Germany to Send 50 Leopard Tank to Ukraine

Germany-based defense equipment supplier Rheinmetall is preparing to supply up to 50 used Leopard 1 battle tanks to Ukraine, the Handelsblatt newspaper reported on Monday, citing the group’s CEO.

DW News reports that 50 tanks are part of 1 billion euros heavy weapons package promised by Chancellor Olaf Schulz.

Rheinmetall could deliver the first tanks in six weeks and the rest over the following three months through its subsidiary Rheinmetall Italia if it gets the green light from the German government, Chief Executive Armin Papperger told Handelsblatt.

The company could not be immediately reached for comment on the report.

Rheinmetall’s Leopard 1 battle tank is a predecessor model of the Leopard 2 currently in service with the German armed forces, and the armies using it have returned it to the supplier while upgrading their equipment, Handelsblatt reported.

The company is already examining the condition of the vehicles, Papperger told the newspaper, adding Ukrainian soldiers could be trained to use the Leopard 1 within a few days if they are trained military personnel.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which began on Feb. 24, has spurred Germany into reversing a long-standing policy of not sending weapons to conflict zones, and Berlin has supplied Kyiv with anti-tank weapons and missiles.

Germany has also taken part in several sanction packages imposed by the European Union on Moscow over the invasion, which Russia calls a “special military operation.”

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