© Reuters. SUBMIT PICTURE: German army fight tank Leopard 2 returns after NATO enchanced Forward Presence Battle Group Lithuania workout in Pabrade basic training field, Lithuania, May 17, 2017. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins
BERLIN (Reuters) -German armsmaker Rheinmetall might provide fixed Leopard 2 fight tanks to Ukraine in 2024 at the earliest and would require a validated order to start repair work, its president was priced quote as stating by Bild paper on Sunday.
Germany revealed previously this month that it would offer Ukraine with 40 Marder infantry battling lorries to assist drive away Russian forces.
But Kyiv has actually likewise asked for much heavier lorries such as the Leopards, which would represent a considerable step-up in Western assistance to Ukraine. Still, Economy Minister Robert Habeck stated previously this month providing the Leopard tanks might not be “ruled out”.The German army has just around 350 Leopard 2 tanks today, compared to some 4,000 fight primary tanks at the height of the Cold War.
For Rheinmetall, fixing the tanks it has in stock – a minimum of 22 Leopard 2 tanks and 88 Leopard 1 tanks – would cost numerous hundred million euros, Papperger informed Bild.
“The vehicles must be completely dismantled and rebuilt,” he included.
The company likewise has 100 Marder lorries, Papperger stated, however these would likewise require repair work taking 7 to 8 months prior to they might be utilized.
Rheinmetall did not react to an emailed ask for talk about Sunday.
Germany has actually turned into one of Ukraine’s leading military fans in reaction to Russia’s intrusion after in 2015, conquering a taboo that is rooted in its bloody 20th century history on sending out weapons to contrast zones.
Still, critics state German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and his judgment SPD are too sluggish, awaiting allies to act very first rather of presuming Germany’s duty as the Western power closest to Ukraine.
Germany’s defence market is prohibited by law from producing tanks for stock-keeping. Even if production were increase, professionals state it might take a minimum of 2 years for brand-new tanks to be prepared for usage.