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Hungary receives first Leopard 2 tanks

Leopard 2 tank
Photo: German defense ministry

The Hungarian Armed Forces have taken delivery of their first Leopard 2 main battle tanks, the German defense ministry has announced.

The delivery comes just one and a half years after the Hungarian armed forces ordered 44 copies of the current 2A7+ model from Germany. They are to replace the Russian-made T72 tanks that have been used by the Hungarian army up to now.

The order also included the delivery of twelve used units of the older Leopard 2A4 variant, so that Hungarian tank crews could be trained in advance for their new equipment.

The first of these tanks were taken over by the Hungarian armed forces last week at a handover ceremony in the garrison town of Tata.

“Hungary is modernizing its land forces and Germany is a strategic partner in this process,” German State Secretary Thomas Silberhorn said. The use of the same weapon systems and close cooperation in the training of tank crews will increase the interoperability of the German and Hungarian armed forces, he added.

“This is an important component of the common security and defense policy within the framework of the European Union and at the same time strengthens the European pillar within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.”

Leopard 2 tanks have been manufactured by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) since 1979. In addition to the Bundeswehr, it is used primarily by its European partners in various model variants. In addition to the Leopard 2A7+ and the Leopard 2A4 training tanks, Hungary has also ordered self-propelled howitzers 2000 as well as Wisent 2 armoured recovery vehicles and Leguan bridge-laying systems from KMW.