Part of the ring exchange: Germany hands over the first "Leopard 2" to the Czech Republic

Shortly after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Germany and the Czech Republic decided to exchange battle tanks.

Part of the ring exchange: Germany hands over the first "Leopard 2" to the Czech Republic

Shortly after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Germany and the Czech Republic decided to exchange battle tanks. The Czech Republic quickly delivers its tanks to the Ukraine, Germany is now beginning to do its part and is handing over the first "Leopard 2" to its neighboring country.

As part of a ring exchange with Germany, the Czech Republic has received the first of more than a dozen "Leopard 2" main battle tanks from the armaments group Rheinmetall. The handover took place at an army base in Praslavice near Olomouc (Olmütz) in the presence of Defense Minister Jana Cernochova and German representatives.

The NATO partner is thus receiving a modern replacement for the Soviet-designed T72 tanks that have already been delivered to the Ukraine. Another 13 "Leopard 2" battle tanks and a "Buffalo" armored recovery vehicle are to follow by the end of 2023 at the latest. Included are an ammunition and a service package for training and spare parts supply. "With the 'Leopard' tanks we get out of the impasse of dependence on Soviet technology," said Cernochova. Go to a modern platform. The minister thanked the federal government for keeping a word once given among friends.

The idea of ​​ring exchange came up shortly after the beginning of the Ukraine war. The aim was to supply Ukraine with heavy weapons as quickly as possible. Since the Ukrainian Armed Forces do not need additional training for Soviet systems, supplying such weapons seemed to be the fastest way. In return, the countries that have it should receive Western makes from other NATO countries with a time delay.

Ukraine has been fighting a Russian invasion since February 24. The Czech Republic is one of Kiev's most important supporters. Under the liberal-conservative government, the NATO country has already delivered armaments worth the equivalent of more than 1.9 billion euros to Ukraine this year.

When it comes to the procurement of up to 210 new armored personnel carriers, the Czech Republic is not looking to Germany, but to Sweden. As announced by Cernochova, a letter of intent was signed with the Scandinavian country and the manufacturer BAE Systems for the purchase of CV-90 infantry fighting vehicles. A tender in which the German "Lynx" was also in the running had previously been canceled without result.

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