A Ukrainian Leopard was knocked out by a Russian kamikaze drone while on the move, and just after, the MBT fired two rounds on a target. The incident was captured in dramatic footage from an overhead unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
The Leopard tank was engulfed in a massive inferno before possibly being destroyed owing to the ignition of the fuel and ammunition inside. While the make of the First-Person View (FPV) loitering munition is unknown, it is undoubtedly not the Lancet since the type would have been specified by the Russian Ministry of Defense (RuMoD) in its update.
Video Shows Tank Fires Rounds Before Drone Attack
The footage released by the RuMoD shows the nose of an FPV drone and a reticule from the front camera over a Leopard tank speeding on the ground in the open plains. The altitude appears to be between 30 to 40 feet, and the drone is trailing the tank, gradually descending.
The tank fires one round while on the move and, after a few seconds, fires a second one before the camera closes in on the rear of the turret — indicating this is where the FPV drone hit. The Leopard’s variant also comes into view, which can be made out to be either a Leopard 2A5 or a Leopard 2A6.
An overhead drone at a distance captures the strike, showing that at the moment of impact, a bright ignition engulfs the turret, potentially owing to secondary explosions.
Usually, such follow-on explosions are devastating, especially if they happen from the inside. It is unlikely the tank survived the blast and must have been thoroughly charred. The drone, meanwhile, is operated by the Bobr FPV drone unit, as per claims by a few Russian Telegram groups.
The RuMoD does not mention the location of this FPV drone attack. But based on social media posts about other Leopard tank destructions, it is likely that the site is Avdeevka.
Another video posted on X (formerly Twitter) shows a Leopard 2A6 burning, presumably after coming under fire. The handle @narrative_hole said the Ukrainians are using “what’s left of their best NATO equipment to rescue the worsening situation near Donetsk.”
Russia Defanged The Leopard
Towards the end of October, the RuMoD claimed to have destroyed six Leopard tanks. While the variants are unknown, they were destroyed by artillery and aerial strikes.
The RuMoD on October 31 reported destroying two German-made Leopard tanks from amongst four others towards the “Kupyansk direction…supported by aircraft, artillery and heavy flamethrower” systems. This was while repelling five counterattacks by Ukraine’s 54th Mechanized Brigade at Sinkovka near Kharkiv.
Before that, on October 30, a Leopard tank was among two armored fighting vehicles (AFV) and three pickup trucks that were destroyed near Robotino near Zaporizhzhia when the Ukrainian army’s 65th Mechanized Brigade undertook a counterattack, according to the RuMoD.
A Ukrainian Leopard Tank was knocked out by a Russian kamikaze drone while on the move. pic.twitter.com/m1w6kwPOd6
— EurAsian Times (@THEEURASIATIMES) November 1, 2023
In the same region on October 26 and 28, the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) lost two and one Leopard tanks, respectively, when the 118th and the 65th Mechanized Brigades launched attacks.
According to Dutch open-source intelligence outlet Oryx, Ukraine had lost a confirmed ten each of the Leopard 2A4 and Leopard 2A6 tanks. “As this tally only includes losses where there is photographic evidence for the equipment being taken out, the true count is likely higher, but it also lists damaged tanks which may be repaired,” said an article in Newsweek.
The Ukrainian counteroffensive has widely been accepted to be an utter failure, with no large-scale territory taken from the Russians. The war would also likely go against Kyiv, given the West’s sudden preoccupation with the Israel-Hamas war, touched upon in a previous EurAsian Times piece here.