The war in Ukraine has seen countless Western weapons platforms move the battlefield to take on Russia’s best military assets.
And, so far, those weapons have proven to be a real game changer, as Putin can’t compete with many of those systems as they are state of the art in many instances.
However, that does not mean some systems won’t be destroyed. Social media can show us that for sure.
Did Putin Kill an ‘Elite’ Leopard 2 Tank?
It should be noted that 19FortyFive can’t conform the footage independently. However, experts we spoke with and who saw the video did suggest it looked authentic.
Seven other military vehicles and tanks are seen unaffected by the strike as drone footage displays the continuing plumes of smoke that are rising into the air. The tanks are moving in column formations, likely to avoid mined territory.
The attack happened near the small town of Novopokrovka, which is located in Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Oblast, about 8.5 hours south of Kyiv and midway between Mariupol and the city of Zaporizhzhia.
Video Shows Devastating Hit
Footage shared by war-watching account Ukraine Weapons Tracker shows the impact of the blast as the tank gets obliterated by the Russian strike.
As UA Weapons notes:
“For the first time, a Ukrainian Leopard 2A4 tank was destroyed by the Russian army during the recent Ukrainian attack near Novopokrovka, Zaporizhzhia Oblast.”
A Closer Look At The Leopard 2A4
The Leopard 2A4 battle tank is designed and made by the German company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann.
It was first used by the German military to train in the late 1970sn and is currently in service in a number of NATO partner nations including Poland, Canada, Turkey and Norway. At this time 3,200 Leopard 2A4’s exist.
Various NATO nations have supplied Leopard 2A4s to Ukraine to assist in their ongoing conflict with Russia, including six from Spain, 14 from Poland, a promised 50 from Germany and eight from Norway. The Leopard 2A4 is the most prolific version of the Leopard 2 family and includes various state-of-the-art systems.
Will The Leopard 2A4 Give Ukraine An Edge In This War?
The Leopard 2A4 is a powerful main battle tank (MBT) that carries four crew members.
As military information portal Army Recognition notes, the 2A4’s advantages include:
“An automated fire and explosion suppression system, an all-digital fire control system able to handle new ammunition types, and an improved turret with flat titanium and tungsten armor.”
Nonetheless, the Leopard 2A4 does have some vulnerabilities, particularly in terms of attack from the sides and back.
The Leopard 2A4 can travel at speeds of 45 miles per hour (72 kilometers per hour) and includes a 7.62mm antiaircraft gun as well as a 120mm L55 smoothbore gun and a coaxial 7.62mm machine gun. Each tank weighs 68 tons (62,000 kilograms).
— ???????? Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) June 8, 2023
Paul Brian is an author and freelance journalist who has reported for Reuters, BBC and Foreign Policy, and contributed to the Spectator, the Federalist and the American Conservative. He has covered global events from Europe, the former Soviet Union and the Middle East to South America.