Russia: Czech Leopard-2s are 90s tanks and not a real threat
MOSCOW ($1=71.42 Russian Rubles) — 15 Leopard 2A4 tanks intended by Germany for the Czech Republic have become a debate among Russian military experts. BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that Berlin agreed to hand over 15 German Leopard-2 tanks to Prague. They are part of a circling exchange after Prague donated 72 units of Soviet T-72 tanks to Ukraine.
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Already in September, the Czech Minister of Defense, Mrs. Natalia Forsterova, announced that the agreement between the two countries had been signed. It was being prepared since May of this year. In the agreement, the Czech Republic wanted the tanks to be further upgraded by the German manufacturer based on requirements previously provided to the German Ministry of Defense.
Russian experts take into account the fact that many Eastern European countries donated Soviet weapons to Ukraine and received Western equipment in return. But according to Russian experts, this is not modern technology, as Leopard-2 is a product of the 1990s. The receipt of the 15 tanks from the Czech Republic does not mean a cardinal strengthening of the combat capability of the Czech army, Russian experts say.
However, Russian military expert Mr. Vladislav Shurigin praised the German Leopard-2 tank. He said that despite the greater weight of the tank compared to the Soviet T-72, the Leopard-2 has “more powerful armor, good optics, and fire control systems, and several other characteristics are higher.” But Mr. Shturigin did not give an assessment of how good the Leopard-2 is and whether it is better than the T-72. According to the expert, only the participation of the tank in battle and the abilities of the tank crew determine whether a tank is good or not.
Shurigin said that weapons supplied by the West to Eastern European countries at the expense of donated Soviet weapons are not a problem for Russia and do not increase their combat capability. These are weapon systems from the 1990s, and there is no way that the Czech Republic with 15 tanks can radically strengthen its military capabilities, the expert added.
The first Leopard-2 tank has already arrived in the Czech Republic based on the agreement signed between the two countries. The remaining 14 tanks will be delivered in the coming months in stages. Czech military analysts say that the last of the 15 Leopard-2 tanks will most likely be delivered by the end of 2023.
There were claims that Western countries were influencing Berlin to supply Leopard-2 tanks directly to Ukraine. Such action prompted German Chancellor Mr. Olaf Scholz to make a deliberate statement saying that Berlin has no intention of supplying tanks to Ukraine. According to Mr. Scholz, Germany will not be an independent country that will risk supplying such equipment to Ukraine.
However, sources suggest that Ukraine may receive non-Soviet-designed tanks next year. So far, these are only guesses and there are no indications of what model tanks and which country will supply them. In the US, however, questions are being asked. If Germany delivers Leopard-2 to Ukraine, the US must deliver an Abrams tank. There are currently no indications that the US is ready to donate tanks to Ukraine.
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