Germany buys 25 Leopard 1A5 tanks to transfer them to Ukraine

The Ukrainian authorities have granted a contract to Rheinmetall for Leopard 1 systems, which encompass 25 Leopard 1A5 primary battle tanks, a sum of five armored recovery units [Bergepanzer 2], and a pair of tanks designed for driver tutoring. 

Rheinmetall might deliver 50 'stored' Leopard-1A5 tanks to Ukraine
Photo credit: Wikipedia

This high-value contract in the tens of millions of euros range, funded by Germany, extends beyond the tanks themselves. It also includes a suite of additional services such as training programs, the provision of spare parts, regular maintenance, and comprehensive logistical support. 

With delivery planned for 2024, the current phase involves the complete overhaul and preparation of the Leopard 1 systems at Rheinmetall’s facilities based in Unterlüß and Kassel. 

In the continuation of its longstanding support for Ukraine, Rheinmetall provides a regular supply of tactical vehicles. Its previous assignment involved supplying eighty Marder infantry combat vehicles to the Ukrainian forces. A considerable portion of these vehicles is already operational in the country, exhibiting their worth in current field operations. 

Subject to the placement of the order, Rheinmetall stands ready to provide twenty more Marder BMPs. Additionally, between late 2023 and early 2024, Ukraine will welcome five Caracal air mobile units into their fleet. 

Moreover, acting on behalf of the Dutch and Danish governments, Rheinmetall will supply fourteen Leopard 2A4 tanks to Ukraine in the upcoming year. Beyond vehicle supply, the company also offers aid to the Ukrainian military forces by supplying ammunition, drone technology, medical apparatus, and other resources.

About Leopard 1A5

The Leopard 1A5 tank is a German-made main battle tank that was developed in the 1970s. It is an upgraded version of the original Leopard 1 tank and incorporates several improvements in terms of firepower, protection, and mobility.

In terms of characteristics, the Leopard 1A5 has a length of approximately 9.54 meters, a width of 3.37 meters, and a height of 2.62 meters. It weighs around 42.5 tons and has a crew of four members, including the commander, gunner, loader, and driver.

The tank’s operational range depends on various factors such as terrain, fuel capacity, and speed. However, on average, the Leopard 1A5 has an operational range of approximately 500 kilometers.

In terms of firepower, the Leopard 1A5 is equipped with a 105mm smoothbore gun, which is capable of firing various types of ammunition, including APFSDS [Armor-Piercing Fin-Stabilized Discarding Sabot] rounds and HEAT (High-Explosive Anti-Tank) rounds. It also has a coaxial machine gun and an anti-aircraft machine gun for close defense.

The tank is powered by an MTU MB 838 Ca M500, a 10-cylinder, water-cooled diesel engine that generates around 830 horsepower. This engine provides the Leopard 1A5 with a maximum road speed of approximately 65 kilometers per hour and a cross-country speed of around 45 kilometers per hour.

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