Rheinmetall signs contract to buy 25 Leopard 2A4 tanks from Switzerland

By Defence Industry Europe

The Swiss Federal Office for Defence Procurements, armasuisse, and German defence company Rheinmetall Landsysteme GmbH have finalized a contract for the sale of 25 decommissioned Leopard 2A4 tanks, following the export authorization granted by the Swiss Federal Council. The contract encompasses not just the sales price but also significant orders to the Swiss industry and services for the active Leopard 2 fleet of the Swiss Army.


Switzerland currently operates 134 upgraded Leopard 2A4WE tanks, modernized under the 2006 armament program. Additionally, it possesses 96 other tanks of the same type, which have not been renovated and are no longer in operational use.

The German Ministers of Economy and Defense, Robert Habeck and Boris Pistorius respectively, requested the resale of these decommissioned tanks to Rheinmetall, the original manufacturer, assuring that the tanks would remain in Germany or within NATO or EU member countries, and would not be transferred to Ukraine.


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Parliament approved the decommissioning of these systems, and the Swiss Federal Council authorized the export request from armasuisse. On November 23, 2023, the sales contract was officially signed with Rheinmetall Landsysteme GmbH.

A key component of the contract is the commitment to bolster the Swiss industry. Orders from Rheinmetall worth the sales price will be placed with Swiss companies in the Security-Important Technological and Industrial Base (BTIS), thus reinforcing the Swiss industrial sector. The agreement also includes services concerning the operation of the fire control computer for the active fleet of Swiss Army Leopard 2 tanks, enhancing their long-term capability.



As part of the deal, Rheinmetall will rapidly transport the 25 tanks to Germany by rail. During their overhaul, the company will dismantle, at no extra cost, modules that are still usable for the active fleet operated by the Swiss army and return them to Switzerland. This arrangement ensures a swift sale while conservatively managing the resources of the Army Logistics Base.




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