Qatar aims to buy 118 more Leopard tanks from Germany before the soccer World Cup championships in 2022 for several billion Euros, a German newspaper reported.
Qatar also plans to buy 16 tank howitzers, Bild am Sonntag reported citing government sources in Qatar.
The equipment is made by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) and Rheinmetall.
In April 2013, KMW announced a EUR 1.89 billion (about $2.48 billion) contract with Qatar for 62 Leopard 2A7 main battle tanks, and 24 PzH-2000 heavy self-propelled 155mm howitzers. The contract included peripheral equipment, training installations, and additional services.
KMW then said that “the systems delivered to Qatar were intended to progressively replace Qatar’s outdated artillery and tanks of French and South African origin, which will be scrapped.”
The Leopard 2 is a main battle tank developed by KMW in the early 1970s for the West German Army. The tank first entered service in 1979 and succeeded the earlier Leopard 1 as the main battle tank of the German Army.
Various versions have served in the armed forces of Germany and twelve other European countries, as well as several non-European nations. More than 3,480 Leopard 2s have been manufactured.
The Leopard 2 first saw combat in Kosovo with the German Army and has also seen action in Afghanistan with the Danish and Canadian contributions to the International Security Assistance Force.
There are two main development batches of the tank, the original models up to Leopard 2A4, which have vertically faced turret armor, and the "improved" batch, namely the Leopard 2A5 and newer versions, which have angled arrow-shaped turret appliqué armor together with other improvements.
All models feature digital fire control systems with laser rangefinders, a fully stabilized main gun and coaxial machine gun, and advanced night vision and sighting equipment (first vehicles used a low-light level TV system or LLLTV; thermal imaging was introduced later on). The tank has the ability to engage moving targets while moving over rough terrain.
Source: Reuters; Bild am Sonntag; Wikipedia