TechSpain to bolster Ukrainian defenses with 20 Leopard tanks

Spain to bolster Ukrainian defenses with 20 Leopard tanks

Leopard 2A4 tanks - illustrative photo
Leopard 2A4 tanks - illustrative photo
Images source: © X
9:02 AM EDT, March 21, 2024

Ukrainian armored units might soon receive a boost with additional Leopard 2A4 tanks. According to Militarny, Spain is gearing up to dispatch 20 vehicles from its reserves. However, they require proper refurbishment before they can be deployed to the frontlines. Once these deliveries are fulfilled, Ukraine will possess around 30 Leopard 2A4 tanks from Spain. Let's delve into what these tanks offer.

A report by the Ukrainian service Militarny, quoting the publication Info Defensa, indicates that Spain plans to send another 20 Leopard 2A4 tanks to Ukraine. Info Defensa notes that this decision was made with the green light of the Interministerial Board for Trade and Control of Defense Materials and Technologies for Dual Use (Jimddu). These tanks, currently stored at the Casetas Logistics Center in Zaragoza, will undergo repairs at Santa Bárbara Sistemas before being shipped to Ukraine. The timeframe for this process remains unspecified.

Forbes highlights that, as of 2022, the Spanish army officially had 327 tanks. This total includes 108 Leopard 2A4s—acquired from German surplus in 1998—and 219 Leopard 2Es, manufactured under license by Santa Barbara Sistemas starting in 2002. The Leopard 2A4 tanks, now inactive, have been stored at the facility above in Casetas.

Leopard 2A4 for Ukraine

Should these deliveries materialize, Ukraine will command 30 Leopard 2A4 tanks from Spain, amounting to 74 such tanks from Western allies. Forbes also mentions expert analyses from the so-called white intelligence, run by the Oryx blog, which observed that the 33rd Mechanized Brigade, allocated 40 Leopards, endured the loss of at least 8 tanks, with another 10 damaged and, at least for the moment, abandoned.

As previously discussed, the Leopard 2A4 tanks were crafted at the turn of the 1980s and 1990s. This model is viewed as a pinnacle of the Cold War-era tank design. Its producer, Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, leveraged insights from earlier tank and armored vehicle productions to develop these vehicles. The Leopard 2A4's success led many operators to upgrade it, extending its service life and enhancing its capabilities. Furthermore, most older Leopard models were upgraded to this standard.

What sets the Leopard 2A4 tanks apart from its predecessors is primarily the integration of a digital fire control system. This innovation enables the usage and operation of new ammunition types. Another key improvement is the enhanced armor, incorporating layers of titanium and tungsten. The tank is propelled by a 47-liter, 12-cylinder diesel engine, delivering 1500 horsepower, and its primary weapon is a 120-mm smoothbore Rheinmetall Rh-120 cannon.

Related content