German offer to Ukraine: 20 Leopard 2 tanks, delivery every month
BERLIN ($1=0.98 Euros) — After three months of reflection time, Germany may provide Ukraine with 20 Leopard 2 main battle tanks from its inventory. At least that’s what the German MP and former colonel, currently the spokesman for the crisis center Roderich Kiesewetter, suggests. Kiesewetter used Tutier to present his proposal to the public.
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“The German “offer” after 3 months of thinking time: 20 Leopard 2 tanks. Deliveries from April 2023 1 piece per month, from October 2023 – 3 pieces per month. As a reminder: Poland gave almost 300 T72 to Ukraine in the first 2 months,” tweeted Kiesewetter.
It was with the reference to Poland that a thread of tweets criticizing the German government began. According to him, the slow reaction of the Germans is the reason why Poland and other Eastern European countries flocked to the United States for the supply of Abrams tanks instead of buying Leopards.
“Nobody understands why we don’t deliver Marder, Leopard, Fuchs directly to Ukraine, but waste valuable time with a complex and apparently non-working “exchange of rings,” says the former German colonel. “This is an inability to provide assistance to Ukraine, a loss of reputation, and we are also harming our own population,” Kiesewetter continued, adding that the world’s fourth-largest arms exporter [Germany] delivered three armored vehicles to Ukraine in three months.
BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that the German company Rheinmetall announced that it is ready to provide Ukraine with Leopard tanks, as it has them in stock. However, Germany has been heavily criticized since the beginning of the war in Ukraine for the slow pace of providing weapons systems to Ukraine and some illogical actions.
One such illogical act was Germany’s willingness to donate dozens of Gepard 1A2 the all-weather-capable self-propelled anti-aircraft gun [SPAAG], but subsequently, it turned out that there was no 35mm ammunition available in the country for this weapon. Switzerland, which produces them, has refused to supply Germany as it continues to show neutrality regarding the war in Ukraine. Germany was forced to find out who had purchased the Gepard 1A2 in recent years to buy back the ammunition for them.
What has Germany sent to Ukraine so far?
Officially, Berlin has provided Ukraine with 3,000 Panzerfaust 3 cartridges plus 900 grips, 14,900 anti-tank mines, 500 STINGER anti-aircraft missiles, 2,700 STRELA flying fists, 16 million rounds of ammunition handgun, 50 bunker fists, 100 MG 3 machine guns with 500 spare barrels and bolts, 100,000 hand grenades, 5,300 explosive charges, 100,000 meters of detonating cord and 100,000 detonators 350,000 detonators, 23,000 combat helmets, 15 pallets of clothing 178 motor vehicles, 100 tents, 6 pallets of material for explosive ordnance disposal, 125 binoculars, 1,200 hospital beds, 18 pallets of medical supplies, 60 surgical lights, Protective clothing, operating masks, 10,000 sleeping bags, 600 shooting glasses, 1 radio frequency system, 3,000 field telephones with 5,000 reels of field cord and carrying equipment, 1 field hospital [joint project with Estonia], 353 night vision goggles, 4 electronic anti-drone devices, 165 binoculars, Medical supplies [including rucksacks, first-aid kit s], 38 Laser removal knife, Fuel diesel and petrol [current delivery], 10 tons of AdBlue, 500 pieces of wound dressings to stop bleeding, 500 pieces of food rations, MiG-29 spare parts and 30 armored vehicles.
Leopard 2A5 battle tank
The Leopard 2A5 main battle tank is a radically improved variant of the Leopard 2. It was introduced in 1990. By 1998 a total of 225 German Army Leopard 2 main battle tanks were upgraded to the 2A5 standard. At that time the Leopard 2A5 was referred as the best main battle tank in the world. In 2013 German MoD signed a contract with Poland to sell 105 Leopard 2A5 tanks from the Army stocks, cutting down the number to 120 machines. Export operators are Denmark , Norway , Poland and Sweden . Norway obtained ex-Dutch Leopard 2A4 tank and upgraded them to 2A5 standard.
The 2A5 has significantly improved armor protection comparing with its predecessor. Turret is fitted with a wedge-shaped add-on modular armor. Add-on modular armor panels were also fitted at the front of the hull. Damaged armor modules can be easily replaced in field conditions. New side skirts were fitted and interior of the vehicle is lined to prevent spalling.
The Leopard 2A5 also received a more powerful armament. It is fitted with improved 120 mm/L44 smoothbore gun. Fire control system of this MBT was also improved. Secondary armament is similar to that on the Leopard 2 and consists of two 7.62 mm machine guns. One of them is coaxially mounted with the main gun, while another is placed on top of the roof.
Engine of this vehicle remained unchanged. It is powered by MTU MB-873 Ka-501 turbocharged diesel engine, developing 1 500 horsepower. Engine and transmission are built into one module and can be easily replaced in field conditions. The Leopard 2A5 can be fitted with a deep wading kit.
About Leopard 2A7 tank
Leopard 2A7 is the German answer to the South Korean K2 MBT. Leopard 2A7 is manufactured by the local manufacturer of armored combat chain and wheeled weapons Krauss-Maffei Wegmann. It is known that, like its South Korean competitor, Leopard 2A7 began its existence in 2014, with the first 14 units delivered to the German army. Denmark is expected to receive 44 tanks of this type this year. According to conflicting information, in the period 2016-2019, Singapore received 45 Leopard 2A7 tanks [according to SIPRI], but in Singapore denied [according to the Singapore Defense Ministry].
The tank weighs 66 tons, the crew consists of four people. Leopard 2A7 is not suitable for urban combat conditions, unlike the latest version developed specifically for the German army Leopard 2A7 +. The Leopard 2A7 is powered by a Steyr Motors M12 TCA UI, which provides 1,500 horsepower. The tank is protected by the Swedish mobile camouflage system – Saab Barracuda [MCS], as well as by the heat transfer reduction system [HTR CoolCam].
The tank has several optimizations, such as optimized or new ultracapacitors in the chassis and dome, digital intercom system SOTAS IP, a new fire protection system, optimized thermal imaging modules, and other optics. The main weapon of the Leopard 2A7 is the Rheinmetall Rh-120mm smoothbore tank gun designed and manufactured by the West German Rheinmetall-DeTec AG company. Depending on customer preferences, the tank can be equipped with 2 × 7.62 mm German-made MG3A1 machine guns or 2 × 7.62 mm Belgian-made FN MAG machine guns.
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