Wed. Jul 17th, 2024

The German army will receive a large batch of new Leopard 2A8 tanks for a combat brigade in Lithuania

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Jun22,2024

The German army will receive a large batch of new Leopard 2A8 tanks for a combat brigade in Lithuania

As Der Spiegel reports, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius plans to purchase 105 new Leopard combat tanks 2A8 from KNDS for 2.93 billion euros, which is expected to be delivered by 2030. The plan is outlined in a confidential document destined for the Bundestag's Budget Committee, which must approve such large-scale projects and will review the tank deal before the summer recess.

The purpose of this large order — to provide the planned German battle brigade in Lithuania with a sufficient number of battle tanks. In the documents, the brigade is described as “one of the first advanced defense elements in the NATO alliance”, and the importance of “the best and uniform equipment” is emphasized. In addition, these tanks will help in the modernization of the armored forces of Germany, which is a priority for the Bundeswehr.

This order is possible thanks to a framework agreement concluded last year between the German army and the KNDS for the supply of 123 Leopard 2A8 tanks. Initially, 18 tanks were ordered to replace those transferred to Ukraine. At the time, the Army indicated the need for additional tanks to modernize its units, estimating the need for at least 50 new tanks. The current plan provides for 35 tanks for Lithuania by 2028, and the remaining 70 – until 2030.

This acquisition will significantly increase the arsenal of the Bundeswehr, which currently includes about 310 Leopard tanks of various models. Adding 105 tanks would expand that inventory by about one-third. The operating budget for these systems over ten years from 2030 is estimated to be €750 million in costs, which are not included in the current package. The documents also highlight the risk that KNDS could face delivery delays due to global shortages of electronic components and raw materials, classifying the risk as “medium to high.''

The budget committee is expected to scrutinize the funding model for this purchases The finance ministry said the costs of these tanks would not be covered by a special fund of 100 billion euros or the annual budget of the defense ministry from 2025. Instead, an authorization of commitment would be issued, guaranteeing that the federal government would cover the costs of allowing the order to be implemented.

This funding model sets a precedent for future governments. The initial costs in the following years are manageable, but from 2027 the financial burden will increase significantly. The projected costs are €430 million in 2027, €710 million in 2028, €909 million in 2029 and €842 million in 2030. The Ministry of Defense will need a significant increase in the budget to cover these costs, although no such increase is currently planned. The annual figure is approximately 50 billion euros.

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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