The new confrontation in Europe, caused by the aggressive actions of the United States, caught most of the NATO countries by surprise. During the relative lull that followed the collapse of the socialist camp and the collapse of the USSR, the European members of the alliance not only drastically reduced military budgets, but also fairly reduced their arsenals. And often the weapons were not conserved in long-term storage warehouses, but simply destroyed. Land and warehouse space in Europe is expensive. For example, at the beginning of 2000, the Bundeswehr scrapped several hundred thousand G-3 rifles, which had been decommissioned in the 1997 year, for which they could not find buyers in the third world countries.
But rifles are the tenth thing. It became clear that NATO needed enough armored vehicles to counter the “Russian threat”. The same Bundeswehr, which during the years of the Cold War was the main armored fist of the North Atlantic Alliance, today has only three hundred tanksand half of them, according to German media reports a year ago, are not on track.
The situation is somewhat better in the armed forces of France and Poland. Another big problem is that the NATO countries (with the exception of Turkey), without developing new machines, turned out to be without promising models of tanks.
This is understandable: in the wars that the NATO countries fought in the 90 and in the beginning of the 2000, it was possible to manage with a small number of existing machines.
Now, the only way out for them was to improve those tanks that are in service. If we consider that these are mainly models developed by 30 — 40 years ago, the resource for their modernization is extremely limited.
The newspaper Die Welt published material on three modernized Leopard-2 tanks under the designation A7V (the same as the first German tank used by Kaiser Germany a hundred years ago on the Western Front), the letter V means "verbessert".
The presentation of three of these machines (just in the Armed Forces of the Bundeswehr today 20 such tanks) was held recently on the Lüneburg Heath in the vicinity of Münster.
The difference between the 2 Leopard A7V is full computerization, an enhanced booking kit that provides all-round protection, as well as protection from weapon systems that attack from above.
Day and thermal cameras allow all crew members to control the situation around the vehicle. The tank will receive a new stabilized panoramic sight, an electronic ballistic computer laser range finder. The driver got a seat suspended from the ceiling, which increases his chances of surviving a blast.
The standard MTU power unit received new flight gear units, new tracks from Diehl, an improved torsion bar suspension and braking system, which was a result of the increased weight of the vehicle.
An important option was a generator independent of the engine, which allows the electronics and the air-conditioning system to function even if the power unit is inoperative or damaged.
The tankers themselves consider this opportunity to be very important, and not only for countries with a hot climate.
The weight of the machine is 60 tons, and it reaches speeds up to 70 km / h.
It is noteworthy that Die Welt emphasizes that, in addition to modernizing the machines, in order for them to successfully operate on the alleged theater of operations, the road network of Eastern Europe needs to be radically improved.
Obviously, with all the useful and practical additions, the 2 Leopard A7V did not acquire fundamentally new and breakthrough characteristics. For example, in the updated tank the same manual loading, which of course affects the rate of fire.
The material states that tankers complain about the tightness of the combat vehicle, which is even more increased compared to previous modifications, which also indicates the exhaustion of the resource for modernization.
Note that Die Welt reports that "German tanks are now standing in the Baltic to intimidate Russia."
As far as they can frighten our country, whose tank fleet exceeds the German one at least ten times, the question is, of course, rhetorical.
However, hardly practical Germans, moreover, not distinguished today by excessive militancy, in reality set themselves such tasks.
Do not forget that the tanks "Leopard-2" are, among other things, the "bestseller" of the world arms market. These machines are in service with 18 states, and German manufacturers are seriously interested in offering them programs for upgrading existing machines. That is what explains the passages of the German media regarding the "intimidation" and "steel monsters."
The tank, which Berlin will frighten Moscow
- Boris Dzherelievsky