German arms manufacturer Rheinmetall will deliver upgraded Leopard 2A4 main battle tanks to the Slovak Republic, which in turn will transfer military equipment to Ukraine.
Under the contract, the Slovak Armed Forces will receive 15 Leopard battle tanks, ammunition, training, and spare parts.
Rheinmetall is expected to deliver the first tank next month, with the contract’s completion scheduled for 2023.
According to Slovak Deputy Defence Minister Marian Majer, the government will donate 30 BVP-1 vehicles to Kyiv in the coming weeks.
Light Combat, Amphibious Vehicle
The Czechia-made Bojove Vozidlo Pechoty (BVP)-1 is a light amphibious armored infantry fighting vehicle that features high maneuverability and advanced weaponry.
The 13,000-kilogram (28,660 pounds) BVP-1 has increased firepower with its 73mm cannon type 71 and a launching rail for anti-tank guided missiles.
“Thanks to its armor and air-tight inner space with filter-ventilation devices, it provides good protection against the blast wave and effects of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons in its movement through contaminated terrain,” Czech Republic’s Ministry of Defence and Armed Forces said.
Equipment Exchange Program
The trade is part of the German government’s Ringtausch equipment exchange program.
The swap scheme was developed in partnership with Germany’s neighbors and NATO allies to support Ukraine against Russia’s continued aggression.
In October, Rheinmetall supplied Leopard 2A4 tanks to Czech Republic in exchange for supporting Kyiv with military equipment.