On Tuesday, January 2nd, the Bumar-Łabędy Mechanical Works, a part of the Polish Armaments Group (PGZ), delivered 4 more modernized Leopard 2PL tanks to the Polish Armaments Agency, adding them to the 14 vehicles delivered last year.
As stated in the press release, by the end of December 2023, 4 units of Leopard 2PL tanks successfully passed military inspections and were handed over to the end user. In the past year, a total of 18 upgraded vehicles were delivered to the military.
Bumar-Łabędy is conducting the modernization of tanks while simultaneously performing technical inspections and overhauls. At the same time, the company is training crews, acquainting them with the operation and functioning of new equipment used in the Leopard 2PL/M1 version.
In mid-December 2023, when summarizing its activities during that period, the Gliwice-based company reported that the increase in the number of upgraded tanks in comparison to the pace of previous years was made possible through the optimization of the entire process of work performed at various stages of modernization.
For comparison, in 2022, the company delivered 20 tanks to the military in the new standard, while in 2021, the military received 13 Leopards, and in 2020, 10 tanks. In total, the Polish Armed Forces have received 61 tanks so far (the contract covers the modernization of 128 Leopard 2A4 tanks with an option for an additional 14).
The current expected completion date for the program is 2027, and the ongoing contract covers the modernization of 142 units, but there is a possibility of reducing the final number to 128 units, which would result in an earlier completion date.
The Bumar-Łabędy Mechanical Works lead the tank modernization program for Leopard 2A4 to the 2PL/M1 standard from the Polish side. Other participating companies include PCO, Military Automotive Works in Poznań, Bumar-Mikulczyce Mechanical Works, Zakłady Mechaniczne Tarnów, the Research and Development Center for Mechanical Devices OBRUM, and the Rosomak S.A. Under the agreement dated February 18, 2016, the German company Rheinmetall Landsysteme (RLS) also plays a crucial role in the program. The program’s total value is 3.29 billion PLN gross.
The scope of Leopard 2PL modernization work has allowed for an increase in ballistic resistance and the improvement of observation systems. The changes include the introduction of additional turret armor, new observation devices for the gunner (EMES-15 thermal imaging camera and two KLW-1 Astera cameras) and the commander (PERI R17 A3L4CP observation and targeting device), a day-night rear-view camera KDN-1T Nyks, and an electric gun trigger.
The modernization also includes the installation of an auxiliary power unit (APU) with a power output of 17 kVA, a modernized explosion and fire suppression system Deugra with DeuGen-N tanks, and a digital communication bus (CAN-BUS). According to the plans, the gun stabilization system and turret drives have been changed from hydraulic to electric (EWNA). Additionally, new types of ammunition will be integrated with the vehicles: the armor-piercing DM63A1 with a sub-caliber projectile and the multi-purpose DM11 with a programmable fragmentation-explosive projectile.
The 2PLM1 variant has received active cooling system for the electronics compartment (EGPT), a cold start function to protect the turret electronics from voltage drops during startup, a function to select the first/last echo of the laser rangefinder, an additional socket for recharging batteries, and a PIX function allowing the commander to automatically rotate the optoelectronic head of the PERI R17 A3L4CP observation and targeting device to the 6 o’clock and 12 o’clock positions relative to the hull.
Based on the press release