BERLIN, GERMANY — The German government will announce on Tuesday that it has given permission to defense concern Rheinmetall and Flensburger Fahrzeugbau Gesellschaft mbH [FFG] to supply Ukraine with 187 Leopard 1 tanks, BulgarianMilitary.com reports, citing a source.
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According to the publication, Rheinmetall will transfer 88 vehicles, and another 99 will come from FFG. At the same time, Ukraine will receive the first tanks no earlier than the middle of this year, their exact number is not specified. The publication notes that many Leopard 1s require repairs, and it is not clear whether it is possible to use the entire batch on the battlefield or if some of the equipment will be used for spare parts.
Earlier, the Handelsblatt newspaper reported that Germany could supply Ukraine with up to 160 Leopard 1 main battle tanks from industrial stocks. According to her, it is not yet known when the tankers will be fully ready for dispatch. Some of them are in bad condition. Their components can be used to repair other Leopard tanks, the publication concludes.
BugarianMilitary.com recalls that despite the resistance of the German dancer Mr. Olaf Schalz, Berlin yielded to the pressure of the West and allowed the re-export of the Leopard tank. In this way, several European countries, which had previously expressed their desire to supply Leopard tanks from their inventory to Ukraine, received the green light.
Leopard tanks are believed to be the best tanks in the world that can counter the Russian T-80 and T-90 tanks. However, we are talking about Leopard 2, not Leopard 1. However, opinions are quite different and conflicting. According to some, it all depends on the tank crew and their ability to operate a technique with which they have trained for years.
Russian media claim that the Leopard is much more vulnerable than Russian tanks, as the German machines do not have dynamic protection. For years, Berlin was on the verge of integrating such a type of armor but later backed out, saying it was dangerous.
Basically, dynamic protection consists of two parallel plates, each moving in the opposite direction of the other, with a charge between them. In this way, it is almost impossible for an anti-tank missile to hit the armor at a right angle, and always at an angle, often 45 degrees. The charge between the plates is activated, allowing the missile to be destroyed long before its penetrating power is activated.
The decision to supply Leopard tanks is a turning point in the war in Ukraine and a new stage. Along with the Leopard, in the coming months, Kyiv should receive at least 14 units of Challenger tanks delivered from London and at least 31 Abrams tanks delivered from Washington.
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