Berlin continues to donate Leopard 2A4 tanks, 15 go to Prague
BERLIN ($1 = 24.56 Czech crowns) — The negotiations started in May between the Czech Republic and Germany concerning the supply of Leopard 2A4 tanks have now been finalized. Prague will receive 15 tanks from Berlin, thanks to the assistance that the Czech Republic has given to Ukraine. BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that the Czech Republic supplied Ukraine with 72 units of Soviet-made T-72 tanks.
The Ministry of Defense of the Czech Republic Natalia Forsterova announced that the agreement between Berlin and Prague has been signed. According to his statement, the 15 tanks that the Czech Republic will receive are already being modernized in Germany for the needs of the Czech army. The Leopard 2A4 must be compatible with Czech equipment, Forsterova also said.
Apart from the arrangements related to the war in Ukraine, the Czech Republic is ready to buy new tanks. Sources in the Czech Republic claim that Berlin and Prague have agreed on the purchase of at least 50 units of the latest German tanks, the Leopard 2A7. There is no information on exactly when he will remember their production and delivery.
Does Germany have the tanks?
The statement of the Czech Minister of Defense is positive, but this is not the case with Poland. Poland will not receive the Leopard 2A4 tanks promised by Germany. Berlin offers the Leopard 1A5 and the Marder BMP to Warsaw. This is the official opinion and proposal from Berlin to Warsaw [not only does Poland expects Leopard 2A4, Slovakia and Slovenia too – ed.].
Poland has supplied Ukraine with 200 T-72 main battle tanks. The Ukrainians needed it because of the invasion of Russian troops into the country on February 24. After negotiations, Germany was one of the first countries to offer an exchange to Poland. Berlin offered the Leopard 2A4, or Leopard 2 for short.
Today, it is clear that there is none. According to documents, however, Germany has 350 units of Leopard 2s. So where did the tanks go?
The Polish online portal Defense 24 suggests one of the possibilities – “cannibalism”. That is, according to the documents the tanks exist, but in reality they are dismantled and used for spare parts and maintenance. Both the combat capability of the Bundeswehr tanks and the combat capability of the countries that already operate these tanks. But not only: Leopard 2 tanks can become chassis donors for other weapon systems such as the BREM or the PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzer.
Another possibility is Berlin’s policy of saving defense budgets in recent years – a practice, writes Defense 24, that dates back to the 1990s. A practice that quite logically leads to this is the use of fully functional tanks as parts replacement for other tanks.
It turns out, writes Defense 24, that the Bundeswehr has 600 Leopard 2 tanks and cannot allocate 50 units to Poland. Berlin now offers 100 Leopard A15 units to Poland. As far as BulgarianMilitary.com remembers, weren’t there just as many in Rheinmetall’s warehouses? Wait, they’re not the same? Where have the German tanks gone?
And finally, not only Poland has a problem with Germany, but also Slovenia and Slovakia. They were also promised the Leopard 2 after having transferred quite a few weapons to Ukraine. Most likely, they will also receive what Poland was promised – nothing.
About Leopard 2A4 tanks
The Leopard 2A4 is the most popular version of the tank. 695 tanks were built between 1985 and 1992, while the remaining machines from previous versions were upgraded to 2A4 level. Thus, until 1994, Germany had a total of 2,125 Leopard 2A4s. The Netherlands bought an additional 445 tanks and Switzerland produced under license 380 Panzer 87 Leopard [Pz 87] reservoirs.
After 2000, some of the German and Dutch tanks were sold to friendly countries around the world. The version features improved turret armor, a digital ballistic computer, new ammunition, and a new automatic firing system. The tank is now painted with tricolor camouflage paint.
Germany updates Leopard 2 tanks
As we reported earlier this year, the Israeli Trophy Active Protection System (APS) with integrated on a German Leopard 2 tank of the German Ground Forces was tested in live fire. The tests took place from January 10 to 16 and were attended not only by representatives of the two companies Rafael and KWL, but also by representatives of the two defense ministries.
The main function of the system is to ensure that the armored vehicle is protected from anti-tank missiles. So far, according to official information from the Israeli company Rafael, Trophy APS has more than 1,000,000 hours of work and 5,300 live shots have been carried out, some in combat conditions, some in tests.
In addition to the Israeli Merkava 3 & 4 MBT and Namer APC armored fighting vehicles, the system is integrated into the American Abrams MBT tanks, as well as the German Leopard 2 and the British Challenger 3.
Trophy APS works by providing an imaginary balloon around the armored vehicle in 360° azimuth through dozens of sensors that detect all known chemical energy threats [CE] – including recoilless rifles, ATGMs, AT missiles, HEAT tank rounds and RPGs. It works in a fairly wide range with the simultaneous performance of dozens of tasks, monitoring the dangers of all possible positions in 360 ° azimuth.
The system can predefine enemy or friendly area, troops and weapon systems. It has an integrated system for electronic warfare and modern communication solutions. Trophy APS is suitable for heavily armored combat vehicles and medium-heavy vehicles.
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