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During MSPO 2020, the Polish Army presented a modernised Leopard 2PL Main Battle Tank (MBT). The vehicle showcased in Kielce belongs to the 10th Armoured Cavalry Brigade in Świętoszów, which is the first unit in the Polish Army to operate these modernised vehicles.

Shortly after the MSPO 2020 exhibition, the Polish Ministry of Defence confirmed that a batch of three LEOPARD 2PL MBTs was delivered to the 1st Warsaw Armoured Brigade in Wesoła, near Warsaw. The unit is subordinate to the 18th Mechanised Division in Siedlce.

Newly delivered vehicles were tested during a series of exercises conducted by elements of the 1st Warsaw Armoured Brigade and other units of the 18th Mechanised Division, such as 19th Lublin Mechanised Brigade in Lublin, the 21st Podhale Rifles Brigade in Rzeszów and an independent 25th Air Cavalry Brigade in Tomaszów Mazowiecki.

Service Delays

So far the Polish Army has probably taken delivery of 9 modernised LEOPARD 2PL MBTs, with six vehicles already handed over to the already mentioned 10th Armoured Cavalry Brigade, subordinate to the 11th Armoured Cavalry Division in Żagań. These MBTs are used for training tank crews and maintenance personnel. The Polish Army took delivery of the first batch of LEOPARD 2PL MBTs at the end of May, months later that previously planned. The LEOPARD 2PL modernisation programme has run into a number of obstacles, resulting from the need to implement additional enhancements to the vehicle’s design in order to meet new requirements of the Polish Army.

Under the modernisation programme, a fleet of 142 LEOPARD 2A4 MBTs will be upgraded to the 2PL standard. The project is run by a consortium of ZM Bumar-Łabędy, a subsidiary of the Polish Armaments Group (PGZ, Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa) and a number of other companies of the Group. Rheinmetall is a strategic partner of programme, which has a current budget set at PLN3.2 billion (€708m).

Michał Jarocki