Germany has agreed to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine in hopes that this will be a game-changer for Ukraine.
Chancellor of Germany, Olaf Scholz announced the decision at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, January 25. Germany decided to send a total of 14 tanks and allowed other countries to send their help as well. A German government spokesperson claimed that the decision to supply the tanks ‘follows their well-known line of supporting Ukraine to the best of their ability’. Germany also permitted other countries to send their Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, which was restricted under export regulations until now.
German officials had reportedly been insisting they would only agree to transfer the Leopard 2s to Ukraine if the US also sent M1 Abrams. “If the Germans continue to say we will only send or release Leopards on the conditions that Americans send Abrams, we should send Abrams,” Democratic Senator Chris Coons, a Biden ally, said on Tuesday.
What are Leopard 2 Tanks?
The Leopards are powerful tanks developed by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW), a Munich-based defense company, and are used by several European countries, as well as others like Canada and Turkey. As per the KMW, there are four models of Leopard 2: A4, A5, A6, and the A7+, the latest addition. The A7+ has been described by the company as the ‘world’s most advanced main battle tank.’
“The Leopard is quite powerful with regard to firepower. So, it can fire quite a long range with different types of ammunition that you can basically shape towards your target, so what you want to hit, you can choose different types of ammunition for that,” Dr. Christian Mölling, head of the Centre for Security and Defence at the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), told Euronews.
How much do Leopard 2 Tanks cost?
The Leopard 2s cost $11 million each. Germany has decided to send 14 tanks, making the total $154 million. Germany would not be charging Ukraine for the tanks.