Will send at least 100 Leopard 1 tanks to Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands

BERLIN — Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands plan to deliver at least 100 Leopard 1 tanks to Ukraine, as Berlin has approved the export of 178 tanks.

According to a Joint statement From the defense ministers of the three countries, they will supply at least 100 refurbished Leopard 1 tanks of the old A5 type from industrial stocks, the first of which will be delivered in a few months.

The initiative includes training on the Leopard 1 A5 as well as a “retail parts and ammunition package,” the statement said.

Belgium has also shown initial interest in participating and the initiative is open to more partners, according to the statement.

As the German defense and economy ministries confirmed on Tuesday, the economy ministry has granted export licenses to German defense companies to export 178 Leopard 1 A5 main battle tanks to Ukraine. The tanks come from industrial stock and most of the parts still need to be repaired.

“How many Leopard 1 A5 main battle tanks will actually be delivered to Ukraine depends on the necessary repair work,” the ministries said.

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said this at an unannounced time Visit to Kyiv Tuesday that Ukraine will receive more than 100 Leopard 1 A5 main battle tanks from “a group of several European countries.”

At least three battalions will be equipped with them by the first or second quarter of 2024, Pistorius said. The delivery will be phased, he added, with 20 to 25 tanks delivered by summer.

A company in northern Germany, Flensburger Fahrzeugbau Gesellschaft, will launch about 90 Leopard 1 models, which have been in storage for years, for deployment in Ukraine, Spiegel magazine reported.

A second bundle will come from Italy, where arms manufacturer Rheinmetall already secured an option on 88 stored Leopard 1 tanks a month ago. Rheinmetall has now started purchasing tanks and is ready to modernize them, the report said. Still, most of the tanks probably won’t be delivered until 2024.