Home Europe Germany, Netherlands, Denmark buying 100 restored Leopard 1 tanks for Ukraine

Germany, Netherlands, Denmark buying 100 restored Leopard 1 tanks for Ukraine

Leopard 1 for Ukraine
Dutch defense ministry file photo of a Leopard 1 tank

The defense ministries of Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark will be jointly financing the refurbishment of old Leopard 1 A5 tanks for their transfer to Ukraine.

The countries will source “at least” 100 tanks from German industry, with the first ones scheduled for delivery within a few months.

Leopard 1 A5 is a modernized version of the 1 A1 and the predecessor of the current Leopard 2 model, which Ukraine will also be receiving.

“Together, in a joint initiative, we will significantly enhance Ukraine’s military potential for the restoration of their violated territorial integrity. Within the coming months, Ukraine will receive at least 100 of Leopard 1 A5 battle tanks, including the required logistic support and training,” the countries said in a joint statement.

The “Leo 1 A5 Initiative” is also open to further partners, and Belgium has shown initial interest to participate, according to the Dutch defense ministry.

Germany said its Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK), as the formally responsible licensing authority, issued export licenses to German defense companies for up to 178 Leopard 1 A5 main battle tanks. How many Leopard 1 A5 main battle tanks will actually be delivered to Ukraine depends on the necessary repair work.

“The war in Ukraine is at a crucial stage. I expect the fighting to intensify in the coming months. Russia continues to mobilize and there are signs that Russia is preparing a new offensive,” said Dutch defense minister Kajsa Ollongren. “That is why supplying main battle tanks is important. To maintain Ukraine’s sustainability and improve its position on the battlefield. Ultimately, it is about ensuring the continued existence of Ukraine as a sovereign state.”