Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands will contribute capital to restore at least 100 Leopard 1 tank in storage to supply Ukraine.
In a joint statement on February 7, Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands said Ukraine would receive at least 100 Leopard 1A5 tanks in the coming months and train soldiers to operate and provide logistics and spare parts. Replacement and ammunition.
Germany developed the Leopard 1 in the 1950s-1960s, began production and service in 1965, then scrapped it and replaced it with the Leopard 2 main battle tank. Dutch Defense Minister Kasja Ollongren commented that the Leopard 1 is ” certainly suitable” for Ukraine to use in the war, even if it is an old main tank model.
“This is a fire-tested tank. They are being repaired and ready for battle, so they will certainly be useful to Ukraine and better than some Russian tanks,” said Minister Ollongren. But did not detail the Russian tank, which she thinks Leopard 1 is better.
Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands said partners could join the initiative to move Leopard 1, and Belgium “have expressed interest.” Belgium removed the entire Leopard 1, bought and stored by a private company.
During a visit to Kyiv, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius announced that 20-25 Leopard 1s would arrive in Ukraine in the summer, about 80 by the end of 2023 and 100 more by 2024.
At a press conference on February 7 in Washington, USA, German Deputy Chancellor Robert Habeck expressed hope that the decision to deliver the Leopard 1 tank “comes at the right time.”
“There are still Leopard 1 tanks, but we need to refurbish and refit them to be able to fight. So we don’t know exactly how many,” Habeck said. “However, these tanks are large enough to repel the Russian spring offensive.”
The German government announced on February 3 that it had granted permission to transfer Leopard 1 to Ukraine after agreeing to aid Leopard 2 tanks at the end of January. German arms corporation Rheinmetall said it would deliver 20-25 vehicles to Ukraine.
Tank Leopard 1 this year, the company will move the remaining 88 units to the warehouse by 2024. Russia has repeatedly stressed that any weapons the West sends to Ukraine will only prolong the conflict and lead to unnecessary bloodshed. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov warned, “German tanks will burn up on the Ukrainian battlefield like the rest of Western weapons.”
The Leopard 1 main battle tank was developed by Porsche in the 1960s, with more than 4,700 units produced. Leopard 1 weighs 42.2 tons, is armed with a 105 mm L7A3 cannon with a 105 mm slit, two MG-3 or FN MAG guns, and can reach a maximum speed of 65 km / h with a range of 450-600 km.
Leopard 1 has a lighter weight and less firepower than Leopard 2, a 62-ton tank equipped with a 120 mm Rh-120 smoothbore cannon and advanced armor. However, many German officials believe Leopard 1 can still confront the main Russian tank.
Germany also used the Leopard 1 body to build the Flakpanzer Gepard self-propelled anti-aircraft gun with two Oerlikon GDF 35 mm cannons and target tracking radar. Germany, in April 2022, approved the transfer of 50 Gepard anti-aircraft guns to Ukraine.