The Norwegian government has decided to buy 54 of the newest 2A7 variant of Leopard tanks from Germany’s Krauss-Maffei Wegmann for its army.
The framework contract is worth NOK 19,7 billion (approximately US$1.9 billion) and includes an option for another 18 tanks. The government noted that this is the total value set aside for the project, with the actual purchase contract costing less than than that. The actual contract value was not revealed as it is “commercially confidential” information.
Norway chose the German option over South Korea’s K2 Black Panther tank, which had also been evaluated by the armed forces.
The first of the new Leopards are expected to be delivered in 2026, to replace the ageing Leopard 2A4NO tanks that were bought used in 2001.
“New tanks will increase the fighting power of the armed forces and increase the defense capability. It is positive and also a clear signal of continued strengthening of the Armed Forces,” Norway’s armed forces chief General Eirik Kristoffersen said.
“This means that one of the important building blocks in the ongoing modernization of the army is in place. With this acquisition and the planned purchases of drones, air defenses and long-range fire, Norway will in a few years have an army that is small, but also one of the most modern in Europe,” Chief of the Army, Major General Lars Lervik, added.
Norway split its planned tank purchase into a base number of vehicles and the optional 18 after originally planning to acquire 72 tanks. The decision was made against the background of putting more focus on the purchase of new helicopters and long-range fires.