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Danish and German Ministers Visit Ukrainian Leopard 1 Main Battle Tank Training Center

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Danish and German Ministers Visit Ukrainian Leopard 1 Main Battle Tank Training Center

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Danish and German Ministers Visit Ukrainian Leopard 1 Main Battle Tank Training Center
Danish and German Ministers Visit Ukrainian Leopard 1 Main Battle Tank Training Center

Acting Defense Minister Troels Lund Poulsen and his German colleague Boris Pistorius today visited the training activity for Ukrainians who are currently being trained for Leopard 1 main battle tanks in Germany. Acting Minister of Defense Troels Lund Poulsen today had the opportunity to meet some of the Ukrainians who are currently being trained to operate the more than 100 Leopard 1 main battle tanks that Denmark is donating together with the Netherlands and Germany. The minister visited the training activity together with his German colleague, Boris Pistorius, and the two ministers had the opportunity to talk to Ukrainians and Danish and German instructors.

“It is a donation that the Ukrainians demand and that fits well with the other Ukrainian equipment. My Ukrainian colleague, Oleksii Reznikov, has confirmed this to me on several occasions. Our cooperation on the donation of such a large number of Leopard 1 tanks goes well with other countries’ supply of tanks to Ukraine, and our joint project emphasizes the importance of cooperation between nations and industry. It is absolutely crucial for continued support for Ukraine,” says Troels Lund Poulsen.

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Ukrainian troops are being trained to operate the Leopard 1A5 tanks that are being procured and refurbished by the Danish, Dutch and German governments from industry stocks.
Ukrainian troops are being trained to operate the Leopard 1A5 tanks that are being procured and refurbished by the Danish, Dutch and German governments from industry stocks. (Photo by Bundeswehr)

The training activity is part of the joint donation with Germany and the Netherlands that was announced back in February. In addition to training in the tanks, spare parts and an ammunition pack are included. Some of the at least 100 tanks are being repaired at the Flensburger Fahrzeugbau Gesellschaft, but the first ones have thus been used for training by the Ukrainians. The first sub-goal of the project is to continue to be able to deliver Leopard 1 tanks to two battalions, corresponding to approximately 80 tanks, over the coming months. In addition, Denmark and the Netherlands announced in April that they would donate 14 Leopard 2 tanks, which are expected to be handed over to Ukraine in early 2024.

The Kampfpanzer Leopard 1 (also styled Leopard I, before the Leopard 2 simply known as the Kampfpanzer Leopard) is a main battle tank designed by Porsche and manufactured by Krauss-Maffei in West Germany, first entering service in 1965. Developed in an era when HEAT warheads were thought to make conventional heavy armour of limited value, the Leopard design focused on effective firepower and mobility instead of heavy protection. On 07 February 2023, the German federal government approved the export of 178 Leopard 1A5 main battle tanks to Ukraine. Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands subsequently issued a statement that the three countries would jointly finance the purchase of “at least” 100 Leopard 1A5 tanks from FFG and Rheinmetall stocks.

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