The Leopard 2E is the main battle tank of the Spanish Army. A derivative of the German Leopard 2A6 tank, it is assembled locally under licence in Sevilla, Spain, by Santa Bárbara Sistemas and General Dynamics, producing a total of 219 tanks until 2008. The Leopard 2E is powered by a MTU MB 873 Ka-501 12-cylinder diesel engine that delivers 1,479 hp. Its armament consists of one Rheinmetall 120mm L/55 gun, and two 7.62 mm MG3s machine guns. The Spanish Leopard has been conceived to be able to also adopt a 140-millimeter (5.5 in) gun. Both the tank commander and gunner have identical second generation thermal viewers, derived from those of the TOW 2B Light Launcher System.
The Leopard 2E is protected by 3rd generation composite armor, which is composed of overlapping plates made of high-hardness steel, tungsten, and plastic filler with ceramic component. Aside from the add-on wedge armor on the turret like the German counter part, the Leopard 2E has increased armor thickness on the hull’s glacis plate, the turret frontal arc and the turret roof, which brings the vehicle’s weight close to 63 tonnes. Other differences between the Spanish Leopard 2E and other Leopard 2A6s include an auxiliary power unit, manufactured by SAPA, an air conditioning system and new rubber pads for the vehicle’s tracks to increase their lifespan on the irregular Spanish terrain.
Spanish Leopard 2E, the Best Tank in the World (Video)