The Defense Minister, Margarita Robles, has increased the number of Leopard 2A4 main battle tanks that Spain will send to Ukraine to a total of ten. The head of the portfolio has participated in a meeting of the so-called 'Ramstein format' called by her American counterpart, Lloyd Austin, and in which Oleksii Reznikov, Minister of Defense of Ukraine, has also been present. There, Robles has once again insisted that Spain is preparing to send a first batch of six Leopards, which are receiving a fourth-tier review in Santa Bárbara, and has confirmed that in the coming months the Government will provide four more tanks.
It was President Pedro Sánchez who announced a few weeks ago during his second visit to Ukraine that Spain would send these four new cars. With them, the Spanish contribution is close to that of Germany, which will deliver 14 Leopards of the next model, the 2A6. The same number was promised by Poland, which has already delivered the first; while Portugal has promised three.
Minister Robles has also announced that Spain will send a new batch of TOA M-113 Infantry vehicles. These are armored caterpillar transport vehicles that Spain is replacing with the national version, the Dragon 8x8. Defense sent twenty of these vehicles from Bilbao last February, and now they do not specify how many will be sent in this second batch.
This is the tenth meeting of the Ukrainian Defense Contact Group, known as the Ramstein format, which has taken place online and in which the minister has been accompanied by the Secretary General for Defense Policy, Juan Francisco Martínez Núñez. The meetings are held almost monthly and the Ukrainian minister participates in all of them, who a few days ago stated on Twitter: "This genuine support from the allies makes me optimistic about the future. Solidarity becomes efficiency on the battlefield."
Spain has trained 55 Ukrainian soldiers to drive Leopards, which means 10 crews to be able to drive a dozen cars. The soldiers have spent a month at the San Gregorio Training Center in Zaragoza, and this Wednesday they left for Poland, waiting for the first six tanks to arrive so they can take them to the battlefield.
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