Norway will buy 54 Leopard-2 tanks from Germany

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Norway will order 54 new German Leopard-2 tanks for its Army. There is still the possibility that the country will purchase another 18 vehicles later, as announced by the government this Friday (3).

“We guarantee that we will have the same tanks as our neighbors and main NATO allies,” said Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store, citing the Western military alliance led by the United States. “This further strengthens our ties with Germany.”

The Nordic country, which shares a 196 km border with Russia, had considered buying the Korean rival K2 Black Panther, in an initial plan to acquire 72 tanks. The most modest negotiation was decided after the Defense chief recommended the acquisition of helicopters, drones and long-range artillery.

Also on Friday, a Norwegian government spokesman said that Germany had allowed the export of Leopard-1 model tanks to Ukraine, according to the British newspaper The Guardian. Vehicles began being produced across the country in the 1960s and were replaced by the Leopard-2 in 2003. The delivery joins several vehicles that Berlin promised to send to Kiev last week.

After weeks of discussion on the subject, the Berlin announcement, made last week, together with Washington, was the biggest escalation in Western military aid to the Eastern European country invaded by Vladimir Putin’s Russia. At the time, 31 American M1 Abrams and 14 Leopard-2 tanks were promised.

The country would also be, according to the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, in negotiations to buy 15 Gepard tanks from Qatar to send to Kiev. German authorities discussed with the Chancellor of the Middle East country the possibility of buying the vehicles, used by Doha to provide security for the World Cup.

German company Rheinmetall and Flensburger Fahrzeugbau Gesellschaft (FFG) would then refurbish the tanks to supply Ukraine if Kiev is willing to buy them.

“The Gepards proved themselves very good in the war. If we could get more from the partners here, it would definitely help the Ukrainians,” said German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius.

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