Rheinmetall from Germany supplies Ukraine with 14 Leopard 2A4 Tanks

The governments of the Netherlands and Denmark announced in April 2023 that they would jointly purchase fourteen Leopard 2A4 main battle tanks from Rheinmetall, a German defense technology company. These tanks, valued in the lower three-digit million-euro range, are intended to be donated to Ukraine. The two nations' financing will support the international tank coalition to aid Ukraine's defense needs.
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German army Leopard 2A4 MBT Main Battle Tank. (Picture source Army Recognition)

Recently, representatives from the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, and Rheinmetall signed an agreement confirming the deal. The first of these upgraded Leopard 2A4 tanks, acquired from the stocks of user nations, is expected to be delivered in January 2024. The delivery of all the tanks will span across the year.

This purchase is a reaffirmation of Rheinmetall's significant role as a key supplier of materials for the Ukrainian armed forces. The Düsseldorf-based tech firm has consistently aided Ukraine's defensive efforts by being the sole supplier of new large-volume shipments of medium and large-caliber ammunition, including 20mm rounds for the Marder IFV’s automatic cannon and 105mm and 120mm tank ammunition for Ukraine's Leopard I and Leopard 2 main battle tanks. In addition, a first batch of 35mm ammunition for the Gepard anti-aircraft tank is expected to be shipped soon.

Apart from ammunition, Rheinmetall has provided a substantial number of combat vehicles to Ukraine. This is done either through multilateral "Ringtausch" exchange programs with partner nations or via direct deliveries. The company notably shipped twenty Marder infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine in March 2023 at the request of the German government, with another shipment of twenty similar vehicles slated for this summer.

Rheinmetall is set to supply Ukraine with 26 brand-new military trucks and two state-of-the-art air defense systems by the end of 2023. The support package also includes SurveilSPIRE mobile reconnaissance systems equipped with day-and-night-capable cameras, autonomous mini-drones, a field hospital system made of containers and tents, and a container-based mobile surgical station for initial trauma treatment. These will undoubtedly be crucial resources for the Ukrainian military in the coming months.

The Leopard 2A4 is a main battle tank that was developed by the German company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW). Introduced in the mid-1980s, it is one of the many variants of the Leopard 2 series and has been widely used by various countries around the world.

Equipped with a powerful 1,500-horsepower engine and advanced armor protection, the Leopard 2A4 is renowned for its performance in both speed and protection. The tank has a top speed of about 70 kilometers per hour (43 miles per hour) and can cross water obstacles up to four meters deep with preparation.

The Leopard 2A4's main armament is a Rheinmetall 120mm smoothbore gun, capable of firing a variety of ammunition types. Additionally, it carries two 7.62mm machine guns for close-quarters combat and anti-infantry roles.

The tank's turret is fitted with advanced armor protection and the hull features modular armor, which can be upgraded or replaced to adapt to different threat levels. The Leopard 2A4 also has an advanced fire control system and thermal imaging sights for the commander and gunner, improving combat effectiveness in day, night, and adverse weather conditions.