Ground Warfare

Netherlands and Denmark Reinforce Ukrainian Army with First Batch of Leopard 2A4 Main Battle Tanks

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Netherlands and Denmark Reinforce Ukrainian Army with First Batch of Leopard 2A4 Main Battle Tanks

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Netherlands and Denmark Reinforce Ukrainian Army with First Batch of Leopard 2A4 Main Battle Tanks
Netherlands and Denmark Reinforce Ukrainian Army with First Batch of Leopard 2A4 Main Battle Tanks

The Netherlands and Denmark have taken a significant step forward by purchasing and overhauling the first two Leopard 2A4 main battle tanks, a formidable addition to the country’s military arsenal. This marks a crucial development in the ongoing effort to support Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression. The German manufacturer Rheinmetall, renowned for its expertise in military hardware, completed the overhaul of the initial two tanks, with plans to prepare the remaining 12 in the coming months. The process ensures that each tank meets the highest standards of functionality and readiness for the challenges that lie ahead. The Netherlands and Denmark, acting as key contributors to Ukraine’s defense, placed the order for the 14 Leopard 2A4 tanks last year. The commitment underscores the cooperative efforts within the international tank coalition, with the Netherlands having previously supplied Leopard-1 tanks alongside Denmark and Germany.

Following the overhaul, the first batch of tanks is set to undergo training operations in Poland, equipping Ukrainian cavalrymen with the skills and expertise necessary to harness the full potential of these advanced battle tanks. The training program aims to enhance Ukraine’s operational capabilities, preparing its forces to effectively counter any potential threat. The Leopard 2A4 tanks boast a formidable combination of large firepower, advanced protection, and impressive speed, providing Ukraine with a formidable advantage in the ongoing conflict. As the tanks are scheduled for delivery to Ukraine this summer, anticipation is building within the international community for the positive impact these armored vehicles will have on Ukraine’s ability to defend itself against Russian aggression. The Netherlands, Denmark, and Germany’s commitment to reinforcing Ukraine’s defense is a testament to the importance of international collaboration in the face of regional threats.

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The Dutch Ministry of Defence has announced the refurbishment and readiness of the first two of fourteen Leopard 2 A4 tanks, jointly purchased by the Netherlands and Denmark, for Ukraine
The Dutch Ministry of Defence has announced the refurbishment and readiness of the first two of fourteen Leopard 2 A4 tanks, jointly purchased by the Netherlands and Denmark, for Ukraine. (Photo by Dutch Ministry of Defence.)

In April 2023 the Dutch and Danish governments announced their intention to jointly acquire Leopard 2A4 main battle tanks for donation to Ukraine. The Dutch government therefore contracted with Rheinmetall to supply fourteen Leopard 2A4 main battle tanks, worth a figure in the lower three-digit million-euro range. The Dutch and Danish government are jointly financing the order as part of the international tank coalition to provide effective support for Ukraine. Officials of the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany and representatives of Rheinmetall recently signed an agreement to this effect. The transaction underscores Rheinmetall’s role as an important supplier of materiel to the Ukrainian armed forces. It is just the latest in a series of actions taken by the Düsseldorf-based tech enterprise in support of Ukraine’s defensive war effort.

Rheinmetall has also been instrumental in supplying the Ukrainian military with substantial numbers of combat vehicles, whether through multilateral “Ringtausch” exchange programmes with partner nations or via direct deliveries. Back in March 2023, for instance, Rheinmetall shipped twenty Marder infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine at the behest of the German government. A second lot of twenty of these tried-and-tested vehicles is due to ship this summer. Rheinmetall is the embattled country’s sole source of large-volume shipments of new medium- and large-calibre ammunition, including 20mm rounds for the Marder infantry fighting vehicle’s automatic cannon and 105mm and 120mm tank ammunition for the main armament of the Ukrainian Army’s Leopard I and Leopard 2 MBTs. A first lot of 35mm ammunition for the Gepard antiaircraft tank will soon be ready for shipment as well.

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