Ukraine has inked a new contract with German weapons maker Rheinmetall to acquire 32 Leopard 1 tanks and special vehicles on their bases.
In an official statement, Rheinmetall announced that the comprehensive deal, valued in the upper-two-digit million-euro range and financed by Germany, encompasses 25 main battle tanks Leopard 1A5, five armored recovery vehicles (Bergepanzer 2), and two driver training tanks.
Leopard 1 is an obsolete tank which entered service in 1965.
The agreement goes beyond the hardware, as Rheinmetall will provide essential support services, including training, logistics, spare parts, maintenance, and more. The delivery of Leopard 1s is slated for 2024, marking a pivotal step in Ukraine’s ongoing efforts to fortify its defense capabilities.
Work on the Leopards is currently underway at Rheinmetall’s state-of-the-art plants in Unterlüß and Kassel. The meticulous overhaul and preparation process ensures that the Ukrainian armed forces receive top-tier, mission-ready equipment.
This contract is not the first collaboration between Ukraine and Rheinmetall. The defense group has previously supplied Ukraine with eighty Marder infantry fighting vehicles, a majority of which have already been deployed and proven effective in ongoing operations. An additional twenty Marder IFVs are ready for delivery upon receiving an order.
Looking ahead, Ukraine is set to receive five Caracal airmobile-capable vehicles in late 2023 and early 2024. Furthermore, Rheinmetall will fulfill orders from the Dutch and Danish governments by supplying Ukraine with fourteen Leopard 2A4 tanks in the coming year. Beyond vehicles, Rheinmetall continues to support the Ukrainian armed forces with a diverse range of resources, including ammunition, drones, medical facilities, and more.