Leopard 2 PL
|This page is about the German medium tank Leopard 2 PL. For other versions, see Leopard 2 (Family).|
The Leopard 2 PL is a squadron rank VII German medium tank with a battle rating of 10.7 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update "Ixwa Strike".
Survivability and armour
The Leopard 2PL features the strongest and most armoured turret for the Leopard 2 series tanks seen in game so far. It features a stronger turret armour compared to all the Leopard 2 seen in game but has no add-on hull protection as the Strv 122A and the Strv 122B PLSS. This version is based on the 2A4 series, and so features the same problems with the hull armour, barely enough to stop rounds seen in game. However, it completely removes the armour issues from the turret. At first sight, the GPS (Gunner Primary Sight) can be seen as the main weak point since it is the same weak spot the 2A4 has. However, taking into consideration the new armour package, hitting the GPS makes is far harder without hitting add-on armour first. As seen in the image, the GPS is mostly safe from HEAT-FS and other chemical shells due to the volumetric armour, meaning they will either prematurely explode, or simply not be able to penetrate the 500+ mm of protection offered by the add-on armour package. However, for sub-calibre rounds like APFSDS, the composite armour offers less protection. As seen in the Leopard 2A4, any hit to the GPS means both gunner and commander will be knocked out. However, chances of hitting the GPS in the exact place for it to disable both crew members is reduced immensely thanks to the add-on armour. Most of the time, any hit to the GPS will result in the knock-out of the commander only with partial damage to the gunner. As seen in picture, the area highlighted is the place in which both the gunner and commander can be killed with a single shot (more specifically the lower section of the rectangular optic in the GPS).
The 2PL is also the first tank in game to be able to withstand more than one hit of CL3143, DM53 and 9M119 to the turret. Previous Leopards (specifically the 2A5 and 2A6 including the Strv 122) can withstand 9M119 to the turret. However, the wedge panels of these tanks are exploded with a single hit, which means the turret is exposed to further enemy fire. This changes with the 2PL. Due to the fact that the armoured add-on package is a permanent part of the tank, it is able to withstand up to 4 9M119 hits and continuous firing of the CL3143 and DM53 at any ranges. Despite this, all of them are able to penetrate the gun mantlet with no issues at all. However, for your enemies it is rather tricky to achieve this since if they are aiming at the turret's front, you can also kill them as well. Moving to turret's add-on side armour, it is able to withstand all types of HEAT-FS and chemical shells seen in game. However, the armour protection is increased gradually as we move to the turret front. The first section of the side armour (the one covering the smoke launchers) is relatively weak and is able to be penetrated by all ammunitions seen in the battle-rating. The second section (covering the first half of the sides of the crew compartments) is able to withstand all HEAT-FS in game and MILAN ATGM (meaning is able to withstand up to 580 mm of penetration). The third section of the side armour (covering the second half of the crew compartment) is able to withstand all penetration up to 800 mm of CE (Chemical). When we talk about KE (Kinetic) protection, the side armour offers little to no protection whatsoever, and can be penetrated by nearly all high-calibre weapons at its battle rating.
|Armour||Front (Slope angle)||Sides||Rear||Roof|
Upper Glacis |
35 mm (53°)
| 20 mm Top
35 mm Bottom
|20 mm||20 - 35 mm|
|Turret|| 35 mm Turret front
35 mm Gun mantlet
Variable thickness add-on armour
| 15 - 35 mm
300 mm Composite Screen Variable thickness add-on armour
|25 mm||20 mm|
|Hull|| Upper+Lower glacis
400 mm Kinetic
600 mm Chemical
|Turret|| Turret cheeks
1010 mm Kinetic
1520 mm Chemical
Gun mantlet (Center)
478 - 615 mm Kinetic
730- 1400 mm Chemical
Gun mantlet (Outer)
524 - 915 mm Kinetic
535 - 1520 mm Chemical
| Side armour |
260 mm Kinetic
230 - 600 mm Chemical
- Upper hull and Lower rear hull overlap (10 + 20 mm thick)
- Upper mantlet add-on and Mantlet armour overlap (30 + 400 mm thick)
- Holes in the engine deck are covered by 8 mm of mesh
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
The Leopard 2PL features a similar mobility to the rest of the Leopard 2 series (with exception of 2K). Has no particular upgrade or drawback compared to 2A4, 2A5 or 2A6. It should be noted, as the rest of Leopard 2 series, it features a relatively low acceleration in neutral steering.
Modifications and economy
The Leopard 2PL is fitted with the powerful Rh120 L/44 120 mm gun, a gun that has been seen since the Leopard 2K. This gun features the same ballistics of the Leopard 2A4 and 2A5 using the same darts, meaning the gun handling is the same and it should not be a hassle when firing.
|120 mm Rh120 L/44||Turret rotation speed (°/s)||Reloading rate (seconds)|
The 2PL has access to all the ammunition seen in Leopard 2 series past 2A4 with exception of DM53. It has access to a unique round, DM11, proximity fuze HE shell. All are capable rounds which are not new and have same handling.
DM12A1; HEAT-FS - The DM12A1 is the first round the 2PL has access to, it can be considered a mediocre round as most of the enemies which will be faced will be able to withstand it due to composite armour. However, it is particuallary useful when facing light armoured vehicles which are prompt to get overpressured (SPAA, light tanks, etc) and useful when facing enemy helicopters as it has enough explosive mass and flight speed to be competitive as last resort. As a hollow charge, it is prompt to detonate mid air due to trees, bushes and fences. This makes the round difficult to use when in long range engagements as some field elements may not be rendered.
DM33 & DM43; APFSDS - The 2PL has access to 2 types of APFSDS: the DM33 and DM43. The DM33 is a decent round with decent penetration and stopping power. While it lacks penetration to frontally penetrate some MBTs, it is enough to hit and cause critical damage in weak spots and side shots. DM43 however has much more penetration, and can typically penetrate all tanks from all sides.
DM11; HE - The DM11 is the a new HE-VT proxy shell for germany. It is pretty much useless against non lightly armoured vehicles (even 20 mm roofs will stop the spalling if an air explosion is done) but can be devastating against helicopters as there will be no need for direct hit in order to cause critical damage. It should be noted that the round has to fly at least 400 m to arm the fuse. It has a trigger radius of 10m.
|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|
- Shells are modeled individually and disappear after having been loaded.
- Rack 2 is a first stage ammo rack. It totals 15 shells and gets filled first when loading up the tank.
- This rack is also emptied early: the rack depletion order at full capacity is 2 - 1.
- If you pack 16 (+26) shells, it will keep the frontal hull rack empty.
- Simply not firing when the gun is loaded will move ammo from rack 1 into rack 2. Firing will interrupt the restocking of the ready racks.
|7.62 mm MG3A1|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
Usage in battles
The 2PL playstyle is identical to the 2A4 (and also subsequent German MBTs). One of the key differences between the 2PL over the rest is the stronger turret armour. In terms of armament, the 2PL has the powerful Rh120 L/44 which German tankers are already familiar with.
Enemies worth noting:
- M1 Abrams: Turret frontal plates are very strong, ensure an angle within 45° when using DM33.
- Leopard 2A4/Strv 121: UFP and turret frontal plates can be penetrated by DM33.
- Leopard 2A5/Leopard 2A6: UFP and turret frontal plates can be penetrated by DM33. Turret wedges should be blown out first in order to penetrate the turret frontal plate.
- Strv 122A/Strv 122B PLSS: UFP impenetrable by DM33 unless MEXAS armour package is destroyed. Turret wedges should be blown out first in order to penetrate the turret frontal plate.
- Leclerc/Leclerc S2: Leclerc front is impenetrable by all rounds unless shots are made entirely into the lower half of the LFP, DM43 is advised.
- Challenger 2: Front impenetrable by all rounds unless shots are made to driver's port.
Pros and cons
- Good turret armour
- Good gun
- Good mobility, due to its powerful engine
- Has access to the DM11 HE-TF round that can counter helicopters
- Good reload rate
- Has access to 2nd generation thermals for both the gunner and commander
- Nearly no gun mantlet armour
- Hull armour is also not so good, is based on the Leopard 2A4
- GPS is a big weak spot (against APFSDS)
The Leopard 2PL is an ongoing joint project for the modernization of the Leopard 2A4 tanks in service with the Polish army, currently being carried out by the German company Rheinmetall AG and the Polish state-owned Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa. The aim of the program is to improve the combat efficiency of the elderly Leopards to 3rd generation plus level main battle tanks.
The main areas of modernization are improving the tank's protection and firepower. The Leopard 2PL has additional modular turret armour (forehead and sides), enhanced protection of the gun mantlet. On the turret's rear, massive boxes appeared, which under some circumstances can work as spaced armour for protection against HEAT shells. The L44 cannon remains the same, but the upgraded fire control system has modern thermal imaging equipment and is adapted for firing more powerful rounds. Since the power plant and chassis of the Leopard 2A4 remained unchanged, the additional protection of the hull had to be abandoned, as the weight of the tank approached 60 tons. In total, 128 Leopard 2A4's in service are to be upgraded under the Leopard 2PL program.
- [Development] Squadron vehicles: Leopard 2PL: Polish cavalry
- [Defence24.com] Leopard 2PL Programme Showcased. Modernization Package For The Polish Main Battle Tanks.
|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|
|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 2A4 · Leopard 2 PL · Leopard 2A5 · Leopard 2A6|
|Trophies||▀M4 748 (a) · ▀T 34 747 (r)|
|Other||Nb.Fz. · KPz-70|
|USA||mKPz M47 G · M48A2 C|
|Squadron ground vehicles|
|Germany||Leopard 2 PL|