Even before the war, the Norwegian parliament approved the purchase of new battle tanks. Now the decision has been made: Germany will deliver 54 modern Leopard 2 and will probably prevail against a competitor. The tanks are out of the question for the currently planned aid for Ukraine.
NATO member Norway buys 54 Leopard 2 from Germany. The Norwegian government has decided to procure the main battle tanks from the German armaments company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, as Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre announced at the Rena military base around 150 kilometers north of Oslo. There is also an option to purchase 18 more such tanks.
Støre emphasized the close and good relationship between his country and Germany. The Federal Republic is playing an increasingly important security policy role in Europe. Støre said he informed Chancellor Olaf Scholz about the purchase in the morning. It is expected that the first of the new Leopard tanks will be delivered in 2026, said Defense Minister Bjørn Arild Gram - so they are not eligible for the aid currently being planned for Ukraine.
According to government information, the purchase is within a budget of around 1.8 billion euros set by Parliament. This framework therefore covers more than the actual purchase of the tanks. The negotiated purchase price was kept secret.
The Norwegian parliament had approved the procurement of new main battle tanks in 2021. The Scandinavian non-EU country then considered several different tank models. According to Norwegian media reports, the decision ultimately fell between the Leopard 2A7 and the South Korean Hyundai Rotem K2 Black Panther.
Norway currently has 36 older Type 2A4 Leopard tanks. Støre's government has announced that it will deliver some of them to Ukraine - how many is still unclear. Most recently, the government in Oslo put pressure on them to bring them to Ukraine "as soon as possible".