ELVO Leonidas-2

The Leonidas-2 represented an effort made by the Greek vehicle manufacturer ELVO to produce an advanced armoured personnel carrier (APC) of its own. It is named after Leonidas, king of the ancient city-state of Sparta. The first version of the Leonidas was the Austrian Saurer 4K 4FA armoured personnel carrier built with minor modifications by the Greek company (then known as Steyr Hellas S.A.) from 1981 until 1987. Initial production was essentially assembly, however Greek content progressively increased. The APC had a 320 hp engine and a weight of 14.8 tons.

ELVO Leonidas-2
Class Vehicle
Type Armoured Fighting Vehicle
Manufacturer ELVO
Origin Greece
Country Name Origin Year
Greece 1981
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Cyprus View
Greece 1981 View
Macedonia View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity

The 'Leonidas-2' development involved extensive modification of the previous model. This was done by ELVO in 1987 with the aim to essentially develop it as an armoured infantry fighting vehicle (AIFV). The new version had a weight of 18.8 tons and it used a 450 hp engine; maximum speed was 70 km/h. The construction of the turret became a matter of debates involving interested companies (three versions with different types of turrets were proposed, while there were "demands" that the turret should constructed by EBO), but the vehicle was finally produced without a turret. About 700 were produced, including a number exported to Cyprus. Plans to develop the vehicle further as 'Leonidas-3' for different roles were abandoned in 2002, as the vehicle was considered outdated. ELVO continued efforts for a modern AIFV development, starting cooperation in 1988 with Steyr-Daimler-Puch of Austria on a joint development, but soon pulled out due to the high cost of the vehicle compared to the Greek Army specifications (Santa Bárbara Sistemas of Spain continued development with the Austrian company, resulting in the ASCOD Ulan/Pizarro AIFV). Eventually ELVO worked on its own, developing a completely new armoured infantry fighting vehicle, the Kentaurus in 1998.

Type Armoured personnel carrier
Place of origin Greece/ Austria
Service history
In service 1981–present
Used by Greece
Republic of Macedonia
Production history
Produced Austria 1976
Greece 1981-today
Number built c. 800
Weight 14.8 t
Length 5.87 m (19 ft 3 in)
Width 2.50 m (8 ft 2 in)
Height 1.7 m (5 ft 7 in)
Crew 2
Passengers 8
Armour welded steel
26-32 mm front
15 mm sides and rear
1 x 12.7 mm MG
1,500 rounds
1 x 7.62 mm MG3
Engine Steyr 7FA inline 6-cylinder water-cooled diesel
320 hp (745 kW) at 2,300 rpm
Power/weight 21.62 hp/t
Transmission ZF Synchronized, 6 gears forward and 1 reverse
Suspension torsion bar
Ground clearance vertical obstacle: 0.8 m
trench: 2.1 m
520 km (320 mi)
Speed 63 km/h (39 mph)

End notes