Polish-German Memorandum: Leopard MBT Support System
Mariusz Błaszczak, head of the Polish MoD, along with his German counterpart, Ursula von der Leyen, have signed a memorandum of understanding pertaining to maintenance support that is to be provided for the Leopard 2 MBTs used by the Polish military. The support services are to be rendered the Bundeswehr.
Head of the German MoD is currently visiting Warsaw. She met Mariusz Błaszczak, her Polish counterpart, last Thursday. Polish Ministry of Defence also announced, in its release, that the meeting concerned development of the bilateral cooperation established between Germany and Poland, and also within the framework provided both by NATO, as well as by the EU.
During the meeting the officials have signed a “Supplement to the Agreement by and between the Federal Ministry of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany and Ministry of National Defence of the Republic of Poland, covering the issue of transferring the military equipment”. The press service of the German Embassy specified the matter: the agreement concerns continued maintenance support for the Polish Leopard 2 MBTs.
Poland, within the framework of intergovernmental agreements signed with Germany, has acquired two lots of Leopard 2 main battle tanks coming from the surplus inventory of the Bundeswehr. Within the period between 2002 and 2003, 128 2A4 tanks were delivered and they have become a part of the inventory of the 10th Armoured Cavalry Brigade in Świętoszów. Meanwhile, within the period between 2014 and 2015, 119 were acquired from Germany in total, including 105 Leopard 2A5 vehicles and 14 Leopard 2A4 platforms. First they were received by the 34th Armoured Cavalry Brigade based in Świętoszów and starting from 2017 these vehicles started to be transferred to the 1st Armoured Brigade based in Wesoła (while the Świętoszów unit received the T-72M1 vehicles, that had been previously kept in storage).
Leopard 2A4 main battle tanks are being upgraded to the 2PL variant on the basis of agreement signed at the end of 2015 by a consortium formed by PGZ and ZM Bumar-Łabędy company and a foreign partner: Rheinmetall. Meanwhile, WZM facility in Poznan (Military Automotive Works) is responsible for carrying out potential modifications or upgrades of those tanks, should the Polish Ministry of Defence decide to acquire the upgraded variety.
Ursula von der Leyen is taking part in a conference organized by the German Marshall Fund and Polish Institute of International Affairs, on the accession of the 70th NATO anniversary and the 20th anniversary of the Polish NATO membership. The discussion concerns the current affairs related to the security matters, including the relations with Russia and potential threats emerging on the Eastern flank.