Leopard 2 PL
|This page is about the German medium tank Leopard 2 PL. For other versions, see Leopard 2 (Family).|
The Leopard 2PL is a Polish heavy modification of the Leopard 2A4, which is the fifth variant of the Leopard 2 main battle tank family. Poland initially received the Leopard 2A4 in the 2000s after purchasing it from Germany. Modernization is underway in collaboration with Rheinmetall and the Polish Armaments Group. The need for modernization became apparent as soon as the Polish Army received the first Leopard 2A4 tanks from the German Army (Bundeswehr) in 2002; nevertheless, the initial efforts to create its plan and scope did not begin until mid-2012. Leopard 2PL incorporated several significant upgrades. The fundamental upgrades involved the installation of an electric turret drive and gun stabilization (rather than a hydraulic one), the installation of an auxiliary power unit (APU), the installation of new thermal imaging equipment, the modernization of the driver's seat, and the installation of a new anti-explosion system, fire and mine protection package. A BMS combat management system, remote-controlled weapon stations on the tank's turret, new types of ammunition, air conditioning systems in the driver and combat compartment, and modernization of the electronics cooling system were also installed. The most notable difference is the increased ballistic resistance of the turret, which exceeds that of the Leopard 2A5 variant. Around the vehicle turret, additional external composite armour modules are added. However, it was not decided to reinforce the hull and vehicle chassis since this would result in a large increase in vehicle weight and budget limitations as well. Inside the vehicle, special anti-splinter liners have been placed to shield the crew in case of successful enemy ammunition penetration.
Introduced in Update "Ixwa Strike" as a squadron vehicle, the Leopard 2PL is a significantly modified Leopard 2A4, much like the Leopard C2A1 MEXAS ideology. The major purpose of the modernisation is to keep the Polish Army Leopard 2A4 up to date with modern combat environments and improve tank protection due to more advanced tank ammunition developed by various nations across the world. The addition of a commander's independent sight provides the tank commander with an independent sight outfitted with thermal imaging equipment, introducing hunter-killer capabilities. Overall, it feels remarkably comparable to the regular Leopard 2A4, with the exception that mobility is substantially decreased due to the additional exterior composite armour modules fitted around the vehicle turret, which resulted in increased weight.
Survivability and armour
The Leopard 2PL features the strongest turret for the Leopard 2 series in game so far due to the turret armor package, negating the issues the 2A4's turret face may have had in a full uptier to 11.3. Unlike the Strv 122A and the Strv 122B PLSS however, it still retains the mediocre hull armor of the Leopard 2 and Improved series, being unable to stop most shells at its BR. Unlike the Leopard 2 Improved however, the 2PL does not have a redesigned turret face, meaning that it retains the same turret weakspots as the Leopard 2A4, such as the Gunner Primary Sight and the gun mantlet. However, unlike the 2A4, due to the additional composite screen, the gun mantlet is no longer an issue against chemical projectiles such as 3BK18M, but is still penetrable by most APFSDS found at this BR.
The 2PL is also able to withstand more than one hit from CL3143, DM53 and 9M119 to the turret face. As opposed to Leopard 2 Improved models (2A5, 2A6, 122), which can typically only withstand a high powered shell to the turret since the additional composite wedge is likely to have been blown off. This changes with the 2PL. Due to the additional armor package being modeled as a permanent part of the tank, the turret face is able to withstand multiple hits from 9M119 and CL3143 and DM53 at any ranges. Moving to turret's add-on side armour, it is able to withstand hits from chemical penetrators up to 400mms, gradually increasing as we move towards the turret front, where a additional wedge from the Leopard 2 Improved can be found mounted on top of the add-on armor over the gunner's position and cannon breech, resulting in around 1500mms of protection against chemical projectiles and 1000mms of protection against kinetic penetrators in some areas, even being able to negate some top tier APFSDS such as 3BM60.
|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
1,520 mm Chemical
Gun mantlet (Center)
478 - 615 mm Kinetic
730- 1,400 mm Chemical
Gun mantlet (Outer)
524 - 915 mm Kinetic
535 - 1,520 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
The Leopard 2PL features identical mobility to the rest of the Leopard 2 series (with exception to Leopard 2 prototypes).
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
Modifications and economy
The Leopard 2PL is fitted with the powerful Rh120 L/44 120 mm, a gun that has been utilized since the Leopard 2K. DM33 features the same ballistics of those found on the 2A5 and is similar to the 2A6. However, the 2PL is also equipped with the nonexistent DM43, being able to penetrate only up to 530mms of armor as opposed to the DM53 round found on the 2A5/6, which is able to penetrate over 600mms of rolled homogenous armor.
|120 mm Rh120 L/44||Turret rotation speed (°/s)||Reloading rate (seconds)|
The 2PL has access to all the ammunition seen in the Leopard 2 Improved series except DM53. It also has access to a unique time fused HE not found on other Leopard series.
DM12A1; HEATFS - The DM12A1 is the first round the 2PL has access to, and is considered a mediocre round, as it's unable to reliably penetrate certain tanks equipped with ERA at its BR. However, it is quite useful when used against lightly armoured vehicles such as IFVs or SPAAs. As a hollow charge, it is prone to detonating mid air due to trees, bushes and fences.
DM33 & DM43; APFSDS - The 2PL has access to 2 types of APFSDS: DM33 and DM43, both of which perform similarly against tanks at its BR, since most tanks don't have exactly 55mms more frontal armor that can be penetrated by the latter but not the former.
DM11; HE - DM11 is a new HE-TF shell found on the Rheinmetall L/44. Which can be deadly to low flying helicopters in certain situations due to the timed fuse.
|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) (kg)
|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 subsequent German MBTs. However, the 2PL may be able to utilize hull down tactics more effectively due to the additional turret armor. In terms of armament, the 2PL has the powerful Rh120 L/44 which German tankers are already familiar with.
Enemies worth noting:
- M1 Abrams: Good turret protection, but dead in the water if you fire anything at the UFP.
- Strv 121: Hull and turret face can be penetrated by DM33.
- Strv 122A/Strv 122B PLSS: Hull front impenetrable by DM33 unless MEXAS armour package is destroyed. Turret can be penetrated if additional composite screens are blown off
- Leclerc/Leclerc S2: Literally penetrable anywhere by APFSDS.
- Challenger 2: LFP, breech, and driver's port.
Pros and cons
- Good turret armour
- Effective gun
- Good mobility, because it's a Leopard
- Has access to 2nd generation thermals for both the gunner and commander
- Same turret weaknesses as the 2A4, minus the gun mantlet specifically against chemical penetrators.
- Unreliable hull armor.
- Gunner's sight is still present, unlike the Leopard 2 Improved
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|
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|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|
|Trophies||▀M4 748 (a) · ▀T 34 747 (r)|
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|Germany||Leopard 2 PL|
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