According to information released by Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov on June 1, 2023, Ukraine has already received about 60 Leopard 2 tanks from the allies. “So far we have received about two battalions of 30 tanks each, that is, about 60 units in total,” said the Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov.”
According to our count published on April 28, 2023, European countries have planned to give 54 Leopard 2A4 coming from Canada, Denmark, Norway, Poland, and Spain as well as 18 Leopard 2A6 from Germany and 10 Stridsvagn 122 from Sweden, which is a Swedish variant of the German Leopard 2A5.
Citing information released by the Military Balance 2022, before the war, the Ukrainian army was equipped with a total of 858 Main Battle Tanks including 385 T-64BV, 235 T-64BV mod 2017, 100 T-64BM Bulat, 82 T-72AV/B1, 4 T-72AV mod 2021, 47 T-72AMT, 5 T-84 Oplot as well as 34 T-80, 500 T-72, 578 T-64, 20 T-55 all in store.
The Leopard 2, T-72, and T-64 are all main battle tanks designed for frontline combat, but they differ significantly in their origins and design philosophies. The Leopard 2 is a German tank that was introduced in the late 1970s, while the T-72 and T-64 are Soviet models first brought into service in the 1960s and 1970s respectively.
One of the first key differences lies in the area of firepower. All three tanks are equipped with a powerful main gun, however, the Leopard 2 carries a 120 mm smoothbore gun, while the T-72 and T-64 both use a 125 mm smoothbore gun. The performance of these weapons can vary, but generally, the Leopard 2’s gun has been praised for its high accuracy and effective range, thanks to advanced fire control systems and high-quality ammunition.
When comparing armor, the Leopard 2 was designed with a focus on strong composite and modular armor, and it has been continually updated with improved protection packages. On the other hand, the T-72 and T-64 feature composite and reactive armor, which can be less effective against modern anti-tank weapons. This difference can result in the Leopard 2 having better overall protection.
In terms of mobility, the Leopard 2 generally has a higher top speed and better overall performance compared to the T-72 and T-64. The Leopard 2’s powerful engine, combined with its advanced suspension system, makes it a highly mobile tank on various types of terrain.
Reliability and maintainability is another important factor in which Leopard 2 tank tends to outshine the T-72 and T-64. German engineering and production standards tend to result in tanks that are more reliable and easier to maintain. Soviet-era tanks, while designed to be rugged and straightforward to repair, sometimes struggle with reliability issues due to their lower production standards.
Finally, the tanks’ respective technologies and systems can vary greatly depending on the specific models and upgrades implemented over time. As of my knowledge cutoff in 2021, Leopard 2 tanks have typically been equipped with more advanced fire control systems, night vision capabilities, and communication systems compared to the original versions of the T-72 and T-64.
In summary, while all three tanks were designed to be effective combat machines, the Leopard 2 generally offers improved firepower, protection, mobility, reliability, and technology compared to the T-72 and T-64.
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