Espreso. Global

Germany plans to buy 100 Leopard 1A5s from Greece for Ukraine, Athens to get Italian tanks in return – media

28 August, 2023 Monday
20:55

The German government wants to buy about 100 Leopard 1A5 tanks from Greece, repair them and transfer them to Ukraine. These tanks are in short supply in all European countries except Greece

This was reported by the Greek publication Flight.

The publication notes that "the available quantity of some types of weapons is limited, while Ukraine's needs, given the material wear and tear they have, especially in their slowly developing counter-offensive, are great and growing."

"In particular, in the field of tanks, Ukrainians, in addition to quality (Leopard-2 and Abrams), are in dire need of quantity," the media outlet writes.

Therefore, the allies are looking for weapons that can still be transferred to Ukraine. 

Hence, the decision to buy Leopard 1A5s from Greece. In return, Athens should receive a similar number of modernized tanks. The country demands that the German side overhaul the former Italian tanks at its own expense in Greece or where the Greek government will specify. Another demand is to install modern thermal imagers, which Leopard 2 has. In addition, Greece is asking to strengthen the armor of the tanks.

At the same time, Germany demands that Greece keep the tanks in good working order. However, several dozen of the current number of tanks do not belong to operational units, and some are used for training. The Greek side has not upgraded Leopard 1A5s since they were received, i.e. for 30 years.

Germany's assistance to Ukraine

Germany has been providing military assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of the full-scale war. In particular, Ukrainian soldiers are receiving German armored vehicles, including Leopard 2 tanks and Marder infantry fighting vehicles.

On March 24, Germany handed over machine guns, engineering vehicles, and anti-drone systems to Ukraine.

Already in April, the country sent another military aid package to Ukraine, which included trucks, reconnaissance drones, and ammunition.

On May 14, Germany announced a new EUR 2.7 billion aid package for Ukraine, which included 4 IRIS-T-SLM anti-aircraft missile systems, 30 Leopard tanks, and 20 Marder infantry fighting vehicles. On May 23, the country handed over a TRML-4D air defense radar, Vector reconnaissance drones, and more.

In June, Ukraine received a promise of another batch of aid for the frontline, including ammunition for Leopard, 66 armored personnel carriers, and about 100 pieces of special equipment.

Later, the German Ministry of Defense ordered 20 Marder infantry fighting vehicles for Ukraine from Rheinmetall. The infantry fighting vehicles are likely to be delivered to the country by the end of July.

Also in June, Germany announced its intention to provide Ukraine with EUR 381 million in humanitarian aid.

On July 13, Germany handed over Gepard anti-aircraft guns and fire control stations for IRIS-T to Ukraine.

On July 21, Germany announced a new military aid package for Ukraine, which for the first time includes Leopard tanks, machine guns, artillery shells, and other necessary weapons.

On July 24, Germany agreed with Poland to repair Leopard tanks damaged in Ukraine.

On August 17, Ukraine received another package of military aid from Germany, which includes IRIS-T air defense systems.

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