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Bundeswehr tanks: Munich armaments group is waiting for the “traffic light” signal – and makes promises


The Munich armaments company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann is promising capacities if the traffic light federal government should order new tanks for the Bundeswehr. So far that hasn't happened.

The Munich armaments company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann is promising capacities if the traffic light federal government should order new tanks for the Bundeswehr.

So far that hasn't happened.

Munich – What about the Bundeswehr’s Leopard 2 main battle tanks?

Since Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) announced the “turning point” because of the Ukraine war in March 2022, the traffic light coalition has at least not commissioned any new “Leos” for the troops.

Leopard 2 in the Bundeswehr: No new orders for Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW)

The Bavarian tank builder Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) as well as the CDU defense expert Roderich Kiesewetter recently explained this when asked by


KMW builds the "Leos" in Munich-Allach, the member of parliament and former professional soldier Kiesewetter is repeatedly informed in parliament about German defense spending.


However, Germany's military expenditures have even fallen recently.

Instead, there are repeated reports of alleged deficiencies in the Bundeswehr tank fleet.

For example, the magazine "ZDF frontal" reported in early March that only 17 of the 30 promised Leopard 2 tanks were available for NATO's VJTF (Very High Readiness Joint Task Force).

“We have no equipment shortages with the leopards.

We had a traffic jam during maintenance and repairs," said Federal Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) at the time.

Tanks, drones, anti-aircraft defenses: weapons for Ukraine

Tanks, drones, anti-aircraft defenses: weapons for Ukraine

KMW now described to

that the maintenance of several "Leos" is also guaranteed at the same time.

At present, "for the German armed forces and for the Danish army, older Leopard 2 designs are being modernized to stand A7," said the Munich tank builder.

The A7 is the most modern version of the "Leos", called Leopard 2 A7V by the Bundeswehr.

The “V” stands for improved.

Leopard 2 in the Bundeswehr: Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) would have capacity

But that's not all: According to KMW, capacities would be available if an order from the traffic light coalition of SPD, Greens and FDP for new "Leos" for the Bundeswehr should come in at short notice.

And that despite the fact that Leopard 2-A7s are currently being built in Munich for the Hungarian army and the production of 54 new "Leos" for Norway has started.

"The federal government already announced in February that it would vigorously promote the replacement of tanks to be delivered to Ukraine," the Bavarian armaments company said on request.

As early as February, the federal government announced that it would vigorously promote the replacement of tanks that were to be handed over to Ukraine.

KMW on request from

Germany is currently delivering 18 modern Leopard 2 to the Ukrainian armed forces because of the Russian war of aggression. According to the "List of military support services" on the website of the federal government, 14 Panzerhaubitzen 2000 were also delivered to Ukraine last year in a joint project with the Netherlands.

Furthermore, the delivery of 18 RCH 155 wheeled howitzers from industrial stocks is in progress.

Both weapon systems are built by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann.

So far, however, just as little has been known about a possible order for new self-propelled howitzers for the German army as there is about a possible replacement for the “Leos” delivered to Kiev.

Bundeswehr: CDU politician Kiesewetter calls for at least 290 operational "Leos"

How many Leopard 2 main battle tanks does the Bundeswehr actually need?

At the beginning of February 2023, ZDF reported that only 90 of the 290 Bundeswehr battle tanks were said to be operational at the time.

Eight "Leos" are said to be on NATO's eastern flank in Lithuania.

Defense expert Kiesewetter answered the question: "The absolute minimum would be if the 290 Leopard 2 tanks that we have that were mentioned in the media were all operational.

Due to our commitments to NATO, however, the need is likely to be significantly higher.”

In mid-February, Krauss-Maffei Wegmann declared that, from an industrial point of view, nothing would stand in the way of a significant increase in production.

His company is constantly asking all subcontractors what production rates are possible, explained KMW boss Ralf Ketzel to the

German Press Agency (dpa)

at the time: "So far, no one has given us a signal such as 'that's not possible'.

What we need for this is a clear political consensus.”


List of rubrics: © IMAGO/David Inderlied

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2023-03-21

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