The German defense manufacturer Rheinmetall can supply 139 Leopard tanks to Ukraine, the company says.
At the same time, Germany continues to delay making a decision on the Leopard.
Germany is under heavy pressure from countries waiting for the green light to send the German-produced Leopard tanks to Ukraine. So far, Germany has come up with only non-answers - including during Tuesday's press conference with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, when Defence Minister Boris Pistorius said he expected to give an answer "shortly."
"We have discussed the issue of tanks, and I am convinced that we have a solution soon," says Stoltenberg during the press conference.
Stoltenberg emphasizes Germany's great support for Ukraine – Leopard tanks or not.
"Germany is one of the allies that contributes the most - militarily, economically and in humanitarian terms, with air defence systems, artillery and ammunition," says the NATO chief.
In addition to the German government's hesitation, a spokesperson for Germany's largest arms manufacturer Rheinmetall states that the company is ready to deliver 139 Leopard tanks within the next year, reports the German media company RND
It is about 29 Leopard 2A4 tanks in April–May and another 22 at the end of 2023, possibly at the beginning of 2024. Furthermore, the producer claims to be able to deliver 88 pieces of the older Leopard 1 model, unclear exactly when.
A number of European countries have Leopard tanks in their possession, but sending them to Ukraine requires the approval of the German Government. Poland, however, has said that it is ready to send the tank model Leopard 2 even without German approval.
The tank Leopard 1 started to be used in 1965. The model Leopard 2 then began to be produced in the 1970s, then on behalf of the West German army.
Leopard 2 weighs over 60 tons, can travel up to 70 kilometers per hour and hit goal at a distance of up to four and a half kilometers. When the cannon is directed forward, the tank is almost 11 meters long.
About 20 states have had, have or will receive Leopard 2, including Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Turkey, and Sweden.
Sweden bought the Leopard 2 system in 1994. Here they have been named Stridsvagn 121 and 122.
Sources: Swedish Defense Materiel Administration, Swedish Armed Forces, KMW