German defence concern Rheinmetall may send a total of 139 Leopard tanks to Ukraine.
“We have 22 [combat] Leopard 2A4 type tanks which we could get ready for operation and send to Ukraine. It would take almost a year to repair these vehicles. Delivery is possible in late 2023 or early 2024. There are another 29 [combat-type] Leopard 2A4 vehicles that will be ready for shipment as early as April-May 2023,” a concern representative said in an interview with the Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland editorial association published on Tuesday.
“We could make another 88 [combat] Leopard 1 vehicles available,” he added.
The Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, citing its own sources, reported on 18 January that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was ready to allow deliveries of Leopard 2 battle tanks to Kiev on condition that the US provides Ukraine with Abrams tanks. Pressure on Berlin to hand over German tanks to Kiev has increased significantly in recent days. Some countries, including Poland and Finland, have signalled their readiness to provide Leopard tanks to Ukraine, but this requires Berlin’s consent.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on 22 January that Warsaw would form an alternative coalition of countries ready to supply tanks to Ukraine if Germany does not agree to transfer the armoured vehicles.
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