The American edition of The National Interest named the five most powerful tanks that in service with NATO or will.
As Russia prepares to deploy a new generation of Armata T-14 tanks, NATO countries are stepping up the pace of their existing armored modernization programs. The author of the publication Charlie Gao named five of THE most modern NATO tanks, which are already presented or will appear in the near future.
1. M1A2C Abrams
The 2019 M1A2C reconfiguration remains without a doubt the most advanced tank in NATO’s arsenal. It is the only Alliance tank with an advanced active defense system and a smart programmable armor-piercing projectile. The refurbished tank received upgrades to the hull’s interior armored grilles and towers, as well as new third-generation thermal imaging systems. In addition, a variant of the tank with additional welded armor at the end of the tower was shown for even greater protection.
Although the M256 on the M1A2 Abrams is shorter than the advanced Leopard-2 variants, it operates at higher pressure than the original L/44 mounted on the earlier Leopard-2 to fire M829A3 and M829A4 projectiles.
2. Leopard 2A7B
The latest German upgrade of the Leopard 2, the Leopard 2A7V, is equipped with latest sensors, weapons and armor similar to the M1A2C.
The long 120mm L/55 cannon is replaced by a new L/55A1 cannon with higher pressure to increase armor-penetrating capability. The 2A7V also has a munitions data channel similar to the M1A2C, but it is not known whether Germany has developed a “smart” armor-piercing projectile similar to the M829A4, as it is known that the ammunition data channel is used to fire programmable DM11 projectiles.
3. Leclerc XLR
The improved French Tank Leclerc will also be upgraded to the XLR version in the near future. The main feature of the upgrade will be integration with the SCORPION battlefield network, which is expected to be put into all future French machines. The tank received improved armor, but no active system was noticed.
4. Strv 122C
Sweden is also upgrading its Leopard fleet to the Strv 122 version of the Leopard 2A5. The main upgrades appear to be related to sensors, with the replacement of older thermal imaging cameras with third-generation devices.
The Strv 122 has better armor than most NATO Leopard-2s as they are equipped with a complete MEXAS-H armor complex (Modular Expandable Armor System), which has been reduced to a German Leopard 2A5. This gives them better protection against cluster artillery munitions.
However, the 122C is not undergoing major modernization and is limited to the non-modernizeD L/44 cannon, which reduces the armor-piercing capability of the tank.
5. Leopard 2A6 HEL
The Greek Leopard 2A6, being the modern version of the Leopard 2A6EX prototype, differs from the conventional Leopard 2A6 additional armor. It is provided by additional amplification on the upper frontal plate and crew hatches, as well as a full MEXAS package.
Although the 2A6 HEL is equipped only with a standard L/55 cannon, it remains one of the deadliest tanks in NATO.