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Defence Policy

Polish Leopard 2 Main Battle Tanks for Ukraine – Decisions Have Been Made!

Photo. cpt. Dariusz Kudlewski/10 BKPanc/Zoom.mon.gov.pl

President Andrzej Duda announced in Lviv that a decision has been made on the upcoming transfer of the Polish Leopard 2 MBTs to Ukraine, in a form of a military aid package.

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The information transferred via the Presidential communication channels suggests that a decision was made by Poland to transfer a company of Leopard 2 MBTs to Ukraine, provided that a broader coalition of user-nations gets together with a similar intent.

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Every nation-state that would be a part of a coalition as such would be expected to transfer a single MBT company to Ukraine, consisting of ca. 14 MBTs each. That means that if nations declaring their willingness to transfer the MBTs decide to be a part of such a collaborative effort – for instance Poland, Finland, Denmark, and Spain – then Ukraine could potentially receive around 56 main battle tanks, being an equivalent of a single, complete tank battalion (31 MBTs), and one full company element (14 MBTs), and one extra element that would operate fewer MBTs than a company – 11 examples.

Everything would depend on how many nations express their willingness to be a part of such a group that remains ready to provide aid and support to Ukraine. An initiative as such could be a springboard for further, more significant Leopard 2 deliveries in the future.

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First, it shall however be guaranteed that the Polish Army would receive new MBTs to replace the Leopard 2. In circumstances as such launching an effort aimed at procuring M1A1/M1A2 Abrams MBTs could be a possible solution.

The biggest question here pertains to Berlin's stance, as the Germans have been stating, for quite some time, that they would not be eager to deliver MBTs to Ukraine through an autonomous effort. Berlin operates around 300 Leopard 2 MBTs, including ca. 200 Leopard 2A6s, and several Leopard 2A5s, and the remainder comes in a form of the latest Leopard 2A7Vs. It needs to be noted that the German fleet of Leopard MBTs is facing a plethora of technical issues as well.

Furthermore, the German industry also keeps a certain number of Leopard 2A4s in storage, but most probably overhauls would be necessary in the case of these. At least 100 Leopard 1A5 MBTs are also available – Ukraine has already submitted a relevant request regarding those.

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