this is what these German tanks delivered to Ukraine really are
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is expected to announce the delivery of German heavy tanks, the Leopard 2s, on Wednesday.
The German Chancellor would have made his decision. According to the press across the Rhine, Olaf Scholz should announce before the Bundestag the sending of Leopard 2 type 2A6 tanks to Ukraine, this Wednesday, January 25, but also authorize other countries such as Poland to do so. For the moment, it is two media that released the information on Der Spiegel on its website, and the television channel N-TV. According to these media, Germany should deliver a dozen heavy tanks.
Element seeming to confirm this more than imminent announcement, the Vice-President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Federal Republic of Germany tweeted “The Leopard is released!”. Tuesday, January 24, during his daily address on social networks, the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had urged Westerners, “discussions must end with decisions”, he urged.
What is a “Leoprad 2” tank?
But then what are the characteristics of these coveted tanks to reverse the Russian invasion in Ukraine? These German tanks were created as replacements for American tanks, the M48 Patton. It was in the 1970s that the Leopard 1 gave way to the Leopard 2. The latter was designed by the German manufacturer Krauss-Maffei who had to combine power and speed. Such a tank weighs about 60 tons but can achieve peak acceleration at 70km.
These tanks have undeniable strategic advantages. With this type of tank “an army can break through enemy lines and put an end to a long trench war,” said Armin Papperger in the German daily Picture. The boss of the German armaments giant Rheinmetall, declared that “this Leopard main battle tank is extremely important for offensives and for reconquering territory (…) with the Leopard, soldiers can advance from several tens of kilometers to time” he boasted. According to the manufacturer, the Leopard 2 is armed with a 120 mm gun equipped with “advanced ammunition”.
A German delivery for 2024?
However, the tank manufacturer Rheinmetall, which manufactures these tanks with Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, warned the German media Bild that among the 22 Leopard 2 tanks and 88 Leopard 1 that Germany has, it will take time to deliver them. because the cost of repairs “amounts to several hundred million euros”. When asked about the delivery time, the manufacturer replied that it would take “a little less than a year”. “This means that even if the decision is made tomorrow that we can send our Leopard tanks to Kyiv, the delivery will take until the beginning of next year,” warned Armin Papperger.