RB4 284 → 6 374 Sl icon.png
SB5 227 → 7 777 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications209 200 Rp icon.png
348 000 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost2 800 Ge icon.png
Crew training200 000 Sl icon.png
Experts710 000 Sl icon.png
Aces2 100 Ge icon.png
Research Aces1 080 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
160 / 200 / 250 % Sl icon.png
232 / 232 / 232 % Rp icon.png
Modifications
Mobility Protection Firepower
Mods new tank traks.png
Tracks
Research:
11 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
17 000 Sl icon.png
330 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank suspension.png
Suspension
Research:
13 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
20 000 Sl icon.png
390 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank break.png
Brake System
Research:
13 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
20 000 Sl icon.png
390 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank filter.png
Filters
Research:
11 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
17 000 Sl icon.png
330 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank transmission.png
Transmission
Research:
15 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
23 000 Sl icon.png
450 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank engine.png
Engine
Research:
15 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
23 000 Sl icon.png
450 Ge icon.png
Mods tank tool kit.png
Improved Parts
Research:
3 300 Rp icon.png
Cost:
17 000 Sl icon.png
330 Ge icon.png
Mods extinguisher.png
Improved FPE
Research:
3 900 Rp icon.png
Cost:
20 000 Sl icon.png
390 Ge icon.png
Mods tank reinforcement ger.png
Crew Replenishment
Research:
11 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
17 000 Sl icon.png
330 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank horizontal aiming.png
Horizontal Drive
Research:
11 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
17 000 Sl icon.png
330 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
120mm_NATO_APDS_FS_ammo_pack
Research:
11 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
17 000 Sl icon.png
330 Ge icon.png
Mods tank cannon.png
Adjustment of Fire
Research:
13 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
20 000 Sl icon.png
390 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank vertical aiming.png
Elevation Mechanism
Research:
11 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
17 000 Sl icon.png
330 Ge icon.png
Mods smoke screen.png
Smoke grenade
Research:
11 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
17 000 Sl icon.png
330 Ge icon.png
Mods night vision device.png
NVD
Research:
11 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
17 000 Sl icon.png
330 Ge icon.png
Mods art support.png
Artillery Support
Research:
15 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
23 000 Sl icon.png
450 Ge icon.png
Mods tank laser rangefinder.png
Laser rangefinder
Research:
15 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
23 000 Sl icon.png
450 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
120mm_DM_APDS_FS_ammo_pack
Research:
15 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
23 000 Sl icon.png
450 Ge icon.png

Armaments

Laser rangefinder
Reduces the error and increases the maximum measurable distance of the rangefinder
Night vision device
Improves visibility by enhancing natural light or active illumination.

Main armament

Two-plane stabilizer
Reduces the swing of the gun in two planes while moving
Ammunition41 rounds
First-order11 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
8.7 → 6.7 s
Vertical guidance-9° / 20°
Main article: Rh120 L/44 (120 mm)

The Leopard 2K's gun is a 120 mm Rheinmetall L44. It can be found on the later models of the tank, such as the Leopard 2A4 and Leopard 2A5, and shares round types with the Leopard 2A4 which are: DM12 HEATFS, DM13 APFSDS, and DM23 APFSDS. Being fitted with a 120 mm Rheinmetall gun, it is effective at all ranges, capable of penetrating tanks at range in tandem with the laser rangefinder.

120 mm Rh120 L/44 Turret rotation speed (°/s) Reloading rate (seconds)
Mode Capacity Vertical Horizontal Stabilizer Stock Upgraded Full Expert Aced Stock Full Expert Aced
Arcade 41 -9°/+20° ±180° Two-plane 38.1 52.7 64.0 70.8 75.3 8.71 7.71 7.10 6.70
Realistic 23.8 28.0 34.0 37.6 40.0

Ammunition

Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
10 m 100 m 500 m 1,000 m 1,500 m 2,000 m
DM12 HEATFS 480 480 480 480 480 480
DM13 APFSDS 393 390 384 376 367 359
DM23 APFSDS 410 408 401 393 384 376
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Velocity
(m/s)
Projectile
mass (kg)
Fuse delay
(m)
Fuse sensitivity
(mm)
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (kg)
Ricochet
0% 50% 100%
DM12 HEATFS 1,140 13.5 0.05 0.1 2.15 65° 72° 77°
DM13 APFSDS 1,650 4.44 - - - 78° 80° 81°
DM23 APFSDS 1,640 4.3 - - - 78° 80° 81°

Ammo racks

Ammo racks of the Leopard 2K
Full
ammo
1st
rack empty
2nd
rack empty
Visual
discrepancy
41 11 (+30) (+40) No

Note:

  • The 2nd ammo rack is a first-stage ammo stowage and will refill from the 1st rack.

Machine guns

Two-plane stabilizer
Reduces the swing of the gun in two planes while moving
Ammunition750 rounds
Belt capacity750 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
13.0 → 10.0 s
Fire rate900 shots/min
Vertical guidance-9° / 45°
Ammunition4 000 rounds
Belt capacity200 rounds
Reloadbasic crew → aces
10.4 → 8.0 s
Fire rate1 200 shots/min

The tank has a 20 mm anti-aircraft gun situated on top of the turret which can fire over cover and be used to knock out gun barrels and tracks, light tanks, helicopters and planes. The belts are alternating HEFI-T/HVAP-T, with 57 mm of penetration at 0 degrees at 10 m. The 20 mm has quite good elevation, and rotates independently from the turret, able to surprise light tanks attempting to flank following turret ring immobilization.

20 mm Rh202
Mount Capacity (Belt) Fire rate Vertical Horizontal
Pintle 750 (750) 900 -9°/+45° ±180°
7.62 mm MG3A1
Mount Capacity (Belt) Fire rate Vertical Horizontal
Coaxial 4,000 (1,000) 1,200 N/A N/A

Usage in battles

Stock gameplay:

As with any vehicle, the Leopard 2K finds itself at a serious disadvantage while stock. Without access to the APFSDS rounds, users will need to play more carefully. While the DM12 HEATFS round is powerful, it struggles against composite armour and ERA, as well as having lacklustre post-penetration effects. Players will have to aim more carefully to deal effective damage with the DM12 HEAT round.

Spaded gameplay:

The Leopard 2K is a powerful tank. The DM23 APFSDS round has adequate penetration, and it should be easy to destroy most enemy vehicles. The gun, ammo, and reload rate are comparable to other main battle tanks of the battle rating. The Leopard 2K does however struggle in some regards against tanks in higher battle ratings such as the Leopard 2A5 and M1A2 Abrams. The armour on the Leopard 2K is rather limited, only effective against autocannon fire. Additionally, the lack of thermals means that it will be difficult for Leopard 2K players to spot enemy tanks before they are spotted. The biggest advantage is the speed of the 2K.

Long range engagements:

The Leopard 2K is capable at long range, but is outclassed by many other vehicles. The cannon is powerful, but not especially so compared to its adversaries. The biggest issues the Leopard 2K will face in regards to long range engagements are the thin turret armour and lack of thermals. While the DM13 APFSDS round will fail to penetrate the turret cheeks of vehicles like the Challenger Mk.2 and T-64B, their rounds will have no such trouble with the Leopard 2K. The lack of thermals makes it difficult to scout for enemies through foliage, meaning trying to snipe is not an effective strategy against any enemies equipped with thermals, as they will almost certainly spot you first.

Gameplay summary:

Although the Leopard 2K is somewhat weak when stock, it is an adequate frontline tank while spaded. The good APFSDS round and 20 mm give it a strong position in the German high tier lineup. However, Leopard 2K tank commanders should play to mitigate their disadvantages in thin armour and lack of thermals. The Leopard 2K does best in close to medium range fights.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • 120 mm gun with effective rounds
  • Most manoeuvrable Leopard model with very high torque
  • Very fast over cross country, even faster on roads.
  • Can achieve top speed on flat grounds
  • Can move in reverse as fast as it can move forward
  • Has excellent optics with a 8x-16x zoom level
  • Full stabilized cannons (L/44 / Rh202)

Cons:

  • Thin armour overall
  • Reload is slower than other Leopard 2 models
  • Very high profile, the 20 mm gun always sticks out behind cover
  • Stock HEATFS round struggles against some enemy vehicles' armour, especially those with ERA or composite armour
  • Doesn't have access to thermal imaging system
  • Requires good map knowledge and skill to fully utilize its potential
  • The 20mm has very sluggish penetration, often failing to penetrate light tanks
  • The 20 mm has HVAP-T(APCR) as ammo, thus it has very poor post-penetration damage
  • Lack of thermal sights limits the sniping capability of the tank

History

In the 1960s, Germany and the United States were jointly-developing the MBT-70, and Germany was contractually prevented from developing any new MBTs independently until the joint project with the US was completed.

But development problems plagued the MBT-70 project, and it appeared that the vehicle would not be finished within an acceptable time frame—so Germany found a way to bypass contractual limitations for the MBT-70 development.

Instead of ordering the development of a new tank, the German government issued an order to the Porsche company to research ways to improve the Leopard I tank already in service with the German army. This enabled Germany to research a more advanced fighting vehicle without breaching the contract signed with the US.

Porsche's first study of the Leopard I revealed a lot of room for improvement, and second study focusing on upgrading the Leopard I to match the MBT-70's firepower was launched almost immediately. This eventually resulted in the construction of two prototype vehicles: one in 1969, and one in 1970 nicknamed Keiler (tusker).

In the early 1970s, Germany was able to back out of the MBT-70 project due to spiraling development costs. Instead, they continued work on the development of the Keiler, which was renamed to Leopard 2.

The Leopard 2 project was expected to yield two versions: the Leopard 2K armed with a cannon, and the Leopard 2FK armed with a gun/launcher similar to the MBT-70. In 1971, ten prototypes were ordered, and seven more orders followed shortly thereafter.

To get the most out of their prototypes, German engineers equipped each one with different components to determine what worked best. Some Leopard 2 versions were equipped with a 105 mm smoothbore cannon, whereas others were fitted with 120 mm smoothbore cannons. Some prototypes received a hydraulic suspension while others didn't, and there was even a version equipped with the 20 mm anti-air mount on the turret (similar to the one found on the Kpz-70).

Sixteen out of seventeen Leopard 2 prototypes were built and tested, yielding many refinements to the Leopard 2 design. Subsequent models further increased the Leopard 2's capabilities, with each variant making it more powerful—and ultimately into the Leopard 2 known today.

- From Devblog

Media

Skins
Videos

See also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the series of the vehicles;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.

External links


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  VK 3002 (M) · Panther A · Panther D · Panther F · Panther G · Ersatz M10 · Panther II
M48 upgrades  M48A2 G A2 · M48 Super
Leopard 1  Leopard I · Leopard A1A1 · Leopard A1A1 (L/44) · Leopard 1A5 · C2A1 · Turm III
Leopard 2  PT-16/T14 mod. · Leopard 2K · Leopard 2AV
  Leopard 2A4 · Leopard 2 (PzBtl 123) · Leopard 2 PL · Leopard 2A5 · Leopard 2 PSO · Leopard 2A6 · Leopard 2A7V
Trophies  ▀M4 748 (a) · ▀T 34 747 (r)
Other  Nb.Fz. · KPz-70
USA  mKPz M47 G · M48A2 C
USSR  ◊T-72M1