Switzerland hands over first nine Leopard 2A4 tanks to Rheinmetall

By Defence Industry Europe

Switzerland has commenced the delivery of Leopard 2 A4 battle tanks to Rheinmetall Landsysteme, a German defence manufacturer. The first batch of nine tanks was transported by rail on January 30, 2024, marking the beginning of a series of deliveries that will see a total of 25 Leopard 2 A4 tanks returned to the manufacturer by January 31, 2024.

 

This decision follows the Swiss Federal Council’s approval on November 22, 2023, of an export request from Rheinmetall, in line with a commitment not to transfer these tanks to Ukraine. The Swiss Army, which currently operates 134 modernized Leopard 2 A4 tanks and has an additional 96 decommissioned units, has ensured that the tanks will remain in Germany or be used by NATO or EU member states, responding to a request from German ministers in February 2023.

 

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The agreement between the Swiss Federal Office of Armaments, armasuisse, and Rheinmetall involves not only the sale but also includes significant orders from Rheinmetall to Swiss companies within the security-related technological and industrial base. This deal underscores a commitment to strengthening the Swiss defence industry and includes maintenance support for the Swiss Army’s active Leopard 2 tank fleet’s fire control systems, ensuring their operational longevity.

 

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Furthermore, Rheinmetall will dismantle and return to Switzerland, at no financial cost, modules from the decommissioned tanks that can be repurposed for the active fleet. This initiative accelerates the sale process while conserving the resources of the Swiss Army’s logistical base.

 

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