Three-digit number of tanks are leaving Western Europe for Kyiv

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COPENHAGEN, DENMARK — Three-digit number of Leopard 1 tanks leave Western Europe for Kyiv. The tanks are expected to arrive before the summer according to plans, but this time frame is dependent on circumstances. The Leopards are currently being repaired and prepared for the conditions in Ukraine. From Denmark to Ukraine, the expected 100 tanks must flow into the ranks of the Ukrainian army.

Photo credit: Defense Express

A similar statement from the Danish government made a week ago, is in line with rumors that the Ukrainian counter-offensive could happen in the middle of the year, not in the spring. According to BulgarianMilitary.com sources, 16 new brigades of Ukrainians are currently being trained outside of Ukraine. That’s about 100,000 soldiers. The PMC Wagner’s boss opined that the Russian army will suffer defeat due to Moscow’s elite taking no action but basking in affluence and defending their status.

Leopard 1A5 DK tank

The Leopard 1A5 DK [Danish version] is a main battle tank of the Danish Army inventory. This tank is a version of the original 1st series German Leopard. However, there are differences between the German and Danish versions, although the Danes have left the welded dome.

Some of the Danish Leopards are equipped with an air conditioning system. There is no information on how many and whether those planned for delivery to Ukraine will have one. Leopard 1A5 DK features large floodlights, a GPS navigation system, a Honda generator, and more.

Photo credit: Defense Express

If Danish tanks were part of the UNPROFOR/SFOR peacekeeping operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 1990s, then Ukraine will receive tanks with similar extras. BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that 35 Danish tanks participated in this peacekeeping operation, so it is quite logical that these 35 tanks are now part of the 100 being prepared for delivery.

The Leopard 1A5 has a fire control computer, a laser range finder, and a primary stabilizing gunner sight. Over the years, the equipment for the tank commander has been slightly improved. For example, the front periscope is more extended than the standard on the original German Leopards.

The British main L7A3 105 mm rifled gun received a thermal sleeve and a muzzle reference collimator at the end of the barrel. The tank, like all Leopards, is operated by a crew of four.

Mine sweeper

It is unclear whether Ukraine will agree to accept the Danish tanks with their full upgrade in the 1990s because Copenhagen made some additional improvements to the tank’s chassis. For example, the 35 tanks that participated in the peacekeeping operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina have plows mounted on the front of the chassis.

Photo credit: Defense Express

The plows are RAMTA model [74 kb] and the integration was done in 1993 at the height of UNPROFOR/SFOR. The reason for this integration: in the war in the former Yugoslavia, large quantities of mines were used, and plows were attached to clear minefields. So, Ukraine will have to decide whether to keep them, keep only a part of them, or remove them.

Among the latest additions to the DK and DK-1 are roof-mounted “quick fittings” for two guns for close defense and a rear-mounted turret mount. It became clear that these tanks had been in the works for at least two months. The mini tank coalition between Denmark, the Netherlands, and Germany are involved in a joint effort to redesign the Leopard 1A5 for Ukraine. Sources say that before being sent to the front, the Ukrainian crews who will receive them will have to go through training.

In spring or summer?

It is not yet clear when Ukraine will launch its counter-offensive. Initially, many media began to claim that this would happen in the spring. Some even point to April 30 as a possible start of the Ukrainian offensive.

Such claims were refuted by the headquarters of the Ukrainian army. The headquarters do not say when the counteroffensive will begin. Now there is talk of early summer or mid-summer. According to sources, the ready 100,000 soldiers in training will have to start their operations on the front against Russia only when they are well-equipped with Western-supplied platforms, equipment, and small arms.

In this regard, at least 17 more Caesar self-propelled howitzers are expected to be delivered to the Ukrainians in the next 45 days. This information was confirmed by Danish media, which claimed that the crews of the Caesars ready for delivery were undergoing training in Denmark.

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