Spain sends six Leopard tanks to Ukraine and ‘more if needed’
MADRID, SPAIN — Defense Minister Margarita Robles confirmed that Spain will supply Ukraine with a batch of six Leopard 2A4s for the time being, although she opened the door to the delivery of more tanks of this model in the future “if needed”.
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“Spain is making repairs to update an advanced part of the Leopard 2A4, composed of four plus two, and to include those of the other countries,” specified the Minister of Plenary Session of the Congress of PP Deputy Affairs, Mr. Fernando Gutiérrez Díaz de Otasu. Ms. Robles also noted that this first delivery could increase in the future.
“We are currently refurbishing six Leopard 2A4s with the possibility, if necessary and our allies request, that this number could be increased,” the minister said.
Robles did not give a deadline for the delivery of the tanks or the length of the work. Santa Barbara Sistemas is responsible for the development of its facilities in Alcala de Guadaira in Seville, a center where the company specializes in the modernization, maintenance, and life cycle of armored vehicles. Five cars arrived at the beginning of February from the Casetas industrial area in Zaragoza, and the sixth did so a few days later.
Spain is also involved in the training of crews and service personnel. The army is already training 55 Ukrainian soldiers in Zaragoza to operate a Leopard 2A4 tank.
The minister again avoided detailing the number of materials Spain has delivered to Ukraine so far out of “precaution” and “so as not to tip off” Vladimir Putin. For his part, the People’s Deputy reproached the minister for the lack of information about supplies and recalled that Spain is one of the least transparent NATO countries on this matter, occupying the penultimate place only before Portugal, in a report published by the German think tank Kiel Institute.
A fleet of 108 Leopard 2A4 tanks
Spain has 108 Leopard 2A4 main battle tanks, of which 53 are stored at the army headquarters in Casetas [Zaragoza]. The six that Santa Barbara Sistemas is repairing come from here.
The rest are active. About 40 are stationed at the headquarters in Ceuta and Melilla, and about a dozen are part of what is known as the San Gregorio Field of Maneuver Enemy Unit. The latests are mainly used as an opposing force in exercises.
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