The Leopard 2the heavy tank that Germany decided on Wednesday to hand over to Ukraine after weeks of hesitation, is a world-renowned weapon likely to have a “significant” impact on the battlefield against Russia.
Germany announced that it will deliver to Ukraine 14 Leopard 2A6 tanks from its army reserves and at the same time will allow European countries that wish to supply kyiv with the armored vehicles they have, as Poland had been demanding.
The Leopard 2 was designed by the German manufacturer Krauss-Maffei and built in series starting in the late 1970s to replace the American M48 Patton main battle tank and later the Leopard 1.
This tank, which combines firepower, mobility and protection, weighs sixty tons and about 3,500 were produced.
It is equipped with a 120mm cannon and can fire while on the move. Its maximum speed is 70 km/h thanks to its 1,500 horsepower.
According to the manufacturer, it is also equipped with “comprehensive passive protection” against mines and rocket launchers. Its four-person crew also benefits from technological tools to locate and target the enemy at long range.
Wide availability in Europe
Another great advantage is that the Leopard is widespread in Europe, which facilitates access to ammunition and spare parts and simplifies maintenance, key for this type of equipment.
The last four models are still in use. This is the case of 2A4, of which Poland proposes to deliver 14 to kyiv, and of 2A7, which Germany does not want to get rid of because it prefers to keep it to ensure its own defense.
Germany, which according to the press would have a total of 312 Leopard 2s, of which a hundred are under maintenance, will deliver 14 examples of the 2A6 model.
This model is equipped with a 1.32 meter longer barrel than previous versions and can fire more powerful ammunition with greater accuracy.
This tank, which was used in Afghanistan, also features enhanced mine protection.
Finland, which has more than 200 2A4 model tanks, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), is also willing to provide one to the Ukrainian military.
The Netherlands could also deliver 18 2A4 tanks, Prime Minister Mark Rutte told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
Spain is also willing to participate in the effort. Greece, with 350 tanks, and Turkey, which has used them against Kurdish forces in northern Syria, have the most 2A4s.
The issue of delivery times
The best solution would be for countries willing to contribute to send mainly 2A4 tanks, “for training and logistical reasons”, which would make it easier, for example, to send spare parts, explains former army inspector General Bruno Kasdorf. .
In Germany, arms group Rheinemetall, which supplies the tank’s gun and electronics and owns several dozen older models, has already said it could deliver a total of 139 Leopard Type 1 and 2 tanks.
“I don’t know when the first German tanks will arrive, but we are going to start training very quickly and clarify the supply routes very soon, and I think the first Leopard tanks (2A6) can be in Ukraine in about three months,” the minister said. of Defence, Boris Pistorius.
A “significant” impact on the battlefield
If kyiv could receive a hundred tanks the effect would be “significant” on the battlefield against the Russians, the IISS said.
Ukraine could thus “save its energy infrastructures and save Ukrainians from Russian crimes,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitro Kuleba said.
An army equipped with Leopard 2 “can break the enemy lines and put an end to a long period of trench warfare,” confirms Armin Papperger, director of Rheinemetall. “With the Leopard, soldiers can advance several tens of kilometers at a time.”
hartford car insurance shop car insurance best car insurance quotes best online car insurance get auto insurance quotes auto insurance quotes most affordable car insurance car insurance providers car insurance best deals best insurance quotes get car insurance online best comprehensive car insurance best cheap auto insurance auto policy switching car insurance car insurance quotes auto insurance best affordable car insurance online auto insurance quotes az auto insurance commercial auto insurance instant car insurance buy car insurance online best auto insurance companies best car insurance policy best auto insurance vehicle insurance quotes aaa insurance quote auto and home insurance quotes car insurance search best and cheapest car insurance best price car insurance best vehicle insurance aaa car insurance quote find cheap car insurance new car insurance quote auto insurance companies get car insurance quotes best cheap car insurance car insurance policy online new car insurance policy get car insurance car insurance company best cheap insurance car insurance online quote car insurance finder comprehensive insurance quote car insurance quotes near me get insurance