Norway to acquire 54 main battle tanks from German Krauss-Maffei Wegmann

Source: Ministry of Defence of Norway / Defence Industry Europe

The Norwegian Government has decided to acquire 54 main battle tanks (MBT) of the Leopard 2A7 type from German Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, with an option to purchase an additional 18 units. The first MBTs are expected to be delivered in 2026. This represents a clear strengthening of Norwegian defence capability and national preparedness. Today's Norwegian MBTs (Leopard 2A4) were bought in 2001 and are ready for replacement. This means that the K2NO tank offered by Hyundai Rotem of South Korea lost the competition with Leopard 2A7.


“New main battle tanks are of great importance to the Armed Forces, significantly strengthening the Army. In today’s security situation, European defence cooperation is becoming increasingly important. By procuring German tanks, we ensure that Norway has the same type of tanks as our Nordic neighbors and close allies. We are also forging closer security policy ties with Germany,” says Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.

“Ensuring everyone’s safety through national preparedness is one of the most important tasks we have as political leaders. The government prioritizes defense and preparedness. Securing Norway new tanks is an important part of this preparedness. This investment increases our combat power on land, will strengthen the Norwegian Army significantly, while also offering great opportunities for Norwegian defence industry and work force through industrial cooperation,” says Norwegian Minister of Finance Trygve Slagsvold Vedum.

The army has compared two strong candidates (Leopard 2A7 offered by KMW and K2NO offered by Hyundai Rotem of South Korea), and tests confirm both are excellent, modern vehicles meeting all requirements for a modern MBT capacity. Other factors considered and influencing the assessment include industrial cooperation opportunities, operational cooperation, logistics and life-cycle support. Based on an overall assessment of all relevant factors and conditions, the Government has concluded that the German alternative with Leopard 2 is the best for Norway.

“Main Battle Tanks are the Army’s main combat system in Norway and for our most important allies. MBTs are also central in fulfilling our obligations to NATO. By upgrading our defence with modern equipment, we make NATO stronger, which is paramount in the current security situation. We have highly skilled and motivated personnel operating our current MBTs, and we are happy to announce that we have now chosen to buy a new modern version,” says Norwegian Minister of Defence Bjørn Arild Gram.

“Germany is among our main partners in the field of defence and security policy. The procurement and industrial cooperation on main battle tanks with Germany builds on and reinforces an already established strategic materiel and industrial cooperation,” he added.

Norway will initially buy 54 MBTs, with an option of acquiring a further 18 units. The MBTs will be phased in from 2026 through 2031. The acquisition is within the cost limit of NOK 19.7 billion (EUR 1.8 billion) set by the Norwegian parliament.

“We are also looking at further investments in other capacities for the land force, such as long-range precision fire. In the spring of 2023, the Chief of Defence will present his advise on the future development of our Army as part of his Military Advice on the futre development of the Armed Forces,” Norwegian defence minister underlined.




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