Germany has authorized its industrialists to deliver Leopard 1 tanks to Ukraine

Germany has authorized its manufacturers to deliver Leopard 1 tanks to the Ukraine


Berlin has authorized its manufacturers to deliver Leopard 1 combat tanks which they have in reserve to Ukraine, German government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit said on Friday. 

The latter gave no details on the number of armored vehicles concerned and the delivery schedule to Ukraine. 

“I confirm that an export license has been issued,” Mr. Hebestreit said at a regular press conference.

The Leopard 1s are the long-awaited armored predecessors of the Leopard 2s. Kyiv and whose Berlin agreed at the end of January to provide 14 copies from the equipment of the German army, the Bundeswehr.

The latter no longer has Leopard 1s which have been replaced by Leopard 2s more modern and efficient.

The German company Flensburger Fahrzeugbau Gesellschaft (FFG) told AFP that it has a total of 99 Leopard 1 A5 type armored vehicles in stock which could be supplied to Ukraine. 

“They are currently only not all operational,” the company said. “We currently estimate that we can deliver the first twenty Leopard 1 A5s after a refurbishment that would take approximately three months,” she said, adding that the rest would follow gradually thereafter.

According to the German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung, the German armament company Rheinmetall also owns 88 Leopard 1 type armored vehicles.

Since 1965, 4,700 Leopard 1s have been manufactured. The latter have a smaller caliber gun than the Leopard 2: 105 mm against 120 mm for the second generation. 

This difference in caliber poses a problem for ammunition which is no longer available in quantity sufficient.

The engine power of the Leopard 1 is less strong than that of its successor: 830 horsepower against 1500 for the Leopard 2. The protections of the Leopard 1 are also less efficient than those of the Leopard 2.< /p>