Ukraine has repeatedly requested more heavy armor from Western countries, including tanks.
One tank that Kyiv really wants is the German Leopard, but it’s not available.
These formidable main battle tanks will provide a significant firepower boost on the battlefield.
Kyiv has been pressuring NATO and other European partners to add heavy armor such as combat vehicles and tanks. A lot is going on, but some requests are hitting a roadblock.
Ukraine has many items on its wish list, but has not been able to get its desired German Leopard tank.
Some countries with Leopards have offered to send these tanks, but the problem is that sending them technically requires German approval. And despite mounting pressure on Berlin to provide its own leopards, or at least allow them to be sent to other countries, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is unfazed.
Poland, one of the NATO countries that keep leopards, showed on Thursday that leopards could be there. Rogue If Germany doesn’t allow anything, it will take matters into its own hands. The country’s president previously said he wanted to send tanks to Ukraine. “United Nations”.
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said on Friday that Germany had not reached a decision on the leopard after meeting with the Ukrainian Defense Liaison Group. But he stressed that the focus is “to make sure Ukraine has the necessary capabilities to succeed now.”
He added that there was “no announcement” about the American M1 Abrams tank. German officials had previously linked Abrams’ extradition to the decision on the leopard, but Austin said otherwise.
German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, who attended a meeting of defense ministers on Friday, dashed hopes that Ukraine would receive a leopard, saying: “Today no one can say when the decision will be made and how it will be.” said. Politico.
On a brighter note, however, he said he instructed the Germans to check their stocks of Leopard tanks so that they could “act quickly” if a decision was finally reached.
High Speed, Mobility, Armament
The Leopard 2 is a German main battle tank developed by a defense company. Klaus-Maffei WegmanIt was designed in the 1970s and is the successor to the previous Leopard 1 and is used in about 20 countries.
A Leopard can travel a range of 275 miles at up to 44 mph. Armed with a 120 mm smoothbore cannon, a 7.62 mm machine gun and an automatic grenade launcher. In addition, the tank has ballistic and mine protection and has seen operational experience in Kosovo, Syria, and Afghanistan.
“Thanks to its high power output, [Leopard 2] It moves with great speed even on rough terrain,” says manufacturer Klaus-Maffei Wegmann. website“Its maneuverability, proven firepower and advanced protection allow it to complete the most demanding missions.”
Defense Department deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh told reporters at a Thursday briefing that unlike the American M1 Abrams, which has a different type of engine, the Leopard needs diesel fuel and is “less maintenance-intensive. It’s easy,’ he said.
“You can move most of the territory before you need to refuel,” she said of the Leopard and British Challenger tanks.
Leopard tank could help change static situation
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, told reporters on Friday that the 11-month war is now a “very difficult battle” and the front line is now “static”. – Except for battles around cities in eastern Ukraine bahmut.
Jeffrey Edmonds, a Russia expert at the Center for Naval Analyzes and former CIA military analyst, said he did not believe the Ukrainians wanted the battlefield to remain in such a static situation, but the Russians You may want it, so you can reorganize and consolidate. New Soldiers.
“I think the Ukrainians want to launch a counterattack at some point, and it’s much more effective with heavy armor, as much as you can get,” Edmonds told an insider. It’s probably more penetrating, especially with modern systems.”
Main battle tanks like the Leopard, along with infantry fighting vehicles, give Ukraine the opportunity to change the “static nature” of the conflict and take advantage of potential breakthroughs, Edmonds said, adding that they will improve firepower, maneuverability, and provides a “shock effect,” he added.
If the Leopard tanks head to Ukraine, they will join a British-provided squadron. Challenger 2 tanks and other types of armored fighting vehicle NATO and European countries recently pledged to send to Kyiv. in the United States alone, Bradley infantry fighting vehicle and striker Armored personnel carrier.
As Western security support for Ukraine continues to mount in the first weeks of the new year and before the one-year anniversary of Russia’s all-out aggression, how European nations are proceeding with the leopard issue remains to be seen. I don’t know yet, but the pressure is on. We are increasingly delivering these tanks to Ukraine.
“Arming Ukraine to repel Russian aggression is not some kind of decision-making exercise. Ukraine’s blood is really being shed,” said Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Lau. Said on friday. “This is the price of hesitation in delivering leopards. Action is needed now.”
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