January 30, 2023

Raven Tribune

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Main Battle Tank Debate: Manufacturer Can’t Deliver Before 2024

Status: 01/15/2023 02:05 am

Arms group Rheinmet could not deliver Panther 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine until 2024. CEO Paperkar told “Bild am Sonntag” how long the repairs would take.

German arms group Rheinmetall has indicated that it will take time to deliver repaired Leopard main battle tanks to Ukraine. “Even if we decide tomorrow that we can send our Leopard tanks to Kyiv, the delivery will take until the beginning of next year,” said Armin Popperger, CEO of “Bild am Sonntag”.

Rheinmetall has 22 Leopard 2 vehicles and 88 older Leopard 1 models, the newspaper quoted Papperger as saying. The Rheinmetall boss said it would take “almost a year” to repair the decommissioned battle tanks. “Vehicles are not only repainted, but converted for the war effort. They are completely dismantled and rebuilt.”

No processing without order

Rheinmetall cannot repair the tanks without an order because the costs are several hundred million euros. “Rhinemet can’t finance it upfront,” Paperker said. The Leopard can play a decisive role in warfare, the CEO said: “With battle tanks, an army can break through enemy lines and end long trench warfare. With the Leopard, soldiers can advance tens of kilometers at a time.”

Rheinmetall boss Papperger is awaiting a decision from the federal government.

Image: REUTERS

Pressure on the central government to supply Ukraine with Leopard main battle tanks has recently increased. Poland agreed on Wednesday, to supply 2 main battle tanks with Panther to Ukraine, along with allies, for defensive war against Russia. Finland was cautiously prepared for Thursday’s delivery.

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UK already delivering

Finally, on Saturday, Great Britain became the first country to announce the delivery of heavy battle tanks to Kiev. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the delivery of Challenger 2 tanks and additional artillery systems should help the Ukrainian military “push back Russian troops”.

Due to the British commitment, the Pressure on Chancellor Olaf SchalzAlso to send main battle tanks to Ukraine. Germany plays an important role in the debate because the tanks were developed in Germany. As a rule, the transfer of weapons from German manufacture to third parties must be approved.

Rheinmetall wants to supply Marder tanks

Germany still has Ukraine Mortar infantry fighting vehicle and promised Gepard anti-aircraft tanks. Papperger said Rheinmetall is ready to supply 40 Marder tanks. However, the precondition is that Greece initially waives the second tranche of its distribution from the ring exchange. “Of course, we will be able to deliver the remaining 20 Martens planned for Greece in time to Ukraine. Other vehicles will follow in April, because we are working under high pressure,” Paperger said.