Defence Policy

Poland and Germany will send Leopard 2 MBTs to Ukraine

Leopard 2
Photo. Bundeswehr/Facebook

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced that his country will send 14 Leopard 2A6 Main Battle Tanks to Ukraine within a military assistance package. Poland will send a similar number of tanks, but it is unclear which version will be sent to Ukraine.

After months of hestitation, Germany finally did grant a permission for other countries using Leopard 2 Main Battle Tanks, to send those tanks to Ukraine. According to a German government press release, Germany itself will send 14 Leopard 2A6 MBTs within the security aid, coupled with training (to take place in Germany), and spares/sustaimment services.

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Polish government spokesman Piotr Mueller confirmed that Warsaw will also send 14 tanks type Leopard 2. It is unclear which variant will be sent, as Poland has less than 100 Leopard 2A4s being upgraded to Leopard 2PL variant, 45 Leopard 2PL (Leopard 2A4 will be upgraded to Leopard 2PL) and 105 Leopard 2A5. No word is on replacement of those tanks though Poland already procured a substantial number of tanks (116 M1A1 FEP, 250 M1A2 Abrams SEPv3 and 180 K2) to be delivered until 2026, and from 2026 a license production of K2PL is planned to take place.

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It will remain to be seen whether other countries will make donations as well, though the purpose of the European initiative is to gather at least two battalions (approx. 80 MBTs) and Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Portugal and Spain have already initially declared to donate parts of their Leopard 2 MBTs fleet. In the medium term it will be critical to place appropriate orders in the industry to upgrade the mothballed Leopard 2s to send them to Ukraine as a further reinforcement, and also for new tanks to backfill for the tanks sent to Ukraine. Whether and when will it happen it remains to be seen.