|Manufacturer:||ELBO, Hellenic Vehicle Industry SA|
|Product type:||Armoured Vehicles|
|Name:||Tracked armoured personnel carrier|
This is essentially the Austrian Steyr-Daimler-Puch 4K 7FA G127 APC (full details of this vehicle are given in a separate entry) manufactured under licence in Greece for the Hellenic Army. Its physical characteristics are identical to the original Austrian version. The first Greek Leonidas 1 armoured personnel carrier was completed in 1982 and by early 1985 100 vehicles had been built for the Hellenic Army as well as a quantity of vehicles for Cyprus.
Following extensive trials, ELBO selected the German ZF 6 HP 500 automatic transmission as a replacement for the original ZF 6-S80 manual transmission with six forward and one reverse gears installed in the locally built Leonidas APC.
A total of 64 6 HP 500 automatic transmissions have now been delivered by ZF to Greece for installation in new build vehicles as well as being retrofitted into older vehicles, with the second order being for 57 transmissions.
It is expected that the whole Hellenic Army fleet will eventually have their current manual transmissions replaced by the new ZF 6 HP 500 automatic transmission, the installation of which reduces driver fatigue.
Early in 1987, an order for an additional 344 Leonidas 2 APCs was placed by the Hellenic Army.
Most of the vehicles in the new order were similar to the existing Leonidas 1 APC but with an additional automatic fire suppression system, commander's rotating periscope and improved smoke grenade dischargers.
By mid-2002 it was estimated that production had reached around 500 vehicles of which 350 were for the Hellenic Army and 150 for Cyprus. It is believed that the latter figure includes a batch of 84 vehicles, the first of which was handed over in December 1995. According to figures released by the United Nations, Greece exported the following quantities of Leonidas APCs between 1992 and 1998 to Cyprus.
Since 1999 there have been no additional sales to Cyprus although 10 were supplied to Macedonia in 1999 and 10 for use by the United Nations in the same year.
A single prototype development of this was built but development has now ceased.
The Hellenic Army has abandoned plans to acquire up to 415 furbished and possibly upgraded ex-German Army Rheinmetall Landsysteme Marder 1A3 infantry fighting vehicle (IFV).
The three main contenders for this Hellenic IFV requirement are expected to be the Austrian Steyr-Daimler-Puch Ulan, Russian Kurgan BMP-3 and the Swedish BAE Systems Hägglunds CV90 series. PSM of Germany will offer the new Puma IFV which is expected to enter production for the German Army in several years time.
Late in 2006 it was stated that up to 291 IFV would be acquired with a total cost of EUR1.7 billion (USD2.1 billion) but a planned acquisition process is not expected to become clear until later in 2007 or early 2008.
Today the Hellenic Army operates a fleet of about 2,175 APCs including M113 and locally produced Leonidas and some ex-German Army Russian BMP-1 IFV.
It is expected that first priority will be the acquisition of an initial batch of 84 wheeled (8 × 8) APCs that could also be used by Hellenic Army units operating overseas. There is also a requirement for a small batch of amphibious assault vehicles.