Germany: Combat capability of Leopard tanks doesn’t look promising
BERLIN, GERMANY — The number and condition of the Leopard 2 tanks promised to Ukraine do not look encouraging, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said ahead of a meeting of NATO defense chiefs. His words were quoted by AFP.
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“The situation does not look promising, especially in terms of the condition and combat readiness of the tanks,” Pistorius said.
He said he “understands a little” why Poland, which has been putting heavy pressure on Berlin over tank supplies to Ukraine, is keeping little for itself. Pistorius noted that the delivery of main battle tanks and ammunition to Kyiv has been slow, despite the impending Russian offensive that Ukrainian officials have been talking about.
At the same meeting, US Defense Secretary Mr. Lloyd Austin said the “tank coalition” for the Leopard transfer included eight countries – Norway, Spain, Denmark, Portugal, Canada, the Netherlands, Germany, and Poland.
He noted that the goal of the North Atlantic Alliance is not only to transfer equipment to Ukraine but also to provide military capabilities in the long term. The need to create a “tank coalition” to ensure the counter-offensive of Ukraine, said the Minister of Defense of the Republic, Alexei Reznikov.
The Russian leadership criticizes the supply of arms to Ukraine. President Vladimir Putin said Moscow knew how to respond and stressed that “the use of armored vehicles will not end the matter”.
Germany has an opportunity to renew its tank arsenal. German military sources claim that Rheinmetall intends to make its KF-51 Panther tank the main battle tank of the German army. BulgarianMilitary.com reminds you that because of the war in Ukraine, Germany will drastically reduce its arsenal of Leopard 2 tanks. There are currently about 300 Leopard 2 tanks in service with the German ground forces.
Rheinmetall believes that their tank fully meets the requirements for conducting future military operations. Rheinmetall says their 59-tonne tank is much more mobile than the current Leopard 2 and its operational range has been increased to 500km.
The KF51 Panther has a new weapon that surpasses the 120mm smoothbore gun of current tanks, which have reached their limits and are no longer as lethal against the increased protection of the new tanks that Russia is developing. Therefore, it has adopted an innovative 130 mm smoothbore gun, which can also be loaded with ammunition fully automatically. Rheinmetall estimates that this weapon is 50% more effective than current 120mm systems.
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