Rheinmetall CEO: refurbished Leopard tanks for Ukraine in 2024 at the earliest

By Defence Industry Europe

Armin Papperger, CEO of German defence industry giant Rheinmetall, said the company could deliver refurbished Leopard 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine in 2024 at the earliest. ""Even if the decision is made tomorrow to allow us to send our Leopard tanks to Kiev, the delivery will take until early next year," he told the "Bild am Sonntag" newspaper.

According to Papperger, the Rheinmetall still has 22 vehicles of the Leopard 2 and 88 of the Leopard 1.

“But we can’t repair these tanks without a contract, because the costs are several hundred million euros. Rheinmetall cannot pre-finance that,” Papperger said.

He also said repairing the decommissioned main battle tanks would take “just under a year.”

“The vehicles will not only be repainted but will have to be rebuilt for wartime use. They will be completely taken apart and then rebuilt”, Papperger added.

According to the Rheinmetall CEO, the Leopard main battle tanks could play a decisive role in the Ukraine war. “The Leopard main battle tank is enormously important for offensives and reclaiming territory. With battle tanks, an army can break through enemy lines and end a prolonged war of position.”

As Defence Industry Europe reported, the United Kingdom has confirmed the plan to send 14 Challenger 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine.



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