An unnamed European country (Germany?) has purchased 50 Leopard 1 tanks from the private company OIP Land Systems. After upgrading, the tanks will be sent to Ukraine< writes Reuters.
Leopard 1 tanks, once owned by the Belgian Army, were purchased by OIP Land Systems at a “fair market price,” according to the company, wrote Freddy Versluys, CEO of the company, on LinkedIn.
For the clarity, we never bought Leopard 1 for 15 k and offered them for 500 k Euro, and surely not without touching them!
This figure has been launched in the press without confirmation from OIP. Some newspapers and magazines write whatever they hear…without verification.
The fact that they leave our company proves that we asked for a fair market price and someone was more than happy to take them.
I am glad they will finally join the fight for freedom,” Mr. Versluys wrote, adding a photo of a bottle of Ukrainian vodka on the tank’s armor.
Mr. Versluys told Reuters that all 50 tanks had been sold to a European government, which he could not name because of confidentiality clauses. He added that he could not disclose the price.
At the same time, the German newspaper Handelsblatt reported that Rheinmetall had purchased the tanks and would prepare most of them for export to Ukraine. Rheinmetall declined to comment.
According to Freddie Versley, the tanks will be transported to the factory for overhaul. According to him, some tanks will be used for spare parts, while others will be repaired. Mr. Versleys said it could be four to six months before these Leopard 1s reach the battlefield in Ukraine.
Rumors have been circulating since April 2022 about the possibility of supplying the Ukrainian armed forces with Rheinmetall’s Leopard 1 tanks. In February 2023 it was reported that in addition to the Leopard 2A6, Germany plans to send 88 Leopard 1A5 to Ukraine.
As for the Belgian company OIP Land Systems, this is not the first time it has been mentioned in connection with arms deliveries to Ukraine. In June 2022, the company was involved in the story of a mysterious delivery of 155mm M109 self-propelled artillery systems to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.