This is the Leopard 2R, the Finnish Aid Minesweeper Tank for Ukraine

This is the Leopard 2R, the Finnish Aid Minesweeper Tank for Ukraine
This is the Leopard 2R, the Finnish Aid Minesweeper Tank for Ukraine

International Military - Ukraine's hopes of receiving tank assistance from Europe have finally come true, after Finland confirmed that it would immediately send three units of Leopard 2R tanks. It is a tank without a gun, as the Leopard 2R functions as a minesweeper on the battlefield.

The Finnish Ministry of Defense decided to send three Leopard 2R units to Ukraine on February 23, 2023. They also promised to provide training and spare parts for Ukraine for the Leopard 2R.

“It's been a year since the start of the Russian offensive, Ukraine still needs support in defense. We are sending more defense materials and participating in the Leopard cooperation together with our partners," Defense Minister Mikko Savola was quoted as saying by the Bulgarian Military.

The Leopard 2R is a Leopard tank converted into a heavy minesweeper used to clear minefields of troops. The Leopard 2R can be called a tank without a cannon, because it is replaced by a plow or bulldozer and an automatic marking system.

Quoted from Tanknutdave, the Finnish Army purchased 114 Leopard 2 A4s from Germany and a total of 10 units have been converted into minesweeping vehicles. The Leopard 2R is equipped with a plough or dozer blade, and an automatic tagging system made by the Finnish firm Patria.

The Leopard 2R minesweeper is officially called the Finnish-developed Heavy Mine Breaching Vehicle (HMBV). The first Leopard 2R underwent trials in 2006 and entered service in 2008.

The vehicle's main role is to clear a path through minefields, creating a safe passage for other military vehicles to pass. This ability is to support attacking units moving quickly through obstacles, before enemy troops build defenses.

Quoted from Military Today, the Leopard 2R uses an updated Leopard 2A4 MBT chassis, the turret (cannon chamber) has been removed and replaced with a new non-rotating superstructure. United Kingdom's Pearson Engineering provides a full line of mine clearance equipment. A wide mining plow is front mounted and features a cleared track marking system, at the rear. This system is for marking cleared areas with small flags on the ground.

With the dozer blade attached, the Leopard 2R can be used to clear obstacles on the battlefield, prepare firing positions, and prepare sites for liaison operations. For this reason, the Minesweeper Leopard 2R has higher protection than the original Leopard 2A4.

An additional floor was installed internally to increase the crew's protection from anti-tank mine explosions. All crew seats are roof mounted for increased survivability and are equipped with the NBC protection system.

This military machine is operated by a crew of three, including commander, engineer and driver. There is also room for one more passenger or crew. There are a number of front-facing cameras and passive night vision equipment.

Vehicle is armed with a roof-mounted 12.7 mm machine gun. The machine gun is manually controlled and primarily intended for engaging air targets. There are also a number of smoke grenade launchers.

The Finnish HMBV is powered by an MTU MB-837 Ka501 turbocharged diesel engine, developing 1,500 hp. The mobility and performance of the Minesweeper Leopard 2R is similar to that of the Leopard 2A4 tank.

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