What we have here is what I first presumed to be a Leopard 2A4FIN: the Finnish variant of the Leopard 2. It is, however, some sort of hybrid as it seems to lack all features that are typical to a Finnish Leopard.
In 2002 Finland procured some 124 Leopard 2 tanks of the A4 standard from the German army’s surplus stocks. These were delivered during the summer of 2003. An example of what such a Finnish Leopard looks like stands proud along the road to the Parola tank museum.
Some features that make is stand out directly from other country’s variants are the two-tone camouflage scheme, yellow/orange reflectors and additional hand-railings along the turret’s side.
In the museum itself we find what essentially is still a German Leopard 2A4 with its Bundeswehr markings painted over with the Finish blue and white roundel. The only other marking pointing out this is actually a Finnish vehicle is its registration number chalked on the right rear fender: Ps 273-108. The original Bundeswehr registration number is visible still: “Y-420 316”. It is likely that this tank is a second lot production vehicle, first outfitted as 2A1.
Overview of the vehicle. Note the vehicle’s MLC (Military Loading Class) indication and unit markings on the front fenders were painter over.
All hatches were opened to be able to get a good look at the interior of both the turret and hull. Here are some of the views:
What follows next are some of the exterior details on the turret.
One of the most important features of the Leopard 2 tank is it’s digital fire control system. The tank’s gun is slaved to the main sight (Hauptzielfernrohr). Whenever the gunner’s sight points at a target, the gun will follow. When firing, the fire control system takes external factors such as distance to target, movement, air pressure, level of incline and ammunition type into account.
Above is a close up of the main sight ‘EMES 15’. The rectangular part houses the thermal imaging optic used for the night channel. The small viewfinder contains the day channel as well as the laser rangefinder. The EMES 15 sight is stabilised in both horizontal and vertical direction allowing for extremely accurate target acquisition.
To close off, I’ll leave you with some more detail shots.