After weeks of mounting political pressure at home and abroad, Germany has agreed to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, a potential turning point for the embattled country in its ongoing battle with Russia.
Berlin will provide Kyiv with 14 Leopard 2 tanks and related munitions from its national arsenal, as well as combat training and the right to export these German-made tanks to other western countries willing to join the international coalition. “This decision follows our well-known line of maximum support for Ukraine,” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said in a statement.
But what makes Leopard 2 tanks so important?
The Leopard 2 was developed by defense company Kross Maffei Wegmann, based in Munich, Germany, and is used in many European countries, including Poland, Spain, Greece, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Switzerland. Countries like Canada and Turkey.
According to Cross-Movie Wegman, there are four models of the Leopard 2, housing the A4, A5, A6 and A7, which the company describes as “the most advanced main battle tank in the world”.
The German solution includes the A6, which has a top speed of 70 km/h and a range of 450 km, a 120 mm smoothbore cannon and a 7.62 mm machine gun.
According to Christian Molling, head of the Center for Defense and Security of the German Council, the Leopard 2 tank is very powerful in terms of firepower, as it can fire at very long distances with different types of ammunition, which can be directed primarily at the target. . For Foreign Affairs, who explained to Euronews that the Leopard 2 tank has very advanced armor, which is also important for the tank’s crew… it’s something that psychologically helps the soldiers.
“The third point is the handling… it’s a very fast car and that also gives it a certain tactical advantage of being able to get in and out very quickly but also cover very short distances,” added Malling.
3,500 Leopard units worldwide
Logistically, the Leopard offers a huge advantage over the US M1 Abrams and UK Challenger 2. “These are parts that require extensive repairs, maintenance and oversight, so there’s a much larger scope of work in the Leopard business,” explained Malling. He adds: “Simply by dismantling all the tanks, spare parts can be obtained. Therefore, the volume of functionality options is much easier. “
Ukraine estimates it needs 300 Western tanks for a counterattack that could push Prussia back to pre-war lines.
Defense firm Cross-Mavi Wegman says it has so far delivered 3,500 Leopard units worldwide, but Western countries want to ensure their military capabilities are not weakened by deliveries to Kyiv.
Older Leopard models will likely be shipped to Kyiv while European governments will try to upgrade remaining tanks or buy the latest available version, Mulling said.
“A decision must be made very quickly on whether to fill the void, while choosing a type of tank that will make a significant military difference in the future, further complicated by the war in Ukraine.” “Logistical sustainability in materiel warfare is a headache and can be a nightmare even for combat forces because they will run out of that equipment if the logistics don’t work,” says Moling.
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