German Government Approves Export of Leopard 1 Tanks to Ukraine

Friday, 3 February 2023

The German government has granted an export license for delivery of older Leopard 1 main battle tanks to Ukraine.

Steffen Hebestreit, the government spokesman, confirmed it on Friday in Berlin, without giving any details, reports Spiegel.

So far, the federal government had only announced to send more modern Leopard 2 tanks from Bundeswehr stocks to Ukraine.

According to Süddeutsche Zeitung, Rheinmetall and Flensburger Fahrzeugbau Gesellschaft (FFG) want to prepare dozens of Leopard 1 tanks for Ukraine. However, there are still problems in obtaining the required 105-millimeter ammunition.

The Leopard 1 is the forerunner of the more advanced Leopard 2. It was the first main battle tank built for the German Army after World War II. The 14 Leopard 2 tanks promised last week are much more modern.

Hebestreit did not comment on further deliveries of the Leopard 1 from the stocks. "At the moment I don't want to say more. It will become more specific in the next few days and weeks."

According to Spiegel, the government decision concerned 29 Leopard 1s. German media previously reported the possibility of sending 88 Leopard 1 tanks.

Read also about the change in Germany's position Siege of Scholz: How German Public Opinion Influenced the Transfer of Tanks to Ukraine

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