Berlin continues to give Leopard 2A4 tanks, 15 go to Prague

BERLIN ($1=24.56 Czech Korunas) — The negotiations that began in May between the Czech Republic and Germany regarding the supply of Leopard 2A4 tanks have now been finalized. Prague will receive 15 tanks from Berlin, because of the help that the Czech Republic gave to Ukraine. BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that the Czech Republic provided Ukraine with 72 units of Soviet-made T-72 tanks.

Berlin continues to give Leopard 2A4 tanks, 15 go to Prague
Photo credit: Defence View

The Ministry of Defense of the Czech Republic Natalia Forsterova announced that the agreement between Berlin and Prague has been signed. According to her statement, the 15 tanks that the Czech Republic will receive are already being modernized in Germany for the needs of the Czech army. Leopard 2A4 needs to be communication compatible with the Czech equipment, Forsterova also said.

Outside of 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 when exactly it will remember their production and delivery.

Czech Republic will repair and modernize their existing T-72 tanks
Photo credit: Wikipedia

Does Germany have the tanks?

The statement of the Czech Minister of Defense is positive, but that is not the case with Poland. Poland will not receive the Leopard 2A4 tanks promised by Germany. Berlin offers Warsaw the Leopard 1A5 and the Marder BMP. This is the official opinion and proposal of Berlin to Warsaw [not only does Poland expects Leopard 2A4, Slovakia and Slovenia too – ed.].

Poland provided Ukraine with 200 T-72 main battle tanks. Ukrainians needed them 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 proposed the Leopard 2A4, or Leopard 2 for short.

Today it is clear that there are none. According to documents, however, Germany has 350 units of Leopard 2. Then where did the tanks disappear?

Spain sends retired Aspide SAMs Mach 4 and Leopard 2A4s to Ukraine
Photo: Wikipedia

The Polish online portal Defence 24 suggests one of the possibilities – “cannibalism”. I.e. according to documents the tanks exist, but in reality, they are disassembled and used for spare parts and maintenance. Both the combat capability of Bundeswehr tanks and the combat capability of countries that already operate these tanks. But not only that – Leopard 2 tanks can become chassis donors for other weapon systems such as BREM or the PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzer.

Another possibility is the policy of saving Berlin’s 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 spare parts for other tanks.

It turns out, writes Defence 24, that the Bundeswehr has 600 Leopard 2 tanks and cannot allocate 50 units for Poland. Berlin is now offering 100 Leopard A15 units to Poland. As far as BulgarianMilitary.com remembers, weren’t there that many in Rheinmetall’s warehouses? Wait, aren’t those the same? Where did the German tanks go?

And last but not least – not only Poland has a problem with Germany, but also Slovenia and Slovakia. They were also promised the Leopard 2 after transferring quite a few weapons to Ukraine. Most likely, they will also receive what was promised to Poland – 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 the 2A4 level. Thus, until 1994, Germany had a total of 2,125 Leopard 2A4s. The Netherlands purchased another 445 tanks, and Switzerland produced under license 380 Panzer 87 Leopard [Pz 87] tanks.

Berlin continues to give Leopard 2A4 tanks, 15 go to Prague
Photo credit: Wikipedia

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 calculator, new ammunition, and a new automatic fire system. The tank is now painted with tri-color 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 tank Leopard 2 of the German ground forces was tested by live fire. The tests took place on January 10-16 and were attended not only by representatives of the two companies Rafael and KWL but also by representatives of the two ministries of defense.

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 over 1,000,000 working hours and 5,300 live shootings have been carried out, some in combat conditions, some during tests.

In addition to the Israeli armored combat vehicles Merkava 3 & 4 MBTs and Namer APC, the system is integrated on the American Abrams MBT tanks, as well as on the German Leopard 2 and the British Challenger 3.

Berlin continues to give Leopard 2A4 tanks, 15 go to Prague
Photo credit: KMW

Trophy APS works by providing an imaginary balloon around the armored vehicle at 360 ° in azimuth through dozens of sensors that detect all known threats of chemical energy [CE] – including recoilless rifles, ATGMs, AT missiles, HEAT tank cartridges, and RPGs. It works in a fairly wide range with simultaneous execution of dozens of tasks, monitoring hazards from all possible positions in 360 ° azimuth.

The system can pre-define an enemy or friendly zone, 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 ones.

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