Defense Technology International - April 2008 - (Page 21)
COLD WARRIOR MAKEOVER RHEINMETALL PHOTOS Sighting System (Seoss), to improve observation and ﬁghting capabilities in close and high surroundings as well as at night. Seoss provides a 360-deg. panoramic view and can be placed on the turret. It has Rheinmetall seeks to upgrade a number of options: a laser rangeﬁnder; Leopard 2 battle tank electro-optical high-resolution television camera; laser target designator for guided anti-tank weapons; ﬁre control for NICHOLAS FIORENZA•BERLIN an additional weapon station; and a close-surveillance TV camera heinmetall has assembled with 60-deg. ﬁeld of view. a package of upgrades SAS and Seoss can be linked to for Germany’s Leopard provide an automated target de2 main battle tank that will imtection and tracking system with prove the Cold War-era vehicle’s automatic transfer of target diability to counter threats comrection to Seoss, which is used as mon to urban and asymmetric a target sensor and for tracking. battleﬁelds. The German defense Schlichting says a link to the gun contractor says the upgrades can be provided in the future. cover electro-optical and comSchlichting also proposes inmand-and-control (C2) systems, stalling a C2 system for networked and will permit the tank to use new, longer-range munitions of operations. This consists of a 12-in. greater accuracy. The enhancetactical terminal with touch screen ments can improve the tank’s and keyboard, USB drive, computperformance and maintainability, er unit and vehicle adaptor. It is Rheinmetall claims, and extend designed to NATO standards and the service life of the Leopard 2 is interoperable with equipment in by 10-20 years. use by alliance partners. Rheinmetall’s Leopard 2 upgrades inMost of the threats Rhein- clude Israel Aerospace Industries’ Schlichting says the Leopard 2 metall sees the Leopard 2 now Lahat precision-guided missile, shown ﬁre-control system can be modifacing come from snipers and during a test ﬁring. ﬁed for various munitions, such small groups of soldiers or teras Rheinmetall’s DM53A1, DM63 rorists with light- and medium-weight fy close-in threats, Schlichting proposes and PELE (Penetrator with Enhanced weapons, using hit-and-run tactics and installing Rheinmetall’s 360-deg. Situa- Lateral E ect) 120-mm. rounds, and Isoperating among civilians in urban areas tional Awareness System (SAS) with two rael Aerospace Industries’ Laser-Homto four 180-deg. high-resolution cameras ing Anti-Tank (Lahat) missile. The DM53 in low-intensity conﬂicts. Senior Sales Manager Uwe-Jens that can be placed anywhere on the tank. and DM63 kinetic-energy penetrator Schlichting says the proposed changes These will provide close surveillance in rounds have 30% greater armor-debegin with replacement of the 1970s-era urban terrain and checkpoints, and in the feating capability than the DM43 round thermal imager, which has no video and is future will have a recording function and now in use by the 2A4. The DM63 is also una ected by variations in powder temexpensive to maintain, with Rheinmetall’s thermal imaging. Leopard 2A4 commanders have no perature caused by the environment. Saphir third-generation thermal-imaging system. This is a plug-and-play solution re- night sight, making them dependent on Lahat, which has been put through quiring no vehicle modiﬁcations. Saphir the gunner after dark. Schlichting pro- its paces at the German army’s WTD has a video resolution of 768 X 575 pixels. poses a thermal sight for the commander, 91 weapons test center in Meppen, The software can be programmed to o er Rheinmetall’s Stabilized Electro-Optical Germany, would give the Leopard 2 a any ﬁeld of view, increase the idenlong-range, non-line-of-sight tiﬁcation range in a narrow ﬁeld capability to engage armor and of view, and have a mean time behelicopters more than 6,000 tween failures that’s 300% higher meters (20,000 ft.) away, as well than the current imager, Schlichtas a bunker-busting capability. Rheinmetall has o ered the ing says. It can also be upgraded upgrade package, plus a remoteto o er video post-processing. control weapon station, for the To provide crews with obserLeopard 2 Peace Support Opvation capabilities in close and erations vehicle developed by high surroundings and to identiKrauss-Ma ei Wegmann, original builder of the Leopard tank Leopard 2A4 needs new series. Demos of the PSO vehicle equipment to counter are set to begin in 2009. I asymmetrical threats. R AviationWeek.com/dti APRIL 2008 DEFENSE TECHNOLOGY INTERNATIONAL 21
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