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Leopard confusion getting bigger: Germany wants to buy back old tanks from Switzerland


Germany apparently wants to buy back Leopard-2 main battle tanks from Switzerland. The Swiss army protested resolutely.

Germany apparently wants to buy back Leopard-2 main battle tanks from Switzerland.

The Swiss army protested resolutely.

Munich/Bern - Because Moscow's ruler Vladimir Putin thinks he has to wage war in the middle of Europe, they are in greater demand than ever: German Leopard battle tanks.

There is a lot of discussion within the NATO alliance as to who wants to hand over how many copies to Kiev to defend against Russian aggression.

Or can.

Leopard 2 main battle tanks: Germany wants to buy back specimens from Switzerland

Most recently, Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD), who questions the Bundeswehr's ability to defend itself, put pressure on international partners.

Germany now wants to buy back Leopard 2 main battle tanks from Switzerland from the 1980s.

A corresponding request went to the Ministry of Defense in Bern, as its spokesman Renato Kalbermatten confirmed this Friday (March 3).

The daily newspaper Blick

reported about it first


According to the news portal t-online,

the Swiss army has

230 Leopard 2 tanks, of which 96 have been decommissioned.

However, they were not “decommissioned”, explained Kalbermatten accordingly.

According to Swiss law, only decommissioned material can be sold, the spokesman said.

Parliament ultimately decides whether material is to be decommissioned.

In the video: Pure propaganda - Wagner mercenaries report alleged Leopard-2 shooting down

"From the point of view of the army, it would be possible in principle, minus the need for the full equipment of the six mechanized battalions, to do without a limited number of battle tanks," said the ministry from Bern.

The prerequisite is that Parliament puts them out of service.

There are probably protests against such a plan from the Swiss army.

"We don't already have enough vehicles today," Erich Muff, President of the Panzer Troops' Officers' Society, told



It is unclear in what condition the requested tanks are.

Whether they experienced an increase in combat value, and if so, which ones.

The older Leopard 2 models from the 1980s, for example, did not have a multiple launcher for smoke bodies and no thermal imaging camera for the main scope in their original version.

Germany is currently delivering 18 modern versions of the Leopard 2A6 to Ukraine, and dozens of Leopard 1 tanks from German industry stocks are expected to be added in the coming months.

Weapons for Ukraine?

There is a heated debate in Switzerland

In Switzerland, meanwhile, there is a heated argument about involvement in arms deliveries in connection with the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine.

The security policy commission of the Council of States, the second chamber of the Swiss parliament, had recently spoken out in favor of at least enabling indirect arms deliveries.

A country that buys weapons in Switzerland should be allowed to resell or give them away.

Swiss arms companies, on the other hand, are even calling for the rules on direct arms exports to be relaxed in order to be allowed to export to countries that are currently involved in armed conflicts.

The Ukraine war was not directly mentioned, but a connection is considered likely.

Most recently, two of Ukraine's major supporters, Germany and Denmark, had increased the pressure on Bern to approve Swiss ammunition for weapon systems supplied by the West.

Among other things, it was about ammunition for the anti-aircraft tank Gepard.

From the point of view of the army it would be possible in principle (...) to do without a limited number of battle tanks.

Swiss Ministry of Defence

The Federal Republic had handed over 30 Gepard tanks to the Ukrainian army to defend against low-flying combat aircraft and helicopters - according to the federal government's website, around 6,000 shots included.

According to reports, however, a lot more rounds of ammunition were planned.

But Switzerland, where the special cartridges are made, did not allow the export.

Because of tank deliveries to Ukraine: Germany wants tanks back from Switzerland

In addition, Bern apparently prohibited Berlin from supplying the Ukrainian armed forces with a further 12,400 rounds of ammunition from its own stocks.

Now Germany apparently wants its Leopard 2 main battle tanks back - the negotiations on this are likely to be tricky.


Source: merkur

All news articles on 2023-03-03

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