German arms producer Rheinmetall and Ukraine sign contract for 25 Leopard tanks
The Ukrainian government signed a contract with the German arms company Rheinmetall to supply 25 Leopard 1 tanks and additional equipment in 2024.
What's the problem?
The announcement comes as Ukraine, facing Russian aggression for over a year and nine months, seeks to strengthen its armed forces with a sufficient number of tanks.
Tanks play a crucial role in providing firepower and cover during military advances on the battlefield. A higher quantity of tanks helps minimize losses among infantry. Effectively utilized, tanks provide mobile firepower, protection, shock, and unpredictability. In larger numbers, they can disrupt enemy defenses.
What's the solution?
According to Rheinmetall, the ongoing support for Ukraine includes a continuous supply of tactical equipment. The new contract with the Ukrainian government involves the delivery of:
- 25 Leopard 1A5 main battle tanks.
- Five armored recovery vehicles Bergepanzer 2.
- Two driver training tanks.
How does it work?
The German government is financing the order, and the cost is estimated to be "close to two-digit" million euros, according to the company. In addition to the equipment, Berlin will provide training, logistics, spare parts, technical maintenance, and other supporting services for Ukraine. The deliveries are scheduled for 2024.
Leopard 1 systems are now undergoing major repairs and preparation for use at Rheinmetall plants in Germany.
Rheinmetall weapons for Ukraine
Earlier in October, the German arms conglomerate signed a contract to supply Ukraine with a new batch of SurveilSpire reconnaissance systems, effective in countering enemy drones.
Rheinmetall also stressed that they had previously been tasked with producing 80 Marder infantry fighting vehicles for Ukraine, with the majority already delivered to the Ukrainian military. The company is prepared to supply an additional 20 Marder IFVs upon receiving the order. Moreover, by the end of 2023 or early 2024, Ukraine will receive five Caracal armored personnel carriers.
Rheinmetall is also set to supply Ukraine with 14 Leopard 2A4 tanks in the coming year, as ordered by the governments of the Netherlands and Denmark. The company continues to provide Ukraine with ammunition, drones, medical equipment, and more. Recently, Rheinmetall received another order from the German government to supply around 100,000 artillery mines for Ukraine.