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First Danish Leopard 1A5DK Main Battle Tanks for Ukraine Ready in Spring

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First Danish Leopard 1A5DK Main Battle Tanks for Ukraine Ready in Spring

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Danish Army Leopard 1A5DK Main Battle Tank
Danish Army Leopard 1A5DK Main Battle Tank

Acting Danish Defense Minister Troels Lund Poulsen visited Flensburger Fahrzeugbau Gesellschaft (FFG) on Friday to be updated on the work to prepare Leopard 1 tanks for Ukraine. The expectation remains that the first tanks will be delivered in the spring. With broad support from the Danish Parliament, the government has entered into a collaboration with Germany and the Netherlands to donate at least 100 Leopard 1A5DK tanks to Ukraine. The Minister of Defense visited the company FFG to discuss the ongoing renovation of Leopard 1 tanks as part of the Danish-German-Dutch donation of tanks to Ukraine.

Denmark launched the project to refurbish a large number of Leopard 1A5 tanks together with the Netherlands and Germany in early February. The first sub-goal of the project is to be able to deliver tanks to two battalions – corresponding to approximately 80 main battle tanks – as quickly as possible. The first tanks are expected to be ready during the spring and will be used to train Ukrainian forces. Ukraine will be offered education and training in the use of the tanks, as well as spare parts and an ammunition package. The project is open for more countries to join later.

The Kampfpanzer Leopard 1 is a main battle tank designed by Porsche and manufactured by Krauss-Maffei in West Germany, first entering service in 1965. Coupled with a modern suspension and drivetrain, gave the Leopard superior mobility and cross-country performance compared to most other main battle tanks of the era. The Leopard 1 design focused on effective firepower and mobility instead of heavy protection. More than 4.700 units have been delivered to Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Turkey and others. Production ceased in late 1979, but was reopened to meet new orders from Greece and Turkey.

Denmark procured 120 Leopard 1A3 MBT´s in June 1974 with first delivery February 24th 1976 and the last to be delivered in August 1978. The Danish Leopards were very similar to the German A3 with the exception of a periscope wipe system, and the deletion of the round close-defence weapon blanking plate on the top turret. Also the turret was prepared during manufacture for a integrated fire-control system. This lead to to the retirement of the Centurion MBT, and the swap from M41 DK-1 to Leopard MBT´s in the reconnaissance squadrons. All 230 units have been brought up to Leopard 1A5DK standard by Falck Schmidt, Odense and Wegmann, Kassel (turret) from 1990 – 1994.

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