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SAF to Get Refurbished Leopard Tanks

Category: Defence Industry

Singapore’s refurbished Leopard 2s will replace the AMX-13 SM-1 light tanks currently in service. The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) will acquire 66 refurbished Leopard 2A4 tanks from the German Federal Ministry of Defence.

Minister for Defence Teo Chee Hean announced this during his visit to Sungei Gedong camp on 11 Dec. The Leopard 2A4 tanks will replace some of the current SAF SM1 tanks, as part of the SAF's transformation into the third-generation fighting force. "The SM1 tanks which we bought 40 years ago and upgraded in the eighties have served us well," said the minister, "but as a platform to go forward to the third-generation SAF, it has some limitations." At 55.15 tons, the Leopard 2A4 tank is more than twice the weight of the SM1 tank, which weighs at 17.2 tons. The Leopard 2A4 also has greater firepower with a 120mm calibre smoothbore gun, equipped with stabilisation and thermal imager. Even more impressive is the horsepower of the Leopard 2A4, which boasts 1500 hp while the SM1 packs 290 hp. Said Mr Teo: "It (the Leopard 2A4) has good mobility, protection, firepower and provides a good baseline for us to further upgrade the tank should we want to move into the next phase for the third-generation SAF Armour." Prior to the purchase, there were several other offers on the table. But the Leopard 2A4 refurbished tanks offered by Germany were the most cost-effective option for the SAF, explained the minister. Although these tanks will replace some of the SM1 tanks, Mr Teo said the latter still served a very good purpose and would be in service for some years to come.

Singapore MoD
15.12.2006

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