The Hungarian defence forces received the first Leopard 2A7HU tank on December 5, the latest in the German-made Leopard series which is custom-made for Hungary.
Hungary has placed an order for 44 Leopard 2A7HU tanks. The HU designation means that the tanks have customization to suit the needs of the Hungarian Army.
The armored hull of the Hungarian Leopard has a length of 7.7 meters, and the tank measures 10.97 meters with gun forward. Its width is 3.76 meters without the add-on armor module, and its height is 3.03 meters. The firepower of the Leopard 2A7HU tank is provided by a L55A1, L/55 caliber-length, 120mm Rheinmetall main gun.
This upgraded L55A1 tank gun can already guarantee the efficient destruction of enemy targets on ranges up to 5000 meters. Furthermore, the tank also has a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun, a 12.7mm Remote Controlled Weapon Station (RCWS) as well as two banks of eight 76mm smoke grenade dischargers that are also suitable for firing HE grenades. The tank is capable of hasty wet gap crossing up to 1.2-meter depths, and in the event of deliberated crossing, it also has a fording capacity of up to 2.25 meters and deep wading capacity of up to 4 meters.
Defence Minister Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky that the first five units of the new tank type – custom-made for the Hungarian Defence Forces – are expected to arrive in the next few days.
These tanks are going to enter service with the Tata-based Hungarian Defence Forces 1st Armored Brigade. Besides the Leopards, several Leguan bridge-layers and armored recovery vehicles will also arrive in Hungary. The Hungarian Defence Forces will have received the full fleet by 2025.
The Hungarian Defence Forces have procured several different types of multi-purpose armor-piercing projectiles and another two types of short-range training shells for the main gun of the tank. Hungary has concluded a contract with German Rheinmetall AG for the procurement of significant amounts of munitions. Established by the government of Hungary, the Várpalota plant manufacturing artillery shells is also going to join the manufacturing process, together with Rheinmetall Waffe Munition GmbH.
The armor protection of the Leopard 2A7HU is provided by its vertical armor plate made of composite material and the wedged add-on self-limiting explosive reactive armor (SLERA) module. The combat vehicle is capable of successfully withstanding the threats of modern anti-tank weapons. In the interest of successful military operations on urban terrain, the manufacturer has developed a so-called “Urban kit”, a 360° add-on armor. This add-on armor can be installed and dismantled as need arises, and provides enhanced protection in built-up areas against anti-tank weapons.
The tank’s crew of four consists of a commander, a gunner, a loader and a driver. The driver is seated on the right sight of the armored hull, instead of the traditional central position, because a complementary ammunition rack is installed on the left side of the hull. The turret can accommodate three crewmembers. On the right side of the turret, there is place for the gunner (forward) and, behind (above) him, for the commander. The loader is seated on the left side of the turret. For the most part, the training of armor crews will take place in Tata.
In this October, a new training and simulation center was inaugurated in the renovated cupola building of the HDF 1st Armored Brigade, which also houses the turret simulator of the Leopard 2A7HU tanks.