Germany will donate 15 Leopard 2A4 tanks to the Czech Republic in an attempt to help replace the military equipment that the latter has supplied to Ukraine, Czechia’s Defense Minister Jana Černochová announced on Wednesday.
At the same time, both countries will commence negotiations on the purchase of another up to 50 state-of-the-art Leopard 2A7+ tanks of various modifications which Czechia could be equipped with in the coming years.
The Czech army could receive the donated tanks as early as later this year as the country continues to plan a modernization of its military capabilities, revealed, Jakub Fajnor, a press officer for the Ministry of Defense. The training of Czech tankers on German machines will also begin later this year.
At the beginning of May, Prime Minister Petr Fiala agreed with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to replace Czech equipment donated to Ukraine with German machines. Defense Minister Černochová arranged with her German counterpart, Christine Lambert, the gift by Germany of 15 Leopards 2A4 tanks.
The Czech army will receive 14 battle tanks and 1 rescue tank — spare parts and ammunition will also form part of the delivery provided by the German defense industry.
The ministry is preparing a contract for the donated tanks which should be signed by the summer.
The first machine is expected to be delivered within six months of signing the contract, followed by the others shortly after with the Czech government counting on a future upgrade to the 2A7+ version.
Training and modernization
This year, training of Czech soldiers will also begin in Germany, followed by more intensive combined training of Czech and German tankers on Czech territory. Because of this, the Czech defense ministry promises a faster transition to the new platform and support for bilateral cooperation.
“Many NATO allies such as our close neighbors Hungary and Poland use the Leopard tanks,” Černochová explained. “This rearmament will also contribute to creating a heavy brigade following our alliance commitments,” she added.
According to Fajnor, the purchase of new tanks and the modernization of the Czech military will take place in cooperation with the German government with the German army also planning to purchase and modernize its own Leopard 2 tanks.
“At the same time, this is an opportunity to ensure maximum involvement of the Czech defense industry, not only in supplies and modernization for the Czech army but also for far more extensive supplies for the German army,” Fajnor added.