Czech Republic approves plan to buy upto 77 Leopard tanks from Germany

Prague, June 13 (IANS/DPA) The Czech Republic has added the purchase of up to 77 Leopard 2A8 modern battle tanks from German production to its list of strategic defence projects.

In addition, the Cabinet in Prague on Wednesday approved the accession to a cooperation agreement, which provides for participation in joint procurement with Germany.

According to the Czech Defence Ministry, this is a critical interim step.

The final approval by the government is expected by the end of the year.

“Tanks remain an irreplaceable part of a heavy brigade,” said Defence Minister Jana Cernochova.

They combine high firepower, manoeuvrability and resistance, she said, adding that the importance of this weapon system was demonstrated by the experience of the fighting in Ukraine.

In May 2023, Germany signed a framework agreement with the manufacturer Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) to procure up to 123 Leopard 2A8 tanks.

Germany is offering partner countries the opportunity to purchase certain contingents of these.

The Bundeswehr will initially receive 18 brand-new main battle tanks by 2026.

The Czech Republic wants to order 61 Leopard 2 A8s in six different versions, for example as a main battle tank, command vehicle, bridge-laying and driving school tank.

The Ministry of Defence in Prague put the cost of the order at the equivalent of €1.6 billion ($1.73 billion).

There is also an option for 16 additional vehicles.

According to the information provided, this would increase the total price to the equivalent of €2.1 billion.



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