Finland To Donate Leopard Tanks To Ukraine

On January 6, 2023, during an interview with the Finnish TV channel MTV, Antti Häkkänen Chairman of the Finnish Defense Committee and member of the Finnish Parliament said that Finland is ready to supply Leopard 2 Main Battle tanks (MBTs) to Ukraine.

Citing Antti Häkkänen, Finland must increase its military support to Ukraine and provide Leopard 2 main battle as other European countries that took the decision to provide combat vehicles to strengthen the combat capabilities of the Ukrainian armed forces and to fight the Russian forces.

On January 6, 2023, the United States also announced a new military aid package including for the first time, Bradley M2A2 tracked armored Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs) and M109 Paladin 155mm tracked self-propelled howitzer.

According to a military source, Finland’s army had a total of 200 Main Battle Tanks including 100 operational Leopard 2A6 tanks and 100 Leopard 2A4 in store that were acquired from Germany between 2002 and 2004. The Leopard 2A6 tanks of the Finnish army were acquired from the Netherlands that were delivered between 2015 and 2019.

We can therefore assume that Finland could provide its Leopard 2A4 tanks to Ukraine, but of course, this should be validated by Germany. According to international rules on the sale of arms, it is always mandatory to have the authorization of the producing country, in this case, Germany.

The Leopard 2 is a German-made main battle tank that entered into service with the German army in 1978. It is considered as one of the most powerful main battle tanks in the world providing and incredible firepower, protection, and mobility.

The Leopard 2A4 is the first operational tank of the Leopard 2 family and it is always in service with Austria, Chile, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Indonesia, Norway, Poland, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and Turkey. Recently Germany has signed an agreement to deliver Leopard 2A4 tanks to Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

The Leopard 2A4 has a conventional layout for a modern main battle tank with the driver at the front right side of the hull, the turret in the middle, and the powerpack at the rear. The tank has a crew of four including a commander, driver, gunner, and loader.

The main armament of the Leopard 2A4 consists of one 120 mm smoothbore gun which has been developed by the German company Rheinmetall. The cannon is able to fire two types of ammunition, APFSDS-T (Armor-Piercing Fin-Stabilized Discarding Sabot DM-13) and HEAT-MP-T (High Explosive AntiTank DM-12), each of which has a practice version. The APFSDS-T has an effective range of over 2,000 m and the HEAT-MP-T has a high degree of effectiveness against both light and armored combat vehicles, and tanks.

The Leopard 2A4 MBT is enhanced with upgraded protection levels all around for greater crew survivability. The multi-layered armor provides effective protection against kinetic tank ammunition and anti-tank weapons.

The Leopard 2A4 is powered by a turbocharged diesel engine developing 1,500 hp offering one of the most favorable power-to-weight-ratio in its class. The 55-tonne MBT can run at a maximum road speed of 72 km/h and up to 60 km/h in off-road conditions.

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