Second and third ring exchanges are nearing completion

Second and third ring exchanges are nearing completion

Leopard 2 main battle tank

Germany sells tanks of this type to the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

(Photo: Reuters)

Berlin Germany prepares another ring exchange of main battle tanks. The talks about the delivery of a tranche of 14 Leopard 2 battle tanks and an armored recovery vehicle to the Czech Republic are about to be concluded, as the Handelsblatt learned from circles familiar with the events. It would be the second end of a ring exchange within a few days.

Berlin previously had an agreement with the Slovakia met, whose armed forces will also receive 15 Leopard 2 A4 from German production. In both cases, the supplier is Rheinmetall-Group.

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In return for the delivery of the vehicles, the Czech Republic and Slovakia will be given Soviet-made tanks to the Ukraine hand over. While Slovakia is handing over armored personnel carriers to Kyiv, the Czech Republic is delivering 20 T-72 main battle tanks, according to sources.

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Like France, the German government rejects a direct delivery of battle tanks to Ukraine in order to Russia not to be classified as a party at war. In order to still support Kyiv in the defensive struggle, Berlin came up with the idea of ​​an exchange of rings.

The contracts with the Czech Republic and Slovakia are to be finalized in the coming weeks. According to the districts, the costs for the ring exchange each amount to a low three-digit million amount, which is borne by the federal government. The first battle tanks are currently being refurbished, and delivery to Prague and Bratislava should then take place in early 2023.

The planned exchange of rings with Greece is also on the home stretch. Athens will receive Marder from Germany in return for giving away Soviet-era BMP infantry fighting vehicles. Rheinmetall is currently working on these infantry fighting vehicles, the first delivery could theoretically start this year.

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