Leonardo plans to enter the Leopard 2 tank production programme

By Defence Industry Europe

As reported by Reuters, the Italian group Leonardo intends to join the German company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (a company of KNDS) in the program to purchase Leopard 2 tanks for the Italian Army (Esercito Italiano).

 

According to Italian media reports, Rome plans to purchase Leopard 2 tanks along with numerous specialized vehicles. Plans likely involve the acquisition of about 270 vehicles of all types.

The Esercito Italiano may receive up to 133 main Leopard 2 tanks (most likely in the latest 2A8 version) and about 140 specialized variants, including Bergepanzer 3 Büffel technical support vehicles, Panzerschnellbrücke Leguan or Panzerschnellbrücke 2 assault bridges, and Pionierpanzer 3 Kodiak engineer tanks. The Leopard 2s would supplement a fleet of about 90 C2 Ariete tanks (there is a possibility that an additional 35 tanks will be upgraded to this standard) and 58 Leopard 1s in specialized versions.

 

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Current schedules anticipate that the first Leopard 2 tanks could arrive in Italy as early as 2028, but this date depends on how quickly directional decisions are made and the relevant contracts come into effect. The Italians are also trying to acquire a license and start at least partial production of the Leopard 2 tanks. Deliveries of these vehicles (along with specialized variants) to the Esercito Italiano could last until 2037.

 

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Assuming that production and deliveries take place between 2028-2037 (i.e., over 9 years), and 133 main tanks are ordered, the annual production for Rome would be about 14 tanks per year, or just over 1 tank per month (not counting specialized variants). This is a very slow production rate, which is typical for Leopard 2 tanks. Similar numbers appear in the context of fulfilling orders for the German Bundeswehr, the Hungarian and Norwegian land forces.

 

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