Norway turns to Leopard 2A8 to replace its tanks Leopard 2A4NO

Last February, at the end of a seemingly very balanced competition against K2 Black Panther South Korean, Oslo had announced its decision to turn to the German tank Leopard X to replace the 52 Leopard 2A4NO acquired second-hand in the early 2000s from the Netherlands.

According to the Norwegian press release, if the two tanks had shown similar performance and capabilities and both responding to the needs expressed by the Norwegian Army, the German tank of Krauss-Maffei Wegmann had been chosen on criteria of economic, political and military proximity to Berlin.

Since then, the battle tank market has evolved significantly, in particular under the combined action of the consequences of the war in Ukraine, as well as the emergence of new offers, particularly the KF-51 Panther from Rheinmetall.

Norway turns to Leopard X
Le Leopard 2A7 (left) and the K2 Black Panther (right) matched each other during testing in Norway.

Thus, in mid-April, the designer of Leopard 2 presented a new version of the tank, designated 2A8, notably natively integrating the hard-kill Trophy active protection system and an extended vision and perception system with data fusion for the crew.

This announcement of the arrival of a new version of the most exported Western tank of the last 40 years did not take long to arouse interest. Barely a month after this, the Bundeswehr announced that it was turning to this new standard for the replacement of the 18 Leopard 2A6 transferred to Ukrainian forces, not without put an option of 123 additional units, both to ensure possible future acquisitions of the Bundeswehr and to set up, as was done a few weeks earlier with the Puma, an attractive and highly structured export offer, similar in its operation to the American FMS.

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