Stored Italian Leopard 1A5s await their fate after a failed deal

ROME ($1=1.02 Euros) — A failed deal between Italy and a South American customer left dozens of Leopard 1A5 tanks in Italy. They are located in Lenta – a town and municipality in northern Italy, province of Vercelli, region of Piedmont. Pictures on the Internet show rows of tanks rolled up, waiting for their next destination.

Stored Italian Leopard 1A5s await their fate after a failed deal
Photo credit: Twitter

Of course, the first assumption is that the tanks will be sent to Ukraine. It is not yet known whether such an action is being considered by the Italian authorities. BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that Italy recently scrapped a large part of this modification of German tanks. The rest were prepared for export, but as we mentioned – the deal fell through.

The first impression is that there is a lot of rust on the tank chains. Bystanders say that if they do end up in Ukraine, it will be in nearly three months. This period is the most optimistic time to remove the rust, but it can be longer. It is also not known what the current technological and operational status of the stored Italian armored fighting vehicles is.

One of the advantages of quick repair is the fact that the tanks are located in a repair plant for heavily armored combat vehicles. I.e. it shouldn’t take much longer to get them back to working order.

If Rome decides to donate the tanks to Ukraine, it will be another attempt by Kyiv to get Western tanks. The first failed. It was a month ago that Spain agreed to donate obsolete Leopard 1 tanks. However, their condition was so bad that the Ukrainian representative sent to inspect the tanks refused to accept them, even on the condition that they are repaired.

Another opportunity

Tanks can also follow another fate. Just weeks ago, BulgarianMilitary.com reported that Italian M113 APCs have already been sold for scrap. It is about 700 units, which provided 3 million euros from the sale of iron. Rome may decide to do the same, if it does not find a customer for them, or does not arrange delivery to Ukraine.

BulgarianMilitary.com reminds us that there is a repair shop for old weapons, as the EU provides them. That was the idea with the Spanish tanks. It remains for Rome to decide.

Italy sold over 700 M-113 APCs for scrap and took $3 million
Photo credit: NATO

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