Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced in the Cabinet on Wednesday that Germany will continue to increase military support for Ukraine. The Federal government has decided to provide the Ukrainian armed forces with Leopard 2 main battle tanks. This is the result of intensive consultations that took place with Germany’s closest European and international partners. This decision follows our well-known line of supporting Ukraine to the best of the Federal government ability. The Federal government are acting in a closely coordinated manner internationally. The goal is to quickly assemble two tank battalions with Leopard 2 tanks for Ukraine.
As a first step, Germany will provide a company with 14 Leopard 2A6 tanks from Bundeswehr stocks. Other European partners will also hand over Leopard-2 tanks. Germany will issue the appropriate transfer permits to partner countries that want to quickly deliver Leopard 2 tanks from their stocks to Ukraine. The training of the Ukrainian crews is to begin quickly in Germany. In addition to training, the package will also include logistics, ammunition and system maintenance. Western nations have promised to deliver more military machinery to support Ukraine against Russia’s invasion. Poland especially has been putting pressure on Germany to send Leopard tanks to Ukraine.
Twelve European countries have agreed to supply Ukraine with around 100 Leopard 2 tanks if the German government gives its consent. Poland and Finland have already indicated publicly that they are willing to provide a number of their Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. Those agreements, were made at Friday’s summit at Ramstein US Air Force Base in Germany when allied nations discussed military support for Ukraine. Spain, Denmark and the Netherlands were also willing to provide some of their tanks. As the country where the military hardware is manufactured, Germany has to approve the export license if countries want to supply some of their tanks to a third nation, such as Ukraine.
The Leopard 2 is a 3rd generation main battle tank originally developed by Krauss-Maffei in the 1970s for the West German army. The tank entered service in 1979 and succeeded the earlier Leopard 1 main battle tank. It is armed with a 120 mm smoothbore cannon made by Rheinmetall, and is powered by a V-12 twin-turbo diesel engine made by MTU Friedrichshafen. Various versions have served in the armed forces of Germany and 13 other European countries, as well as several non-European nations, including Canada, Chile, Indonesia, and Singapore. The Leopard 2 was used in Kosovo with the German Army, in Afghanistan with the Dutch, Danish and Canadian.