MANUFACTURER(S): ELBO / ELVO - Greece
OPERATORS: Cyprus; Greece; Macedonia
LENGTH: 19.36 feet (5.9 meters)
WIDTH: 8.20 feet (2.5 meters)
HEIGHT: 5.25 feet (1.6 meters)
WEIGHT: 17 Tons (15,000 kilograms; 33,069 pounds)
ENGINE: 1 x Steyr 6-cylinder liquid-cooled inline diesel engine developing 450 horsepower.
SPEED: 43 miles-per-hour (70 kilometers-per-hour)
RANGE: 323 miles (520 kilometers)
Detailing the development and operational history of the ELVO Leonidas-2 Armored Personnel Carrier (APC).
Entry last updated on 7/22/2016.
Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
The Greek Army (known as the "Hellenic Army") relied on the ELVO "Leonidas" Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) for a time and this machine was based on the Austrian Sauer-Werk 4K 4FA. It featured a crew of two and could haul eight combat-ready personnel while being powered by a 6-cylinder diesel engine. The Greek version carried an M2 Browning Heavy Machine Gun (HMG) and production was handled locally by ELVO beginning in 1981. By the middle part of the decade, an improved successor was being sought and additional work on the line begat the "Leonidas-2" mark which was saw design work begin in 1987.
The Leonidas-2 was a heavier vehicle at 18.8 tons (compared to 14.8 tons of the original) with a more powerful engine of 450 horsepower output (versus 320 horsepower). Road speeds increased by nearly 5 miles per hour and armor protection was of welded steel up to 32mm thick. Armament was a 12.7mm HMG typically paired with a 7.62mm Medium Machine Gun (MMG). The diesel engine was mated to a transmission system offering six forward and one reverse speed. The hull was seated atop a torsion bar suspension system for off road travel. Operational ranges reached 320 miles.
The Leonidas-2 was intended to have a turret housing a 25mm or 40mm autocannon - categorizing it as more of an Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) than an APC - but issues with its design and manufacture resulted in the vehicle carrying solely machine gun armament.
The Leonidas-2 was built through 700 and 800 total examples (sources vary) and exported to Cyprus (197 examples) and Macedonia. ELVO attempted to upgrade the Leonidas-2 line to help the vehicle stay relevant on the modern battlefield but the proposed "Leonidas-3" initiative fell through - primarily because the basic design had seen its best days behind it.
The "Kentaurus" IFV (detailed elsewhere on this site), of wholly Greek design, was intended as a replacement but this program has met obstacles all its own and has not entered formal service with the Greek Army.
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