Leopard 2 A7 during a military exercise
Photo: Patrik Stollarz / AFP
The Norwegian government has decided to buy 54 Leopard 2 main battle tanks from the German defense contractor Kraus-Maffei Wegmann.
This was announced by Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre at the Rena military base around 150 kilometers north of Oslo.
There is also an option to purchase 18 more tanks.
The Norwegian parliament had already approved the procurement of new main battle tanks in 2021.
However, the country then considered several different tank models, including the South Korean Hyundai Rotem K2 Black Panther.
The decision in favor of the Munich manufacturer therefore also had geostrategic significance.
The EU member Poland recently opted for the model from South Korea, which caused resentment in Germany.
"We hope that the Norwegians don't make the same mistake," Ralf Ketzel, head of the Kraus-Maffei Wegmann armaments group, told Merkur.
Secret purchase price
In the announcement, Prime Minister Støre emphasized the close and good relationship between his country and Germany.
The Federal Republic is playing an increasingly important security policy role in Europe.
Støre said he informed Chancellor Olaf Scholz about the acquisition of the Leopard 2A7 in the morning.
The first of the new Leopard tanks are expected to be delivered in 2026, Defense Minister Bjørn Arild Gram said.
According to government information, the purchase is within a budget set by Parliament of 19.7 billion Norwegian kroner (around 1.8 billion euros).
However, the actually negotiated purchase price is kept secret.
Norway currently has 36 older Type 2A4 Leopard tanks.
Støre's government has announced that it will supply some of these to Ukraine.
However, the exact number is still unclear.
Read here why the Leopard main battle tank is so popular.