According to Politico, citing Süddeutsche Zeitung, the German government plans to send additional tanks to Ukraine, and namely 88 Leopard 1A5 from the Rheinmetall concern.
Rheinmetall’s desire to supply Leopard 1 tanks to the Armed Forces of Ukraine was discussed back in April 2022, but only a recent change in the German government’s tank policy made such a contract possible.
This is exactly the contract because the tanks still need to be repaired and restored which will cost around €100 million, or just over €1 million per tank. We will remind you that the modern Leopard 2A6 is worth around €7.7 million.
Germany has not used the Leopard 1 since the transition to the Leopard 2, but these tanks are still in service with Brazil, Greece, Turkey, and Chile. Almost 100% of existing Leopard 1s in the mid-1980s have been upgraded to the Leopard 1A5 version, which is a fairly modern tank with a new turret, armour, electronic fire control, and night vision systems. The only thing that, unfortunately, remains unchanged is the Royal Ordnance L7A3 L/52 105 mm rifled gun, which is another additional category of rounds to be supplied to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
In addition, it became known that Germany plans to buy 15 Gepard self-propelled anti-aircraft guns on the Leopard 1 chassis from Qatar and also transfer them to Ukraine. Gepards performed very well against Iranian kamikaze drones, but as you remember, there is problem with the procurement of 35×228 mm projectiles for these systems.
As a reminder, in January 2023, the German government officially confirmed delivery of Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, opening such an opportunity to other countries as well. The first step will be the transfer of 14 Leopard 2A6s from Bundeswehr warehouses.
Thank you, Germany! And we suggest leaving the crosses of the Bundeswehr on the turrets.
Leopard 1A5 specifications
Mass – 42.2 t (the first models weighed 40.0 t)
Length – 9.54 m
Width – 3.37 m
Height – 2.70 m
Armor – 10-70 mm homogeneous
Engine type and model – MTU MB 838 CaM 500, 10-cylinder, 37.4 liters, multi-fuel engine
Engine power – 819 hp.
Speed – up to 65 km/h
Range – 600 km (highway), 450 km (off-road)
Main armament – a 105 mm Royal Ordnance L7A3 L/52 rifled gun
Ammunition – 13 rounds in turret and 42 rounds in hull
Secondary armament – 2 7.62 mm MG 3 or FN MAG machine guns
Crew – 4 people (commander, driver, gunner, radio operator/loader)